Child care & vaccinations in New South Wales

Upon enactment of the Public Health Amendment (Vaccination of Children Attending Child Care Facilities) Bill 2013, which will commence on 1 January 2014 if not sooner, the principal of a child care facility must not permit a child to enrol at the child care facility unless the parent provides  a vaccination certificate for the child.

The proposed Act defines that certificate as an immunisation certificate indicating that the child is age appropriately immunised, or a certificate in the approved form by an authorised practitioner certifying that the child is following an approved vaccination catch-up schedule.

An exception is envisaged where there is a certified medical contraindication.

A further exception is provided for where the parent has a conscientious belief and an authorised practitioner certifies that the practitioner has explained the benefits and risks associated with immunisation to the parent and has informed the parent of the potential danger if a child is not immunised.

The effect of a failure on the part of a principal to comply is not immediately clear.

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