We work in partnership with the Victorian Government on policy directions, funding and continuous improvement for maternal and child health services in conjunction with other early childhood services.
A memorandum of understanding (MOU) between us and the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (DEECD) guides the partnership between state and local government for the planning, funding and provision of maternal and child health services.
Our policy adviser works to deliver the outcomes and obligations detailed under the MOU. This includes:
representing the sector on a range of early years advisory groups and forums
contributing to developing and reviewing policy frameworks and initiatives
engaging in ongoing discussion on matters relating to local government and management of maternal and child health services
reporting on key strategic projects and outcomes
promoting and strengthening our capability and the proactive role of Victorian councils regarding maternal and child health services
About maternal & child health
Maternal and child health services are provided by councils or organisations contracted by councils.
These services are included in the municipal early years plans prepared by all councils.
The service can be accessed by all Victorian families with children aged from birth to six years old. Approximately 98 per cent of families access these services which include:
child health monitoring
maternal health and wellbeing
early identification of health and development concerns
nursing intervention and referral when indicated
health promotion and education
When issues relating to immunisation service delivery arise, we advocate on councils’ behalf.
Councils currently deliver nearly half of all immunisations to preschool children and over 90 per cent of those provided to school-age children.
A maternal and child health workforce analysis conducted in 2004 resulted in state government funding for a marketing and recruitment project to encourage more nurses to become maternal and child health nurses in Victoria.
Recruitment and retention strategies developed through the project have been adopted by councils. These include scholarship programs, student placement and graduate support, and shared initiatives between councils for regional recruitment of maternal and child health nurses.
The workforce project also organises sector participation in annual careers expos.