More Dandenong families facing disadvantage will be eligible for extra parenting help and advice thanks to an Andrews Labor Government boost for supported playgroups.

Member for Dandenong, Gabrielle Williams, today announced Dandenong families will benefit from a $22.1 million expansion of the Supported Playgroups program, which helps mums and dads improve their skills and gain more confidence in looking after their children.

A widening of the eligibility criteria will result in more Dandenong families being able to access the service, such as those experiencing family violence, breakdown or social isolation.

This additional funding will mean over 250 more families will be able to access a local supported playgroup in the Dandenong region.

Currently, the playgroups operate in less than half of Victoria’s local government areas, but the expansion means they will soon be available across the entire state.

The program is about improving learning outcomes for families that need additional support, by fostering quality parent-child connections and making the most of the home learning environment.

Playgroups are convened by trained facilitators, who provide specialist training advice as well as referrals to additional services.

It forms part of the Labor Government’s landmark $202.1 million Education State Early Childhood Reform Plan, which is focused on delivering better services to parents with young children, as well as early intervention for kids who need extra support.

The Plan recognises the importance of providing families with strong support in early childhood, so children get the best possible start in life.