We all heard the news last week: in an Australian first, the Labor Party announced that fully funded three-year-old preschool will roll out across Victoria from 2020.
This is great news, but right now in the West we have 250 babies born per week, and these babies (and their families) all need support to get the best start even before preschool.
Research shows that the first 1000 days of life (from conception to a child’s second birthday) are the most important time for a child’s health and development. If our babies don’t receive what they need to thrive during this time, it can affect them for the rest of their lives.
This means our youngest Westies need support from our government before parents are even thinking about three-year-old preschool.
Families in the West need easier access to medical and dental services in their area, as well as more therapeutic and social support services available in the region. And they need them now.
So how can our babies get the best chance they need to thrive in the West?
Generation West is a grassroots campaign and we are working with families, the community, and healthcare providers to tell our MPs just what we need for our youngest Westies - starting with a comprehensive review and new plan for maternal and paediatric services here in the West.
Right now, the most important thing that we can all do is to make sure our MPs listen. Then they can take our ideas to parliament and can start putting the services families and children in the West need to thrive.
If you haven’t already, sign the Generation West petition and make sure your family and friends do too. We’ll keep you updated on our campaign and ways that you can get involved.
Together, let’s make sure children in the West get the best chance to thrive right from the start.