Parents’ evaluation of development status

Ten simple questions can help identify childhood developmental issues

The Parents’ Evaluation of Development Status (PEDS) is included in the Personal Health Record (also known as the ‘red book’) provided to the parents of every newborn in Queensland. The PEDS is designed to pick up developmental and behavioural issues in children aged from birth up to five years. Early identification means children can be referred to services that will help ensure they reach their full potential.

What is the PEDS?

PEDS is a set of 10 simple questions that parents or carers complete to help identify and address any concerns you may have about your child’s development, health and wellbeing.

The PEDS questionnaire that parents can complete at home or in consultation with their health care provider at a child’s designated health checks at six months, 12 months, 18 months, 2.5 years to 3.5 years, and four to five years.

Parents and carers know their child better than anyone else and may notice things that no one else does. In fact, your observations of your child are the most important part of the PEDS process. It only takes a few minutes to go through the questions.

Where do I find the PEDS?

Information about PEDS can be found on page eleven of your child’s Personal Health Record and the questionnaire is included at key age health checks throughout the book.

Where should I do it?

You can complete the PEDS at home before your child’s next health check or go through the questions with your child health nurse at your local child health centre.

What happens once I have completed the PEDS?

Your child health professional will go through each question and answer with you at your child’s appointment. This gives you the opportunity to ask any questions or raise any concerns you may have about your child’s development.

What if my child’s Personal Health Record does not have the PEDS questions in it?

If your child was born before  July 2015, your child’s Personal Health Record will not have the PEDs included. In this case, child health nurses and Indigenous health workers can provide you with a PEDS response form that you can add to your child’s record.

What is child development?

Child development is the process of learning and mastering basic physical skills such as sitting, walking, talking, thinking and toiletting. Children typically learn these skills, also called developmental milestones, during predictable periods of time. For example, most children will achieve the developmental milestone of learning to walk between the ages of nine and 15 months.

Why is the PEDS important?

When developmental and behavioural issues are identified early, intervention and support services can be arranged to minimise the impact these issues have on a child’s life . Research shows that sharing any concerns about your child can help your health care provider better understand your child and may help detect problems early.

The PEDS is being included in the Personal Health Record at the recommendation of the Child Development Sub Network, Statewide Child and Youth Clinical Network.