Important changes to immunisations and exclusion periods – Victorian ECEC take note
Early childhood education and care (ECEC) services in Victoria are being called to note the important changes to Public Health and Wellbeing Regulations, which were amended in 2019, and are now in effect.
On 14 December 2019 the Public Health and Wellbeing Regulations 2019 replaced the Public Health and Wellbeing Regulations 2009 following an extensive review process.
Of the most interest to the ECEC sector, however, will be the section which relates to Immunisation and exclusions (infectious disease prevention in schools and children’s services)
The regulations cover a range of measures to prevent and respond to the spread of infectious diseases and minimise public health risks associated with certain businesses, to protect the health and wellbeing of Victorians.
The exposure draft Public Health and Wellbeing Regulations and the associated regulatory impact statement were released for public consultation between 20 August and 30 September 2019. Consultation occurred via the Victorian Government’s online consultation platform Engage.
Consultation allowed stakeholders and the community to comment on the proposed approach and the associated draft regulations. The department received 82 submissions and 153 survey responses.
Consultation feedback was carefully reviewed and helped inform the new Public Health and Regulations 2019. The final response takes into consideration a range of stakeholder concerns and viewpoints, and seeks to balance the priorities of protecting public health and reducing regulatory burden.
Following the review, a Statement of Reasons was created, which broadly identifies the issues and themes raised during consultation and provides reasons for the directions taken in the new Public Health and Wellbeing Regulations 2019. Stakeholders and members of the community are encouraged to view the Statement of Reasons here.
In essence, the changes in the Public Health and Wellbeing Regulations 2019 were made with several minor amendments to the exposure draft to improve the clarity, operation and practicality of the regulations.
To view the changes, as they specifically relate to exclusion periods in ECEC, see here.