Report shows room for improvement

WE all have a collective responsibility to ensure the best possible outcomes for Bendigo's children, says Kim Sykes.

Ms Sykes' comments coincide with the release of the 2013 State of Bendigo's Children Report.

The State of Bendigo's Children Report is an initiative of The First Quarter Leadership Group and aims to identify and assess key factors associated with the well-being of children and their families.

The First Quarter Leadership Group's interim co-chair Kim Sykes writes in the report's foreward that almost universally we want children and young people to thrive and to be supported.

The report shows the percentage of developmentally vulnerable children in Bendigo has fallen by about four per cent since 2009.

Other positives include: the number of playgroups, support playgroups and parent-run playgroups have increased considerably in the past two years; and kindergarten attendance rates for four-year-olds continues to improve.

Areas for improvement highlighted in the report include: more children in Bendigo are living in low-income households without the internet than the state average; reported family violence incidents have increased significantly in the past two years; and youth unemployment remains almost double that of the state.

"The report is a mixed bag in terms of there are some areas where we've made advances and there are other areas where the interventions we've put in place don't seem to be hitting the mark," Ms Sykes said.

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