More funding to tackle nits

More funding to tackle nits

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Social Development Minister Anne Tolley says that the Nitbusters programme, which provides free head lice treatment to families in low decile schools, is to continue in 2016.

Funding of $1.1 million is being provided to KidsCan to deliver the programme to 111 schools and 24,000 children.

"As a mother and grandmother I know all families will be aware that nits can quickly infest a household and can be an expensive nuisance to eradicate," says Mrs Tolley.

"Through Nitbusters we are supporting families who need help in dealing with the costs involved, by providing free treatments for as long as is required to stamp out the problem.

"The Government first began funding Nitbusters in 2014, and on average 1,400 children are checked each week for head lice.

"In November 2014, 43 per cent of children who were checked required treatment for nits. By July 2015 there had been a 16 per cent reduction in the number of kids needing treatment.

"I’m also advised that schools are reporting increased attendance, as fewer children are having to stay at home or be sent home due to head lice.

"I’m delighted that Nitbusters is working for the children and families at these schools, and I look forward to further excellent results in the year ahead."

As with previous funding, the $1.1 million for Nitbusters in 2016 is being delivered through an underspend in the Kickstart Breakfast programme.

Since the Government funded an expansion of Kickstart in 2013, around 5.5 million breakfasts have been served. The scheme is open to all schools, with 841 currently involved, and breakfasts served to around 27,000 children.