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Labor's new deal for young families.

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Kim Beazley - Labor's New Deal For Young Families //media/1001/kbmsyf071001.html Monday, 08 October 2001

Labor's New Deal For Young Families Kim Beazley - Leader of the Opposition

Media Statement - 7 October 2001

I am today announcing Labor's plans to expand and improve family services for young parents and help them balance their work and family responsibilities.

Labor understands the insecurity felt by countless Australian families. The pressures facing young families today are much greater than they were just decades ago. Many worry they don't have the time and resources to give their children the start in life they deserve.

The Labor Party is absolutely committed to delivering a new deal to young Australian families.

Today I announce an investment in young families and their children totaling $266.5 million, the centrepiece of which is Labor's Headstart for Families.

Headstart for Families will be to families what Medicare is to health care - a platform of services for young Australian families and their children. It has four key elements:

Parenting Education - before and after the birth of a child. ● FamilyCare - comprehensive home visiting and outreach services for families with young children. ●

ParentLine - a phone hotline that links families to information and services. ● Early Childhood Activities - playgroups, toy libraries and other activities to stimulate young children and improve links between parents. ●

The focus will be on equipping families with the skills and assistance to raise happier, healthier children. Parents know that the early years of a child's life can heavily influence how they do at school, whether they get a job, and what career they have.

In this way, Headstart for Families will be the foundation of Labor's Knowledge Nation.

Labor wants to make sure our investments get results by setting national targets for the health and well-being of families and children.

Headstart for Families will be complemented by new flexible Family Payment and Childcare arrangements that better suit the needs of today's families - the details of which I will announce later in the campaign.

To help better balance work and family, I today also announce a range of industrial relations measures, anti-discrimination laws, and a commitment to investigate ways of increasing coverage of paid maternity leave.

Labor wants to help parents reclaim some of the time families have lost with their children because of increasing pressures at work.

Labor's Headstart for Families is an investment in the future of our nation.

Kim Beazley's Plan for Young Families Authorised by Geoff Walsh, 19 National Circuit, Barton ACT 2600.