Federal Labor MP Kate Ellis said Thursday that the South Australian government should make reforms to the laws that currently allow unvaccinated children to attend childcare centres. In other states, the laws have been changed to allow the childcare centres to refuse the children whose parents did not have their children vaccinated.
She added that the childcare centres should also disclose the vaccination rates to the parents admitting their children at the centre.
“At the moment, South Australian parents would not be aware if they enrolled their child in a local childcare facility and how many unvaccinated children their child was playing alongside every day,” the ABC quoted her as saying. “I think that could be potentially dangerous and at a minimum, parents, I think, have a right to know.”
In South Australia, it is still illegal to say no to a child in need of childcare on these grounds.
“The current arrangements mean parents are flying blind when trying to make sure their children are in safe environments,” Ellis said in a letter to SA Child Development Minister Susan Close, as quoted by the SBS.
Close said it is possible to make enrolments subject to contingency but declined to refuse children who are already marginalised. She added that childcare centres did not require to disclose the number of unvaccinated children in their care to the parents since the vaccinated children are already protected.
“We are considering a number of measures that can be enacted at a state level to encourage the take-up of vaccinations and maintain the vital level of immunity which keeps us all safer,” she said on Thursday.
According to a recent report by National Health Performance Authority, 91 percent of one-year-olds, 87.8 percent of two-year-olds and 90.5 percent of five-year-olds are fully vaccinated in SA. In Glenelg, Adelaide’s beach suburb, it was 82.1 percent, which was among the 10 lowest list of suburbs in the nation.
“There’s always going to be some variation, but it is disappointing that some of the well-to-do suburbs are not doing as well as some other suburbs,” SA’s chief medical officer Paddy Philips said.