Over the past several months, multiple outbreaks of the measles have been reported across the nation, including Texas. In fact, on July 29 state health officials confirmed that 21 cases of measles have been diagnosed in Texas so far this year.
This has caused a major discussion amongst parents on whether or not unvaccinated children are or should be allowed to attend a daycare facility and/or public or private school.
According to a 2018 report from the Public Health Region 8 Field Office in Floresville, the percent of school students with conscientious exemption from immunizations filed at the school district level in Atascosa County was 0.24 percent up from 0.20 percent in 2017.
Five local daycares in Atascosa County – Blossoms Preschool Academy in Pleasanton, First Baptist Church Child Development Center in Pleasanton, Kid Depot in Pleasanton, Pleasanton Learning Center and Tendercare Learning Center in Jourdanton each require parents to provide a copy of their child’s shot records BEFORE attending their facilities.
“The state made it mandatory that each child has their shots up-to-date in all daycares,” said Naomi Ybarra, assistant director at Pleasanton Learning Center. “However, there is an exception in some facilities for parents who choose to not vaccinate their child due to conscientious beliefs.”
Prior to attending a daycare facility, the child’s parent must provide a notarized affidavit, also signed by their child’s doctor, stating due to “conscientious reasons, I do not want my child to receive the following vaccinations” and check them off a list.
“It’s state law that every daycare facility provide shot records for each child that attends. The state audits our immunization records each year to make sure each kid is up-to-date on their vaccines,” said Ybarra. “But as long as the parents to an unvaccinated child provides us with that original signed affidavit, not a copy, their child can attend our facility and we are in good standing with the state.”
Ybarra stated Pleasanton Learning Center and Tendercare Learning Center in Jourdanton each accept the signed affidavit as did Martha Brymer of Blossoms. Kid Depot director, Yolanda Huizar stated their facility requires a copy of each child’s shot records before attending. FBC Pleasanton CDC Director, Nancy Kennerly asked that parents call them to inquire about the center’s vaccination policy. However, she did say they encourage all parents to vaccinate their children.
Pleasanton, Jourdanton, Poteet and Charlotte ISDs each require their students at all grade levels to have up-to-date immunizations in order to attend school.
However, Pleasanton ISD does honor those families who, for medical reasons or reasons of conscience, including a religious belief, do not wish their children to be immunized.
For specifics on each daycare or school district’s policy on immunizations, please contact the designated facility of your choice.