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Objectives To obtain an overview of the quality of care for children in Indonesia, by assessing hospitals with a view to proceed to a quality improvement mechanism for child care. Methods Stratified two-stage random sampling in six regions identified 18 hospitals (provinces Jambi, East Java, Central Kalimantan, South–East Sulawesi, East Nusa Tenggara, North Maluku). Three randomly selected hospitals in each province were visited by trained assessors who scored each assessed service (expressed as a percentage of achievement) and grouped into good ( 80%), requiring improvement (60–79%) and urgently requiring improvement (< 60%). Results The overall median result score across all areas was 43% (IQR 28%–53%). Case management for common childhood illnesses had a median score of 37% (IQR18–43%), neonatal care 46% (IQR 26–57%) and patient monitoring 40% (IQR 30–50%), all indicating an urgent need for improvement.