Required Vaccinations for Child Care Environments
Ensuring that your child has the recommended vaccinations for his or her age can provide added protection against some of the most common childhood diseases. Vaccination requirements vary from state to state. Many child care facilities also require up-to-date immunization records for enrollment in their programs. While some exemptions do exist for children with serious medical issues or families with religious or philosophical objections to vaccinations, most children can benefit from the protection provided by these modern preventive treatments.
Discovery Point Child Development Centers currently operate in four states, each of which has specific rules regarding vaccinations for preschool children.
The state of Tennessee requires children 18 months of age or older to have completed the recommended course of the following vaccines:
- Poliomyelitis (IPV)
- Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis (DTaP)
- Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR)
- Hepatitis A
- Hepatitis B
- Varicella (waived for children who have had chickenpox)
- Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib) for children under five
- Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) for children under five
Preschoolers in Florida must have received DTaP, IPV, MMR, Hib and PCV immunizations prior to enrollment. Additionally, children who have not yet had chickenpox must have received at least one dose of varicella vaccine.
To be eligible to attend daycare or preschool in Georgia, children must have received the recommended doses of the following vaccinations:
- Hepatitis A
- Hepatitis B
- Varicella for children who have not yet contracted chicken pox
The North Carolina Immunization Branch has established a schedule of required vaccinations for entry into preschool. By 19 months of age, children should have received four doses of DTaP, three polio shots, one MMR vaccination, three doses of Hib vaccine, three immunizations against hepatitis B, one dose of varicella and four shots of PCV.
Exemption from Vaccination Requirements
Religious exemptions are generally available for parents who have deeply held spiritual beliefs regarding this practice. Medical exemptions are also available on a temporary or permanent basis for children whose health could be negatively affected by the vaccination process; these exemptions are only available upon physician request. Exemptions based on non-religious personal beliefs, however, are not offered in many states:
- North Carolina offers no provision for vaccination exemptions based solely on personal beliefs or philosophies.
- Florida requires parents with religious objections to vaccination to file Form DH 681; no exemptions are provided for parents with personal beliefs not founded on religion.
- Tennessee allows exemptions for religious reasons but makes no provision for philosophical or personal objections to vaccinations.
- Georgia does not allow for exemptions based on personal non-religious beliefs.
Immunizing your child against these diseases can ensure that they enjoy a higher degree of protection in the preschool environment. Additionally, the herd immunity effect can confer added protections for younger children who may not yet have had the chance to complete a full course of vaccinations.
At Discovery Point, we are committed to protecting your child’s health and to providing the safest environment for fun and learning. Our vaccination requirements are designed to reduce the risk of infection in the classroom and to provide a clean and healthy environment for our students. By making sure that your child has all recommended vaccinations for attendance at Discovery Point, you can protect his or her health and welfare while providing the best possible learning experience for your toddler or preschool-aged child.