Department of Health

After enrolment – ‘No Jab, No Play’ requirements

Step 1: informing parents/carers of their obligation to continue to provide evidence of up to date immunisation

  • If there is a vaccine-preventable disease outbreak at the service, accurate and current evidence of immunisation is needed to identify children at risk (for example, children too young to be fully immunised against a disease) who may need to stay away from the service until it is safe for them to return.

    The Victorian Government introduced this requirement to provide an important additional prompt to parents regarding immunisation as part of a continued effort to improve and maintain high childhood immunisation rates and protect the community from vaccine-preventable diseases.

  • 'No Jab, No Play' regulations specify that parents must provide your service with a current statement (if the one you have on record is no longer current) at intervals of no greater than seven months.

    Twice a year, usually at the same time as other update requests, you must request parents/carers to provide evidence of up to date immunisation for their attending child.

    You can adapt this Text for your service's parent manual to include in the information you provide to parents/carers on enrolment. It includes information on the requirement for parents/carers to continue to provide evidence of up to date immunisation while their child is attending your service.

    Download the immunisation after enrolment: fact sheet for parents who want or need additional information regarding their obligation to maintain evidence of up to date immunisation for their child at the service.

Assisting parents/carers of children enrolled under the 16-week ‘support period’ (also known as the ‘grace period’) to obtain an immunisation history statement.

Step 2: how to request the latest immunisation evidence

  • Your service must take reasonable steps to ensure you hold a current immunisation history statement for each child (in much the same way your service ensures that other details, such as contact and address details, are current).

    This includes:

    • Twice a year, issue a general reminder to parents/carers that they must provide an updated immunisation history statement if their child has received or been due for a vaccination.
    • Review enrolment records for children whose parents/carers may be at greater risk of falling behind with their child's immunisations.
    • Provide follow-up requests for an up to date immunisation history statement from parents/carers if necessary.
    • Assess immunisation history statements to ensure they indicate the child is up to date with immunisations.
    • Support parents/carers to comply by providing information or referral to support services.

    The following tools and resources to assist your service to take reasonable steps are available:

    You can use these two scenarios when planning the timing of reminders to parents/carers to provide evidence of up to date immunisation.

    Use this flowchart to see the pathways to follow when issuing requests to parents/carers to provide up to date immunisation evidence.

    Adapt this text to suit your needs when sending initial requests for immunisation evidence to parents/carers. It includes minimum suggested text and additional suggested text. The minimum suggested text is available in a range of languages. (See CALD resources on this page).

    When reviewing their child's records, you can adapt this text when providing follow-up reminders to parents/carers that show that the information you have is outdated.

    Services to which this requirement applies

    The requirements of the 'No Jab, No Play' legislation applies to approved and licensed early childhood education and care services in Victoria, providing:

    • long day care
    • kindergarten (including 3 and 4-year-old kindergarten)
    • occasional care
    • family day care.

    The legislation does not apply to:

    • enrolment in primary or secondary school
    • children attending an outside school hour care service (after school care, before school care, vacation care)
    • enrolments of school children in long day care, family day care or occasional care
    • casual occasional care services that offer care for each child of no more than 2 hours per day and no more than 6 hours per week (for example, crèches at gyms and shopping centres) playgroups
    • services primarily providing instruction in particular activities (for example, sport, dance, or music)
    • services primarily provided or shared by family members of the children (and a family member is readily available and retains responsibility for the child).

    Babies and younger children are likely to receive additional vaccines after they have enrolled at your service. Having an up to date record of each child’s immunisation status is essential.

    In the event of an outbreak of a vaccine-preventable disease, you need to know the immunisation status of each child, so the Department of Health can determine which children need to be excluded from attending the service until the risk of infection is passed.

    Under the ‘No Jab, No Play’ legislation, parents must provide services with an Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) immunisation history statement showing that their child’s immunisations are up to date. This obligation on parents/carers continues after enrolment. The obligation on services is to periodically remind parents to provide your service with the most up to date immunisation history statement.

    This is a requirement under Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 and under the Education and Care Services National Regulations 2011, which specify that the approved provider must take reasonable steps to ensure children's enrolment forms are accurate (Regulation 177). This includes, but is not limited to, the immunisation status of the child.

    Authorised officers from the Department of Education and Training monitor the compliance of early childhood education and care services.

    This includes checking that the immunisation status of children is recorded in the enrolment record. Penalties for non-compliance may apply.

