Ministry passing child development monitoring obligation on to doctors

Children at a playground.
Children at a playground.

This Ministry of Education and Research has planned a legal amendment in winter, which removes an obligation for parents whose children don't attend a kindergarten to go to development report meetings once per year, with their child. According to the new plan, children can get their assessment with their family doctor instead.

Head expert on elementary and basic education at the ministry Tiina Peterson said that: "Across education and health care, a system is planned to be created where children's development is assessed by the family doctor."

At the time of the preliminary plan, Mailis Reps (Center) was the Minister of Education and Research, but the elementary education legislation changed with the minister departing, which she did in late 2020.

Family doctors may not have enough resources

Family doctor Eero Merilind said family doctors are monitoring the development of all children at the moment, but there may not be enough workforce for development control.

"I'm afraid that family doctors have more and more tasks, so we may not be able to perform all activities undefined or undone by the state," the doctor said.

He said that these children who need to go to a speech therapist will get the assessment in the nursery and will get speech therapy directly from there.

However, Peterson explained that if the health assessment reveals that the child needs additional support, the local government unit, in cooperation with the parents, must provide the necessary support service to the child.

However, the nature of the exact system is still under development.


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Editor: Roberta Vaino

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