New immunisation requirements came into force on 1 January 2016 in relation to child care benefits and family assistance payments (the Commonwealth) and the enrolment of children in child care (in NSW) as follows:
The Commonwealth has made changes to child care benefits and family assistance payments under the ‘No Jab, No Pay’ measure to increase childhood vaccination rates, including that conscientious objection is no longer an approved exception for eligibility for the Child Care Rebate, Child Care Benefit, and Family Tax Benefit (Part A - Supplementary). Parents who do not fully immunise their children up to 19 years of age are no longer eligible for child care benefits and family assistance payments with exceptions for children recorded with medical contraindications or natural immunity for certain diseases and those on a recognised catch-up schedule. More information about these Commonwealth changes is available from the Australian Department of Social Services.
As the Commonwealth conscientious objection form is no longer available, an Interim vaccination objection form for enrolment in NSW child care centres has been developed for use during 2016 while the Public Health Act undergoes its scheduled review process. Please note that these interim arrangements apply to children enrolled after 1 January 2016 only. In advance of further advice about the outcome of the Review, child care centres can accept the Interim vaccination objection form for enrolment in NSW child care centres for enrolling children in 2016, even if they do not commence in care until 2017, as a transitional measure. Children who attend OOSH (Out of School Hours) services both on school campuses or externally are exempt from the vaccination requirements as the children are enrolled in formal schooling. Detailed advice about the enrolment of children in child care from 1 January 2016 and the associated approved forms are available on the NSW Health website.