Licensed Child Care Student Immunizations
Ontario’s Child Care and Early Years Act (CCEYA) states that a licensed child care centre must ensure that all children in their centre have complete immunization appropriate to their age prior to admission to the licensed child care centre. A record of immunization must be kept as part of each child’s record.
The following vaccines are required for child care centre attendance: diphtheria, tetanus, polio, measles, mumps, rubella, meningococcal disease, pertussis (whooping cough), and varicella (chickenpox).
Parents are responsible for providing the PHU with proof of their children's completed immunizations, unless a valid medical or philosophical/religious exemption is submitted.
The Porcupine Health Unit uses the provincial database “Panorama” to track student immunizations, exemptions and compliance with the Immunization of School Pupils Act. Panorama is used to determine vaccine coverage rates and to identify students eligible for suspension.
Every July, the PHU immunization team completes a review of the vaccination records for all children enrolled in licensed child care centres within the PHU region. Using Panorama, our team identifies children whose immunization records are incomplete or outdated. The PHU will communicate with parents by sending a letter, asking for the required missing details or reminding parents to update their children’s mandatory immunizations as necessary.
What to do if you get a notification letter from the PHU?
If you’ve received a letter from the PHU, your child may be missing vaccines. To update your child’s records, we kindly ask for your help with the following:
Provide a copy of your child’s immunization record:
- Please send a copy of your child’s immunization record to the PHU. This will help us review the document to see if your child needs any more vaccinations.
Get any missing immunizations:
- If your child is missing any vaccinations, we recommend making an appointment with your health care provider or contacting the PHU. We can help you schedule the necessary immunizations.
Report immunizations to the PHU:
- It’s important to report all immunizations to the PHU.
- You can do this in a few ways: Provide the information to the childcare centre. Mail the information to the PHU.
- Visit one of our PHU offices in person.
- Report the information online through ICON
Child Care Staff Immunizations
Before starting their employment at licensed child care centres, child care workers must meet the immunization requirements set forth by the local medical officer of health. This entails being up-to-date with the recommended immunizations or having a valid exemption.
Required immunizations are as follows:
- Combined measles, mumps, rubella vaccine (MMR)
- Adults born prior to 1970 can be assumed to have acquired natural immunity to measles. Adults born in 1970 or later should have a documented dose of MMR vaccine. If they not have a written record of having this vaccine, they should receive a dose of MMR. A second dose of MMR is not necessary for adults working in a daycare.
- Tetanus, diphtheria (td) booster or tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (Tdap) booster
- After adequate immunization in childhood, a Td booster is required every 10 years for adults. If an adult 19-64 years of age was not immunized in adolescence with whooping cough (pertussis), the next Td booster should be replaced by the whooping cough booster (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis). This whooping cough booster vaccine is good for life. It provides protection to adults, while preventing the spread of this highly contagious illness to children and infants.
- Polio booster
- Polio boosters are not required for most adults in Canada. Exceptions are: o adults who have never been vaccinated against polio; o incompletely immunized adults should receive the remaining doses; and o adults at increased risk (e.g., individual traveling to a county where polio is endemic).
Recommended immunizations are as follows:
- Influenza and COVID-19 Vaccines
- Both the influenza and COVID-19 vaccines are strongly recommended for all residents of Ontario. One of the groups at high risk includes children 6 months to 2 years of age. Since child care workers are in direct contact with a high risk population, they are strongly encouraged to stay up to date with covid and influenza vaccines.
It is the responsibility of the Child Care Centre Operator to:
- Keep a record of immunization in each child’s health record and in each staff member’s personnel file.
- Update both child and staff immunization records as necessary.