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Victoria launches new free app for maternal and child health information

Victoria launches new free app for maternal and child health information

The Victorian Government in Australia today launched
a new free interactive smartphone app to share maternal and child health (MCH) tips
and advices. Families will now be able to access the latest parenting tips,
advice and guidance at just a touch of a screen.

“Victoria’s
world-class Maternal and Child Health Services deliver vital parenting support
and this app is just another way of reaching parents,” said Minister for Early Childhood Education Jenny
Mikakos.

“We know more and
more parents access their information online and the MCH App provides a useful
and trusted resource that families can use every day.”

As the early years
can shape a child’s entire life, access to trusted information is important for
Victorian parents.

The new MCH app, developed by the Maternal
and Child Health Services
of Victoria, aims to give families access to
comprehensive information matched to the age range of their child.

Credit: Maternal and Child Health Services of Victoria

Tips and useful advice are available on a range of topics,
such as meals and snacks, sleeping and settling, learning and development,
child behaviour, injury prevention, communication and play-based learning.

The app also provides reminders about upcoming MCH
appointments, seasonal warnings, a list of useful contacts and an interactive
Q&A function with digital assistant Nora which will respond with links to
trusted information online.

‍Credit: Maternal and Child Health Services of Victoria

The Victorian Government is investing A$930,000 over 4 years
to continue developing the app, which was designed in consultation with
families and will be regularly updated with new features.

Alongside the launch of the MCH app at the MCH Conference, Minister
for Early Childhood Education Jenny Mikakos also launched other workforce
initiatives for MCH nurses.

Such workforce initiatives include:

(1)   
Working with experts from the Royal Women’s Hospital, University of Melbourne and Deakin University to design a training
package for early childhood professionals to better support families affected
by trauma, particularly those experiencing family violence.

(2)   
Launch of new clinical supervision guidelines
for the Enhanced MCH program, which will build the capacity of MCH nurses in
caring for families with complex needs.

Victoria’s landmark A$202.1-million Early
Childhood Reform Plan
is delivering better services to parents with young
children, as well as improved early intervention for kids who need extra
support.

The Plan includes A$81.1 million to expand the availability
of supported playgroups across Victoria and boost MCH and parenting support, helping
provide families with strong support in early childhood, so children are ready
for kinder, ready for school and ready for life.

It also includes a A$108.4-million boost to the kindergarten
system to help kindergartens deliver high-quality programs that make the most
of every minute that children are playing and learning.

The MCH app can be downloaded at education.vic.gov.au/mchapp.

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