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Reducing inequities in Well Child Tāmariki Ora developmental surveillance

45 months
Approved budget:
Dr Alison Leversha
Dr Anneka Anderson
Dr Teuila Percival
Ms Jacinta Fa'alili-Fidow
Professor Suzanne Purdy
Professor Trecia Wouldes
Dr Dug Yeo Han
Health issue:
Child and youth (healthy) development
Proposal type:
Lay summary
Inequities in learning, development and health are evident when children start school. These trajectories track into adulthood with consequent poorer educational, health and social outcomes. Māori and Pacific and children from disadvantaged communities are disproportionately affected. These outcomes are unjust and costly for society. The universal free Well Child Tāmariki Ora Programme (WCTO) is designed to identify developmental concerns so early intervention can maximise outcomes. Emerging evidence suggests the mandated developmental surveillance tool, the Parental Evaluation of Developmental Status (PEDS), is not performing as it should, potentially increasing inequities. Of concern, the PEDS has not been standardised nor validated in NZ. This research explores parental understanding of child development and how it is assessed, and examines the validity of the PEDS for NZ populations and therefore its appropriateness. Findings will have a direct impact on the redesign and future delivery of the WCTO programme to ensure it reduces inequities and achieves better outcomes for all tāmariki.