NEW legislation will have a significant impact on childcare in 2018.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull wrote to state and territory leaders in March, where he requested a uniform approach to the amount of unvaccinated children, the number of which is growing.

Parents who refuse to vaccinate their children won’t be allowed to enrol them in childcare in NSW from 1 January 2018, after the state parliament passed the legislation earlier this month.

The new laws scrapped the “conscientious objector” option, meaning that directors of childcare centres will face a fine up to $5500 if they break the rules.

The new legislation will help reduce the risk of children contracting diseases such as whooping cough and meningococcal.

Children on a recognised catch-up vaccination schedule or those who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons will still be able to be enrolled.

The legislation will also allow public health officers to exclude unvaccinated children from secondary schools when there is a disease outbreak. This previously only applied to primary schools and child care centres.

Health Minister Brad Hazzard says the majority of the NSW community has achieved “outstanding” vaccination rates, and there is overwhelming scientific evidence that vaccination is safe and highly effective in preventing disease.

“However, all it takes is one unvaccinated child and dozens of others could be put at risk of serious illness,” he said in a statement on Thursday.

“We are being very clear that choices of conscientious objectors, which are not evidence-based, will no longer be allowed to impact other families.”

The child care sector will receive assistance from NSW Health to understand and implement the new requirements which will only apply to newly enrolled children ahead of the 1 January 2018 start date.

Figures released in June revealed the NSW North Coast’s vaccination rate trailed the rest of the nation.

There, 1867 children aged five or under were not fully immunised, compared with 721 children in western NSW and 481 in Murrumbidgee in the state’s southwest, according to 2015/16 Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) data.

The federal government is also ramping up its “no jab, no pay” policy, with legislation introduced to parliament to dock welfare payments by $28 a fortnight for parents whose children do not meet immunisation rules.

What do you think? Should the rest of the country follow suit?

  • This is well overdue – all children should be vaccinated against these diseases.


  • So pleased that this has been brought in. Those parents that choose not to vaccinate their child should not be allowed to put others at risk.


  • Good. there has been a rise in preventable diseases by parents who are being preyed upon by morons.


  • It’s about time that everywhere was up to date with this- unvaccinated children mixing with other children pose a risk to themselves.


  • Yep great idea and thanks for sharing the article.


  • My kindy already has this rule in place following a parent vote last year. It is a fantastic idea and about time… nothing worse than seeing the defenceless children sick and suffering, or worse. In a country like ours, where the immunisations are bulk billed, I really cant see why you wouldn’t do it anyway


  • This is a great plan and in the nation’s best interest. We have to protect our children, our babies. If we as adults can’t, then who will. If people choose not to vaccinate, that is their choice, however misguided. However, as a nation, we can choose not to allow them to mix with other children for fear of epidemics of diseases we’re starting to see now that can all be managed with vaccinations.


  • I totally agree with this plan but I also think that immunisations should be free. Also teachers should prove they are vaccinated as well


  • I deliberately sent my daughter to a daycare with this type of policy as she has several medical needs that mean her immune system at times is extremely low & even though I believe choice should be an option, I also personally believe vaccination is best and wanted to ‘cover all her bases’ in reducing her risk to getting something that for her could be disastrous.


  • Yes, should be mandatory across all of Australia!


  • good on them for finally taking a stand on this very important issue. they will be making a difference in unmeasurable ways and are protecting our children


  • This should not just be in NSW it should be across Australia – I highly support everything in this article – I just wish that everything like this be rolled out across Australia at the start not just one state – we are already putting our children at high risk because of people who choose not to vaccinate – too many children have lost their lives this year alone to diseases that could have been prevented!


  • some children cannot have a vaccination for medical reasons, how would this impact them? I’m all for vaccination though, I wouldn’t want my child to die from measles or chickenpox. (and I know a child who died of measles and a young father from chickenpox)


  • Actually most centres in Victoria wont admit unvaccinated children. However….many TEACHERS and chikd care workers are NOT vaccinated. This is a huge flaw in the herd immunity approach.


  • as long as doctors don’t dodgy up the exemption letters it might work


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