Staying Healthy: Preventing infectious diseases in early childhood education and care services – draft sixth edition

Closed 15 Oct 2023

Opened 6 Sep 2023


NHMRC is inviting feedback on Staying healthy: Preventing infectious diseases in early childhood education and care services (draft sixth edition)

What is “Staying Healthy”?

Staying Healthy provides advice to everyone working in early childhood education and care services – including approved providers, service leaders, educators and other staff – as well as parents and carers, to help minimise the spread of illness and infectious diseases. It is one of the most widely used NHMRC publications and informs standards for early childhood education and care services across Australia.

The draft sixth edition has been developed by the Staying Healthy Advisory Committee comprised of members with expertise in child health, infectious disease, microbiology, public health, general practice, environmental health and the administration, regulation and staffing of the early childhood education sector.

What has changed in the draft sixth edition?

The advice in the draft sixth edition builds on and updates the fifth edition which was published in 2013. The draft sixth edition seeks to ensure the guidance is comprehensive and clear and structure has been updated to make information easier to find. Key changes include:

  • updated advice on the use of gloves and hand hygiene practices
  • the inclusion of five key practice recommendations which reference and complement guidance throughout Staying healthy
  • detailed advice about excluding people who are sick
  • new fact sheets for symptoms and specific conditions.

There have been some changes made to the structure and order of information in the draft sixth edition: 

  • Introduction 
  • Part 1: Understanding infection 
  • Part 2: Preventing infection 
  • Part 3: A healthy environment 
  • Part 4: Managing infection 
  • Glossary 
  • Fact sheets 
  • Posters 

The final version of the sixth edition of Staying Healthy will be published on NHMRC’s website across a series of webpages and will also be available as a downloadable accessible PDF document. All fact sheets and posters will also be available for downloading as individual PDF documents. 

How can I make a submission?

Submissions should be made via the online form.

The form invites responses on questions covering a range of topics and provides space for additional comments. This is an opportunity to provide any additional feedback not covered in the consultation questions.  

You do not have to respond to all questions. Please focus on the topics of most interest to you and/or your organisation.

Where possible, please refer to the relevant line and page number of the relevant draft PDF when providing comments.

The closing date for submissions is Sunday 15 October 2023. Late submissions will not be accepted.

Please see below for a downloadable version of the draft sixth edition, together with the draft fact sheets, draft posters, draft administrative and technical report and draft technical reports. You may choose to open any document or link in a new tab by right clicking and selecting "Open link in new tab". 

Why your views matter

The information provided during this consultation will help us to understand what is working well in Staying Healthy and how the information could be further improved. Your feedback will help to ensure that Staying Healthy is as user friendly and relevant as possible.

What happens next

At the end of the consultation period, all submissions will be considered by the Staying Healthy Advisory Committee in consultation with NHMRC.

It is expected that the sixth edition of Staying Healthy will be published by mid-2024.


  • Young people
  • Women
  • Parents
  • Men
  • General public
  • Families
  • Carers and guardians
  • Academics
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People
  • Commonwealth agencies
  • Local governments
  • State government agencies
  • Health professionals
  • Health workforce
  • Non-government organisations
  • Businesses
  • Community groups
  • Contracted service providers


  • Children's health
  • Communicable diseases 
  • Dental health
  • Food standards
  • Immunisation 
  • Infection control 
  • Preventative health 
  • Policy Development
  • Guideline Development
  • Medical or Scientific Research
  • Early education and care 
  • Family day care