Children who undergo open-heart surgery in the first year of life for congenital heart disease (CHD) are at high-risk for impaired development across multiple domains. International recommendations include systematic periodic developmental surveillance into adolescence and the establishment of long-term follow-up programmes. This article describes the establishment and evolution of the Queensland Paediatric Cardiac Service neurodevelopmental follow-up programme - CHD LIFE (Long-term Improvement in Functional hEalth). Contextualising best practice recommendations to ensure a family-centred and sustainable approach to understand and support the long-term functional health needs of high-risk children with CHD as standard care was needed. We describe the transition from a centralised pilot Programme to the implementation of an integrated statewide approach aimed at delivering consistent high-level standards of care and a platform to evaluate therapeutic interventions.