Member for Tamworth, Kevin Anderson MP was joined by the Hon Sarah Mitchell MLC in welcoming the NSW Government’s $450,520 investment that will put more children growing up in rural and remote NSW on the road to better learning through better health.
Mr Anderson said the NSW Government will contribute funds to the Royal Far West Healthy Kids Bus Stop which aims to address health and wellbeing issues for young children.
“The Healthy Kids Bus Stop is a screening early detection and referral service that puts children aged three to six on a referral pathway so they can get further assessment and support,” Mr Anderson said.
“It recognises that healthy kids make better learners.
“By catching health issues early they are less likely to compound problems that undermine the early foundation years of learning.
“The Healthy Kids Bus Stop fits well with the Department’s 15 new networked specialist centres that are being established in rural and remote NSW to foster improved educational outcomes by providing a focus for health and wellbeing services linked to children’s schools and education.”
Parliamentary Secretary for Regional and Rural Health Melinda Pavey welcomed the joint initiative between the Department of Education and Communities and the NSW Ministry of Health who will make equal contributions to Royal Far West for the Healthy Kids Bus Stop.
“This initiative crosses the traditional boundaries of health, education and community services to address issues for young children that can impact on their school readiness,” Mrs Pavey said.
Mrs Mitchell said as a mother of a young child I know how important a child’s early years are in shaping their outcomes at school and success in life.
“Good health and wellbeing are crucial.”
“The Healthy Kids Bus Stop will increase the chances of identifying and addressing problems that can get in the way of good health and good learning.”
As a result of the NSW Government investment, the Royal Far West Healthy Kids Bus Stop will:
- provide early detection of learning, developmental and health disorders to 2000 children in 20 remote NSW towns
- offer locally coordinated care pathways for children and their families
- operate in cooperation with local health districts, Medicare Locals, Aboriginal Medical Services, other local health providers, schools, service clubs and community groups
- bring key services closer to children and families who are in need
- deliver valuable help to the one-in-four children that the Australian Early Development Index identified as not ready to start school due to poor living and developmental environments
The use of an integrated care model is an exciting and innovative approach by the NSW Government to support child health outcomes and address developmental delays through early intervention and prevention in rural and remote communities.