Key messages

  • Providing accurate and timely information to the Australian Immunisation Register about your patients’ immunisations is crucial to ensuring they can access early childhood services.
  • Providers are able to print their patients’ Immunisation History Statements from the AIR and provide them directly to the attending family member/s if required.

Immunisation and enrolling in childcare: changes to the Victorian law  

In an effort to improve childhood immunisation rates, the Victorian Government introduced the ‘No Jab, No Play’ legislation on 1 January 2016. Under this legislation, before enrolling a child, early childhood services have to first obtain evidence that the child is up to date with all vaccinations that are due for their age, or that they are able to receive.

An Immunisation History Statement from the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) is the only form of documentation accepted for the purposes of enrolling a child in an early childhood education and care service.

After enrolment, parents need to continue to supply up-to-date Immunisation History Statements to the service whenever their child receives an immunisation while attending the service.

About required documentation

Under 'No Jab, No Play' what documentation is required as evidence of up-to-date vaccination?

To have an enrolment confirmed for a child in long day care, kindergarten, family day care or occasional care, parents/carers have to provide the service with:

  • a current Immunisation History Statement from the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR); AND
  • the statement must show that the child is up to date with all vaccinations that are due for their age, or that they are able to receive. 

The Immunisation History Statement from the AIR lists the vaccines the child has received and, if applicable, vaccines due in the future and/or medical exemptions to specific vaccines.

An Immunisation History Statement from the AIR is the only type of immunisation record accepted by early childhood and care services and must be provided within the two months prior to the child starting at the service to confirm enrolment.

The role of immunisation providers

Immunisation providers are required to:

Immunise according to the National Immunisation Program schedule

This may include developing a vaccine catch-up plan for children who are not up to date and administer overdue vaccines. Use the online Immunisation Calculator to plan vaccine catch-up for pre-school aged children  

More information about childhood immunisation can be found on the Health.Vic website

Provide prompt and accurate information to the AIR

Immunisation providers should take care to ensure that information they provide to the AIR is reported correctly and promptly. This may include reviewing and transcribing overseas immunisation records to the AIR in a timely manner. 

Delays or inaccuracies in the information provided to the AIR by immunisation providers could result in parents having problems when enrolling a child in an early childhood education and care service.

Provide a copy of the AIR statement if necessary

Providers are able to print their patients’ Immunisation History Statements from the AIR and provide them directly to the attending family member/s if required. 

Providers can access the AIR using PRODA or HPOS – the Australian Government’s online portal for health professionals.

This can assist parents/carers, particularly those who don’t hold a Medicare card, to access early childhood education and care services sooner, by avoiding the delay for the family of waiting for the Immunisation History Statement to arrive by post.

Support parents with serious concerns about vaccine safety

All immunisation providers play an important role in ensuring parents are provided with accurate and reputable information about vaccine safety.  

Support parents with serious concerns about vaccine safety by referring them to reputable information, including SAEFVIC (Surveillance of Adverse Events Following Vaccination in the Community) who can help immunisation providers and parents with concerns about vaccine safety – www.saefvic.org.au or phone 1300 882 924, option one. Telehealth is also available with this service. Other useful resources include:

The science of immunisation, Questions and Answers 

The Better Health Channel Immunisation information for consumers

Immunisation medical exemption

In order to claim medical exemption from one or more immunisations for the purpose of enrolling into childcare and kindergarten, parents or carers will have to provide a current Immunisation History Statement from the AIR which states that the child has a vaccine exemption due to a medical contraindication or natural immunity to one or more vaccines. 

The GP involved in the individual patient's care must complete an immunisation medical exemption form based on a case-by-case assessment of a child's medical history. Download the immunisation medical exemption form from the Commonwealth Department of Human Services website. 

Vaccines given overseas and non-Medicare card holders

Children who were vaccinated overseas must have their vaccine records assessed and be offered catch-up vaccination as required. Report overseas vaccines to the AIR promptly and accurately via HPOS or by submitting the AIR Immunisation History form.  

Parents can request an Immunisation History Statement from the AIR to give to the service for the purpose of enrolment if the vaccines are up to date.

Alternatively, for non-Medicare card holders, providers using HPOS can print their patients’ up to date Immunisation History Statements from the AIR and provide them directly to the attending family member/s if required. 

About the 'No Jab, No Play' law

What is the objective of the ‘No Jab, No Play’ law?

The purpose of the No Jab, No Play law is to increase immunisation rates for young children in the community. The legislation is designed to: 

  • provide a prompt regarding immunisation for parents/carers enrolling their child in early childhood education 
  • allow for children of families experiencing vulnerability and disadvantage to be able to access the lifelong benefits of early childhood education and care, while being supported to obtain vaccinations and/or required evidence of vaccination.

What immunisations are required for children at childcare and kindergarten?

Under the ‘No Jab, No Play’ legislation, children are required to be up to date with all vaccinations that are due for their age, or that they are able to receive. 

The immunisation schedule for vaccines outlines the vaccines available under the National Immunisation Program and when they should be received. Children who are not eligible for Medicare are still eligible to receive the vaccines on the National Immunisation Program for free.

Who does the ‘No Jab, No Play’ law impact and how?

The law applies to all 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 law does not apply to:

  • enrolment in primary or secondary school (however, please note an Immunisation History Statement from the AIR does need to be provided for enrolling in primary school, however there is currently no requirement for the statement to show the child is up to date with all immunisations)
  • children attending an outside school hours 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 of no more than two hours per day and no more than six hours per week (for example, crèches at gyms and shopping centres) 
  • services primarily providing instruction on 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).

To have an enrolment confirmed for a child in long day care, kindergarten, family day care or occasional care, parents/carers have to provide the service with:

  • a current Immunisation History Statement from the AIR; AND
  • the statement must show that the child is up to date with all vaccinations that are due for their age, or that they are able to receive. 

Resources to order

The following resources can be ordered free from the immunisation resources order form:

  • Poster: Are your child's immunisations up to date? To remind parents about vaccination for enrolment in early childhood education and care services. Includes information in six community languages.
  • Brochure: Starting childcare or kindergarten? Immunisation information for parents enrolling a child: To assist parents to understand immunisation requirements for enrolling in early childhood education and care services.

2approved under the Education and Care Services National Law Act 2010 and licensed under the Children's Services Act 1996

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