Confidentiality Policy

Rationale

In order to fully cater for children’s individual needs, we need to obtain personal information from parents/carers about their child. We respect parents/carers’ privacy and am committed to ensuring that parents/carers can be confident that information will only be used to enhance the welfare of their child and that any information collected will be stored to retain confidentiality according to the Data Protection Act 1998.

Procedure

Both written and verbal information gained about children and their families will be treated as confidential and not shared without parents/carers’ permission unless there are concerns regarding child abuse. Sensitive conversations with parents/carers will be conducted outside the hearing of other parents/carers – this may be through an arranged meeting or phone call if not possible when child is collected.

To comply with our legal responsibilities, written information will be shared with Ofsted if requested. This can happen as part of an inspection or at any other time there is a reason for Ofsted to inspect it. Any requests for personal information regarding minded children or families by other parents/carers, childminders or members of the public will be strictly denied.

Written information will be kept after a child leaves for the amount of time stipulated by Ofsted and/or the setting’s insurance provider before being shredded. In some cases this is 21 years and 4 months in line with the Human Rights Act 1998. Parents have the right under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 to request to view all records kept about their child. Requests need to be in writing and a response given within 20 days or a valid reason given.

If we are a member of a quality assurance scheme, the Co-ordinator may also request to see written records. The reason for this would be entirely to monitor the effectiveness of our childminding practice and not to obtain information about the children or their families. Copies would never be provided for this purpose, but the records viewed in the childminding setting.

Any information or photographs that are stored on our computer will be protected by a strong password, firewall and virus checker. We have checked if we need to register with the Information Commissioner’s Office if we keep electronic records of children. If we keep children’s records on a commercially produced system, We have checked that the site is a ‘secure site’.

It is likely that you will also find out confidential information about our family through conversation and from spending time in our home. We request that you treat this information as confidential and not share with others without permission.

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