Policy and Reports

A range of documents have contributed to, and continue to shape, the Maternal and Child Health Service. These are available to assist maternal and child health professionals in the management, delivery and monitoring of their services.

For handouts used by the Universal MCH Service, see: Resources for Families

For historical MCH data, see: Annual Report Archive

Current policy

Memorandum of Understanding Between DEECD and MAV in Relation to Maternal and Child Health Services July 2012 – June 2015 (docx - 739.25kb)

Maternal and Child Health Service Guidelines 2011 (pdf - 1.68mb) - outlines service delivery and monitoring requirements in accordance with the policy directions.  This document replaces the 2006 Program Resource Guide.

Maternal and Child Health Practice Guidelines 2009 (pdf - 791.74kb) - this booklet details the Department's piloted new Key Ages and Stages framework, guidelines contexts and definitions, information regarding prematurity and the promotion of health and development. Related documents:

Key Ages and Stages Service Activity Framework - March 2009 (pdf - 347.02kb) - the revised KAS framework introduces a new approach to the ten KAS visits provided to parents and children by the universal Maternal and Child Health Service. The new framework sets out new evidence-based activities for each of the ten age and stage visits.

Key Ages and Stages Promotion of Health and Development - March 2009 (pdf - 282.55kb) - this information is designed to support a facilitated discussion with parents about key health promotion messages. It will also ensure that consistent quality written information is provided to parents across the state. See also: Resources for Families

Maternal and Child Health Service Program Standards (pdf - 678.81kb) and Maternal and Child Health Service Standards and Criteria (pdf - 4.29mb) - the standards which every MCH Service must meet.

Continuity of Care Protocol - designed to assist continuity of care for recent mothers and their babies during this significant period in their lives. This protocol is currently under review.

Maternal and Child Health Memorandum of Understanding Key Achievements since 2000 (pdf - 552.66kb) - summarises the key achievements since the Maternal and Child Health Memorandum of Understanding between Local and State Government 2000.

Best Practice Guidelines for Parental Involvement in Monitoring and Assessing Young Children 2008 (pdf - 2.1Mb) - these guidelines look at the research evidence and best practice regarding the monitoring and assessment of children’s development and wellbeing during the early years, and what role parents should play.

Maternal and Child Health Service Funding (pdf - 193.41kb) - this information sheet has been compiled by DEECD and MAV in response to requests from local government for an explanation of the DEECD MCH funding formula and for clarification of how the unit price for MCH services was determined.

Red Reflex Test Maternal and Child Health Guidelines (pdf - 118.61kb) - Red Reflex Guidelines for Maternal and Child Health Nurses.

Maternal and Child Health Service: Nursery Equipment Program Guidelines for Ordering (doc - 5.87mb) - these guidelines provide specific information about eligibility and how to order equipment through the program.


Child Health Record review

PwC Australia was engaged by DEECD to review the current Victorian Child Health Record (CHR), to ensure it continues to meet the changing needs of parents, carers, primary health providers and other stakeholders. It also aimed to ensure the CHR is consistent in meeting the reporting and recording requirements of the recently revised Key Ages and Stages Framework.

Three key deliverables were produced:

  • A literature review: that evaluated current CHR practices across Australia and internationally, obtained evidence regarding how records met stated objectives, and identified evidence of best practice for child health record models.
  • A benchmarking report: that contributed to defining best practice in child health records, in terms of both content and physical format (structure).
  • A final report: that details the changes proposed for the CHR, and the rationale for those changes. It also details the feedback received from key stakeholders, consulted following the development of the draft CHR. In addition, the report identifies and details future trends expected in parent-held child health records.


Key Ages and Stages (KAS) evaluation

In 2010, the Centre for Community Child Health was engaged by DEECD to undertake a three year evaluation of the implementation of the Revised MCH KAS Service Activity Framework. The evaluation commenced in January 2010 and is scheduled for completion in November 2012.

The evaluation focuses on:

  • an analysis of the degree to which the Revised KAS Framework has been implemented;
  • an understanding of the impact the Revised KAS Framework has had on the outcomes for families and children from birth to school age; and
  • the impact on the MCH workforce.

The data collected in 2010 informs the Year One Report and is intended to serve as a proxy baseline for comparison to data that is collected over the following two years.

See: Evaluation of the Implementation of the MCH KAS Service Activity Framework - Year One (2010) Progress Report (pdf - 3.8Mb)

Reports archive

Evaluation Report Maternal and Child Health Service 2005 (pdf - 885Kb) - describes the findings of the evaluation of the Victorian Maternal and Child Health Service and provides a summary of evaluation activities, key evaluation findings and recommendations arising from that project.

Maternal and Child Health Nursing Workforce Assessment Project Report 2004 (pdf - 411Kb) - provides an assessment of the requirements for the Victorian Maternal and Child Health (MCH) nursing workforce. The study includes a quantitative analysis of workforce supply and demand, with projections from 2004 to 2012-13. It also provides qualitative information in relation to factors affecting recruitment and retention of staff to the MCH nursing workforce.

Melbourne Initial Screening Test (MIST) Evaluation Studies Report 1998 (pdf - 717.88kb) - these three studies aimed to assess the test-retest reliability of the MIST, a new vision screening tool designed for use by vision screeners of pre-school children and to determine the positive and negative predictive value.

Professional Development Needs Analysis for the Maternal and Child Health Service Report 2006 (pdf - 1.87mb) provides a clear picture of the professional development needs of the Maternal and Child Health service and is consistent with the key thrust of the Future Directions for the Victorian Maternal and Child Health Service policy. It recognises the need for the workforce to develop skills in working with vulnerable families and those families currently under-represented in the service.

Future Directions for the Victorian Maternal and Child Health Service 2004 (pdf - 477.7kb) - directs improvements to the Victorian Maternal and Child Health Service aiming to benefit the health and wellbeing of young children and their families. It redefines the service within the context of new understandings of early childhood and innovative local approaches to the planning and delivery of services.

Maternal and Child Health Nursing Workforce Strategy 2004 (pdf - 303.23kb) details the workforce strategy developed from the four key strategy areas identified in the MCH Nursing Workforce Assessment. It aims to improve recruitment, retention and re-entry to the local government MCH Service. Some strategies may produce a more rapid but short term impact on workforce supply while others would be expected to produce a slower, but long-term impact on local government MCH nursing workforce supply.