Brighter Beginnings in Tenterfield
The Sector > Quality > In The Field > Brighter beginnings for Tenterfield preschoolers thanks to health check program

Brighter beginnings for Tenterfield preschoolers thanks to health check program

by Freya Lucas

April 03, 2024

Preschoolers in Tenterfield, in the New England region of New South Wales, are benefiting from free health and development checks which are now being delivered through early childhood education and care (ECEC) services in the region. 


Clinicians from Hunter New England Local Health District (HNELHD) provided the health checks as part of the NSW Government’s Brighter Beginnings program.


The program is a joint initiative of the NSW Department of Education and NSW Health, which is making free health checks accessible to all four-year-olds attending participating ECEC services, including public preschools, community preschools and long day care centres, Deputy Premier and Minister for Education Prue Car said.


“Starting school is an exciting time, but with two in five children developmentally at risk or vulnerable before they start school, we need to do more to support young children and their families,” Ms Car added.


“Providing health and development checks in early childhood centres makes it more convenient for parents to get these checks done before their children start ‘big school’.”


The program is currently being rolled out across all local health districts in NSW and is expected to be available statewide by the end of 2024.


“Our local health districts are working with ECEC services across NSW to implement the program, taking into consideration local community and cultural needs,” Minister for Regional Health, Ryan Park said.


“By offering outreach services, we’re ensuring children from every corner of NSW have the opportunity to thrive, and that parents have access to assistance if their child requires it,” he added.


Janelle Saffin, Member for Lismore, hopes that the program’s diversity of care will greatly improve the accessibility and delivery of paediatric treatment across the region.


“These free checks for 4-year-old children cover a wide range of developmental areas, including language, social, and motor skills, as well as cognitive abilities. They also include assessments of physical growth, dental health, and hearing.” Ms Saffin said.


HNELHD offers a team of speech pathologists, occupational therapists, and child and family health nurses who travel to different regional towns throughout the year.


For more visit the Department of Education’s website​.

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