Free vision checks for children

The Ministry of Health funds free vision checks for children. If your child has a vision problem, finding it early is good for their learning and development.

Photo of a child having a vision check at the B4 School Check. Well Child/Tamariki Ora vision 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 vision. Well Child/Tamariki Ora is provided by Plunket and other Well Child providers.

At birth, your child will be screened for several serious eye conditions. If any problems are found during this screening, they’ll be referred to an eye specialist.

The B4 School Check is the final Well Child check. It includes a vision screening for amblyopia (lazy eye). 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.

Year 7 vision checks

Your child will have their distance vision checked at school when they are 11 or 12. 

If the screening picks up a vision problem, your child will be referred for a full assessment.

If you’re worried

If you’re worried about your child’s vision, it’s important to get it checked. The free checks don’t test for everything. Contact an optometrist or ophthalmologist to have your child assessed.

  • Check your telephone book to find the numbers of local optometrists or private ophthalmologists.

A subsidy for glasses and vision tests is available to some families.

Related websites

Developed by the Starship Foundation and the Paediatric Society of New Zealand.

New Zealand Association of Optometrists
The national association of optometrists.

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