FREDERICTON (GNB) – Free eye exams and corrective glasses for all four-year-olds who are not covered by a public or private health insurance program begins April 1.

“The expansion of our government program will ensure that all four-year-olds have access to eye exams and corrective glasses prior to starting school,” said Health Minister Benoit Bourque.

Healthy Smiles, Clear Vision program is expanding its criteria to provide free eye exams and corrective glasses for all four-year-olds who are not covered by a public or private health insurance program. For those with existing health insurance, the program will cover any difference between the amount covered by the insurance policy and the maximum allowed under the program.

“All children should be seen by an optometrist before starting kindergarten,” said Dr. Amy Robinson, president of the New Brunswick Association of Optometrists. “Good vision is important for your child’s success in school.”

The expansion of the Healthy Smiles, Clear Vision program complement the goals outlined in the government’s 10-year education plans which aim to improve educational outcomes and better prepare young people for the future. They set objectives in priority areas to create inclusive environments in which all students can become lifelong learners.