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Immunisation requirements for early childhood services

No Jab, No Play

This information is for parents and carers about immunisation requirements for children who are enrolled, or will be enrolled in, Department for Education early childhood services. Services include:

  • preschool
  • rural care
  • occasional care
  • family day care
  • respite care service. 

You may hear this referred to as No Jab, No Play.

Immunisation requirements for a child to enrol and attend an early childhood service

After changes to the South Australian Public Health Act 2011 (the Act), from 7 August 2020, children will not be able to enrol in or attend early childhood services unless all immunisation requirements are met (No Jab, No Play).

New enrolments

On or after 7 August 2020, early childhood services cannot enrol new children into their service if their parent or carer has not given them current immunisation records.

Existing enrolments

Children who are already enrolled will no longer be able to attend unless their parent or carer can provide:

  • a copy of their child’s current immunisation record that shows that the child’s immunisation is up to date or on catch up schedule with a future end date
  • evidence that their child has an approved exemption from the Chief Public Health Officer.

How to get your child’s immunisation statement

Parents or carers can access an immunisation history statement via:

How do I get an Immunisation history? –  SA Health guide (PDF 536KB) outlines the process.

When to supply immunisation records

A current approved immunisation record needs to be supplied:

  • at the time of the child's enrolment
  • after the child turns 7 months of age but before the child turns 9 months of age
  • after the child turns 13 months of age but before the child turns 15 months of age
  • after the child turns 19 months of age but before the child turns 21 months of age
  • after the child turns 4 years and 2 months of age but before the child turns 4 years and 8 months of age.

Records must be given at these times to show that the child is up to date with all vaccinations. The specified times reflect the childhood immunisation schedule points.

If a child is enrolling in or attending the service for the first time and is aged outside of the specified times when records must be given, the record should be downloaded no earlier than 1 month before. The record must indicate the child is up to date for their age. Talk to your early childhood service if you’re not sure.

Exemptions from meeting immunisation requirements

Approved exemptions are if the:

  • child has a medical contraindication to a vaccine, such as anaphylaxis
  • child has natural immunity to a particular disease
  • child is a part of an approved vaccine study
  • vaccine is temporarily unavailable
  • Secretary has determined that the child meets the immunisation requirements
  • Chief Public Health Officer grants an exemption
  • child is vaccinated overseas – see below.

A child vaccinated overseas will not automatically be granted an exemption. The overseas schedule for which that child was vaccinated will need to meet Australian immunisation schedule requirements. An immunisation provider will need to assess if this meets the Australian requirements and enter all doses administered overseas into the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR).

See immunisation – SA Health for more information.

Overseas immunisation records

Overseas immunisation records will not be accepted by the early childhood service as they are not an approved record. If you have an overseas record, it needs to be added to the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) by an immunisation service provider.

Some records may need translation before they can be added to the register.

For immunisation records that need translation, parents or carers will need to complete the Australian Government Free Translating Services application. The free translating service can be used by most permanent and some temporary residents. All fields must be completed in English. If you need an interpreter to complete the application, contact the National Translating and Interpreting Service on 131 450.

If you are not eligible for the free translating service, there are accredited translator or interpreter services available. See National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters to find a service.

Parents or carers will need to take a translated copy of the child’s immunisation records to an immunisation provider.

What early childhood services will do with the records

Early childhood services must keep the immunisation records during the time the child is enrolled or attends the service, in line with their records management processes.

On request, the records must be given to the Chief Public Health Officer during an outbreak (or risk of an outbreak) of a vaccine preventable disease.

If there’s an outbreak of a vaccine preventable disease

If there’s an outbreak or risk of an outbreak of a vaccine preventable disease, the Chief Public Health Officer (or delegate) may request the early childhood service provider give the:

  • names and date of birth of children enrolled, or children who routinely attend the service
  • immunisation records relating to each child
  • parent or carer contact details for each child.

The early childhood service provider must be able to give the above details within 24 hours of a request from the Chief Public Health Officer (or delegate). This will enable the Chief Public Health Officer (or delegate) to review the immunisation status of children at the service and to exclude any child at risk of contracting the vaccine preventable disease.

More information

Contact the Immunisation Section, Communicable Disease Control Branch, phone 1300 232 272 or see:

Preschool Policy and Programs

Phone: 8226 2794
Email: education.ecsupport [at] sa.gov.au
Mail: GPO Box 1152, Adelaide SA 5001