Supporting Local Families

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Support is available for families and parents in our community.


For updates on parental support services in our community, follow Lauren Kathage MP.

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Making Things Easier for Parents

$400 School Saving Bonus


The new one-off School Saving Bonus gives families of school kids one less thing to worry about and makes life that little bit easier.

The Bonus will be provided during Term 4 of this year, making sure families have time to plan and budget for the 2025 school year ahead. 

Families will receive a credit on their school family account to help meet the cost of activities and uniforms. 

The School Saving Bonus is available to parents and carers of every child enrolled in a government school in 2025. 

For non-government schools, families eligible for the means-tested Camps, Sports and Excursions Fund, including healthcare and concession card holders, will also be eligible for the additional $400 support. 

School Saving Bonus | (

More Free School Breakfasts

Back to school means back to packing lunches.

At least soon, there’ll be one less thing to think about - with free school breakfasts being expanded to all government schools for the first time.

1000 schools already participate, but we’re rolling it out across the board. Because kids can’t learn on an empty stomach.

The program is delivered by Foodbank Victoria.

You can find out more about the program here:

Expanded Glasses For Kids Program

Our government has introduced free eye tests and glasses for kids that need them at selected schools, with 480 schools visited so far, and 5,000 students receiving free glasses.

We've expanded on the $2.9 million made available in the 2023/24 Budget to continue the initiative through to 2027, a further $6.8 million in the 2024/25 Budget will now expand program access, making it available to a further 74,000 eligible students at an additional 473 eligible government schools.

You can find out more about the program here:

Whittlesea Early Parenting Centre, South Morang

Whittlesea Early Parenting Centre, South Morang

Early Parenting Centre (Sleep School)

Our government is building 10 Early Parenting Centres across the state.

The City of Whittlesea Early Parenting Centre (EPC) is a free sleep school that delivers flexible, targeted services to local families.

They support parents with strategies to achieve their parenting goals such as sleep and settling, child behaviour, parent and child health, and wellbeing.

You can find out more about the centre here:

Maternal Health Services

Our government helps fund free Maternal Health Services in the area.

These services provide ongoing care to improve the health, wellbeing, and safety of families.

Find a list of MCH services in the City Of Whittlesea:

Free Parenting Tips and Techniques

The Triple P Positive Parenting program offers free courses, tips, and techniques, giving you the confidence and skills to build good relationships, set boundaries and rules ways that kids understand, and follow up with consequences that are not harmful.

This program is funded by the Australian Government. 

You can find out more about the program here: 

Baby Bundle

Our government offers first-time Victorian families a bundle of nursery essentials.

It contains key parenting information and resources to support the health, development, and wellbeing of their babies.

You can find out more about the program here:


Our government provides a free app for new parents.

The Maternal and Child Health app (MCH app) provides reliable information matched to the age of your child.

The app can also track your child’s growth and remind you about upcoming MCH appointments or immunisations.

It also includes a digital assistant to answer your questions 24 hours a day.

You can download the app here:

The Hub 3756

The Hub in 3756 in Wallan offers qualified family coaching, workshops, information, and support for parents.

This service is a partnership between Kids First, Mitchell Shire Council and FamilyCare

Free Zoos and Museum visits for kids on weekends and during school holidays





PANDA National Helpline

PANDA is an organisation that supports women, men and families across Australia affected by anxiety and depression during pregnancy and early parenthood.

Open 9am-7:30pm, Monday to Friday

1300 726 306 


Parentline is a confidential and anonymous phone counselling service for parents and carers of children and teenagers in Victoria.

Parentline offer counselling, information, and support.

Open 8am to midnight, 7 days a week.  

13 22 89

Virtual Emergency Department

Our government’s Victorian Virtual Emergency Department (VVED) triages and treats patients with non-life-threatening conditions virtually. VVED is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Priority Primary Care Centres

We’ve established 29 Priority Primary Care Centres across the state.

They partner with nearby hospital emergency departments. They provide free care for people with conditions that require urgent attention but not an emergency response.


  • Craigieburn

70 Central Park Ave, Craigieburn

8384 0940


  • Heidelberg

455 Upper Heidelberg Road Heidelberg Heights

9000 9276


  • Epping

Shop 216, 571 - 583 High Street Epping

9422 2220

Further Support

There are many more services and more information available that can help young families.

