The aim of the study was to discover the views of parents about the 1991 Leicestershire child health surveillance programme, its organisation, and content. The study design was a postal questionnaire survey to parents of a sample of children eligible for the new surveillance programme. One thousand parents received questionnaires, of which 66% (660) were returned. Poor access for prams and wheelchairs (595 responses) and inadequate general cleanliness (249 responses) caused most criticism of clinic premises. The experiences of parents from ethnic minorities were significantly worse for some professional consultation factors, but they received significantly more health advice than other parents. Parents lacked sufficient information about the surveillance programme and their most frequent reasons for non-attendance were time related factors. Minimum standards for child health surveillance premises are required. At present, many fail to reach adequate standards of privacy and accessibility. Schemes to ensure an equal partnership in child health surveillance between parents and professionals are essential.