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. They recommend that all four year old children take part in StEPS.
The program identifies childhood vision problems early, before children start school. This means early treatment for the best possible outcomes.
StEPS follows-up children identified with significant vision problems. It aims to avoid preventable vision impairment and blindness later in life by treating childhood vision problems early
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?
- all four year old children in NSW
- StEPS Screening is offered at preschools and day care centres across the North Coast. Children who do not attend preschool can access the service by contacting the StEPS office.
If you would like to arrange screening at your centre or discuss your child’s screening result, please contact your local coordinator:
Northern NSW Local Health District StEPS Coordinator(02) 6620 2836 NNSWSteps@ncahs.health.nsw.gov.au