Immunization Requirement for Licensed Childcare Centres

Immunization Requirement for Licensed Child Care Centres

Ottawa Public Health (OPH) works with child care operators to ensure that children under their care are up to date with their immunization. According to the Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014, every licensee shall ensure that before a child is admitted to a child care center it operates and from time to time thereafter, the child is immunized as recommended by the local medical officer of health. Their immunization records must be kept up-to-date and available for inspection at all times.

OPH helps child care operators meet their legislative requirement by reviewing children's immunization records and ensuring that children are protected against vaccine preventable diseases.

Review of Children's Immunization Records

OPH, within the guidance of immunization protocols provided by the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care, is required to assess, maintain and report on the immunization status of children enrolled in licensed child care centres. Nurses will visit child care centres between May and August to explain the current process of verifying children's immunization records, provide important documents including dates to remember, and assure that support from nurses is available at any given time until the completion of the surveillance in February.

Child care centres are asked to submit to OPH the enrollment list of all children attending their centre, using a standardized template from the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care. The list must be sent to OPH in a secured method to ensure that personal information is kept safe. Nurses will provide the training in order to ensure that child care centres have the necessary support to complete the request. OPH developed a tool that child care providers can use to screen if a child's immunization record is complete upon registration. This tool will be provided during the nurse’s visit to your centre.

What's different from past years

OPH only needs the enrollment list of children attending your centre. It is no longer expected that child care operators submit a copy of the immunization records of all children enrolled in their centre. The immunization records of children will be assessed once parents submit their child's immunization information to OPH.

Child Care Enrollment List Template

The Ministry of Health and Long Term Care has developed an enrollment list template that all licensed child care centres must use. Once OPH receives the completed enrollment list in September, it will be uploaded to the provincial immunization database to create an individual profile for each child.

By having the child's immunization information in the provincial database, parents can conveniently update, access and print a copy of their child's record from wherever they are in Canada.

This will also allow OPH to assess the child's immunization record. In the event of an outbreak related to a vaccine preventable disease, OPH will be able to identify children who are not adequately immunized, and take the necessary measures to protect the children who are at risk.

It is therefore important that information provided in the enrollment list is correct to ensure that the profile created in the provincial database is accurate. The nurse who will be visiting your centre will provide you with the necessary information and support until the surveillance process is completed.

Important 2018-2019 Dates for Annual Verification of the Immunization Records

May-August 2018:

  • Nurses will contact and visit the licensed child care centres in Ottawa.

September 14, 2018:

  • Child care operators will submit their enrollment list to OPH using Secured File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) that was set up during the initial visit.

December 7, 2018:

  • "Notice of Incomplete Immunization Record" delivered to child care centres for distribution to parents of children whose immunization record is incomplete.

January 10, 2019:

  • Deadline for parents to report missing immunization information to OPH as indicated in the "Notice of Incomplete Immunization Record".
Policy Related to Children and Employees Immunization

It is a good practice to have written policies and procedures in place that provide guidelines related to immunization requirements for children, staff and volunteers in your centre. OPH has developed a policy with minimum requirements related to children and employees immunizations. Child care centres can adopt and/or modify the policy to meet the more specific needs for their centre. You may download a copy of this template by clicking the link below:

Policy Template and Staff Immunization Recommendation EN

Policy Template and Staff Immunization Recommendation FR

Parent/Guardian Reporting a Child's Immunization

Reporting immunization information is the responsibility of the parent/guardian. It is important to direct parents to submit their child's immunization record and/or a copy of a medical or non-medical exemption to OPH upon registration at your centre. Parents must also update OPH and their child care provider every time their child receives an immunization.

Parents/guardians may choose any of the following options to report their child's immunization to OPH.

  • Online: www.ParentinginOttawa.ca/Immunization
  • CANImmunize App: available as a free download on the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.
  • Phone: 613-580-6744
  • Fax: 613-580-9660
  • Mail: Ottawa Public Health, Immunization Program, mail-code: 26-44, 100 Constellation Drive, Ottawa, Ontario, K2G 6J8

OPH will provide child care centres with copies of the "Report your child's vaccination" postcards to be given to parents. Please contact OPH at 613-580-6744 if you need additional copies.  This postcard may also be included in your newsletter or website by downloading the PDF version below.

Report your child's vaccination postcard EN

Report your child's vaccination postcard FR

Immunization Requirement for Children

Ottawa Public Health's Medical Officer of Health recommends that children attending a child care centre in Ottawa be immunized as outlined in the current Publicly Funded Immunization Schedules in Ontario. Parents/guardians can refer to Parenting in Ottawa website to learn more about the required immunizations for their child. They should regularly review their child's immunization record with their child's health care provider to ensure that the record is up-to-date.

OPH has developed a tool to assist child care providers determine if a child's immunization record is complete at the time of registration. You may refer to the link below to download a printable version of this tool:

Immunization Assessment Tool

If the record does not appear to be complete, the parent should be directed to consult with their child's health care provider or contact Ottawa Public Health at 613-580-6744 for an assessment and more in-depth review.

