Importance of Health and Immunisation Records in Kindergarten?

10 September 2020

Vaccine-preventable diseases, such as measles or mumps, can be very serious for children, and other people in the community. In kindergarten, child care and classrooms, where children are in close contact with each other, diseases can spread quickly between children who are not fully vaccinated. Other visitors such as parents and other family members, are also at risk if they are not vaccinated. Protect your child by making sure they have had all their immunisations.

When enrolling your child into a child care service, community kindergarten or school, you need to provide your child’s current Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) Immunisation History Statement as part of enrolment documentation. The statement is a record of your child’s immunisation history. The statement must be dated within 2 months of the date of application for enrolment. Child care services and schools may be requested to report the immunisation information of children enrolled, to the Department of Health.

What are the Health and Immunisation Records Required in Kindergarten?

If your child was born in Australia, you need to provide a copy of your child’s AIR Immunisation History Statement. Alternative immunisation records (e.g. Purple Book) can be difficult to interpret and will not be accepted by the child care service, kindergarten or school.

If your child was not born in Australia or if your child is not registered on the AIR and they have received vaccinations overseas, you should contact your immunisation provider. They can arrange for non-English records to be translated and also forward your child’s overseas immunisation records to the AIR. This update in AIR may take up to a few weeks.

Why are Health and Immunisation Records Important?

If your child is enrolling into child care, pre-kindergarten or kindergarten, it is particularly important that you provide your child’s AIR Immunisation History Statement to meet immunisation requirements for enrolment under the No Jab No Play legislation.

Generally schools also need to know which children are not fully immunised for their age in order to protect the children in their care. For example, children whose immunisation status is not up-to-date may need to be excluded during an outbreak of a vaccine-preventable disease.

Regulations under the Public Health Act 2016 also require people in charge of child care services, kindergartens and schools to share immunisation-related information with the Department of Health, upon request. With this information, the Department of Health can support the families of under-vaccinated children to ensure these children get fully vaccinated, through their local immunisation providers.

Once your child has been registered on AIR and overseas vaccinations have been verified, you will be able to access your child’s AIR Immunisation History Statement at any time.

Source: Department of Health Australia