Schools and Child Care

Schools and Child Care Centres

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Immunization is a safe and highly effective way to protect young children and students of all ages from serious infectious diseases.

High rates of immunization also help to ensure that outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases do not occur in childcare centres, schools, and our communities.

Children in licenced childcare centres in Grey-Bruce must be adequately immunized against the following diseases (unless they have a valid exemption):

  • Diphtheria
  • Tetanus
  • Pertussis (whooping cough)
  • Polio
  • Measles
  • Mumps
  • Rubella
  • Meningococcal Disease
  • Varicella (chickenpox)

Children, youth, and teens who attend school in Ontario must be vaccinated against the following diseases (unless they have a valid exemption):

  • Diphtheria
  • Tetanus
  • Pertussis (whooping cough)
  • Polio
  • Measles
  • Mumps
  • Rubella
  • Meningococcal
  • Varicella (chickenpox)- for children born in 2010 or later.

 

All vaccines required for attending childcare or school are publicly funded and will not come at a cost to parents.

Please see Grey Bruce Public Health’s Publicly Funded Immunization Schedule (Children and Youth) infographic for information on the routine vaccines available in Ontario and the recommended vaccine schedule.

Which publicly funded vaccines does my child need to attend a childcare centre/daycare in Grey-Bruce?

Young children in group settings, such as daycare centres, are at a higher risk of becoming infected with communicable diseases as they play closely together, share toys, have close, daily contact with a larger number of people and, in most cases, do not wash their hands as often as they should. Young children also have lower resistance to infection and communicable diseases. Many of these diseases are preventable with adequate vaccination.

The Child Care and Early Years Act (CCEYA) requires operators of licensed childcare centres to ensure that children who are under their care are immunized as recommended by the local Medical Officer of Health.

In Grey-Bruce, children in licensed childcare centres must be adequately immunized against:

The following is a list of the vaccines available free of charge in Ontario to ensure children are adequately immunized against the above diseases (click on the vaccine name to open a fact sheet on each vaccine, which includes information on the disease(s) the vaccine protects against and when your child should receive each vaccine):

Which publicly funded vaccines does my child require to attend school in Grey-Bruce?

Under the Immunization of School Pupils Act (ISPA), children need to have proof of immunization against diphtheria, tetanus, polio, measles, mumps, rubella, meningococcal disease, pertussis (whooping cough), and – for children born in 2010 or later – chickenpox to attend school unless they have a valid exemption. Children who are not fully immunized or do not have a valid exemption may not be allowed to attend school.

Between the ages of 4 and 6, children should receive the following vaccines:

In grade 7, children should receive the following vaccines:

Between 14-16 years old, teens should receive the following vaccine:

All vaccines needed for attending school are free.

More information about Ontario’s Immunization Schedule is available at the following link: Ontario Immunization Schedule.

The Ministry of Health has also developed a School Immunization Checklist, which contains additional information about Ontario’s Publicly Funded Immunization Schedule.

When registering my child for school in Grey-Bruce, what immunization information do I need to submit to Grey Bruce Public Health and my child’s school?

When registering for school, your child must be up to date with their immunizations, and a copy of their immunization record is required.

Complete this New, JK or SK Student Form and attach it to a clear copy of their up-to-date immunization record from their regular medical office.

While my child is attending school in Grey-Bruce, when and how can I update their immunization record with Public Health?

Under the Immunization of School Pupils Act (ISPA), Grey Bruce Public Health is responsible for collecting and maintaining the immunization records of all children enrolled in schools within Grey-Bruce, including private, public, and Catholic elementary and secondary schools. These records are then kept within a secure provincial database.

Parents/legal guardians are responsible for:

  • providing proof of your child’s immunization to your local public health unit; and
  • keeping your child’s immunization information up to date.

Vaccine records can be submitted to Grey Bruce Public Health in the following ways:

Online: We have an online Immunization reporting system, ICON (Immunization Connect Ontario). This is a secure site. Follow the steps below:

  1. Have your health card number available.
  2. Click this link and follow the prompts: Grey Bruce Health Unit | Immunization Connect | Home (ehealthontario.ca).

