Families are being urged to take four-year-olds for a pre-school health check.
Families are being urged to take four-year-olds for a pre-school health check.

Parents urged to do health-check

FAMILIES with a child turning four during the 2012-13 financial year are being urged to take their child for a health check to help ensure they are fit, healthy and ready to start school.

Federal Human Services Minister Senator Kim Carr said about 77,000 families receiving income support payments and Family Tax Benefit (FTB) Part A will receive a letter this month about the health check.

"Everyone knows how important education is to increasing opportunities in life," Sen Carr said.

"Getting a health check will help children's chances of being successful at school.

"Problems can be identified early, and solutions sought."

Once parents or carers have taken their child for a health check, they need to tell Centrelink so they can receive their FTB Part A supplement of up to $726.35 for that child at the end of the financial year.

Centrelink has made it quick and easy for parents to report when the health check has been completed, so their supplement payment won't be affected.

Parents who have already registered for online services can simply log in and confirm their health check information.

If families aren't registered for online services they can use their customer reference number and the one time access code in their letter to go online and update the information in a matter of minutes - they don't need to call.

The health checks can be completed from three years of age.

A Healthy Kids Check, an age-appropriate health check by State and Territory child and maternal health clinic, or a health check conducted by a registered health professional - such as a local doctor, practice nurse or registered Aboriginal health worker - will meet the requirements.

Sen Carr reminded parents who still need to report health checks for their children from last financial year to do so as soon possible.

As soon as parents tell Centrelink, the FTB Part A supplement payment for that child can be reassessed.

For more information on the Healthy Start for School initiative, visit humanservices.gov.au/healthystart or phone 13 61 50.



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