New ‘no jab’ rules will affect all Wagga childcare services

Parents who refuse to vaccinate their children will no longer be able to enrol their children in Wagga daycare services, after so-called ‘no jab, no play’ laws were beefed up.

Both childcare centres and family daycare services in Wagga will be affected after Bill to amend the Public Health Act to introduce stronger requirements for families was passed on Wednesday night.

The new rules will apply statewide from January 1, 2018.

Wagga City Council on Friday confirmed that the Wagga Regional Family Day Care Service would be complying with the new regulations.

“The amendment covers all education and care services,” service manager Kym Stewart said.

“Wagga  Regional Family Day Care is an education and care service and will implement these changes.

“From January 1, 2018, WWRFDC will not be able to enrol new children who are unvaccinated due to their parents’ conscientious objection, but can still enrol unimmunised children if there is a medical reason and certificate supplied for them not to be vaccinated or the child is on a recognised catch-up schedule.”

Ninety-three per cent of children in NSW are fully vaccinated at one and five years of age according to a NSW Health spokeswoman.

A total of 1.15 per cent of children aged seven and under had parents who registered as conscientious objectors. 

Under the previous legislation, registering as a conscientious objector was a valid exemption.

Directors of childcare centres who fail to comply and those who falsify vaccination certificates will be committing an offence  and face fines of up to $5500.

Health Minister Brad Hazzard said the new rules will help cut the risk of children contracting potentially deadly diseases such as whooping cough and meningococcal.

"The NSW government and the majority of the NSW community have achieved outstanding vaccination rates but there's no room for complacency," he said.

“We have spent more than any other state government to protect our community through vaccination because the overwhelming scientific evidence is 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, so we are being very clear that choices of conscientious objectors, which are not evidence based, will no longer be allowed to impact other families."