Immunization Requirements for Child Care Centres and Schools

Important information for Parents/Guardians

Parent(s)/Legal Guardian(s) are responsible for updating Ottawa Public Health (OPH) every time their child receives an immunization from their doctor.
Your child's health care provider or school is not mandated to report your child's immunization to OPH.

OPH is required to assess and maintain the immunization records of children who attend licensed child care centres and schools.


Immunization requirements for child care registration

Upon registration at a licensed child care centre, parent(s)/guardian(s) must provide a copy of their child's immunization record to the child care provider and to Ottawa Public Health (OPH).

Under the "Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014 (CCEYA)", children attending childcare in Ontario are required to be vaccinated against:

  • Diphtheria
  • Tetanus
  • Pertussis (Whooping Cough)
  • Polio
  • Haemophilus Influenza Type B (Hib)
  • Measles
  • Mumps
  • Rubella
  • Varicella (Chicken Pox)
  • Invasive Pneumococcal Disease (IPD)
  • Meningococcal Disease
  • Rotavirus

Visit our diseases prevented by routine vaccination page for more information.

Immunization Requirements for School Attendance 

Under the "Immunization of School Pupils Act (ISPA)", children attending school in Ontario are required to be vaccinated against:

  • Diphtheria
  • Tetanus
  • Pertussis (whooping cough)
  • Polio
  • Measles
  • Mumps
  • Rubella
  • Meningococcal Disease
  • Varicella (chickenpox) - for children born in 2010 or later

Visit our diseases prevented by routine vaccination page for more information.

 Update your child's immunization 
Where to receive immunization

All of the immunizations that are required to attend school in Ontario are free at your family doctor, a walk-in clinic, a school clinic or the immunization centre at Ottawa Public Health (OPH).

The Immunization Centre at OPH provides immunization services to children up to 18 years of age and adults having difficulty accessing publicly funded vaccines in the community and/or requiring an assessment of out of country immunization records. The clinic is open during regular business hours, except on statutory holidays, and on evenings on select week- days. The clinic runs by appointment only. If interested in booking an appointment, you can do so by calling the Ottawa Public Health Information Centre at 613-580-6744.

Immunization exemptions

Under the Child Care and Early Years Act (CCEYA) and the Immunization of School Pupils Act (ISPA), a medical exemption or statement of conscience or religious belief are accepted. A parent who objects to immunization due to medical or non-medical reasons must complete a standardized ministry approved exemption form. Please note that any child with a conscience or religious belief exemption, and certain medical exemptions on file will be excluded from attending a child care centre or school in the event of an outbreak related to a vaccine preventable disease until the risk related to the outbreak has ended.

Before submitting an exemption, we encourage you to speak with a nurse to discuss how to best protect your child from vaccine preventable diseases. For any questions related to vaccines or the exemption process, please call Ottawa Public Health (OPH) at 613-580-6744 to speak with a nurse.

Exemption for Child Care Centres

For a medical exemption

If a child attending a licensed child care centre in Ottawa has a medical condition that prevents them from receiving the vaccine or there is evidence of the child's immunity to the disease, making further immunization unnecessary, a medical exemption may be submitted.

  1. Print the Statement of Medical Exemption, Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014.

  2. Have your physician complete the form (note that there may be a cost).

  3. Mail or fax a copy of the completed exemption form to Ottawa Public Health at Attn: Immunization Program, Mail Code 26-44, 100 Constellation Dr., Ottawa, ON, K2G 6J8 or by fax 613-580-9660.

  4. Provide a copy to your child care centre.

  5. Keep the original for your own records.

For a non-medical exemption or a conscience or religious belief exemption

  1. Print and complete the Instruction Form: Statement of Conscience or Religious Belief.
  2. Print and complete the Statement of Conscience or Religious Belief, (Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014).

  3. The Statement must be signed by a parent/guardian and by an Ontario Commissioner for Taking Affidavits, note that there may be a cost (See list of commissioners included in the Instruction Form). You may also visit a City of Ottawa Client Service Centre.

  4. Mail or fax a copy of the completed Statement and Instruction Form to Ottawa Public Health at Attn: Immunization Program, Mail Code 26-44, 100 Constellation Dr., Ottawa, ON, K2G 6J8 or by fax 613-580-9660.

  5. Provide a copy to your child care centre.

  6. Keep the original for your own records.

Exemption for school

For a medical exemption

If a student who attends school in Ottawa has a medical condition that prevents them from receiving the vaccine or there is evidence of your child's immunity to the disease, making further immunization unnecessary, a medical exemption may be submitted.

  1. Print the Statement of Medical Exemption, Immunization School Pupils Act.
  2. Have your health care provider complete the form (note that there may be a cost). This form must be signed by a Physician or Registered Nurse in the Extended Class (Nurse Practitioner) to be valid.
  3. Mail or fax a copy of the completed exemption form to Ottawa Public Health at Attn: Immunization Program, Mail Code 26-44, 100 Constellation Dr., Ottawa, ON, K2G 6J8 or by fax 613-580-9660.
  4. Keep the original for your own records.

For a non-medical exemption or a conscience or religious belief exemption

Starting September 1, 2017 parents/ guardians of students attending school in Ottawa who choose to exempt their child from required immunizations for non-medical reasons will need to do the following:

1. Book an appointment with Ottawa Public Health (OPH) to complete an education session. Contact OPH 613-580-6744 Monday to Friday, 9 am to 4 pm. The education session covers:

  • Basic information about immunization
  • Vaccine safety
  • Immunization and community health
  • Immunization law in Ontario

At the end of the session, a Public Health Nurse will answer your questions. You will then receive a Vaccine Education Certificate signed and dated by OPH.

2. Print and Complete a Statement of Conscience or Religious Belief, Immunization School Pupils Act.

3. The Statement must be signed by a parent/guardian and by an Ontario Commissioner for Taking Affidavits, note that there may be a cost (See list of commissioners included in the Instruction Form). You may also visit a City of Ottawa Client Service Centre.

4. Mail or fax a copy of the completed Statement and Instruction Form to Ottawa Public Health at Attn: Immunization Program, Mail Code 26-44, 100 Constellation Dr., Ottawa, ON, K2G 6J8 or by fax 613-580-9660.

5. Keep the original for your own records. 

New to Canada or Ontario?

Before your child attends a school or childcare centre in Ottawa, we recommend that you contact Ottawa Public Health or your health care provider to review your child's immunization record. This will ensure that your child's immunizations are up to date according to the Publicly Funded Immunization Schedules for Ontario, and that they are fully protected against vaccine preventable diseases.

Frequently Asked Questions

Looking for more information? Visit our Frequently asked questions page.

 

 

 

 

 

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