What is StEPS?
The StEPS program is an initiative of NSW Health and offers all 4 years old children free vision screening. NSW Health advises all children to have their vision screened before they start school and strongly recommends that all four year old children participate in the vision screening program.
An external evaluation of the StEPS program completed in 2018 showed that the program was working well and that there were many benefits for families and children that participated in the program. The NSW Ministry of Health developed a response to address the recommendations in the StEPS program evaluation report.
More information about the program can be found in the StEPS brochure and in the StEPS Policy Directive.
If you would like to arrange screening at your centre or discuss you child's screening result, please contact your local coordinator details as listed in the contact details for your local StEPS Coordinator section below.
Why would my child need their vision screened?
Children rarely complain of eye problems or realise that they can’t see well. The only way to tell if a child has a vision problem is to have the child’s vision tested one eye at a time.
Did you know?
- If a child has a ‘lazy eye’ it may lead to severe vision loss or blindness in that eye if not treated
- If a child has a vision problem, the earlier the problem is detected and treated the better the vision outcome
- If parents wear glasses or had vision problems as a child their children are more likely to have vision problems too
- After a certain age, some childhood vision problems cannot be treated and the child will have poor vision for the rest of their life - glasses won’t help
- Low birth weight babies and children with neurological problems are at a greater risk of developing eye problems
How can my child access the StEPS program?
Your local health district visits preschools and child care centres to offer all four year old children a free vision screening. To have your child's vision screened, you will need to complete a consent form and return it to your child's preschool/childcare centre.
Your child can also have their vision tested at a catchup StEPS clinic if available or at a NSW Health Child and Family Health service. You can also ask your GP to test your child’s vision or refer your child to an eye health professional.
Contact details for your local StEPS Coordinator
For general and booking enquiries, please contact your local StEPS coordinator. Find your local StEPS coordinator by selecting the area in which you live in the map below. Zoom in to enlarge the map.