A survey was carried out to identify the availability and quality of guidelines for the prevention and control of communicable disease and procedures in use in child day care centres within the South West Thames Regional Health Authority. A sample of 50 day care centres was investigated including those funded by social services and privately funded day care centres. Policies for the prevention and control of communicable disease for children and staff showed a wide variation between different centres. Exclusion criteria were unclear especially in relation to carriers of the hepatitis B virus and HIV positive children. Channels for reporting and seeking advice were inconsistent. It is recommended that clear and up to date written guidelines on the prevention and control of communicable diseases should be available in all day care centres with clear indications of good practice and channels for reporting and advice. It is desirable that guidelines are agreed by the different health and local authorities throughout the region.
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