Department of Health

Before enrolment - 'No Jab, No Play' requirements

Step 1: Guide to requesting an immunisation history statement from the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR)

  • The Victorian Government introduced the legislation (known as 'No Jab, No Play') for parents and carers of children attending early childhood education and care services to provide the service with evidence that their child is up to date with immunisations before attending the service. The purpose of this legislation is to provide a prompt to parents/carers to keep their child's immunisations up to date to protect them from vaccine-preventable diseases.

    By legislation, to finalise enrolment for a child, you must request a current immunisation history statement from the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) that shows the child is up to date with all the immunisations due.

    The only exception to this requirement is if the child can enrol under the 16-week 'support period' (also known as the 'grace period').

  • The Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) is a national register administered by Medicare that records all vaccinations given in Australia, including children.

    Your service will probably already be familiar with the immunisation history statements issued by the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR). Parents/carers seeking to enrol their child at your service must provide this document as evidence of up to date vaccination unless they are eligible to enrol under the 16-week 'support period' (also known as the 'grace period'). View an example of an Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) immunisation history statement.

    • Ask the parent/carer to provide an immunisation history statement from the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR). You can use this parent enrolment letter template as a basis for correspondence with parents seeking to finalise enrolment. Copy, download or adapt this letter to suit your service.
    • Advise the parent/carer that the statement must show the child is 'up to date' with immunisations.
  • No. Unless the child is eligible to enrol under the 16-week 'support period' (also known as the 'grace period'), the only acceptable evidence of immunisation for enrolment is an immunisation history statement from the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR).

    You cannot accept:

    • immunisation documentation from overseas
    • a letter from a doctor or council
    • a document indicating 'homeopathic immunisation'
    • a statutory declaration from parents
    • the 'green book' immunisation record.
  • 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).
  • Approved and licensed early childhood education and care services in Victoria must comply with the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008. 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 can apply.

Helping parents/carers who need help obtaining an immunisation history statement for their child

  • Parents/carers can get a copy of their child's immunisation history statement:

    • by accessing an Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) immunisation history statement online (see below)
    • by requesting a statement posted to them by calling the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) on 1800 653 809. It can take up to 14 days for the statement to be delivered via post.
    • by asking their vaccine provider to download the statement from the medical software access to the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR).

    This information is included in the parent brochure: Starting childcare or kindergarten? Immunisation information for parents enrolling a child, free copies of which can be ordered online. You may wish to provide a copy of this brochure for parents/carers to take away with them. This brochure is also available as a downloadable fact sheet in English, Arabic, Chinese, Dari, Turkish, Urdu and Vietnamese.

    Accessing an Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) immunisation history statement online

    Parent/carers with a Medicare card number can log into their myGov account and print or download a copy of the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) immunisation history statement.

  • Children vaccinated overseas must have their vaccine records assessed by a GP or local council immunisation service and be offered catch-up vaccinations as required. The GP or local council must then report the overseas administered vaccines to the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR).

    The AIR must make a file for a new child to Australia and update the child's records. The parents/carers can request an immunisation history statement from the AIR. It can take up to 14 days before the immunisation history statement is available for the family/carer. Alternatively, immunisation providers can print a copy of the statement and provide it to the family after vaccine/s are recorded on the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR). Parents/carers must provide the statement to the early childhood service to confirm enrolment.

    This information is included in the Parent brochure: Starting childcare or kindergarten? Immunisation information for parents enrolling a child, free copies of which can be ordered online. This brochure is also available as a downloadable fact sheet in English, Arabic, Chinese, Dari, Turkish, Urdu and Vietnamese. You may wish to provide a copy of this brochure for parents/carers to take away with them.

    Parents/carers wishing to access an Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) immunisation history statement online should refer to the Australian Department of Health's downloadable fact sheet titled Get your immunisation history statement using your Medicare online account available in English, Arabic, Chinese, Croatian, Farsi (Persian), Greek, Italian, Korean, Macedonian, Spanish and Vietnamese.

