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Record number of children get B4 School Check

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

This Government is committed to ensuring New Zealand children get the best start to school and is investing an extra $7 million into the B4 School Check programme so even more children receive these important checks.

"A record 52,000 four-year-old children had a free B4 school health and development check last financial year," says Health Minister Tony Ryall.

"And for the first time, we’ve reached the target of 80 per cent of four-year-old children being offered a check before they start school.

"This is a significant improvement from a few years ago when only around half of four-year-old children had received a B4 School Check.

"I’d like to thank the Plunket nurses, public health nurses, B4 School Check nurses and early childhood education teachers for their hard work in ensuring New Zealand children have the best start at school.

"We want even more children to receive these important checks and are investing an extra $7 million into the programme to lift coverage from 80 per cent to 90 per cent of four-year-old children.

"These checks make a real difference to children and their families. I've been told about cases of four-year-old children being identified with high levels of tooth decay and being referred for treatment through the checks," says Mr Ryall.

The B4 School Check is an opportunity to spot any hearing, eyesight, behavioural, physical or learning development issues that might hinder a child from learning when they start school. Children are referred to a GP, specialist or other services for further help and support if required.

Over 200,000 four-year-olds have been checked since the programme began.

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