As a child minder I will receive lots of information not only on the child but also on their families too. This information could include both written and verbal information and could range from things like birth dates, addresses, health and dietary needs, allergies and general information about them.
Any information I receive should remain confidential at all times, the information should only be accessible to those authorized to have access to it, this means I should never discuss any information with anyone else without parents/guardians written consent. It is so important to maintain confidentiality to protect the child and family, to gain trust between us all, it is also a business regulation as well as a legal requirement. If this is not adhered to then there could be a risk of prosecution.
All information stored at the child minders home must be kept secure and kept in a locked cupboard, filling cabinet or in a box with a padlock on. This is to ensure no one else can gain access to it. If you have information on personal computers these should be password secure and anything on phones such as digital photos, these must be secure with a pass code and also with the possibility of downloading an app to encrypt information/photos.
You must always be mindful when discussing information about children with parents/guardians. You will need to discuss with them about their child when they drop off/pick up but you also need to be aware of the other children being around and that they could be listening in and there could be other parents within earshot or even members of your own family. If it is something that should not really be discussed with others around, then it may be best to speak to the parent and maybe arrange a more suitable time for it to be discussed for example via telephone or for the parent to come back at a more suitable time. If and when you are at playgroups/child minder drop-ins you must always make sure that you are not disclosing any information to others.
The only time I would break this rule of confidentiality is if I was to suspect that a child's safety was at risk. If the police came to me and requested any information I would make sure that I only passed on the information they were actually seeking and no more.
Confidentiality also works both ways and it would be important for me that parents/guardians of minded children also respect this on my behalf, and I would hope and like to think they would not discuss information they learn/hear about me, my family or my home with others.
Confidentiality policies should be signed by both parts to ensure this is adhered to on both parts. I would make sure that when showing my confidentiality policy and getting it signed that I would ask and gain written permission for certain information to be shared such as
consent to give information in a medical emergency consent to take photos of their child, which may then be used within the child's learning journal as well as possibly shared with other parents of minded children that I care for, and used for displays in the setting.
Consent for local papers to take photos if we were out and about and for these to be published with their name etc. consent to share their child's developmental records and observations with the inclusion officer at Bracknell Forest if I felt the need to.
“ If a parent confides in you it is of paramount importance that the information they tell you is kept confidential at all times. Likewise you will need to know how to respond to a parent who asks you questions about another child whom you are caring for or their family”
(The Inside Guide to Being a CHILDMINDER, Allison Lee, 2008, Continuum International Publishing Group, page 119)
The Data protection act 1998 is a legislation set out by law, it was established to