    The Better Health Channel has a Vaccinations in Victoria video that provides an overview of the immunisation program in Victoria for families who have moved from overseas. It covers childhood, adolescent, and adult immunisation, who provides vaccines, how they are recorded and what immunisation records are required for enrolling in early childhood education and care services and primary school. The video is available in English, Arabic, Assyrian, Burmese, Dari, Hazaragi, Nepalese, Persian, Sinhalese, Tamil, and Urdu.

  • You do not need to be eligible for Medicare to obtain an immunisation history statement from the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR).

    Advise the family to attend a GP or local council immunisation service to discuss vaccination needs.

    If this has already been done, advise the parent/carer to request the GP or service print a copy of the child's immunisation history statement.

    Alternatively, the parent/carer can:

    • call the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) on 1800 653 809 to check if the child's immunisations have been recorded and request a statement to be posted. It can take up to 14 days to arrive by post or
    • access the immunisation history statement online:
      • The parent/carer will need to follow the Australian Government's advice on how to create a myGov account.
      • The parent/carer will need to follow the Australian Government's advice on how to use myGov to get an Individual Healthcare Identifier (IHI).
      • The parent/carer can then view their child's immunisation history statement using their myGov account.

    You may wish to provide this Fact sheet for migrants and other non-Medicare cardholders: immunisation and enrolling in early childhood education and care services in Victoria.

  • Do not enrol the child until the acceptable Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) immunisation history statement is provided unless the child is eligible to enrol under the 'support period' (also known as the 'grace period').

  • Do not enrol the child until the acceptable Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) immunisation history statement is provided unless the child is eligible to enrol under the 'support period' (also known as the 'grace period').

    This information is included in the Parent brochure: Starting childcare or kindergarten? Immunisation information for parents enrolling a child, free copies of which can be ordered online. This brochure is also available as a downloadable fact sheet in English, Arabic, Chinese, Dari, Turkish, Urdu and Vietnamese. You may wish to provide a copy of this brochure for parents/carers to take away with them.

  • Advise parents/carers that they can receive vaccines from a GP or their local council immunisation service.

  • 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 the parent/carer is concerned about the safety of vaccines for their child, advise the parent/carer to discuss the issue with their GP. A GP can determine if a medical exemption to a vaccine is required.

    Alternatively, you can refer the parent/carer to the following special immunisation services:

    • The Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne Immunisation Clinic on 1300 882 924 option 2 or
    • Monash Immunisation, Monash Medical Centre on 1300 882 924, option 4. Telehealth is available with these services.
    • Victoria's vaccine safety service, SAEFVIC on 1300 882 924 option 1.

Step 2: Guide to assessing if the immunisation history statement meets the requirements

  • Follow this Step by step guide to assess an AIR immunisation history statement for enrolment to determine if an immunisation history statement from the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) is acceptable to confirm enrolment. You can also use the immunisation and enrolment decision aid flow chart as a handy reference to see the pathways to follow when assessing if a child can be enrolled under the 'No Jab, No Play' requirements.

    Step 1: Look at the 'immunisation status' at the top left of the statement.

    • If immunisation status is listed as 'up to date', go to step 2.
    • If the status is listed as 'not up to date', you cannot confirm enrolment unless the 'support period' (also known as the 'grace period').

    Step 2: Look at the 'As at' date at the top left of the statement.

    This is the date the statement was produced, which tells you how current the vaccination information is.

    • If the 'As at' date is within two months of the first day the child will start attending your service, and the immunisation status is 'up to date', you can confirm enrolment.
    • If the 'As at' date shows the statement is older, go to Step 3.

    Step 3: Look at the 'Next due vaccine' date at the bottom of the statement.

    • If the date of the next due vaccine is after the first day the child will attend, you can confirm enrolment.
    • If there is a statement that says, 'No vaccines due', you can confirm enrolment.
    • If the next due vaccine date is before the first day the child will attend, go to Step 4.

