Well Child Tamariki Ora checks
In this section:
- What are the Well Child checks?
- What do they involve?
- How do I sign up for them?
- What if I’m concerned about my child’s health or learning?
- How can my ECE service help me?
- What happens if my child needs a referral?
- Further information
The Well Child Tamariki Ora programme is a series of free health checks and follow up support for children in New Zealand from around 6 weeks up to 5 years old.
It’s important that your child has these checks as they pick up any issues you child might have with their growth and development, hearing, vision, teeth, learning and behaviour. If your child does have an issue, finding it early is good for their learning and development.
They are also an opportunity for you to ask the trained nurse any questions you have about your child.
They involve meeting with a trained Well Child Tamariki Ora nurse. The nurse will talk to you about:
- Your child’s growth and development
- family health and wellbeing
- immunisation information
- oral health (teeth and gum) checks
- early childhood education
- vision (sight) and hearing
- health and development checks for learning well at school.
There are usually 8 checks, at:
- 4-6 weeks
- 8-10 weeks
- 3-4 months
- 5-7 months
- 9-12 months
- 15-18 months
- 4 years old (B4 School Check) – includes hearing and vision screening
Usually your midwife will help you sign up with Plunket or another Well Child Tamariki Ora service soon after your baby is born.
If you haven’t signed up, it’s not too late. You can find the Well Child Tamariki Ora services in your area on the Find a Well Child Tamariki Ora service page on the Ministry of Health’s website.
You should also enrol your child with your family doctor (GP). Once your child is enrolled, visits to the doctor and after-hours services are usually free until they are 13 years old.
You know your child best. If at any time you have any concerns about your child’s health, hearing, vision, development and learning you can talk to your family doctor or make an appointment to visit your Well Child Tamariki Ora service.
The staff at your child’s ECE service spend a lot of time with your child and get to know them well. If you are worried about your child’s learning or development, or suspect they are having trouble hearing or seeing, you can ask them if they are noticing the same things.
Sometimes it might be the staff that notice something first. If they notice any hearing, vision or other health issues they may suggest that you take your child for a Well Child check.
If your child needs to be referred to a doctor, specialist or special education support your Well Child Tamariki Ora service will make that referral for you.
Sometimes after the B4 school check hearing and vision screening the nurse may refer your child for a hearing or vision assessment. This can be done at your local hospital, or by an eye doctor (optometrist or ophthalmologist) or ear doctor (audiologist).
Visits to specialists and special education services are free, but you may have to wait to get seen.
You can choose to go to a private specialist, but you will usually have to pay for that yourself.
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