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The Minister for Indigenous Health, Warren Snowdon, has announced funding for 20 new services to provide Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mothers and their babies with better access to vital health care. The $4.5 million investment will establish 10 new child and maternal health services in New South Wales, two in the Northern Territory, five in Queensland and three in Tasmania. Participants will have improved access in the important early years to antenatal and postnatal care, essential information about baby care, practical advice and assistance with breastfeeding, nutrition and parenting.
The New directions mothers and babies services program is part of the Indigenous early childhood development national partnership agreement (NPA) signed in 2008. This agreement is one of the six NPAs included in the Closing the gap policy. It commits $564 million of joint Commonwealth and state and territory funding over six years to address the early childhood needs of Indigenous children.