No Jab, No Play – What It Means for Child Care
The No Jab, No Play policy is already in effect in Queensland, Victoria and New South Wales. It is looking likely that this reform will take effect from July 2017 and will have implications on day care, early learning centres and schools. Here’s what you need to know:
What Are the Guidelines?
Under the No Jab, No Play policy, children will not be allowed to attend childcare unless they are:
- Fully immunised according to their age
- On a vaccination catch-up schedule
- Unable to be immunised or fully immunised due to medical issues
How Can You Prove Your Child Is Vaccinated?
After July 2017, you will be required by law to provide proof to your childcare centre that your child is fully immunised to their age or has a valid reason for being unvaccinated. You may need to provide:
- An Immunisation Status Certificate or History Statement from the Australian Immunisation Register. You can find this through your Medicare Online Account or at a local Medicare Service Centre. You can also request it to be posted out to you.
- A letter from your GP
Can Your Child be Exempt from the No Jab, No Play Policy?
If your child isn’t fully immunised or placed on a schedule, you’ll need a medical exemption in order to be able to enrol your child into a childcare centre. Reasons for a medical exemption include:
- An anaphylactic reaction to a previous dose of vaccine
- Having a disease that lowers immunity such as forms of cancer or HIV
- Having treatment that lowers immunity such as chemotherapy
If you think your child is medically exempt you will need to contact your GP so they can complete an Immunisation Exempt Medical Form and send it to the Australian Immunisation Register on your behalf. You can then use this evidence when enrolling into childcare.
Will All Childcare Centres Follow the No Jab, No Play Policy?
Legally, all childcare centres will need to enforce the no jab, no play policy and have evidence of this enforcement. Enforcing the policy will form part of the approval and licensing process, making ‘vaccine-free’ centres unlicensed and unapproved. If the Department of Education and Training identifies an unapproved childcare centre, they can be investigated, fined and shut down.
What Are Compulsory Vaccinations Important?
Immunisation not only protects children who have been vaccinated, it also protects those in our community who may be unable to receive vaccines themselves. To get a better understanding of the new “No Jab No Play” policy, contact Mindarie Keys Early Learning School for more information.