Health

Australind kids to get health checks at school

REBECCA NASH

New child nursing services at a primary school in Bunbury’s outer suburbs will provide health checks for children.

Health Minister Kim Hames said locating nursing services inside Kingston Primary School brought them to their “area of current need”.

“Locating child health services within an early learning centre lifts the profile and importance of child development in the early years,” he said in a statement.

The services expand on a program started earlier this year which had already reported more than 90 birth notifications, conducted about 240 development checks and provided almost 200 screenings for perinatal anxiety and depression.

Parents will also be able to seek health education at the centre, while vaccination services, early parenting groups, and a drop-in clinic linked to the school’s existing playgroup will also be available.

Child and adolescent clinical nurse manager Hilda Wright said she hoped the child health service would be available around WA.

“As time goes on we will see if it works and if links develop from other organisations to help strengthen the working family,” she said.

Rockingham Early Learning and Childcare Centre administrator Elaine Giles said the service would help families who found it difficult to visit the doctor. But an in-home service would be better.

“It all sounds great in theory, but the problem would be getting people who are happy to work with children,” she said. “Finding teachers is hard enough.”

The program will be paid for using some of the $58.5 million the State Government put aside for child health services in the 2012-13 State Budget.