Don’t you just love free gifts? Especially ones that are actually useful?
First-time parents in Victoria may soon receive a very happy surprise with the arrival of their bundle of joy, thanks to the Labor Government’s Baby Bundle.
All first time parents in Victoria will be gifted with the little something extra when they receive the Maternal Child Healthy Learning and Development Record (AKA the Green Book). But there’s a catch – to get this little bundle of goodies with your new little bundle of joy, Victorians will have to re-elect the Labor Government in the coming Victorian State election.
What do new mums get?
The Victoria Baby Bundle is valued at around $150 and includes a number of handy products. Each baby bundle will include:
- A nappy bag
- A teething ring or toy
- Muslin wrap
- A safe sleeping bag
- Four picture books from Victorian authors
- Information booklets on child safety, feeding, sleeping and emergency contacts
But what’s it going to cost?
Well, it’s free for first-time parents. But the Victoria baby bundle plan is a projected $21.8 million expense over four years, which is included in the massive $232 million budget. The government is also promising free tampons and sanitary napkins in schools and free dental checks in state schools if re-elected.
Premier Daniel Andrews explains that the Victoria Baby Bundles are designed to set new parents up and give them products and information that, first and foremost, promote safety.
As a parent, I know how a little help with the basics can go a long way. That’s why we’re giving parents the essentials, so they don’t have to stress about finding a safe sleeping bag or figuring out how to use it when they’re driving home from the hospital with their new baby.” – Premier Daniel Andrews
“It’s part of Labor’s comprehensive package to give new parents access to the information, support and care they and their baby need, with new parenting centres, more maternal child health nurses and round-the-clock support to help get their kids to sleep,” Mr Andrews says.
Free first aid training to first time parents
Earlier this year New South Wales announced a very similar scheme, known as the Newborn Baby Box. Although it sounds great for new mums, the NSW baby boxes have also received a bit of criticism.
Alexandra Carlton from news.com.au, suggested that the hampers are simply a band-aid to cover a much larger issue. She believed it would be better to “put that $150 towards giving all new parents an accredited first aid course”.
Well, it would appear the Premier heard her complaint. Mr Andrews has also announced that his government will deliver free first aid training to around 26,000 Victorian parents a year. This is slated to cost around $1.4 million and is also already in the budget. And the Premier is also promising to build Early Parenting Centres in rural areas, including Bendigo, Ballarat and Geelong, if Labor wins.
Free first aid courses AND a baby hamper of goodies? Looks like now’s the time to procreate! Well, if you’re in Victoria, at least.
Don’t live in Victoria? Too bad, you’ll have to buy your own teething toys. Lucky for you, we have a brilliant teething toy guide to help you out.