The Ministry of Health funds free hearing checks for children. If your child has a hearing loss, finding it early is good for their language, learning and social development.
Newborn hearing screening
Newborn hearing screening will pick up a moderate or greater degree of hearing loss. Screening is usually done before you and your baby go home from hospital. You may also be able to have your baby screened at a clinic near home.
If another check is needed after screening, an audiologist will carry out more tests.
This service is free. If your baby has a hearing loss, the audiologist will tell you about the help available to your baby, family and whānau.
For more information, visit the National Screening Unit website or talk to your midwife, doctor, obstetrician, local hospital, or Well Child provider.
Well Child/Tamariki Ora hearing checks
The Well Child/Tamariki Ora service is offered free to children from 4–6 weeks to 5 years, and includes questions about your child’s hearing. Well Child/Tamariki Ora is provided by Plunket and other Well Child providers.
The B4 School Check is the final Well Child check. It includes a hearing check by a Vision and Hearing Technician. Visit B4 School Check key contacts or phone PlunketLine on 0800 933 922 to find out how to contact your local B4 School Check Coordinator.
Developed by the Starship Foundation and the Paediatric Society of New Zealand.
New Zealand Audiological Society
Audiologists are specialists at diagnosing hearing problems and treating hearing loss.