By Fax: 519-376-7782

By Email: immunization@publichealthgreybruce.on.ca

Please note: The maximum file size we can receive is 10Mb. Public Health staff will not receive emails that exceed this size, so information submitted would not get processed. Please save your files in a smaller size or send files in separate emails to break up the file sizes.

By Phone: 519-376-9420 – Then press ‘2’ to go directly to the nurse on-call.

When does Grey Bruce Public Health hold in-school immunization clinics and what vaccines are offered at these clinics?

Grey Bruce Public Health holds immunization clinics in both elementary and secondary schools to support students in staying up to date on required and recommended vaccines. This includes schools within the Bluewater District and Bruce Grey Catholic District school boards as well as École St-Dominique Savio in Owen Sound, and local private and Parochial schools.

Elementary School Vaccine Clinics are typically held in the fall and spring.

The following vaccines are offered to Grade 7 students during these clinics:

Secondary School Vaccine Clinics are held in the winter.

The following vaccines are available for eligible Secondary School Students during these clinics:

What happens if my child is not up to date on required vaccines?

If Grey Bruce Public Health does not have a complete immunization record, you will receive notices about the missing information. This will give you an opportunity to update your child’s record or to find the missing information and return a copy of it to the Health Unit within a given amount of time.

If Grey Bruce Public Health does not receive this information in the given time, you may receive a Notice of Suspension until the appropriate documentation and/or immunizations are received.

Can my child receive an exemption from requiring a mandated vaccine?

Even though immunization is mandatory in Ontario, some children may be exempted under the following special circumstances:

  • Medical reasons;
  • Non-medical reasons.

MEDICAL REASONS:

Medical exemptions must be completed by a Medical Doctor or Nurse Practitioner and will be given to children whose health could be affected by vaccinations. Children who are already immune and have evidence to support this may be exempted by a Medical Doctor or Nurse Practitioner as well.

NON-MEDICAL REASONS:

Parents who do not want their child to have immunizations, or do not want a specific vaccine, can obtain a non-medical exemption. It is important that parents make an informed decision about not vaccinating their child for a non-medical reason, as this decision impacts both the protection of the child and the protection of the community.

For children attending a childcare centre, who are not yet registered for school:

Parent/legal guardian can obtain an Affidavit form online at https://forms.mgcs.gov.on.ca/en/dataset/?q=vaccine+exemption or by calling Grey Bruce Public Health at 519-376-9420 or 1-800-263-3456. The form must by witnessed by a Commissioner. Please note that a completed CCEYA Affidavit form only exempts children from immunization while they are attending a licenced childcare facility. There is a different process to be completed once they are of school age.

For children who are registered for school:

As of Sept. 1, 2017, a parent/legal guardian who is seeking a non-medical exemption from immunizations for one or more of their children are required by the Immunization of School Pupils Act to:

  1. Perform an immunization education session with their local Health Unit, and
  2. Submit a properly completed ISPA “Statement of Conscience or Religious Belief” affidavit to the Health Unit.

Both steps must be completed before an exemption can be processed. Please call Grey Bruce Public Health at 519-376-9420 or 1-800-263-3456, and press '2' for more information.

 

EXCLUSION FROM SCHOOL OR CHILDCARE CENTRE

In the event of an outbreak or suspected outbreak of a vaccine preventable disease included in the Immunization of School Pupils Act or Child Care and Early Years Act, individuals who have not been vaccinated may, at the discretion of the medical officer of health, be excluded from licensed child care settings or schools during the outbreak.

What is the Health Care Consent Act and where can I find more information about it?

What resources are available to teachers in Grey-Bruce to support vaccination?

Grey-Bruce has high immunization rates. It is important for our community health that these rates stay high and continue to grow.

See our Immunization Curriculum for Schools document, created to support teachers, and students to learn about what immunizations are, and how they are beneficial to everyone’s overall health. This will better equip students to make decisions about their health in the future.

 

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