Infection Prevention and Control
Infection prevention and control for Early Learning Services and Kohanga Reo
Infectious diseases such as Giardia and Norovirus can spread through ECECs quite rapidly. This is because of the close contact between people and the under-developed hygiene habits of children.
There are several steps that can be taken to help prevent the spread of infections.
- Encourage children to wash their hands after using the toilet, after blowing their nose, after playing with animals, and before they eat. Hand-washing is the best way of preventing the spread of many diseases.
- Keep children away from the ECC while they are sick. No-one suffering from diarrhoea or vomiting should attend an ECC.
- Thorough cleaning needs to be carried out on a regular basis with an effective cleaner and a sanitiser.
To protect other children who attend childcare centres, children and staff suffering from vomiting and/or diarrhoea should not attend their ECC until they have been free from symptoms for 48 hours, unless the vomiting is known to be caused by a non-infectious condition such as car sickness.
Health Protection Officers can provide expert advice on how to prevent the spread of infectious diseases - call 0800 221 555.
The Ministry of Health recommends that children are immunised against:
- Haemophilus Influenzae type B (HIB)
- Hepatitis B
- HPV (nine years and above)
- Pertussis (Whooping cough)
- Pneumococcal disease
While parents may choose not to have their children immunised against any or all of these illnesses, ECCs are required by law to hold a register which clearly identifies the immunisation status of all the children. This is to help protect children in the event of a disease outbreak in the ECC. Health Protection Officers and the Medical Officer of Health must be able to access the immunisation register at any time.
Links to registers: