NSW Health has released this Q&A resource for early childhood services.
The NSW Government tabled a Bill in Parliament today which aims to strengthen the vaccination requirements for enrolment in early childhood education and care services from 1 January 2018.
The amendment to the Public Health Act 2010 will:
- remove the exemption relating to the children of parents with a conscientious objection to vaccination.
- create an offence (with a penalty of 50 penalty units) for a principal who fails to comply with the childcare vaccination enrolment requirements in section 87
- create an offence (with a penalty of 50 penalty units) for a person who forges or falsifies a certificate that is required to be provided under these requirements.
- In addition, the temporary exemption (for 12 weeks after enrolment) will be extended to Aboriginal children and those in out of home care.
Our NSW Health advice today, in brief:
- Health has proposed changes to the Joint NSW Health and Department of Education (DoE) Protocol to guide the partnership approach in the context of these proposed changes.
- DoE staff will continue to check as part of routine regulatory activities that early childhood services comply with the public health provisions relating to record keeping by ensuring that the vaccination status of children at enrolment is recorded in an immunisation register template in the approved form.
- The amendment will transfer responsibility for any prosecutorial action from DoE to Health.
- To support compliance with the requirements, Health will consult with DoE and early childhood peak bodies, offer training support to DoE, distribute support materials for the sector and parents and provide detailed advice on the NSW Health website to facilitate compliance.
- Q & As will be posted on the NSW Health Immunisation website later today.
- CELA will attend a meeting on your behalf on 15 August.
Meet the author
Bec Lloyd is the founder and managing director of Bec & Call Communication, providing professional writing, editing and strategy services to the school and early childhood education sector since 2014. In 2018 she launched UnYucky mindset and menus for happier family mealtimes. Formerly the communications lead at ACECQA and BOS (now NESA), Bec is a journo and mother of three who produces Amplify for us at Community Early Learning Australia.