Healthy living

Child development services

All children are unique and develop at different rates. It is normal for children to experience a range of social, emotional, and physical changes as they grow and develop.

Some children benefit from additional support to develop their skills.

If you are concerned about your child’s development, you are encouraged to talk to your:

  • child health nurse
  • school health nurse
  • general practitioner (GP).

They may recommend a referral to:

  • the WA Health child development services
  • private therapy
  • other community services.

Child development services

WA Health provides a range of child development services for children who experience developmental difficulties in areas such as:

  • coordination and movement, for example:
    • crawling
    • walking
    • writing
    • drawing
  • speech and language, for example problems saying, using and understanding sounds, words and sentences
  • social and emotional skills, attention and behaviour, for example:
    • managing feelings
    • relating to others
  • play, learning and everyday tasks, for example eating or dressing.
Child development staff work in partnership with parents and families to meet the unique developmental needs of each child.

Our staff also work closely with others who may be involved in your child’s development, such as:

  • child health nurses
  • teachers
  • school health nurses
  • child care staff
  • school psychologists
  • other health professionals.

Our services

Services are provided at a number of centres and community settings, and some may be offered in the home.

Services may be provided by one or more of the following professionals:

  • paediatrician
  • speech pathologist
  • physiotherapist
  • social worker
  • audiologist
  • dietitian
  • occupational therapist
  • clinical psychologist
  • podiatrist.

Referral to child development services

Referral to WA Health child development services can be made by parents or legal guardians for children up to the age of 16.

With parental consent, a referral can also be made by other people including:

  • school staff
  • GPs
  • community health nurses.

It is important to include as much information as possible on the referral form, and attach any relevant reports or other information about your child’s development.

Information about:

More information

There are a range of other services you may wish to consider, for example private therapy services. Your child health nurse, school health nurse, or your GP may be able to give you some suggestions.

Raising Children’s Network

The Raising Children’s Network provides up-to-date child development and parenting information.

There are also a number of Medicare initiatives that support families needing allied health therapies for their children.

You may wish to discuss these options with your GP, or for more information phone Medicare on 132 011.


  • All children are unique and develop at different rates.
  • Some children benefit from additional support to develop their skills.

Last reviewed: 24-11-2022

Child and Adolescent Health Service – Community Health (CAHS CH)

This publication is provided for education and information purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical care. Information about a therapy, service, product or treatment does not imply endorsement and is not intended to replace advice from your healthcare professional. Readers should note that over time currency and completeness of the information may change. All users should seek advice from a qualified healthcare professional for a diagnosis and answers to their medical questions.

Link to HealthyWA Facebook page