Under the Health (Immunisation) Regulations 1995 early childhood centres are required to keep an immunisation register of children attending.
The regulations specify ‘centres”, not “services”, and therefore exclude home-based services – however, home-based service providers may choose to voluntarily meet this requirement.
Centre policy and procedure
Centres should have a policy on child and adult immunisation, that includes a written procedure for keeping an immunisation register and meets the requirements of the Health (Immunisation) Regulations 1995. See an Immunisation and Infectious Diseases Policy template and guidance
Who must be on the register
Persons who legally must be on the register are:
- All children enrolled at the service who are aged 15 months or over.
- All children attending the service who attain the age of 15 months.
Persons not required to be on the register are:
- Staff (and educators), volunteers or any adults caring for and educating children.
- Children younger than 15 months.
Use of the child’s immunisation certificate
The immunisation certificate is in the child’s Well Child Tamariki Ora My Health Book. It must be signed by the child’s nurse, vaccinator, or doctor. Should the book or certificate from within the book be lost, doctors can look up the child’s immunisation status and complete a new certificate.
The Act allows centres to inspect the child’s immunisation certificate, take extracts from it, or copy all or part of the certificate. However, in terms of compliance with Privacy Law, we recommend that any copy of the certificate be returned to the family and not stored at the service.
Information that must be recorded in the register
Only information from the certificate (not provided verbally or by other means) can be recorded on the register, and exactly as shown on the certificate. If parents or guardians have not provided a child’s certificate, then this should be recorded on the register.
- the full name of the child:
- the child’s date of birth:
- if the child’s parent or caregiver has provided an immunisation certificate:
- where an immunisation certificate has been provided, the following information extracted from the certificate:
- whether the child has been fully immunised against the diseases for the time being specified in the National Immunisation Schedule:
- if the child has not been fully immunised, those diseases against which, in the vaccinator’s opinion, the child has been immunised or has developed laboratory-proven natural immunity:
Maintaining the register
Centres can ask a child’s parents or guardians to contact their family doctor or nurse to have the child’s immunisations brought up-to-date and the child’s certificate updated.
Child right to enrol and attend the centre
Nothing in the Act regarding keeping an immunisation register limits or affects the right of the child to enrol and attend an early childhood centre.
Access to the register and privacy
The centre must ensure that the immunisation register is available at all times for inspection by the Medical Officer of Health, Health Protection Officers, and any persons who are authorised in writing, by a Medical Officer of Health or a Health Protection Officer, to inspect the register.
Under privacy law, parents have a right to see information recorded about their child only. Care must be taken not to disclose information about a child to any person other than the child’s parent/ caregiver or those (see above) who have a legal right to inspect the register.
Failing to meet minimum standards
The Ministry of Education needs to know:
- If you are concerned children’s needs are not being met.
- If you are concerned a service is not meeting a minimum legal requirement.
READ MORE: How to make a complaint and your options.
CAUTION: This page and the information here is provided as part of the My ECE Guide to Regulations and Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education Services (The Guide). The Guide does not purport to be a full and accurate interpretation of all statutory provisions relating to early childhood education services. While best efforts have been used in preparing this guide, no representations or warranties of any kind are made and My ECE assumes no liabilities of any kind with respect to the accuracy or completeness of the content. Please note that the Government and Ministry of Education may change, update, or alter any of the requirements at any time. Please help to keep the information on this page up to date by letting us know of changes that need to be made.
Thank you! Kia pai te rā
Immunisation Register. Published in the My ECE Guide to Regulations and Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education Services, prepared by Dr Sarah Alexander and Warwick Marshall.
Last reviewed: 20 November 2022