NSW preschoolers to get free health and development checks as part of new trial
The Sector > Practice > Preschool > NSW preschoolers to get free health and development checks as part of new trial

NSW preschoolers to get free health and development checks as part of new trial

by Freya Lucas

November 30, 2022

Nine preschools across New South Wales will pilot a new trial providing free health and development tests for children before they start school, with services to expand to 15 more locations in early 2023 before being offered to every NSW preschooler in 2024.


The state-wide program is an Australian first, with checks assessing hearing, vision, physical and cognitive development, social and emotional development, communication and skills. 


Trial sites will be involved in a study from late November 2022 until February 2023 in metropolitan, regional and remote areas that will help to inform the state-wide rollout of the program and will include different types of tests in different locations.


“This is about giving every child in our state the best start to life as possible,” said NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet.


“The first few years of life are some of the most important for long-term health and development, which is why we are investing in this important program to help identify and minimise health and development issues or delays early on.”


“Education is the door to a brighter future, and these development checks are the keys for children across NSW to access the benefits of quality education,” added Minister for Education and Early Learning Sarah Mitchell.


“I have witnessed the difference these early checks make first-hand after one of my children was identified with a speech impediment, and they are now thriving at school.”


During the trial child and family nurses, allied health professionals and early childhood educators will work together to learn more about how best to implement the checks, with a view to supporting the state wide roll out. 


The nine preschools taking part the study are:


  1. Oorunga Wandarrah MACS Centre, Airds 
  2. Uniting Fredrick St Preschool, Rockdale
  3. Forbes Preschool, Forbes
  4. Bourke and District Children’s Services, Bourke
  5. Mindaribba Preschool, Metford 
  6. Woodberry Preschool, Woodberry
  7. Gloucester Preschool, Gloucester 
  8. Barrington St Preschool, Gloucester 
  9. Stroud Preschool, Stroud.


Learn more about the importance of developmental screening in early childhood here

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