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Ontario's Enhanced 18-Month Well-Baby Visit

Developed by experts in child development at McMaster University, this program provides healthcare professionals access to certified online learning programs, resources, and communities related to Ontario's Enhanced 18-Month Well-Baby Visit.

Getting it Right at 18 Months

Our children are our future. The skills they need to achieve their full potential in life begin to form in the first months and years of life. Brain development in the first three years will affect learning, behaviour and health throughout life. Healthy child development is one of the key determinants of health.

We have the knowledge to enhance the development of all children in Ontario and help them achieve their potential. There are excellent parenting and family resource programs in the community that provide information and resources that parents can use to enhance their child's development. There are also specialized services to help children who are experiencing speech and language problems, vision problems or other developmental delays. The challenge is linking parents to these resources and services, and to other parents.

To help parents make the right connections, we must build stronger partnerships among parents, primary care providers and community services, and create a culture that enhances the developmental health and well-being of the youngest members of our society.

The primary care system provides an effective way to reach parents and children, and help build partnerships with community services. Most families with young children already have regular ongoing contact with the primary care system. They see their primary care provider at regular intervals during the first few months of their children's lives for well baby visits and immunizations (i.e., two months, four months, six months, nine months, 12 months, 15 months, 18 months). Many primary care providers (i.e., family physicians, community paediatricians and nurse practitioners) are already using these well baby visits as an opportunity to review the child's development, discuss with parents ways to provide warm, rich, responsive environments for their children, and connect them with services in the community. But this practice is not universal.

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