What is StEPS?
The StEPS program is a free population based vision screening program and is designed to identify childhood vision problems which cannot be detected by observation, behaviour, family history or vision surveillance. The StEPS program will actively identify and target all 4 year old children in NSW to offer them a free visual acuity screen using a validated test.
In 2006 the NSW Department of Health reviewed and updated the Personal Health Record (PHR), the ‘blue book’. The PHR recommends a number of vision surveillance services for babies and toddlers to 3 years and recommends visual acuity for screening at 4 years.
The StEPS program will:
- Identify childhood vision problems early, during the critical developmental period, so treatment outcomes are optimised.
- Provide active follow-up for children identified with significant vision problems.
- Avoid preventable vision impairment/blindness later in life by treating childhood vision problems early
- Provide a universal point of access to children in NSW prior to school entry.