Speech, hearing and health tested at pilot program
A pilot program testing the hearing, speech and health of three-year-old kinder children at Goodstart Seymour
is helping ensure they are ready to make the transition to school.
The program, run by Mitchell Shire Council, aims to ensure parents and their children have their health check-ups to ensure issues are identified in the first year of a child’s school life.
Goodstart Seymour has partnered with Seymour College and Maternal and Child Health Services to provide vision, hearing, development and oral health assessments.
Seymour centre director Rebbecca Buttriss said Mitchell Shire Council had approached the service because they were aware many parents were missing the health check.
“Because parents are so time poor and because there are no immunisations due at that age, many children miss out on that check-up,” Ms Buttriss said.
“This can have implications for their success at school, for example, if they are having hearing difficulties, or are having trouble with their sight.
“This allows the service to capture results in a more consistent manner.”
Ms Buttriss said the specialists attended the centre, and with the permission of the parents, carried out the health tests and passed on any results.
“We know parents are time-poor and not always able to visit all of the different agencies and specialists to have their children’s health checked,” she said.
“By offering this service at the centre, parents don’t have to worry.”
The pilot program targeted children who are enrolled at nearby Seymour College and the Maternal and Child Health Services and the centre hope it will be extended.
“We’re hoping they will secure funding to allow the visits to continue in years to come.
“It is just a one-off at the moment but we are hoping that they can go back and say this is very beneficial so they can introduce it in to the region.”
Ms Buttriss said the service was all about creating opportunities for all children and undertaking a deeper level of investigation into children’s needs.