Increase the number of babies born healthier

Rate of babies born within a healthy weight range

Note: Indigenous includes Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander mothers.

*Target calculated from 2015 baseline.
Source: Queensland Health, Queensland Perinatal Data Collection.

A good start to life begins before conception; it is influenced by the mother’s health and wellbeing, as well as good antenatal care during the pregnancy and a safe delivery at full term. Infant birth weight is a contributing factor for a healthy start to life.

Our target

By 2025, there will be a 5 percentage point increase in babies born with a healthy weight.

Interpreting the results

There has been limited improvement in the proportion of Indigenous and non-Indigenous babies born with a healthy weight over the last 5 years. There are a number of factors that might contribute to a healthy birth weight, including reducing obesity and smoking during pregnancy.

Government taking action

The Queensland Government continues to roll out programs to improve the long-term health prospects of infants and achieve our target.

Government's actions

  • Funding for the First 1000 Days Australia initiative to improve the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families. A trial in Moreton Bay and Townsville aims to give children the best possible start in life by taking a culturally focussed, strengths based approach for children from pre-conception to 2 years.
  • Under the Making Tracks toward closing the gap in health outcomes for Indigenous Queenslanders by 2033 a key priority is providing a healthy start for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Queenslanders, focussing on the health literacy and reproductive health of young women through culturally effective women’s health services, antenatal and infant care, parenting support, and child health services.
  • Investment in the Get Healthy in Pregnancy, which supports women to quit smoking and achieve and maintain a healthy weight.

Increase childhood immunisation rates

Immunisation rates*—Queensland

*Coverage measured for all children in Queensland who were fully immunised.

Note: Supported by Immunisation Strategy 2017–2022.
Source: Productivity Commission, Report on Government Services—2018.

Immunisation is an internationally recognised, cost effective way to protect communities against vaccine-preventable diseases and improve the overall health of the population.

With Queensland’s vaccination rates on par or above national benchmarks, the Queensland community demonstrates a high level of support for immunisation. However there are some communities and groups that need greater support to increase immunisation rates.

What do we want to achieve?

95% of Queensland children aged one, two and five years old fully immunised for vaccine-preventable diseases in accordance with the National Immunisation Program Schedule.

Interpreting the results

The immunisation rates for Queensland children at one year of age and at five years of age have increased since 2011–12. Rates for two-year-old children over this period have been affected by significant and frequent changes to the National Immunisation Schedule and should be interpreted with caution. However, the immunisation rate for two-year-old children since 2014–15 indicates a trend increase.

Government taking action

The Queensland Government is taking action to increase childhood immunisation rates towards our target of 95%.

Government's actions

  • The Queensland Health Immunisation Strategy 2017–2022 guides actions to improve immunisation rates and reduce vaccine-preventable diseases.
  • The Immunise to 95 program follows up children under five years of age recorded as overdue for immunisation and the Bubba Jabs on Time initiative follows up all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children who are overdue for vaccinations at two, four or six months of age.
  • The Statewide Specialist Immunisation Service provides a service at Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital for children with complex vaccination needs.
  • Local initiatives such as the Townsville Hospital and Health Service Boots on the Ground project have been funded to improve childhood immunisation coverage rates in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations, with a focus on targeting hard to reach families in their region.
  • State-wide marketing campaigns continue to be implemented to promote the benefits of immunisation and reinforce the importance of on-time vaccination.

Improve wellbeing prior to school

Children developmentally vulnerable in one or more of the Australian Early Development Census domains

*Target calculated from the 2015 baseline

Domains: Physical, social, emotional, language and communication.
Source: Australian Early Development Census.

We know that the early years are a crucial time for brain development and laying foundations for learning in later life.

The Australian Early Development Census is a nationwide measure that looks at how well children across Australia are growing up or ‘developing’.

What do we want to achieve?

By 2025, we will reduce the percentage of Queensland children developmentally vulnerable in one or more Australian Early Development Census domains to 22%.

Interpreting the results

The Australian Early Development Census looks at 5 areas of early childhood development domains:

  1. physical health and wellbeing
  2. social competence
  3. emotional maturity
  4. language and cognitive skills
  5. communication skills and general knowledge.

Results for Queensland did not improve between 2012 and 2015. The next census is being undertaken in the first half of 2018.

Government taking action

The Queensland Government is taking action to give our children the foundation for learning later in life.

Government's actions

  • Pathways for Early Learning Development program is a new child-focussed family support initiative implemented in 12 communities across Queensland to improve the learning and development outcomes for children living in families that may be experiencing multiple and complex needs. Participating children and their parents and/or carers can access early learning development programs, supported playgroups, parenting programs, specialist services and home visiting support.
  • Early Years Places are located in more than 50 communities across Queensland. Early Years Places have a mix of programs including playgroup, early childhood education and care, child and maternal health services, and family and parenting support.
  • An Early Years Plan will work across government agencies to support Queensland children’s early learning including early childhood and early schooling settings.
  • Investigate opportunities to expand access to kindergarten for three-year-old children, working with the Commonwealth Government.

Case studies

Last reviewed
8 June, 2018
Last updated
20 July, 2018