    Step 4: Still consider the 'Next due vaccine' date at the bottom of the statement.

    • If the date of the next due vaccine is within the two months before the first day the child will attend, you can confirm enrolment.

    The two-month leeway period before the first date of attendance gives parents and services certainty about enrolment. It allows time for the enrolment process to be completed before the child begins attending the service. Parents/carers will be in the process of organising the vaccine for their child in the lead up to attending.

    If you are unsure, use the Key dates Excel tool to help you determine if a child’s vaccinations are up to date to confirm enrolment.

  • Some children may be exempt from the requirement to be fully vaccinated on medical grounds. Examples of valid medical reasons that a child could not be fully vaccinated include:

    • an anaphylactic reaction to a previous dose of a particular vaccine, or
    • an anaphylactic reaction to any vaccine component
    • has a disease that lowers immunity (such as leukaemia, cancer, HIV/AIDS, SCID), or
    • is having treatment that lowers immunity (such as chemotherapy).

    Advise parents/carers who think their child may require a medical exemption to one or more vaccines that they should consult their GP to have this exemption documented on their immunisation history statement from the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR).

    The parent/carer then needs to obtain an updated immunisation history statement from the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) that indicates the child is up to date with the vaccines they can have. This statement needs to be provided by the parent/carer to your service to confirm enrolment.

  • View an Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) statement example – medical exemption showing an immunisation history statement from the AIR highlighting how medical exemptions to vaccines are recorded.

    If a child has a medical exemption to a vaccine, the statement will not show that the child is due or overdue to the vaccine/s they cannot have.

    To confirm enrolment, the statement must show the child is up to date with the vaccines they can have.

    • Let the parent/carer know that the only acceptable evidence of immunisation for enrolment is an Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) immunisation history statement.
    • Advice the parent/carer on how to obtain an immunisation history statement.
    • If the parent/carer cannot obtain an immunisation history statement for whatever reason, assess if they are eligible to enrol under the 16-week 'support period' (also known as the 'grace period').

If parents/carers can’t provide a statement assess if they are eligible for the 16-week ‘support period’ (also known as the ‘grace period’)

  • There are some children in the community whose families face difficulties accessing vaccinations and/or the required documentation to prove immunisation status. Children experiencing vulnerability and disadvantage are eligible to enrol in a service under a ‘support period’ (also known as the ‘grace period’) without proof of up to date immunisation. The ‘support period’ provisions allow the family to continue accessing early childhood education and care services while receiving information and assistance to get their child’s immunisations up to date and obtain the required immunisation history statement from the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) that needs to be provided to the service.

  • Families who answer 'yes' to any of the following criteria are eligible for the 'support period' (also known as the 'grace period'):

    • Are you and your child currently evacuated from your home due to an emergency such as a flood or bushfire? (document the verbal response)
    • Is your child in the care of an adult who is not the child's parent due to emergency or exceptional circumstances such as parental illness or incapacity? (document the verbal response)
    • Did your child arrive in Australia as a refugee or asylum seeker? (document the verbal response)
    • Is child protection involved with your family, or have they been in the past? (document the verbal response)
    • Has your family received support through Family Services? (document the verbal response)
    • Are you living in crisis or emergency accommodation, or are you supported by a housing agency or family violence service? (document the verbal response)
    • Do you or your child hold a health care card? (sight a copy of card)
    • Do you hold a pensioner concession card? (sight a copy of card)
    • Do you hold a veteran's affairs Gold or White card? (sight a copy of card)
    • Is your child from multiple births of triplets or more? (sight a copy of the child's birth certificate)

    Download the 'support period' (also known as the 'grace period') eligibility assessment form to help you identify families who may be experiencing disadvantage and vulnerability. Keep a copy of the completed form with enrolment records.

  • If a family has difficulty obtaining an Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) statement, you should have a private conversation about why. You can use the 'support period' (also known as the 'grace period') eligibility assessment form to determine if the family is eligible. If used, a copy of the completed form should be kept with the child's enrolment record.

