Infant healthcare programme, age 0–5 years

The infant healthcare programme for children aged 0–5 years is a free and legally required health service for children and parents, from birth until they start school. The health centre offers you as a parent help and advice from public health nurses, doctors and physiotherapists.

Mother and child with a nurse

What is the infant healthcare programme, age 0–5 years?

The infant healthcare programme at the health centre is a health-promoting and multidisciplinary service, with a public health nurse and a GP. The centre should also have a physiotherapist and may have a psychologist. The staff is covered by a duty of confidentiality.

The comprehensive programme offers health check-ups, vaccination, home visit, health information and advice.

Most of the services at the health centre is carried out by public health nurses. They are educated nurses with additional training in health promotion and preventive work for children and young people.

The health centre collaborates, among others, with GPs, other services for children and young people in the municipality and the specialist health service.

How to contact the health centre

The health centre should be easily available for children and parents. You can always contact or show up at the health centre without an appointment.

Should you need their services before your scheduled home visit or between the regular consultations, you can make direct contact with the health service in your municipality.

The next consultation for the child will be agreed from one consultation to the other, or you will receive an invitation to the consultation by post or phone (text message). Some municipalities send a digital invitation via Helsenorge

Your municipality’s website should give contact information to your health centre.

What happens at the health centre?

The health centre offers regular consultations according to a standardised programme of 14 consultations. The first consultation is a home visit for newborns. The consultations at the health centre are carried out until the child is four years old. Some of the regular consultations are set up as group consultations. It is possible to choose an individual consultation instead.

The purpose of the infant healthcare programme is to contribute to increased health literacy and reassure parents in their role as a parent. This means that the public health nurse speaks to all parents about issues such as the importance of interaction between parents and children, sleep, nutrition and the children's general development. Themes can also include drug use, violence and neglect. You can also bring up other topics you need to talk about.

At the consultations the child will be weighed and measured (height, length and head circumference). Vaccinations are carried out in accordance with the Norwegian Childhood Immunisation Programme.

Several health centres facilitate groups where new parents may team up, in Norwegian called "barselgrupper". You can contact the health centre to find out if they make such initiatives.

Your child is entitled to health check-ups

Your child is entitled to health check-ups by law. As a parent, you are legally obliged to make sure your child gets the health checks. The services provided by the infant healthcare programme help to ensure that children receive the support they are entitled to.

You are responsible for notifying the health centre if you move to another municipality or country.

You may also read:

Interpreter in the health services in Norway

Follow-up care during the post-natal period

Zanzu

Information about pregnancy, childbirth and the postnatal period in Arabic, English, Farsi, French, Norwegian, Polish, Somali, Tigrinya and Turkish aimed at immigrants and others with a short period of residence.

The Norwegian Directorate of Health. National guideline for health promotion and preventive work in the child and youth health centres and school health service, 0 – 20 years. [Internet]. Oslo: The Norwegian Directorate of Health; 2019 [accessed 2021-02-23].  

Content provided by The Norwegian Directorate of Health

The Norwegian Directorate of Health. Infant healthcare programme, age 0–5 years. [Internet]. Oslo: The Norwegian Directorate of Health; updated Monday, August 28, 2023 [retrieved Monday, February 26, 2024]. Available from: https://www.helsenorge.no/en/help-services-in-the-municipalities/infant-healthcare-programme-age-0-5-years/

Last updated Monday, August 28, 2023