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Forty-nine children between the ages of 3 and 5 attended the Healthy Kids Bus Stop free health and development screenings at Collarenebri and Walgett in September 2017. The Bus Stop aims to improve the health and wellbeing of children living in rural and remote communities so they are ready to learn at the critical time of starting school.

At the conclusion of the assessments, 82% of the children were found to need further assessment or clinical service for at least one issue. The two highest areas of need were dental (with 50% of children requiring referrals) and speech therapy (40%).

Importantly, the families were given a referral pathway for accessing ongoing services, including links with relevant local services, Telecare, and to Royal Far West if required.

The Healthy Kids Bus Stop makes a positive impact on the lives of children like Andy*, who has attended three Bus Stops in the last 18 months. Over this time his Mum, Tricia*, has followed through with all recommendations from the specialist team, resulting in significant improvements in Andy’s speech, language and learning. Initially Andy could not understand simple questions and had very unclear speech. Now he is speaking in full, clear sentences and is ready to start school next year. Tricia commented, “Reading about Andy’s progress since his first Healthy Kids Bus Stop visit made me smile – Andy has come so far, and it’s important for everyone to realise how important these services are for children like my son in these little communities.”

* Names have been changed to protect the privacy of our clients.

Pic: Violet visited the Healthy Kids Bus Stop