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HealthInfo Aoraki-South Canterbury

B4 School Checks

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The B4 School Check is free for every 4-year-old child in New Zealand. It is the last Well Child check. The check is a chance to have your child's health and development checked before they start school. You will have a chance to talk with a nurse about your child and ask about things that are important to you. Your child will also have their vision and hearing checked.

Some B4 School Checks are done by the Public Health Nursing Service, but most are carried out by general practices.

It's a good idea for your child to have their B4 School Check soon after their 4th birthday. This leaves enough time for follow-up before they start school.

For more information about the free B4 School Check, contact the B4 School Check Coordinator, South Canterbury DHB, phone (03) 687‑2319 or email smcneill@scdhb.health.nz. You can also talk to your family doctor or nurse.

During the B4 School Check

You will be asked to fill in a questionnaire about your child's development and well being. You will also be asked to complete a consent form to show that you consent to the B4 School Check.

If your child attends a preschool, kindergarten, or kĊhanga reo, their teacher will be asked to fill in a questionnaire. This questionnaire is about your child's learning and development.

You and your child will have a 45 minute appointment with a nurse. The nurse will talk to you about your child's health and development, social and emotional wellbeing, and immunisations. The nurse will also check your child's teeth, height and weight. You will be able to talk with the nurse about your child's wellbeing and about anything that is worrying you.

Please bring along your child's Well Child Tamariki Ora health book. The nurse will record your child's growth and development in the book.

Your child's vision and hearing will be assessed by a vision and hearing technician. In South Canterbury, vision and hearing testing is done in early childhood centres. If your 4-year-old child does not go to an early childhood centre, please contact the B4 School Check Coordinator, South Canterbury DHB to make an appointment. Phone (03) 687‑2319 or email smcneill@scdhb.health.nz.

After the B4 School Check

After the check, you can get a copy of the results. You can also ask any further questions about your child's health and development.

If you or the nurse thinks your child has any health or development issues that need further assessment, the nurse will discuss this with you. The nurse will offer to refer you to other services that may help. The nurse can also help if your child needs any catch-up immunisations.

If there are concerns about your child's vision, the nurse will offer to refer you to the Eye department at the public hospital. If you chose this option, you'll be sent an appointment. You may also choose to see a private optometrist. The nurse can give you a list of optometrists who are happy to see young children. You'll need to pay to see an optometrist unless you have a Community Services Card. You'll need to make the appointment yourself. See Eye examinations for children for more information.

If there are concerns about your child's hearing, your child will be referred for a full hearing check.

  HealthInfo recommends the following pages

Written by the Canterbury B4 School Check service coordinator. Adapted by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Last reviewed November 2021.

See also:

Bedwetting

Child development and growth

Dental health in babies & children

Eating well for children

Hearing and vision in children

Speech and language delay or disorder

Page reference: 49765

Review key: HIBFS-14758