As parents, you’ve likely encountered the familiar inquiries from friends and whānau (family): “Is your little one walking yet? Have they started talking?” These questions reflect the natural curiosity about your child’s progress. Even though every child is unique and develops at their own pace, observing and keeping a record of their developmental milestones is crucial to their health and development.

Defining developmental milestones

Developmental milestones are those remarkable skills and tasks tailored to specific age brackets that most children achieve. These milestones serve as valuable indicators of a child’s development. Meeting these expectations at the typical stages signifies a healthy growth trajectory.

However, when these milestones are delayed or missed compared to peers, it could hint at developmental concerns, potentially requiring additional support and interventions to ensure the child reaches their full potential.

The blueprint for healthy child development

A child’s healthy development is synonymous with cultivating an environment where all children thrive socially, emotionally, and academically, regardless of their abilities or healthcare needs. Factors like a nurturing home, balanced nutrition, sufficient sleep, and regular exercise play a pivotal role in fostering a child’s progress.

For children aged zero to six, a series of universal health assessments are available to monitor their developmental journey.

30 milestones, one path

In New Zealand, the path of developmental triumph is paved with 30 significant milestones categorised into four domains: physical, cognitive, social, emotional, and communication. Multiple organisations meticulously track these milestones, often with limited information-sharing capabilities.  

Guarding against missed opportunities

Unfortunately, some children miss out on essential health assessments, especially during their critical first 1000 days. Neglecting milestone tracking can lead to periods of compromised health, triggering greater reliance on emergency services and hospitalisations. Tragically, this oversight can result in lifelong impairments.   

Imagine a hearing impairment going unnoticed as a child starts school, leading to a cascade of educational setbacks.

What can be done nationally to ensure that all children receive care and no child is lost in the system? 

Introducing a nationwide health information platform for children  

Orion Health’s Amadeus National Child Health Information Platform (NCHIP) is a nationwide platform that focuses on children aged zero to six, meticulously tracking their developmental journey. NCHIP consolidates fragmented health data into a single, coherent dataset, encompassing the milestones achieved. This revolutionary platform has already enrolled around 150,000 children in the Northern Region, with an astounding 4.5 million milestones under its watchful eye.

Empowering child healthcare coordinators

With NCHIP, child healthcare coordinators can access a comprehensive view of a child’s healthcare journey, identifying gaps in care. This enables prioritised interventions for those requiring immediate attention. NCHIP leverages cloud technology, empowering coordinators to monitor children’s movement across regions collaboratively, ensuring seamless care coordination.

Ready to learn more?

Embrace the potential of Orion Health’s National Child Health Information Platform (NCHIP). Connect with our experts today to embark on a transformative journey toward comprehensive child care.

This blog is the first in our series on child milestone tracking. Our next blog explores why tracking child health milestones is so important.