Community Child Health Program

Community child health nurses support all families with young children.

We provide a range of important free services to support families to raise happy, healthy children. We offer health and development assessments and screening, immunisation advice and support to families with young children.

What’s new?

There are some changes to when we see you and your child so we can better meet the needs of all families.

From 1 July, all families in Western Australia will be offered:

  • five Purple Book appointments with their community child health nurse
  • a School Entry Health Assessment when their child starts school
  • regular drop-in sessions
  • group sessions on different health topics
  • extra help (advice, appointments or group sessions) if they need it.

The Purple Book health checks are now at:

  • 0-14 days
  • 8 weeks
  • 4 months
  • 12 months
  • 2 years
  • starting school (usually Kindergarten).

It’s important that you see the community child health nurse at these key ages to check your child’s health and development.

Why have we made these changes?

The child health program has been updated based on feedback from families and nurses, as well as looking at what works well across Australia and overseas. Changes have been made so that:

  • there are more drop-in sessions and group sessions, which families have told us are important
  • the Purple Book appointments fit with important ages and stages of your child’s growth and learning
  • there is a new parent questionnaire (Ages and Stages Questionnaire) at Purple Book health checks to find out more about how your child is developing
  • community child health nurses see toddlers at 2 years, rather than 3 years, so that any signs of developmental concerns can be picked up earlier and there is more time to help children catch up before they start school
  • community child health nurses have more flexibility to offer extra appointments and services in between the Purple Book checks if you or your child need a bit more help.
How to make a Purple Book appointment

If you’ve just had your baby, a community child health nurse will contact you to arrange your first appointment.

This appointment will probably be at your home before your baby is 14 days old.

The nurse will also book in your 8 week appointment during this visit.

Perth metropolitan area

If you live in the Perth metropolitan area and your child is due for a Purple Book health check, you can make an appointment up to 8 weeks in advance. Simply call 1300 749 869 or register for an appointment.

Regional WA

If you live in country WA you can make and reschedule appointments by calling your local child or community health centre.

If you had your baby in Perth and plan to stay for a few days after you leave hospital, please contact our visiting community child health nurse service on 0406 463 506 to make your 0-14 days appointment, or check that the hospital has made it on your behalf.

Frequently asked questions

Have the Purple Book appointments changed for all children?

Yes – as of 1 July 2017 the Purple Book appointments for all young children in WA have changed to 0-14 days, 8 weeks, 4 months, 12 months and 2 years.

I have an appointment booked with the community child health nurse – will this need to change?

There’s no need to change anything – please attend your booked appointment. At this appointment your community child health nurse will talk to you about the new Child Health Program and when they will see you next.

What if I have concerns and my child is not due for a Purple Book appointment?

Talk to your community child health nurse about your concerns. They can then offer you the service that best suits your needs – this might include coming along to a local drop-in session or group session, booking a one-to-one appointment, or putting you in touch with other services that can help you.

If you live in the Perth metropolitan area and are unsure how to contact your local community child health nurse, call 1300 749 869 and the booking team will arrange for a nurse to contact you.

If you live in country WA you can contact your local child or community health centre directly.

If you think your child is not well, please see your doctor.

Will I get a new Purple Book?

Your community child health nurse will give you some new pages to add to your Purple Book at your next appointment (or download a copy PDF 624KB). Your Purple Book will then be up-to-date with information to match the new Child Health Program.

My child attended an 8 month health check as part of the ‘old’ schedule – can they still attend the new 12 month Purple Book appointment when they turn one?

Yes – you can attend each of the new Purple Book appointments that are relevant to your child.

My child attended an 18 month health check as part of the ‘old’ schedule – can they still attend the new 2 year Purple Book appointment when they turn two?

Yes – you can attend each of the new Purple Book appointments that are relevant to your child.

Who is eligible for a 2 year old Purple Book appointment?

A 2 year old Purple Book appointment can be made for a child any time after their second birthday and before they turn 3 years of age.

My child is 3 years old – can I still see the community child health nurse?

Your child’s next routine health check is due when they start school, and your school will tell you more about this. If any concerns come up before your child starts school, support is still available from your community child health nurse.

Talk to your community child health nurse about your concerns and they can offer you the service that best suits your needs – this might include coming along to a local drop-in session or group session, or booking in a one-to-one appointment.

If you live in the Perth metropolitan area and are unsure how to contact your local community child health nurse, call 1300 749 869 and the booking team will arrange for a nurse to contact you.

If you live in country WA you can contact your local child or community health centre directly.

If you think your child is not well, please see your doctor.

What are drop-in sessions and when are they available?

Drop-in sessions are times when the community child health nurse is available to meet with parents/caregivers who have a quick question, would like parenting information or support, or would like to weigh their baby. You don’t need an appointment to attend a drop-in session.

Contact your local child health centre to find out when drop-in sessions happen in your area.

Any other questions?

If you have any questions or want more information, please contact your community child health nurse.

Feedback about the new Child Health Program

We are committed to providing a quality service and welcome your feedback and suggestions. You can tell a staff member at your next visit or fill in our online feedback form:

You can also see what others are saying and share your story on Patient Opinion (external site).


Acknowledgements

Child and Adolescent Community Health

Link to HealthyWA Facebook page