Immunizations for Staff and Children
Contagious diseases still spread in Ontario, though some can be prevented with vaccines. For child care registrants and/or employees who choose to delay or not vaccinate, there are some important responsibilities to consider.
- Diseases can spread even when others are not showing symptoms.
- Identify early signs and symptoms of diseases to know when to seek immediate medical assistance.
- In the event of a contagious disease at the child care centre, the child or staff may need to go home to prevent the spread of disease.
- Follow recommended isolation procedures to protect other children, especially infants, young children, pregnant women and staff with poor immune systems.
- When visiting a doctor, emergency room or medical clinic, let the medical staff know that the person is not vaccinated. This may assist the doctor to consider the possibility of vaccine preventable diseases. Medical clinics may also need to take precautions to prevent the spread of disease to others.
- For staff and parents who are pregnant, advise they talk to their doctor about the risks and other ways to protect themselves and their baby from vaccine preventable diseases (e.g., whooping cough, congenital rubella).
The Child Care and Early Years Act (CCEYA), Section 35 (1) of O. Reg. 137/2015 (General) requires child care operators to collect registrant’s immunization information or a valid exemption before admission to the centre. Children attending a child care should receive vaccines according to their age under the Ontario’s Publicly Funded Immunization Schedule.
Child Care Centres are not required to keep immunization records or exemptions of grade-school children (e.g., kids in before or after-school programs).
Parents who cannot locate their child’s immunization record can check with their health care provider. For foreign immunization records, contact Toronto Public Health’s Immunization Centre at 416-392-1250 for free translation.
Before commencing employment, child care centre staff are required to be vaccinated according to the recommendation made by the local medical officer of health (under Section 57 (1), O. Reg. 137/2015). Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health’s vaccine recommendations for staff of child care centres are listed below.
The operator must collect and maintain the information on file at the facility. Although not a requirement for students and volunteers under the Act, students and volunteers should also receive these vaccinations for their personal protection. Staff, students and volunteers should see their health care provider to determine their immunization status and to obtain any missing vaccines.
|Vaccine||Description||Recommendations for Staff and Documentation Required *|
|Hepatitis B vaccine||Persons with hepatitis B may not show symptoms but can spread the virus through body fluids. For personal protection, all staff should be vaccinated.||
Some may have received this vaccine in infancy, or as a combination vaccine for travel – e.g., Twinrix®
|Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR) vaccine||Measles is very contagious and can spread through the air even after the infectious person has left the room.||
|Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis (Tdap) vaccine||Tetanus is naturally occurring in the soil. Pertussis, also called the “100 day cough” is very dangerous to young infants.||
|Varicella (chickenpox) vaccine||Chickenpox can spread through the air, days before the rash is present. It can lead to severe complications.||
|Seasonal Influenza vaccine||Staff working with children under 5 years of age are strongly encouraged to receive this vaccine each year.||
*Or a valid exemption (see below)
Parents who choose not to have their child vaccinated or staff who choose not to be vaccinated may submit an exemption for religious or philosophical reasons. Exemptions must be documented using approved ministry forms. Completed forms are to be kept in the child’s or employee’s file.
In the event of an outbreak or case of a vaccine preventable disease (e.g., measles), children and staff who are not immunized may be excluded from the child care centre. This is to minimize the risk of spreading the disease.
- Statement of Medical Exemption form, must be completed by a legally qualified medical practitioner.
- Statement of Conscience or Religious Belief Affidavit, must be notarized by a Commissioner of Oaths.