Extending specialist paediatric services in the ACT so children do not need to travel interstate for treatment will be a focus of a new health plan being developed by the government.
Another focus will be on support for new parents in areas such as breastfeeding and mental health.
But the new plan for children's health services will, overall, try to ensure Canberra families get "the healthiest start in life".
Health and Wellbeing Minister Meegan Fitzharris said she also wanted families to be able to access the best possible services and programs through the ACT public health system.
The plan will cover Canberra's children from birth, through the school years, and into young adulthood, at 16 years of age.
It will be developed over the next 12 months and will set out the government's priorities.
"Children deserve the best start in life and making sure they are healthy both physically and mentally is an important part of this," Ms Fitzharris said.
"This is especially important in the first 1000 days of a new child's life.
"We already have a wide range of healthcare services for children and adolescents in the ACT, but as our city grows, our health services need to grow too.
"To ensure our youngest community members and their families continue to get the best possible care and support, we will develop a new, comprehensive health plan for Canberra's children and young people."
The new children's health services plan will cover ACT public health services and programs from staying healthy, to accessing care in the community or in hospital, to rehabilitation and end of life care.
There will be two key focus areas for the development of the plan.
The first is working with families of children who are, or have needed to, share their care with other major city hospitals.
The ACT currently provides a wide range of acute and community health services to local and regional families, however some specialist paediatric services are provided interstate as current demand in the ACT does not meet thresholds for local services to be safely and sustainably established and maintained.
The plan will look at the growth of specialist paediatric services in the ACT and how it can better support families to improve care coordination and access to the health services they need in Canberra, when they are also receiving specialist support from interstate.
The other main focus of the plan is developing nation leading services and supports for new parents, whether it's a mother's first baby or third.
This will include consideration of both universally accessible services in areas such as breastfeeding support, perinatal mental health and early parenting support as well as services targeted at families with more complex needs.
The government will work across the health system, including with Tresillian the incoming provider of services at QEII.
Minister Fitzharris said engagement with children, young people and their families would play a key role in the development of the new plan.
"We know there are families in our community who have unfortunately had to navigate the healthcare system at a time when their child is very unwell. We want to learn from the experiences of these local families and provide them an opportunity to be part of and contribute to this important work, and we have asked the Healthcare Consumers Association to lead this work on our behalf," Ms Fitzharris said.
"We want to understand how to improve our services here in Canberra and map out the journey experienced by paediatric patients and their families, particularly where there is a need to travel interstate for specialist care.
"As part of the consultation, there will also be an emphasis on hearing from the clinical paediatric workforce across Canberra on how we can improve access and better coordinate services in the community and in our hospitals and best plan for the future healthcare needs of children."
Health Care Consumers' Association executive director Darlene Cox said "when children become seriously unwell it is a very difficult time for families".
"Not only are you managing the regular pressures of family life, but you also have to learn about a complicated and disconnected system and travel between cities and treating teams. At the same time, you are building a body of knowledge and set of skills, so you can advocate for your child," Ms Cox said.
"This work will enable our local health system to learn from the experiences of families who have dealt with these challenges and bring about changes to make it easier for the families who will be faced with this in future."