Education

Healthy Start for School

25 February 2019

Hank Jongen

Hank Jongen is General Manager at the Department of Human Services.

A review of the Healthy Start for School health checks and immunisation program for children whose families receive income payments from the Department of Human Services.

Families receiving Parenting Payment or Newstart Allowance, as well as Family Tax Benefit Part A, and who take care of a child turning four, will receive a letter to remind them to arrange a health check for their child. This is to help make sure children are healthy, fit and ready to learn when they start school.

Health checks can be completed from three years of age. They include an age appropriate health check conducted by State and Territory child and maternal health clinics, or a similar health check conducted by a registered health professional, such as their local doctor, practice nurse or registered health worker.

It’s important that your clients tell the Department of Human Services as soon as they have taken their child for a check-up, so that their FTB Part A is not reduced. The easiest way to tell the Department about a health check is for your clients to use their Centrelink online account through myGov. If there is a reason a health check cannot be completed for a child, then call the Department on 136 150 as soon as possible to discuss.

Remember, families with children turning four only need to do this if they receive a letter with more details on what to do and when.

It’s also important to remind your clients that now all children and young individuals under 20 years of age must be up to date with their immunisations, according to the National Immunisation Programme early childhood vaccination schedule, so their FTB Part A and any Child Care Subsidy is not reduced.

Their vaccination provider will update the Australian Immunisation Register with this information automatically, so there is no need for families to let us know.

To find out more about how Healthy Start for School and the vaccinations are linked to Family Tax Benefit Part A and Child Care Subsidy visit humanservices.gov.au/healthystart.