Updated 9/1/2021~ Maine law requires every child care program to have on file an updated Certificate of Immunization for every child enrolled in the program. This certificate needs to be in your files within 30 days of admission to your program and updated annually. Under the current law, children are required to have either vaccine administration records, laboratory evidence of immunity, or a physician’s note indicating they are medically exempt for each of these vaccines: Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Diphtheria, Pertussis, Polio, tetanus, Haemophilus Influenza Type B, Varicella, Hepatitis B and Pneumococcal Conjugate.
Maine child care immunization standards (PDF)
Licensed programs are also required to complete the annual Child Care Facilities Immunization Assessment Survey. The assessment survey, which covers any child who is at least two (2) years of age and not yet attending kindergarten, is web-based (electronic) through survey monkey. If you need a hard copy you can request it from the Maine Immunization Program at ImmunizeME.DHHS@maine.gov or 207-287-3746.
2019 survey, , needs to be completed by November 30, 2019.
To access the electronic survey CLICK HERE.
With ongoing discussion on vaccinations questions have arisen about a providers options regarding taking non-immunized children into care. While a provider is required by the FCC Licensing Rule to maintain records of immunization status (Section 12: Health and Medical), providers have the right to require all children to be immunized and not accept any child into care that is not immunized or planning to follow the recommended immunization schedule. If you choose that policy over what is within current Maine Law, be sure it is clearly stated in your contract/handbook. As a small business you are allowed to have a stricter requirement.
If you have families that do not wish to follow recommended immunizations you must maintain a list of those children. The licensee must also include any provider who is not immunized on this list.
If you have children in care, and/or provider that are not immunized, in the event of a disease outbreak they must be excluded from the program until the outbreak no longer exists or the child gets immunized for that specific disease.
What providers are required to have in their policy handbook regarding immunizations is being questioned more as we are seeing more daily news on disease outbreaks. Families are asking what our policies are. Providers are reflecting on their current practices and personal beliefs.
Licensing requires that family child care providers, at minimum, follow state law. The State of Maine requires a copy of your child’s official immunization record be kept on site. Exemptions are allowed, but documentation is required on these. *Update: 9/1/2021 no remaining exemption for religious/philosophical reasons.
To help providers that are looking at their policy around immunizations FCCAM has pulled together some policy samples of different stances on immunization.
The State of Maine requires a copy of your child’s official immunization record be kept on site.
If you have made a decision to not have your child immunized, you will need to supply a signed letter stating your religious or philosophical reasons, or a note from your doctor stating that medical contradictions exist.
Please note, if there is an outbreak of a disease that you will be responsible for keeping your child out of the program until it is safe for him/her to return. There will be no change in fees for this time out of the program.
Licensing Immunization Requirement:
Current state law allows guardians to claim exemptions to immunization requirements based on their personal beliefs and health care provider’s beliefs, and a child’s healthcare professional can authorize medical exemptions to immunization. If you have made a decision to not have your child immunized, you will need to supply a signed letter stating your religious or philosophical reasons, or a note from your doctor stating that medical contradictions exist to meet the State of Maine requirement that a copy of your child’s official immunization record be kept on site.
(Business Name) Immunization Requirement:
I understand the ultimate decision to immunize or not is that of a child’s legal guardian. To participate in the program provided at (business name), I require children to be on the recommended immunization record/schedule, unless there is a special medical reason and then documentation must be provided from the child’s healthcare professional including a signed authorized medical exemption form.
Please note, if there is an outbreak of a disease that you will be responsible for keeping your child out of the program until it is safe for him/her to return, but there will be no waiver in fee due (business name).
There are many expanded samples for illness, exclusion practices, serious injury and death policies in the Business Toolkit on this website.