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In the first 5 years, your child’s brain develops more than at any other time in their life.

Your child’s early experiences create millions of new connections in their brain. This period of development lays down the foundations for learning, health and behaviour throughout their life.

All children develop at different rates. Some will be slower than others (developmentally delayed) but then catch up over time. Others may have an underlying problem that causes the delay.

Developmental checks

Your public health nurse (PHN) will carry out developmental checks on your child at different stages. These checks are sometimes called examinations.

These are to find out if your child is growing properly. It is also to see if they are able to do things that children of the same age are able to do.

Make sure you bring your child to their developmental checks. It can help identify any health or developmental problems. Early diagnosis and treatment can help to improve issues your child may have.

Developmental checks happen when your child is:

  • 3 months
  • 9 to 11 months
  • 18 to 24 months
  • 3 years

Your PHN or community medical doctor will contact you to arrange a time for each of these appointments.

Let them know if your contact details change.

The checks usually take place in your local health centre.

Related topic

Your child's health checks

page last reviewed: 20/11/2018
next review due: 20/11/2021