Find a list here of resources that help with child growth, feeding, disability and much more.


Helping Kids Stay Happy and Healthy

Ashley Park Primary School, Doreen

Ashley Park Primary School, Doreen

Smile Squad

Our government provides a Smile Squad van to deliver free oral health education, dental check-ups, and treatment to Victorian government students at school.

Good oral health stops dental problems before they become serious.

You can find out more about the program here:


Giving Kids the Best Start in Life

Free Kinder

We have introduced Free three-year-old and four-year-old kinder.

Children can now access between 5 and 15 hours of free kinder per week, saving families up to $2,500 per child each year.

Find out more about starting kinder:


The sandpit at the new Murnong Kindergarten in Donnybrook.

The sandpit at the new Murnong Kindergarten in Donnybrook.

New Kinders

We’re investing in more kinders for families across our community. We’ve recently invested in two new kinders in Donnybrook, and two in Doreen, and there’s more on the way for Wallan East and Wollert.

Find your closest kinder here:

Lauren at the site of the Wall East Primary School to be built by 2026.

New Schools & Upgrades

We’re making kids have somewhere to get a great start. We’ve opened a brand-new primary school in Donnybrook, with another on the way for Wallan East, and specialist and secondary schools for Kalkallo.  We’re also upgrading schools in Mernda, Doreen, Whittlesea, and Wandong.

Help with School Fees

There are options if you're having difficulties with school costs.

You can talk to your school about your situation. They may be able to arrange a payment plan or look at other options.

You can find out more about your options here:

Whittlesea Primary School students enjoying a new playground. 

Help with School Uniform Costs

Our government offers help if you have a child at a Victorian Government Schol and are facing challenges from health issues, natural disaster, or serious financial difficulty. Discounts are available for books, uniforms, shoes. This help is provided by State Schools Relief and supported by the state government. You can access this help by speaking with your school.

You can find out more about the program here:


Local Playgroups to Join:

Mernda Community Playgroup

70 Mernda Village Drive, Mernda

Ana: 0434 204 304

Email: [email protected]

Jindi Family & Community Centre

48 Breadalbane Avenue, Mernda

Multiple groups for different age groups and days of the week. Enquire to learn more. 

Email: [email protected]

Mernda Neighourhood House Bush Playgroup

Mernda Recreation Reserve, 2 Heals Road, Mernda

[email protected]

0425 661 254

Doreen Community Playgroup

110 Hazel Glen Drive, Doreen

Email: [email protected]

Parent Child Mother Goose Program

MCM learning Hub, 11 Aspect Drive, Doreen

Email: [email protected]

0481 728 905

Whittlesea Uniting Church Playgroup

26 Forest Street, Whittlesea

Email: [email protected]

0458 912 706

Whittlesea Playgroup Inc.

76 Laurel Street, Whittlesea

Email: [email protected]

0466 889 455

Mainly Music Whittlesea

28 Forest Street, Whittlesea

[email protected]

0448 639 167

Wandong Playgroup

Wandong Community Centre, 12 Dry Creek Road, Wandong

Email: [email protected]

0413 212 946

Diamond Valley Baptist Church Playgroup

309 Diamond Creek Road, Plenty

Email: [email protected]

0409 667 008

9435 9377

Wallan Playgroup

R B Robson Stadium, 42 Bentinck Street, Wallan

Email: [email protected]

0439 773 901

Kalkallo Community Playgroup

33 Toyon Rd, Kalkallo

Email: [email protected]

0434 869 281

Dwaraka Indian Playgroup Beveridge Primary

Corner Lithgow Street & Mandalay Court, Beveridge

Email: [email protected]

0425 804 989

Indian Playgroup - Wollert

Ganbu Gulinj Kindergarten, 55 Macedon Parade, Wollert

Email: [email protected]

0407 514 432

Mickelham Multicultural Playgroup

82/90 St George’s Boulevard, Mickleham

Email: [email protected]

Melbourne Muslimahs Playgroup

Miller Community Centre, Mill Park

Email: [email protected]

0455 657 026

Kirrip Community Playgroup

135 De Rossi Blvd, Wollert

9217 2170

Mickelham Rainbow LGBTQIA+ Playgroup 

82/90 St George’s Boulevard, Mickleham

Email: [email protected]

This information has been collated by the office of Lauren Kathage MP.

Contact the office on 9432 9782 if you have any questions.

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