Two childcare centres to ban unvaccinated kids

ALMOST all of Mackay's child care centres are still undecided about whether or not to ban unvaccinated children from their facilities from January.

As parents are being asked to enrol or re-enrol their children in centres for the new year, many are no closer to knowing what stance has been adopted, after legislation was passed in the Queensland parliament in October giving centres the right to refuse enrolments from unvaccinated youngsters.

The Daily Mercury canvassed centres in the region this week, with just two so far confirming they would impose the ban.

One of those two, Mackay Child Care Centre on River St, recently held a committee meeting and director Desiree O'Neill said the eight attendees were unanimous in their opinion.

"Most of the parents on our committee were passionate about that. They prefer to have all children vaccinated," Ms O'Neill said.

She said the ban would have exceptions.

"That's unless they have medical problems, or natural immunity which is certified in writing - we would allow them," she said.

Ms O'Neill said the committee, made up of parents and guardians, was worried about the risk of disease spread, should unvaccinated children attend the centre.

"They were concerned, especially for the babies in the nursery, because they're not yet fully vaccinated," she said.

Ms O'Neill would not confirm if any currently enrolled children were unvaccinated, but said the ban would only apply to new enrolments.

Just one other facility, Roslyn's Day Care, confirmed it would stop unvaccinated children from enrolling.

Another centre, C&K Rural View, said it would not impose a ban.

"We don't believe in excluding children on the basis of their immunisation status," a spokesman said.



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