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Disease prevention in education and care services

Disease outbreaks in early childhood education and care services and schools are more common due to groups of children playing closely together. Services and schools play an important role in limiting the spread of infectious diseases by:

  • excluding unwell children from the service while they are infectious
  • upholding hygiene standards
  • educating parents.

Exclusion times for contagious conditions

Some medical conditions require children to be excluded from school or child care to prevent the spread of infectious diseases among other children and staff, as well as the community.

Contagious conditions

Contagious conditions are infectious diseases that can spread from person to person through:

  • the air by breathing in infectious droplets
  • contact with germs from faeces passed via the hand to the mouth
  • germs on hands transferred to broken skin, eyes, nose or mouth
  • contact with germs in blood or other body secretions (such as urine, saliva, nasal secretions) onto broken skin, eyes, nose or mouth.

Some conditions may require a child to receive a medical clearance from a local doctor or local public health physician before returning to school or child care. If any infectious disease is suspected or confirmed in your service, contact your public health unit for advice.


The Time out: Keeping your child and other kids health (PDF, 702KB) poster provides information on the recommended minimum exclusion periods for infectious conditions. It assists medical practitioner, schools, pre-schools and child care centres meet the minimum requirements of the Public Health Act 2005.

Time Out Brochure (PDF, 722KB) information for parents about infectious diseases and exclusion periods in Queensland early childhood education centres and schools.

National guidelines

The Staying Healthy resource contains advice on ways to manage infection risks, including exclusion periods, and posters and factsheets that can be downloaded.

Gastroenteritis outbreaks

Early childhood education services services

Gastroenteritis outbreaks in early childhood education and care services can be disruptive to staff and families that attend the centre, impacting on staff attendance as well as parents work life.

Information for directors and staff of early childhood education and care services (PDF, 284KB) assists centres to manage gastroenteritis outbreaks in line with the Staying Healthy guidelines.

School settings

Managing spills of body substances in school settings (PDF, 813KB) is designed to assist staff in school to safely manage spills of vomit, blood, faeces, and urine to prevent widespread transmission of gastroenteritis within the school facility.

A camp facility

Guidelines for camp managers and those supervising camping groups (PDF, 460KB) are designed for camp managers and those supervising camping groups, such as teachers and community group leaders, to prevent and manage gastroenteritis within a camp facility.

Staff immunisations

Find out which immunisations are recommended for people who work with children.

More information

Last updated: 19 August 2019