To assess the record-keeping of child care centres in Victoria with respect to children's vaccination status.
A random sample of 113 centres from a list of over 800 registered Victorian child care centres received a mailed questionnaire on characteristics and policies of the centre, including documentation of attending children's vaccination status.
The response rate was 86.7%; more than 95% of centres had children under two in care. Only 85% of centres kept any record of children's immunisation status, with smaller centres and class 2 centres (occasional care centres) significantly less likely to keep records. Records were updated irregularly. Fewer than half of the centres studied kept a record of whether children had been vaccinated against Haemophilus influenzae type b.
Despite the importance of documenting children's vaccination status, many child care centres have failed to develop adequate systems to record or update records of children's immunisation. This makes exclusion during outbreaks of a vaccine-preventable disease difficult. The ongoing process of accreditation may eventually improve performance, but both legislation and a better educational strategy to improve practice in this area are needed.