B4 School Checks Get four year olds ready for school

June 25, 2009

B4 School Checks Programme Coordinator Mary Lawn is encouraging parents to take advantage of the B4 School checks that give four year olds a free health and development check. The aim of the checks is to identify any behavioural, social or developmental concerns which could affect a child’s ability to learn when they begin school.

Since the beginning of these checks at the end of last year over 600 checks have been completed in Taranaki.

“The checks are being done by Public Health Nurses and Vision& Hearing Technicians in partnership with parents and our early childhood centres. Maori Health Providers in both North and South Taranaki are also involved in providing the checks.
 Zayck is a perfect example of how well these can work,” says Mrs Lawn. “He has had assistance from several agencies, all before he starts school which is our aim with the checks.”

The B4 School Check is free and available to all children when they turn four. It is the final Well Child Check and is a wonderful opportunity for parents to discuss their children’s health and development with a Nurse. Most children will not need any further assistance, but if any concerns are identified, action can usually be taken early.
The check includes:

  1. Height and weight
  2. Child health Questionnaire
  3. Behavioural and Developmental Screening
  4. Oral Health Assessment
  5. Health promotional and Education
  6. Where required in partnership with the parents referrals are made to health, Education or Social Services.

In Taranaki, parents will be contacted through the Early Childhood Centre their child attends.

Zayck’s mother Kylee Wilmshurst is delighted with the B4 school check for son.

“I am delighted at the fact my son has had the advantage of being assessed by health professionals.

If it wasn’t for the B4 school check I wouldn’t know that my son now has to wear glasses and will do until the age of 8 at the earliest,” she said. “He has no focus in his left eye and we are hoping the glasses will improve his focus without having to wear a patch as well to help strengthen his sight.

Zayck also had his hearing checked and we have also learnt that he has a lot of fluid in his inner ears and will need grommets. He has also been undergoing speech therapy to help improve his speech because of his hearing which is steadily improving.”

“My husband and I are ever so grateful to having the B4 School checks in place because we are able to get through these milestones with Zayck before he goes to school which is great. Zayck has such a positive outlook on life and he is very proud of his glasses. He tells everyone that he wears glasses because his mummy and daddy love him so much that they want the best for him and that makes him special.”

Zayck and his family are available for a photo opportunity on Tuesday afternoon at 3pm. Please let me know if you are interested in this….

For more information please call

Sue Carrington
Media adviser
Ph 021 367 789

Last updated: Friday, January 31, 2014

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