The latest child care related news, views and reviews July 10, 2013
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July 1 saw the introduction of an updated Immunisation Schedule, which now includes compulsory chickenpox and two more meningitis vaccines. Are your kids up to date? Most states will now not allow kids to enrol in child care if they don't have proof of being fully vaccinated. We also look at the issue of TV – what's appropriate, what's not and actually is TV watching good for our kids?

Vaccination schedule update

vaccination scheduleFrom July 1 2013, the vaccine schedule for pre-schoolers will include Varicella (chickenpox) for the first time and also two new meningitis shots. Children who are not up to date with their vaccines* will not be allowed to enrol in child care centres.

Recently we ran an article on the debate over vaccinations and whether children should be allowed to attend child care without them. It seems that overwhelmingly people are in favour of compulsory vaccination with 89% who took part in a poll by SBS saying they should be compulsory.

The Age reported that the National Health Performance Authority had found 70,000 children were not fully immunised in Australia, and following Bills introduced into state parliaments, it is now the law in most states, or will shortly be becoming so, for all children to be up to date with their vaccines before enroling in formal child care.

Children who haven't had their shots won't be able to attend child care, and centres will be fined if they don't hold proof of a child's vaccination status under a crackdown by the NSW government.

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by Sophie Cross

TVIt’s no surprise that parents are increasingly resorting to the TV to entertain the kids while they work at home, do the chores, make dinner, relax after work etc etc. And despite calls to limit TV time and go back to old school children’s activity such as reading, playing games or playing in the garden, it seems kids are watching more TV than ever before, and the quality is not good.

The prevalence of DSs, iPads, computers, Playstations and other interactive gaming devices also mean that children are increasingly watching TV shows on other devices as well as the family TV and are now exposed and interacting with content that is most likely well beyond their years.

As with everything it seems, children are no longer satisfied with programs designed for their age, preferring programs for kids much older than they are. This is of course particularly likely in households with a number of children of different ages, when the smaller ones just end up watching what the older ones are watching.

Has it always been so? Yes, most likely, but in previous generations, you basically watched what you watched on TV in the living room within earshot of your parents and if anything dodgy came on, you were told to turn it over or turn it off. There weren’t all these other gadgets with Internet capability for hours of watching TV shows, music videos and strange enactments of Barbie stories on YouTube.

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