Immunisation enrolment requirements for child care services, kindergarten and schools

From 1 January 2019, new regulations under the Public Health Act 2016 (WA) will 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

Those in charge of child care services, kindergartens and schools, or their delegates, (Administrators) are required to:

  1. request and collect the immunisation status of each child at enrolment and re-enrolment via their Australian Immunisation History Statement (external site)
  2. upon request, provide a report to the Department of Health’s Chief Health Officer (CHO) stating the immunisation status of students. See reporting requirements below, and guidelines attached for details about when reports are required by the CHO
  3. report any enrolled child who has, or is reasonably suspected to have contracted a vaccine-preventable notifiable infectious disease when 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. close all or 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 for Strengthening Immunisation Reporting Requirements (PDF 1 MB) provides further information for Administrator about the regulations and how to implement them.

Frequently Asked Questions (PDF 963 KB) are available to further describe the regulations, their purpose, and their effect on child care services, kindergartens, schools and families.
Immunisation support

The regulations allow the Department of Health to provide support to families and Administrators in the following ways:

  • use information provided by Administrators about the immunisation status of children to support families of children with incomplete immunisation records to get fully vaccinated through their local immunisation providers
  • support Administrators to limit or prevent the spread of vaccine-preventable notifiable infectious disease, through various measures.

Families who request further information about immunisation and where to get vaccinated can visit healthywa.wa.gov.au/immunisation (external site)

Reporting the immunisation status of children

In the event the Department of Health's Chief Health Officer requests the immunisation status of children enrolled in child care, kindergarten and/or school, the Department of Health will contact the relevant persons in charge and advise how to report under vaccinated children. This will likely occur during Term One of 2019.

To report an under-vaccinated child or child with unknown immunisation status, persons in charge will need to provide details including:

  • child's details, including name, date of birth, gender, Aboriginality status, year in school and immunisation status
  • parent/guardian details, including name, address and contact phone number and/or email address
  • child care service/kindergarten/school details, including name, address, landline phone number, contact person.
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.

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