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Yarm Gwanga Infectious Diseases and Immunisation Guideline

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Section 1 - Overview

(1) Yarm Gwanga is committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for all children, staff and any other persons attending the service. This Guideline will provide clear procedures to follow to manage and minimise the spread of infectious diseases, illnesses and infestations when a child attending Yarm Gwanga:

  1. shows symptoms of an infectious disease; or
  2. has been diagnosed with an infectious disease.

(2) Yarm Gwanga adopts:

  1. the current edition of the National Health and Medical Research Council's (NHMRC) publication Staying Healthy: Preventing infectious diseases in early childhood education and care services;
  2. the Commonwealth Government's Immunise Australia Program; and
  3. the National Immunisation Program Schedule.

(3) For the purposes of clause 168 (2) (c) of the Education and Care Services National Regulations this Guideline is considered to be the policy and procedure.

(4) This Guideline satisfies the following National Quality Standards:

  1. Quality Area 2 Children's Health and Safety
    1. Standard 2.1 Each child’s health is promoted.
      1. Element 2.1.1 Each child's wellbeing and comfort is provided for, including appropriate opportunities to meet each child’s need for sleep, rest and relaxation.
      2. Element 2.1.2 Effective illness and injury management and hygiene practices are promoted and implemented.
    2. Standard 2.2 Each child is protected.
      1. Element 2.2.1 At all times, reasonable precautions and adequate supervision ensure children are protected from harm and any hazard.
      2. Element 2.2.2 Plans to effectively manage incidents and emergencies are developed in consultation with relevant authorities, practised and implemented.
  2. Quality Area 6 Collaborative Partnerships with Families and Communities
    1. Standard 6.1 Supportive Relationships with Families.
      1. Element 6.1.2 The expertise, culture and beliefs of families are respected and families share in decision-making about their child’s learning and wellbeing.
    2. Standard 6.2 Collaborative Partnerships
      1. Element 6.2.3 The service builds relationships and engages with its community.
  3. Quality Area A7 Governance and Leadership  
    1. Standard 7.1 Governance
      1. Element 7.1.2 Systems are in place to manage risk and enable effective management and operation of a quality service.
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Section 2 - Scope

(5) Yarm Gwanga has a duty of care to help limit the spread of illness and infectious diseases. As such this Guideline applies to all UNE Representatives, children and families, and all visitors to the Yarm Gwanga Services.

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Section 3 - Guideline

(6) All Educators at Yarm Gwanga are committed to preventing the spread of illness and infectious diseases through good hygiene practices such as handwashing, effective cleaning procedures, recording immunisation status, monitoring for any symptoms that may indicate the presence of an infectious disease, and complying with recommended exclusion guidelines and timeframes for children, Educators, students and visitors.

(7) Yarm Gwanga adopts the current edition of the National Health and Medical Research Council's (NHMRC) publication Staying Healthy: Preventing infectious diseases in early childhood education and care services. The publication must be referenced to:

  1. determine the steps to implement when there is an occurrence of an illness or infectious disease at the service Yarm Gwanga;
  2. determine the exclusion period and the responsibilities of both educators and other staff, and parents;
  3. inform educators, staff and families about the current information in relation to:
    1. Infectious diseases
    2. Infection control
    3. Hygiene practices
    4. National Immunisation Program Schedule. This Schedule will be displayed in the Yarm Gwanga foyer;
  4. provide the relevant Fact Sheet to place on the notice board in the Yarm Gwanga foyer when there is an occurrence of an infectious disease. This serves as notification to families of the occurrence; and
  5. determine whether to contact the NSW Public Health Unit. Individual Fact Sheets will advise notification requirements.

(8) Where this is an occurrence of a Notifiable Disease Yarm Gwanga will follow all determinations/recommendations provided by the NSW Public Health Unit.

(9) Yarm Gwanga will keep an Immunisation Register which records the immunisation status of each Educator and child enrolled at the Service. The Immunisation Register is based on the template provided within the NSW Health Immunisation Enrolment Toolkit.

(10) Yarm Gwanga will maintain confidentiality of personal information in accordance with the Privacy Management Rule.

(11) Families will:

  1. inform Yarm Gwanga if their child has an infectious disease or has been in contact with a person who has an infectious disease;
  2. upon enrolment provide accurate and current information regarding the immunisation status of their child/ren, and upon subsequent changes whilst enrolled at the service. The following documents must be provided in English or transcribed into English (at the parents expense):
    1. The child's immunisation certificate, or
    2. A certificate certified by a medical practitioner that the child is on an approved vaccination catch-up schedule for the NSW immunisation schedule, or
    3. A certificate certified by a medical practitioner that the child should not be immunised for a vaccine preventable disease due to medical contraindications,
  3. ensure they keep their child/ren home if they are unwell or have an excludable infectious disease in accordance with National Health and Medical Research Council's (NHMRC) publication Staying Healthy: Preventing infectious diseases in early childhood education and care services;
  4. ensure they follow the determinations/recommendations provided by the NSW Public Health Unit where this is an occurrence of a Notifiable Disease. This may include the exclusion from care during outbreaks of certain diseases such as measles and whooping cough (even if your child is well) if he/she has not been medically vaccinated. This includes if the child has been naturopathically or homeopathically vaccinated. The effectiveness of naturopathic or homeopathic vaccinations has not been scientifically proven.

Immunisation for Educators

(12) Occupational recommendations apply for the immunisation of Educators at the Service. It is important that Educators remain up to date with their vaccinations in order to protect themselves as well as children in their care. The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) recommends that individuals who work with children, including child care and pre-school staff (including child care students) and outside school hours carers, should be vaccinated against pertussis (whooping cough), hepatitis A, measles, mumps and rubella (MMR), Varicella (chickenpox), and influenza (required annually). The Service will take all reasonable steps to strongly encourage non-immune workers to be vaccinated.

Authority and Compliance

(13) The Guideline Administrator, Director UNE Life, makes these Guidelines.

(14) UNE Representatives must observe these Guidelines in relation to University matters.

(15) These Guidelines operate as and from the Effective Date.

(16) Previous Policies/Procedures/Guidelines relating to Yarm Gwanga infectious diseases and immunisation are replaced and have no further operation from the Effective Date of this new Guideline.

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Section 4 - Definitions

For the purpose of this Guideline the following definitions apply:

(17) Exclusion: Inability to attend or participate in the program at the service.

(18) Illness: Any sickness and/or associated symptoms that affect the child's normal participation in the program at the service.

(19) Immunisation status: The extent to which a child has been immunised in relation to the recommended immunisation schedule.

(20) Infectious disease: A disease that can be spread, for example, by air, water or interpersonal contact. An infectious disease is designated by a health authority (however described) as a disease that would require the infected person to be excluded from an education and care service.

(21) Notifiable Disease is a disease that must be reported to NSW Health.

(22) Visitor includes, but is not limited to, students on practical placements, volunteers, community members and persons conducting inspections/audits.

(23) Yarm Gwanga refers to both the Yarm Gwanga Preschool & Early Education Centre as well as Yarm Gwanga Vacation Care