My name is Helen Torrez, and I am a family child care provider in Merced County. I’m not sure if you all have heard but because of new legislation that was passed last year (Senate Bill 792), there are some new immunizations required for family child care providers this year. I wanted to make sure that other providers were aware of this but also remind you to get your immunizations and your files with proof of immunizations for your daycare up to date.
The new rule requires that as of September 1, 2016, all family child care providers, as well as our daycare assistants and volunteers, must be immunized against influenza (flu), pertussis (whooping cough), and measles. You may be up-to-date on your pertussis and measles vaccinations since they are fairly common but you can check with your doctor to obtain your vaccination records and make sure you ask your staff to do the same.
Be sure to ask any new daycare assistants you may hire for their records that show they’ve been immunized as well. It’s ok if they need time to get their records from their doctor. They just have to sign a statement for you that says they have been immunized. Then the new assistant is able to work for you up to 30 days while they’re getting their vaccination records in order.
If you or your staff do not want the influenza vaccine, you need to sign a declaration stating you have declined it. However, if you, as a provider, or your staff do not opt out, it’s recommended that we get the influenza vaccine between August 1st and December 1st every year.
Be sure to keep your vaccination records or proof from a licensed physician that the vaccinations would be harmful to you or your staff, OR evidence of disease immunity from a licensed physician for yourself and your assistants or volunteers in your daycare’s personnel records. Licensing Program Analysts will be making sure that these documents are available in your personnel files and can review them when requested. The Licensing Program Analysts are able to cite us if a daycare is found in violation.
Keep in mind, these new rules regarding influenza, pertussis, and measles are in addition to the current requirement that we all obtain a written tuberculosis clearance.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact Child Care Providers United of California (CCPU/UDW) at [email protected] or by phone at 1-888-226-7510.
Helen Torrez is a family child care provider in Merced County.