B4 School Checks are giving more new entrants the best
Hon Dr Jonathan Coleman
Minister of Health
30th January 2017
Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says more parents are sending
their children to school for the first time this week knowing their
B4 School Check has picked up any potential health or development
needs at an early stage.
"The B4 School Checks help to give children the best start at
school by identifying and addressing any health or development
problems in time to connect them with the appropriate support
services," says Dr Coleman.
"The B4 School Check programme continues to perform well,
reaching 92 per cent of all four-year olds for the second year in a
row since 2014/15.
"In 2015/16 uptake of the B4 School Check was also 93 per cent
among those living in high deprivation areas.
"All families are encouraged to participate in the free health
check. B4 School Check providers are working with other services
such as early childhood education, and focusing on hard to reach
communities to encourage uptake."
Children should get the B4 School Check as close to their fourth
birthday as possible, to give families time to work with any
additional support services they might need, for example
immunisations that protect children against measles and other
diseases that can spread at school.
Introduced in 2008, the B4 School Check is the final core Well
Child/Tamariki Ora check. Checks are provided through a range of
community health services and include hearing, eyesight, height,
weight, oral health assessments, and comprehensive health and
The most common issues identified in the check are vision and
hearing difficulties. In 2015/16, 2874 children were identified
with a possible hearing loss and referred for treatment or further
In the six months to the end of December 2016, 29,796
four-year-olds were screened, an increase on the 29,612 screened in
the same period in 2015.
The Raising Healthy Kids target was introduced in 2016 and aims
to ensure that through the B4 School Check, kids and their families
are put in touch with primary healthcare professionals who can
check for any clinical risk associated with obesity, encourage
families to take action and monitor growth.
Media contact: Angela Kenealy
January 31, 2017