Immunisation enrolment requirements for child care services, kindergarten and schools

Regulations under the Public Health Act 2016 (WA) strengthen requirements around the collection and reporting of immunisation information by child care services, kindergartens and schools, and support these facilities to limit or prevent the spread of vaccine-preventable notifiable infectious disease.

Regulations

Under the Regulations (external site), persons in charge of child care services, kindergartens and schools, or their delegates , are required to:

  1. request and collect the immunisation status of each child at enrolment via their Australian Immunisation History Statement (external site)
  2. provide a report to the Department of Health stating the immunisation status of children enrolled, when requested to do so by the Chief Health Officer (CHO). See ‘Reporting under-vaccinated children’ below, and Guidelines Strengthening immunisation reporting requirements.
  3. report any enrolled child who has, or is reasonably suspected to have contracted a vaccine-preventable notifiable infectious disease if directed by the CHO
  4. not permit any child to attend the facility who does not have immunity against a vaccine-preventable notifiable infectious disease if directed by the CHO. In this instance the person in charge of the facility would be required to write to the child’s parent/ guardian specifying the vaccine-preventable notifiable infectious disease that the child does not have immunity from, and the period of time during which the child must not attend as advised by the CHO
  5. 5. close the whole or a part of their facility in the event of an outbreak of a vaccine-preventable, notifiable disease to help prevent the spread of the infectious disease, if directed by the CHO.

Guidelines - Strengthening Immunisation Reporting Requirements (PDF 1 MB) provides further information for persons in charge of child care services, kindergartens and schools about the immunisation regulations.

Frequently Asked Questions (PDF 963 KB) provides further information for parents/guardians and persons in charge of child care services, kindergartens and schools, about the immunisation regulations.
Immunisation support

The Regulations enable the Department of Health to provide support to families and persons in charge of child care services, kindergartens and schools in the following ways:

  • use information provided by persons in charge to contact the parents/guardians of under-vaccinated children and offer support to access local immunisation services in order to get their child fully vaccinated/li>
  • support persons in charge to limit or prevent the spread of vaccine-preventable notifiable infectious disease, through various measures.
Reporting under-vaccinated children

Under the Regulations and as part of a strategy to increase immunisation rates among WA children, the Chief Health Officer will annually direct persons in charge of child care services, kindergartens, and schools, to report under-vaccinated children.

Persons in charge of child care services, kindergartens and schools (other than a government school) will be contacted by email and post, and requested to report all children to the Department of Health who meet the following two criteria:

1. child is enrolled in either child care (long day care or family day care, only), pre-kindergarten, kindergarten or pre-primary

Note: out of school hours and vacation care services OR the part of a long day care services that provide out of school hours and vacation care services, are exempt from this current reporting request; and

2. child’s immunisation status is either

  • not up to date,' according to the child's AIR Immunisation History Statement, or
  • unknown.

Please see the Guidelines – Strengthening Immunisation Reporting Requirements for further information

Current reporting requirement 

The Chief Health Officer has directed that all persons in charge of child care services, kindergartens and schools, report all children who meet the above criteria by completing the Immunisation Status of a Child Reporting Form (external site).

Reporting is required:

  • Child care enrolments - by 31 May 2019, and then anytime a child enrols into a child care service prior to 31 March 2020.
  • Kindergarten and school enrolments - by 31 May 2019.

AIR Statements and existing students

If you do not have AIR Immunisation History Statements for children already enrolled prior to this date, it is not the Department of Health’s expectation that these are collected. However, all children who are ‘not up to date’ or where vaccination status is unknown, must be reported.

At other times

The Chief Health Officer, or their delegate, may request reports of the immunisation status of children enrolled at other specified times. For example, during the outbreak of a vaccine-preventable disease.

Future proposed changes to immunisation enrolment requirements

Further legislative changes are proposed that, if passed, will require (with rare exception) a child’s immunisation status to be ‘up to date’ as a condition of enrolment into child care services (long day care and family day care, only) and kindergarten programs.

Public consultation for the Public Health Amendment (Immunisation Requirements for Enrolment) Bill 2019 was undertaken during March 2019.

Feedback from the consultation contributed to the Decision Regulatory Impact Statement: Public Health Amendment (Immunisation Requirements for Enrolment) Bill 2019 (PDF 1,214 KB).

It is anticipated that this additional legislation will be effective for the 2020 school year enrolment period occurring in July 2019, and effective immediately for child care enrolments.

Parents/guardians applying to enrol their children in kindergarten programs in the 2020 school year are encouraged to ensure their children’s vaccinations are ‘up to date’ to avoid their application for enrolment being declined.

More information

Immunisation, Surveillance and Disease Control Program

8.30am – 5.00pm, Monday to Friday
Phone: 9222 2486
Fax: 9222 0228
Email: immunisation@health.wa.gov.au

Last reviewed: 12-12-2018
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Public Health