In NSW, children who have not been immunised due to their parent’s vaccine conscientious objection cannot be enrolled in childcare.
From 1 January 2018, directors of centres cannot enrol a child unless the parent/guardian has provided an approved immunisation form that shows that the child:
- is fully immunised for their age, or
- has a medical reason not to be vaccinated, or
- is on a recognised catch-up schedule if the child has fallen behind with their immunisations.
From 1 January 2018, parents must provide a copy of one or more of the following documents to enrol in a child care centre:
- an AIR Immunisation History Statement which shows that the child is up to date with their scheduled vaccinations or
- an AIR Immunisation History Form on which the immunisation provider has certified that the child is on a recognised catch-up schedule (temporary for 6 months only) or
- an AIR Immunisation Medical Exemption Form which has been certified by a GP.
No other form of documentation is acceptable (i.e. the Interim Vaccination Objection Form or Blue Book). The documents must be stored by the director in a secure location for 3 years, unless a child transfers to another child care centre.
These changes to the Public Health Act 2010 will remind parents about the importance of timely vaccination and help to reduce the risk of children contracting potentially deadly diseases such as whooping cough and meningococcal disease.
Removing this exemption aligns NSW with the Australian Government’s No Jab, No Pay measure, under which certain child care and family tax benefits are dependent on a child being fully immunised for their age or having an approved exemption.
Directors of centres face a fine of up to $5500 if they do not comply with these requirements.
- NSW Department Of Education
- Health NSW Australia