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
- Community health workers, Karitane and Kaiāwhina
- Vision and hearing technicians (VHTs)
- Newborn hearing screeners
- Authorised vaccinators.