The Kids First Screening Initiative unites parents, health professionals and teachers to give West Virginia’s children the positive start in life they deserve. By working together, we can help ensure that every child receives the best possible chance to be healthy and ready to learn.

Governor Joe Manchin III developed the West Virginia Kids First program so that children could benefit from a caring health professional working closely with their parents and school. By creating a medical home for our state’s children, the three important parties can come together and establish the best resources and services for each child.

Kids First’s Healthcheck is a comprehensive screening that includes hearing, speech, language, and growth and development. Beginning the 2008-09 school year, all children enrolling in kindergarten will receive this wellness exam.

According to America’s Promise Alliance, children need “Five Promises” to succeed in life. Since his inaugural speech in 2005, Governor Manchin asked that we unite as a state in committing ourselves to keeping these five promises for our children. The promises are:

1. Caring adults 2. Safe places 3. A healthy start
4. Effective education 5. Opportunities to help others

The Kids First Screening Initiative is a part of keeping these valuable promises for the children of West Virginia. Let’s commit to our children’s future – let’s put West Virginia Kids First.

If your child will be entering kindergarten during the 2009-10 school year, please contact your family physician to schedule your child’s wellness screening today. If you do not have a family physician your child’s school will be able to assist you in locating one.