Parents who refuse to vaccinate their children won’t be allowed to enrol them in child care from 1 January 2018.
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.
Directors of child care centres who do not comply with the new requirements under the Public Health Act will face a fine of up to $5500.
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.
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.
NSW Minister for Health Brad Hazzard said there is overwhelming scientific evidence that vaccination is safe and highly effective in preventing disease.
“All it takes is one unvaccinated child and dozens of others could be put at risk of serious illness,” Mr Hazzard said.
“We are being very clear that choices of conscientious objectors, which are not evidence based, will no longer be allowed to impact other families.”
Source: NSW Government