In the state of Illinois, every child is required to have an eye exam prior to starting kindergarten or entering an Illinois school for the first time, regardless of whether they are attending a public, private, or parochial school.
If you’re getting ready to enroll your child in school, here’s what to know about the required eye exams.
Why are eye exams required?
Illinois requires eye exams for children prior to starting school for their health and educational success. Diagnosing and treating any eye issues prior to starting school helps ensure your child’s eyes are healthy and helps sets them up for success as students.
When do eye exams need to be completed?
Your child’s eye exam must be completed within a year prior to the first day of your child’s first year at an Illinois public, private, or parochial school. You have until October 15 of that school year to provide proof of the eye exam.
If your child is attending a school where grade levels are not assigned (such as a Montessori school), the eye exam must be completed within a year prior to the first day of your child’s first year of school, regardless of age.
Proof can be provided in the form of the Eye Examination Report form, which is available on the Illinois Department of Public Health and State Board of Education websites. If you choose Illinois Eye Center for your exam, this form will be provided to you at your appointment.
What happens if I don’t get an eye exam for my child?
If you do not provide proof of a completed eye exam, your child’s school can withhold a report card until proof is provided unless any of the following are met:
- You present a waiver form if any of the following apply:
- You were unable to locate a licensed optometrist or doctor who performs eye exams or who does not accept any kind of medical assistance/All Kids.
- You do not have the income or insurance coverage to get an exam and your child does not qualify for medical assistance.
- You have a religious reason for not getting your child an eye exam.
- You provide proof of an appointment within 60 days of the October 15 deadline.
To request an exemption, complete the Eye Examination Waiver form, which is also found on the Illinois Department of Public Health and State Board of Education websites.
Where can I get an eye exam for my child?
Eye exams must be performed by a doctor licensed to provide eye exams. Fortunately, the experts at the Illinois Eye Center are staffed with eye care experts who can provide routine eye exams for your child that satisfy the Illinois law requirements.
If your child is getting closer to school age, we recommend getting an appointment now to avoid long wait times. It can also help make sure any issues with your child’s eyes are diagnosed in a timely way.
For more information about eye exam requirements, check out this factsheet. If you’re ready to schedule an appointment, or have questions about the eye exam requirements, contact the experts at Illinois Eye Center today!