Developmental checks before school enhanced under new look Brighter Beginnings program

Developmental checks before school enhanced under new look Brighter Beginnings program

by Freya Lucas

June 17, 2022

Child development and family support will receive a boost in the soon to be announced New South Wales Budget with the State’s Premier announcing a $376.5 million investment over four years earlier this week. 

 

Dubbed the Brighter Beginnings package, the program will provide all children with a full suite of developmental checks before they start school and make the baby blue book digital, along with the expansion of a home visiting program, and more Aboriginal Child and Family centres. 

 

The Brighter Beginnings initiative is a partnership, led by NSW Minister for Education and Early Learning Sarah Mitchell, between the Department of Education, NSW Health, the Department of Communities and Justice, the Department of Customer Service, the Department of Regional NSW, Multicultural NSW, Aboriginal Affairs, and the Department of Premier and Cabinet to drive transformational change in early childhood development.

 

Alongside the NSW Government’s Affordable Preschool Program, the Brighter Beginnings package includes:

 

  • $111.2 million to bring health and development checks to all children in NSW preschool settings in partnership with health professionals;

 

  • $98.7 million to continue and expand the number of Aboriginal Child and Family Centres across the state;

 

  • $70.9 million to expand the transformational Sustaining NSW Families clinical nurse home visiting program;

 

  • $57.2 million to develop the clinical interface of the Digital Baby Book; and

 

  • $38.6 million to make Pregnancy Family Conferencing available to more parents across NSW.

 

The State’s treasurer, Matt Kean described the move as a long-term investment which “will reap benefits for children, families and the economy today, and for many generations to come.”

 

Ms Mitchell welcomed the initiative saying “it’s clear that getting it right early in a child’s life has lifelong benefits for their future.”

 

“Almost half of all four-year-old children do not get their recommended health and development checks, so making these available in every NSW early childhood service will open the door to brighter futures for thousands of children.” 

 

“Knowing where children are developmentally and physically before they start school is so important, allowing any necessary support to be identified,” she added. 

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