    Start the conversation by explaining to the parent/carer why you ask the questions: to determine whether the child can be enrolled under the 'support period' provision, allowing 16 weeks for the family to undertake vaccination and/or obtain an acceptable immunisation status certificate. This can also be a chance for the family to get some extra help if they need it.

  • Children are eligible for the 16-week 'support period' (also known as the 'grace period') in out-of-home care.

    You may wish to provide the carer with the fact sheet Immunisation for children in out-of-home care. The fact sheet covers how to get consent for immunisation, finding out if a child is up to date with immunisations, requirements for benefits, payments, and enrolment in care.

    You may wish to refer the carer to an appropriate specialist support service for families experiencing disadvantage or vulnerability.

  • Children who are refugees or asylum seekers are eligible for the 16-week 'support period' (also known as the 'grace period').

    A fact sheet on catch-up vaccinations for refugees and asylum seekers in Victoria explains how refugees and asylum seekers can obtain free vaccines available under the Australian Immunisation Program. It is available in Amharic, Arabic, Assyrian, Burmese, Chin, Dari, Farsi, Karen, Tamil.

    You may wish to refer the parent/carer to an appropriate specialist support service for families experiencing disadvantage or vulnerability.

Step 3: Guide to enrolling children – when to enrol, when not to, dealing with questions and concerns

  • Use the immunisation and enrolment decision aid flow chart as a handy reference to see the pathways to follow when assessing if a child can be enrolled under the 'No Jab, No Play' requirements.

  • Do not enrol the child until the acceptable Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) immunisation history statement is provided unless the child is eligible to enrol under the 'support period' (also known as the 'grace period').

    Give the parent/carer information on obtaining an up to date AIR statement and/or necessary vaccinations.

    The doctor/immunisation nurse who administers a vaccine/s must, by law, report which vaccine they administered and to whom to the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR).

    The parent/carer must obtain an updated Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) immunisation history statement and provide a copy to your service.

    Alternatively, the parent/carer can ask their GP/nurse to print an immunisation history statement from the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) for the parent/carer to give to your service. Most immunisation providers can do this.

    Use the immunisation and enrolment decision aid flow chart as a handy reference to see the pathways to follow when assessing if a child can be enrolled under the 'No Jab, No Play' requirements.

  • Do not enrol the child until the acceptable Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) immunisation history statement is provided unless the child is eligible to enrol under the 'support period' (also known as the 'grace period').

    Early childhood education and care services can play a crucial support role for parents/carers by:

    Use the immunisation and enrolment decision aid flow chart as a handy reference to see the pathways to follow when assessing if a child can be enrolled under the 'No Jab, No Play' requirements.

  • Do not enrol the child until an acceptable Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) immunisation history statement is provided.

    • Advise the parent/carer that, under Victorian legislation, the service is not allowed to enrol the child without acceptable documentation.
    • Refer parents/carers wishing to discuss questions and concerns about vaccination to seek specialist medical advice from their GP or one of the following specialist immunisation services:
      • The Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne Immunisation Clinic on 1300 882 924 option 2
      • Monash Immunisation, Monash Medical Centre on 1300 882 924, option 4. Telehealth is available with these services.
      • Victoria's vaccine safety service, SAEFVIC on 1300 882 924 option 1.

    Use the immunisation and enrolment decision aid flow chart as a handy reference to see the pathways to follow when assessing if a child can be enrolled under the 'No Jab, No Play' requirements.

    1. Review the options provided regarding referring parents for health advice,
    2. Determine which of the four options is the most appropriate match to the situation, and
    3. Provide the referral details to the parent/carer.
  • Keep one or both of the following documents with the child's enrolment record:

    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.

  • If used to confirm enrolment, a copy of the completed 'support period' (also known as the 'grace period') eligibility assessment form should be kept with the child's enrolment record.

    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.

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 30 December 2021

Health.vic

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