Legislation to allow childcare centres to ban children who are not vaccinated is being introduced to increase immunisation rates in New South Wales.

The State Opposition says it will consult the childcare sector and public on the draft bill, which will allow preschools to choose whether to accept children who are not immunised.

The change is being proposed to encourage parents to vaccinate their children and prevent the spread of preventable diseases.

The Opposition's health spokesman Dr Andrew McDonald says many diseases could be easily prevented if more children were vaccinated.

"At the moment the immunisation rates are so low that unless we act the future epidemics of vaccine preventable conditions are simply a matter of time," he said.

"It's now about giving preschools the choice as to whether they will or won't admit fully immunised children."

He says he does not believe the proposed legislation will infringe on parental rights, with childcare options still available for parents.

"It's to encourage all children whose parents agree with immunisation to have their children fully immunised," he said.

"Those who choose not to have their children immunised will be able to choose a preschool, one that accepts children that aren't immunised."

But anti-vaccination campaigners say allowing childcare centres to ban children who are not immunised is a backward step in democracy.

Greg Beattie from the Australian Vaccination Network, which opposes immunisation, says it could trick parents into vaccinating.

"I imagine it probably will because what happens with all of these things is that parents become confused, and the way that this law will be marketed to the community is, 'oh we now have compulsory vaccination'," Mr Beattie said.

"So parents will start to think they have to do these things to get their children into childcare or to get them into preschool."

Premier Barry O'Farrell says the NSW Government will consider the details of the proposed legislation.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard says she agrees in principle, but has not endorsed the NSW move.

She says she believes in sending a strong message to parents about the importance of vaccination.

"I am concerned about vaccination rates, I am a big supporter of vaccination," she said.

"I can understand in communities why people are worried about this and want to see rates moving up."

 

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