Royal Far West and Project Sprouts, in partnership with Ronald McDonald House Charities and supported by Neighbourhood Central, ARTC Inland Rail, CMOC Northparkes, and Parkes Shire Council, will be delivering free child health checks for children aged 3-5 through the Healthy Kids Bus Stop program, which is coming to the Parkes Shire from Monday 24 May to Friday 28 May 2021.
The Healthy Kids Bus Stop brings together audiometry, oral health, speech pathology and occupational therapy screening services to give children a comprehensive school-readiness check.
Assessments include a child health check, hearing screening, dental check, fine and gross motor skill development screening, language and speech development check, and a food nutrition check, all at the one location in either a morning or afternoon appointment.
Identifying children’s developmental issues before they start school is critical to their life trajectory, and this award-winning screening program was developed to help identify children who will benefit from some form of early intervention prior to starting school.
Children requiring further assessment will be referred to appropriate local services, and those with complex needs may also be referred to Royal Far West’s Paediatric Developmental Program.
The Bus Stop will be hosted at a different location each day. The program is a collaborative exercise with partners, including local preschools, schools, councils and community service organisations, to benefit young children within the community at no cost to their parents/carers.
Royal Far West’s Community Programs Manager John Reid said the Bus Stop was last in Parkes Shire in 2020 and the visit proved very worthwhile.
“We received great community support with 105 children screened, with 68 requiring follow-up, mainly in the areas of occupational therapy, speech therapy and oral health.
“Each health station assesses an important area of a child’s current health and wellbeing, and gives parents the opportunity to address any issues. There have been many instances where issues have been picked up that parents had not identified – most of us are not experts in these areas and it is a great opportunity to have these checks done in the one location on the same day,”” he said.
Children must be registered to attend the Bus Stop and must be accompanied by an adult. This can be done via our online form, or by calling Royal Far West’s Outreach Team on 02 8966 8557 for more information.
To find out more about Project Sprouts in Parkes, please contact Fiona Francis on 0436 457 512.