What is the Well Child programme?

The Well Child programme is a package of universal health services offered free to all New Zealand families/whānau for children from birth to 5 years.  The programme includes 12 core contacts as well as a general practitioner check at 6 weeks, linked to the 6-week immunisations.

The early years of life set the foundation for lifelong health and wellbeing. The Well Child services help families/whānau to improve and protect their children’s health. They also serve as an important gateway to targeted and specialist health, education and social services for children and families/whānau with additional needs.

The Well Child services aim to:

  • provide you with the knowledge and skills to respond to your child’s needs at the different stages of their development
  • provide reassurance that your child is developing normally, through growth and development assessments
  • inform you about, and provide immunisation
  • support and help you to identify your needs as a parent, and link you with community and other services.

The services are set out in the Well Child / Tamariki Ora Schedule 2013 (the Schedule), which is available on the Ministry of Health website 

Who does Well Child checks?

Well Child services are provided by a number of people. These include:

  • Lead maternity carers (LMCs — includes midwives, obstetricians and general practitioners)
  • Registered nurses
  • Nurse practitioners
  • General practitioners
  • Paediatricians
  • Community health workers, Karitane and Kaiāwhina
  • Vision and hearing technicians (VHTs)
  • Newborn hearing screeners
  • Authorised vaccinators.