B4 School Checks on track to reach target
Hon Dr Jonathan Coleman
Minister of Health
10 December 2015
Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says the latest data shows the B4 School Check programme is well on track to reach more than 56,000 children across New Zealand by the end of the financial year.
“The first quarter figures show that 27 per cent of the target population, or more than 15,500 four-year-olds, received the free check in the three months ending September 2015,” says Dr Coleman.
“The B4 School Check helps identify any health or developmental issues – such as hearing or communication difficulties – so that they can be addressed before children start school.
“It’s also an opportunity for parents to learn more about supporting their child's health and development, including healthy eating and activity.
“The programme is well on track to reaching 90 per cent of the target population by July 2016. This is a great foundation to build towards the new childhood obesity health target which was announced in October.”
As part of the Childhood Obesity Plan, by December 2017, 95 per cent of children identified as obese in the B4 School Check will be offered a referral to an appropriate health professional for clinical assessment and family based nutrition, activity and lifestyle interventions.
This is expected to result in the number of referrals rising from about 1,400 a year to approximately 4,000.
The Government invests over $10 million each year to provide the B4 School Check, which has benefited more than 300,000 children and their families since the programme began in 2008.
Media contact: Kirsty Taylor-Doig 021 838 372
Last updated: Friday, December 11, 2015