Media Release: More support for young mothers to finish school and children to thrive

The Morrison Government is supporting young mothers under 25 in the Frankston area to finish their Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning and give their children the best start in life.

Minister for Families and Social Services Anne Ruston today announced Anglicare Victoria would receive $170,000 over the next five years for their Learn Engage Connect program which has successfully supported more than 40 young parents in the past year to reconnect with their studies.

“The Morrison Government is absolutely committed to supporting parents to give their children the best start in life and we know that, on their own, parenting and going to school can be challenging, but together they pose an even greater test,” Minister Ruston said.

“The Learn Engage Connect program is specifically designed to support young women overcome these challenges while also helping them build a network of other young parents in their community who are facing similar challenges.

“The program allows young mothers to bring their children with them to the TAFE classroom four days a week where a family support worker and early childhood educator are also in the classroom to provide childcare, parent mentoring and a facilitated playgroup.”

Senator for Victoria Jane Hume said the program was already proving successful, helping 42 parents in the Dunkley community undertake education that may not have otherwise been possible.

“The Learn Engage Connect program gives parents the tools to be great parents and the skills to achieve great things in whatever employment or education venture they want to enter into in the future,” Senator Hume said.

“Not only are these young mums on their way to finishing their schooling but the program is also ensuring their children are thriving with 75 per cent above the cut-off across all 5 early childhood development domains.

“The Morrison Government will continue to deliver funding to community services to provide early intervention for at risk families to ensure they can achieve all of their aspirations.”

Frankston Mornington Peninsula Local Learning Employment Network works with Anglicare Victoria to deliver the Learn Engage Connect program because of their wealth of experience supporting parents’ and children’s’ wellbeing and development and extensive local knowledge of the Dunkley community.

Frankston Mornington Peninsula Local Learning Employment Network CEO Carol Smith said in addition to supporting participants to complete the Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning, it also provides childcare, parent mentoring and facilitated playgroup within the classroom, one-on-one psychosocial support and assistance with developing life skills.

“Results from the past year show Learn Engage Connect helped 86 per cent of participants to improve their parenting skills and confidence and 76 per cent to improve their overall quality of life,” Ms Smith said.

This funding forms part of the Morrison Government’s annual commitment of more than $290 million to a range of services delivering crucial early intervention support to families and children in need across Australia.

Visit the DSS website for more information about family and children programs funded through the Families and Children Activity.

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