Chief Minister Jon Stanhope and the Minister for Children and Young People, Katy Gallagher today formally opened the purpose-built Tuggeranong Child and Family Centre in the town centre.
Mr Stanhope said the new centre represents the most important investment any government can make on behalf of the community – an investment in the future of our children.
“The more we learn more about children the more we learn about how their early years impact the rest of their lives,” Mr Stanhope said. “That’s why it is important that we invest in facilities such as this – to ensure our children can enjoy their childhood as much as possible and to ensure they grow up to lead the happiest, healthiest and most productive lives possible.
“This new centre, along with its newly opened sister facility in Gungahlin, supports the objectives of the ACT Children’s Plan by providing families with the services and support they need to give their kids the best start in life,” Mr Stanhope said.
Joining the Chief Minister for the Centre’s opening Ms Gallagher said the Centre would mean children and their families in Tuggeranong would be part of a holistic approach in finding solutions to parenting or family issues, and that the Centre acknowledged the challenging work of being a parent.
“The new Centre will include maternal and child health clinics and other child-related services, counselling services, group work programs, parenting, education and community development activities,” Ms Gallagher said.
“It is extremely pleasing to see that the Centre provides parents and families with sound, practical advice and information to assist them with the often daunting job of raising children.
“As well as providing information and support on a one-to-one basis – there are regular activities such as Paint and Play, monthly talks – and programs including the highly successful Triple P (Positive Parenting Program) which is designed for parents who are seeking ideas on how to tackle challenging behaviours in their young children”.
Centre outreach programs that were already operating in the Tuggeranong area, such as Paint and Play in Richardson and the Young Parents Group at Lanyon will continue.
The Centre was designed in consultation with the community, including local children. Services are provided by staff from Tuggeranong Child and Family Centre, part of the Department of Disability, Housing and Community Services and other government and non-government agencies.