  • Step 1: Twice a year, ask parents/carers to provide an updated immunisation history statement

    • 'No Jab, No Play' regulations specify that parents must provide your service with a current statement (if the one you have on record is no longer current) at intervals of no greater than seven months.
    • Where possible, you can request evidence of current immunisation at the same time as you contact families; for other details, you need to maintain up to date enrolment information.
    • For guidance on when to send requests for immunisation evidence to parents/carers, download the Scenarios for the timing of immunisation evidence requests document.
    • For guidance on what to include in communications to parents, download the Initial immunisation evidence request text document. The minimum suggested text has been translated into various community languages such as Arabic, Dari, Simplified Chinese, Turkish, Urdu and Vietnamese.
    • You can also order free copies of the 'vaccination records reminder card', which is the size of a business card, ideal for prompt parents/carers to provide updated information regarding the immunisation status of an enrolled child. The card provides parents with information on how to obtain updated documentation.

    Step 2: Following up with some parents/carers

    • After allowing a minimum of two weeks for parents/carers to respond to the initial request, review some children's records who may be more likely to fall behind on immunisations.
    • If the review shows the immunisation evidence is out of date, or there is no record of immunisation status, a targeted follow-up request to the parent/carer is recommended, by direct email or a private conversation, to protect the family's privacy.

    Download the Follow-up immunisation evidence request text and the immunisation evidence request decision aid flow chart.

    Step 3: Assessing Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) immunisation history statements for compliance after enrolment

    Look for the date of the next due immunisation on the immunisation history statement supplied or on file.

    • If the parent has complied with the legislative requirement, the 'next vaccine due' date is a date in the future.
    • If the child has completed their childhood immunisations, the statement will show 'No vaccines due'.

    Step 4: Supporting parents/carers to comply by providing information or referral

    If a parent/carer has difficulty understanding the requirements, obtaining the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) immunisation history statement, accessing immunisations, has questions or concerns about immunisation, or needs other types of support, you can use the services and contacts or templates and resources provided.

    This may include:

    The legislation does not require services to exclude enrolled children who are not up to date with immunisations (except in a vaccine-preventable disease outbreak). It aims to encourage immunisation, not to create a barrier to early childhood education and care.

    Helpful tools

    Order free copies online of:

    • Vaccination records reminder A3 poster for display in your service to remind parents of the requirement to be up to date with immunisations.
    • Vaccination records reminder card, which is the size of a business card, is ideal for prompt parents/carers to provide updated information regarding the immunisation status of an enrolled child. The card provides parents with information on how to obtain updated documentation.
    • A poster on the minimum period of exclusion from primary schools and children's services centres for infectious diseases cases and contacts lists all infectious diseases requiring children to stay away from your service and for how long. You can use this poster when communicating with parents of sick children. To order copies, telephone Communicable Disease Prevention and Control on 1300 651 160.
  • Twice a year, usually at the same time as other update requests, you must request parents/carers to provide evidence of up to date immunisation for their attending child. Review the immunisation evidence provided to make sure it meets the requirements of the legislation and keep it with the child's enrolment records. A health authority may review this record in the event of a disease outbreak at the service.

    You can use these two scenarios for timing immunisation evidence requests when planning the reminders to parents/carers to provide evidence of up to date immunisation.

  • Look for the date of the next due immunisation on the immunisation history statement supplied or on file.

    • If the parent has complied with the legislative requirement, the date of the 'next vaccine due' is a date in the future.
    • If the child has completed their childhood immunisations, the statement will show 'No vaccines due'.
  • With each child’s enrolment record, keep the most current immunisation history statement and (if relevant) ‘support period’ (also known as the ‘grace period’).

  • The Department of Education and Training recommends that you consider the child's circumstances when determining your response to this situation. The legislation does not require that the child be excluded from attending the service except in the circumstance of an infectious disease outbreak as it is intended to encourage immunisation, not prevent attendance at early childhood education and care services.

    If you consider the parent/carer has concerns regarding immunisation, and you are satisfied that your service has done all it can, the final step may be to review referring parents for health advice, determine which of the four options is the most appropriate match to the situation, and provide the referral details to the family. If applicable, you may also wish to provide referral details to specialist support services.

  • If a parent/carer enquires about the immunisation status of another enrolled child, you must not provide this information. Privacy regarding the immunisation status of all enrolled children must always be maintained.

    The immunisation status of enrolled children can only be provided under applicable privacy laws, such as to:

    • a Public Health Officer or authorised officer from the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services or an authorised officer from a local council upon request, for example, during an outbreak of a vaccine-preventable disease
    • an authorised officer of the Department of Education and Training.
  • If a child transfers to your service from another early childhood education and care service, the parent/carer must provide a copy of the child's current immunisation history statement from the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) for enrolment at your service.

Parents/carers should visit the Better Health Channel - 'No Jab, No Play'.
Immunisation Providers should access the 'No Jab, No Play' fact sheet for immunisation providers.

Reviewed 25 February 2022

Health.vic

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