Healthy Start for School

If your child is turning 4, they may need to have a health check. If they don’t, your Family Tax Benefit (FTB) Part A rate may reduce.

Who needs to have a health check

Your child may need to have a health check if both of these apply:

If your child doesn’t have a health check, your Family Tax Benefit (FTB) Part A payment rate may reduce.

If they need a health check, we'll send you a letter through your myGov inbox or by mail.

We’ll let you know what you need to do before it affects your payments.

What a health check is

A health check is an assessment of your child’s physical health. It includes their height, weight, hearing, sight and general wellbeing. It ensures your child is healthy, fit and ready to learn when they start school.

Your child can have a health check from when they turn 3.

Requirements are different in each state and territory.

State or territory Health checks that meet the FTB Part A requirements
ACT A health check on a child who’s 3 to 3 and a half. You can find details in the Personal Health Record, sometimes called the Blue Book. A general health check on your child after they turn 3 provided by your local General Practitioner (GP).
NSW A health check on a child who’s 3 to 4. You can find details in the Personal Health Record called My First Health Record. A general health check on your child after they turn 3 provided by your local GP.
NT A health check on a child who’s 3 to 4 under the Healthy Under 5 Kids Program. A general health check on your child after they turn 3, provided by your local GP. A compulsory health check done under the NT emergency response.
Qld A health check on a child who’s 3 to 3 and a half, or 4 to 5. You can find details in the Personal Health Record, sometimes called the Red Book. A general health check on your child after they turn 3, provided by your local GP.
SA A health check on a child who’s 3 or a pre-school check on a child who’s 4. You can find details in Child Health Record, sometimes called the Blue Book. A general health check on your child after they turn 3, provided by your local GP.
Tas A health check on a child who’s 3 and a half, completed by Tasmanian family and child health nurses. A general health check on your child after they turn 3, provided by your local GP.
Vic A health check on a child who’s 3 and a half, completed by Victorian maternal and child health nurses. A general health check on your child after they turn 3, provided by your local GP.
WA A general health check on your child after they turn 3, completed by either:
  • Western Australian Community Health Nurses
  • Aboriginal Health Workers.
A general health check on your child after they turn 3, provided by your local GP. A school entry health assessment on a child who’s 3 and a half.

What you need to do

Arrange a health check for your child

This is an age appropriate health check as outlined in the Health check table.

To arrange a health check, talk to your GP, health professional or staff at your health clinic.

Tell us your child has had a health check

You’ll need to do this before your child’s fifth birthday.

The easiest way to do this is using the Healthy Start for School review. You can do this using your Centrelink online account through myGov. We’ll send a notification to your online account that you need to complete an update.

If you don’t have a Centrelink online account, you’ll need to use a One Time Access Code (OTAC). We’ll give you this code in the letter we send you through your myGov Inbox or by mail.

We’ll only record the date your child had the health check. We don’t record the details of the check.

Tell us if you can’t complete a health check for your child

If you can’t complete a health check for your child, call us on the Families line as soon as possible.

How it affects your payments

You have until your child’s fifth birthday to tell us that they have had a health check. If you don’t, we may reduce your FTB Part A payments for your child.

Your FTB Part A payments may reduce by up to $28.84 per fortnight. This amount is subject to an annual Consumer Price Index (CPI) increase.

The reduction will start on their fifth birthday and continue for up to 26 fortnights.

Example

Nat’s child turned 4 on 1 November 2018. She got both an income support payment and FTB Part A for 3 months during the 2018-19 financial year.

Nat has until 31 October 2019 to tell us her child had a health check done. This is the day before her child’s 5th birthday.

If Nat doesn’t tell us, we’ll reduce her FTB Part A payments for that child. This reduction will start from 1 November 2019 and continue for 3 months. It lasts for 3 months because that’s how long Nat got these payments in the financial year Nat’s child turned 4.

Page last updated: 26 June 2019

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