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A century of providing children with the best start in life

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Maternal and Child Health nurses from across Victoria will come together to celebrate 100 years of the iconic service at an event in Collingwood tomorrow.

The Maternal and Child Health Service gives Victorian children the best start in life by providing free check-ups at key stages of their development, up to the age of six.

MAV President Cr Mary Lalios said the service was relied on by families, particularly new parents, and was part of the social fabric of communities.

"A lot has changed in the past 100 years, but the Maternal and Child Health Service has remained free and accessible to all Victorian families since the day it began.

"There aren’t many services that have stood the test of time like Maternal and Child Health. Families have become more diverse and technology has advanced, but the fundamentals have remained the same – to provide a free, accessible service to all families.

"This year is all about celebrating this iconic service and the dedicated Maternal and Child Health nurses who help to improve the lives of Victorian children."

Minister for Families and Children, Jenny Mikakos, said: "Our world-class Maternal and Child Health nurses are the envy of the world, and reaching 100 is testament to the incredible work that they do.

"More than 1,100 Maternal and Child Health nurses provide invaluable support to parents each and every day and I wish this critical service a very happy 100th anniversary."

Tomorrow's celebration is being hosted by the City of Yarra at Collingwood Town Hall, home to the first Maternal and Child Health Centre in the state.

Yarra Mayor, Cr Amanda Stone, said: "Since it began in Richmond 100 years ago, the Maternal and Child Health Service has remained free and accessible to all Victorians – offering essential support to babies, children and their families from all backgrounds.

"I would like to formally acknowledge the incredible work of our Maternal and Child Health staff – both past and present – who work tirelessly to give babies and young children the best start; laying the foundations for a healthy and happy life."

Councils across Victoria are holding celebrations with their local communities throughout the year.

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For further information, contact Cr Mary Lalios on 0447 189 409 or MAV Communications on 9667 5547.