Health and development checks

This page provides information for early childhood education and care (ECEC) services and professionals on the health and development checks (HDC) program.

The HDC program

To increase the number of children starting school developmentally on track, the NSW Government is rolling out free health and development checks for 4-year-old children at their preschool or long day care service.

Preparing your service for the HDC program

To assist your service in preparing for the HDC program, please download the HDC Pre-Visit Checklist (PDF 117 KB). The checklist has been designed to assist your service in ensuring children, families and staff are adequately prepared and all regulatory requirements are met before, during and after the visit.

What to do after the HDC visit

Participating in the HDC program is a useful way to gather information about children’s learning, development and wellbeing. The results of the checks, along with educators’ critical reflection and consideration of the effectiveness of their planning and curriculum, can be used to formulate short and long-term goals for your service. They can also be used to formulate learning goals and teaching strategies for individual children in collaboration with the child, family and other professionals.

Following the visit to your service, Local Health District staff may speak with your service directly or provide a service summary (PDF 118 KB). This summary outlines the areas where children at your service may require additional support at a cohort-level.

Please read the Post-Visit Pack (PDF 103.4 KB) for further information.

Professional learning and development

The list below provides recommended courses related to supporting children’s health and development and the HDC program. Further training specific to health and development checks in ECEC will also be made available later in 2024.

Services in receipt of Health and Development Participation (HDP) Grant Program funding are encouraged to use their funding to participate in any of the courses listed below or in the additional training once it is made available.

Understanding and Supporting Children’s Behaviour

This webinar series and accompanying workbook from Pheonix Support teaches educators about understanding and supporting children’s behaviour in early childhood education and care services.

Early Childhood Inclusive Education Webinar Series

This series of 7 interactive webinars from Special Teaching and Research (STaR) outlines the delivery of quality educational programs for children with disability and developmental delays.

Culturally responsive practice for Aboriginal children and families

This course assist learners to:

  • unpack what cultural competence looks like in relation to Aboriginal families and children in an early childhood setting
  • develop knowledge of proactively strategies that can be implemented to support Aboriginal children and families in the early childhood setting
  • develop an understanding of the relationship between cultural competence and early year curriculum.

Small Bites for Big Steps

The Small Bites for Big Steps on-demand video series and 3 NESA accredited Professional Development courses developed by Northern Sydney Local Health District cover a range of topics.

Individualised planning for young children with disability

This professional learning will support educators to use family-centred and strengths-based practice to provide individual education plans (IEP) for young children with a disability and their families while working face to face and/or working remotely.

Supporting young students with disability

This professional learning will support educators working with children with disability in preschool, early intervention and the early years of school. It includes specific strategies and resources to ensure learning is tailored, relevant and inclusive of all children.


  • Early childhood education

Business Unit:

  • Early Childhood Outcomes
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