At 2 months old

Diseases, common trade name and factors to consider:

a) Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis, Polio, Hib (DTaP-IPV-Hib) - 1st dose

  • Common trade names: Pediacel, Pentacel

b) Pneumococcal (Pneu-C-13) - 1st  dose

  • Common trade name: Prevnar

c) Rotavirus - 1st dose

  • Common trade names: Rotarix, Rotateq
  • Only required for children 6 months or younger

At 4 months old

Diseases, common trade name and factors to consider:

a) Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis, Polio, Hib (DTaP-IPV-Hib) - 2nd dose

  • Common trade names: Pediacel, Pentacel

b) Pneumococcal (Pneu-C-13) -  2nd dose

  • Common trade name: Prevnar

c) Rotavirus -  2nd dose

  • Common trade names: Rotarix, Rotateq
  • Only required for children 6 months or younger

At 6 months old

Diseases, common trade name and factors to consider:

a) Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis, Polio, Hib (DTaP-IPV-Hib) - 3rd dose

  • Common trade names: Pediacel, Pentacel

At 12 months old (must be received on or after the 1st birthday)

Diseases, common trade name and factors to consider:

a) Measles, Mumps and Rubella - 1st dose

  • Common trade names: Priorix, M-M-R II

b) Meningococcal-C -C - 1st dose

  • Common trade names: Menjugate, Meningitec, Neisvac-C

c) Pneumococcal (Pneu-C-13) - 3rd dose

  • Common trade names: Prevnar

At 15 months old

Diseases, common trade name and factors to consider:

a) Varicella or Chickenpox (Var) - 1st dose

  • Common trade names: Varivax, Varilix

At 18 months old

Diseases, common trade name and factors to consider:

a) Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis, Polio, Hib (DTaP-IPV-Hib) - 4th dose

  • Common trade names: Pediacel, Pentacel

Screening Summary:

At 18 months old, a child must have received the following:

a) DTaP-IPV-Hib - 4 doses

b) Pneumococcal - 3 doses

c) Rotavirus - 2 doses (only if child is 6 months and younger)

d) MMR, Varicella & Meningococcal - 1 dose

Immunization Requirement for Employees

According to the Child Care and Early Years Act, 2018, a child care licensee shall also ensure that before commencing employment, each person employed has immunization as recommended by the local medical officer of health.

It is important that employees have up to date immunizations to protect themselves and the children under their care against vaccine preventable diseases. Note that, OPH does not collect and review the immunization records of employees.

It is required that all child care employees, students and volunteers have the following up-to-date immunizations for employment:

Td/Tdap

Diseases, common trade name and factors to consider:

a) Tetanus, diphtheria (Td) /Tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis (Tdap)

  • Common trade names: Td adsorbed (Td) /Adacel (Tdap)
  • 1 dose of Tdap in adulthood, then 1 dose of Td every 10 years

MMR

Diseases, common trade name and factors to consider:

a) Measles, Mumps and Rubella

  • Common trade names: M-M-R II, Priorix
  • If born in 1970 or later: Minimum of 1 documented dose of MMR vaccine OR proof of immunity (blood test)
  • If born before 1970: Assumed to have natural immunity

Var

Diseases, common trade name and factors to consider:

a) Varicella or Chickenpox

  • Common trade names: Varivax, Varilix
  • History of chickenpox or shingles after 1 year of age (self-reported), or
  • 2 doses of Varicella vaccine, or
  • Proof of immunity (blood test)

The following immunizations are strongly encouraged (but not required)

Flu

Diseases, common trade name and factors to consider:

a) Influenza

  • Every year in the fall, at the start of flu season
  • Especially for employees caring for children under 5

HB

Diseases, common trade name and factors to consider:

a) Hepatitis B

  • Common trade names: Engerix, Recombivax
  • 2 or 3 doses depending on age
  • Workers in child care centres where there is a child or worker who has acute HB or is a HB carrier should receive HB vaccine followed by immunity testing (blood test) 1 to 6 months after the last dose of HB vaccine. Because the HB status of children in child care centres is generally unknown, vaccination of all child care centre workers is strongly encouraged.

Staff should review their immunization record regularly with their health care provider to ensure it is up-to-date.

For more information, visit recommended immunizations for adults.

Medical and Non-Medical Exemptions

Standardized medical or non-medical exemption forms from the Ministry of Education can be found online at the Government of Ontario Central Forms Repository.

For children attending a licensed child care centre:

Parent/guardian of a child who cannot receive immunization(s) due to medical reasons, or in the event that a parent/guardian requests an exemption due to non­ medical reasons, must complete a standardized ministry approved form and provide it to the child care operator and to OPH. 

For employees, students and volunteers:

Employees, students or volunteers who cannot receive immunization(s) due to medical reasons, or in the event that they request an exemption due to non-medical reasons, must complete a standardized ministry approved form and provide it to the child care operator.

In the event of an outbreak related to a vaccine preventable disease, OPH may order the temporary exclusion of children and/or employees, students or volunteers who have incomplete immunization until the risk related to the outbreak has ended. This is necessary in order to protect unvaccinated staff and children and to minimize the risk of spreading the disease.

 FAQ's

For answers to commonly asked questions related to the annual verification of children immunization records visit Parenting in Ottawa webpage: Immunization FAQ's

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