Confidentiality policy

Statement

It is our intention to respect the privacy of children and their parents and carers, while ensuring that they access high quality preschool care and education. We aim to ensure that all parents and carers can share their information in the confidence that it will only be used to enhance the welfare of their children.

This policy works alongside the Privacy Notice to ensure compliance under General Data Protection Regulation (regulation (EU) 2016/679) (GDPR)

Procedures

To ensure that all those using – and working in – the preschool can do so with confidence, we respect confidentiality in the following way.

  • Parents have ready access to the files and records of their own children but do not have access to information about any other child.
  • Staff will not discuss personal information given by parents with other members of staff, except where it affects planning for the child’s needs. Staff induction includes an awareness of the importance of confidentiality in the role of the key person.
  • Any concerns/evidence relating to a child’s personal safety are kept in a secure, confidential file and are shared with as few people as possible on a “need-to-know” basis. 
  • Personal information about children, families and staff is kept securely locked whilst remaining as accessible as possible.
  • Issues to do with the employment of staff, whether paid or unpaid, remain confidential to the people directly involved with making personnel decisions.
  • Students undertaking recognised qualifications and training are advised of our confidentiality policy and required to respect it. 

If you have a complaint please approach one of the Managers. All complaints will be fully and promptly investigated and if appropriate, action will be taken to remedy the situation.                

All the undertakings above are subject to the paramount commitment of the preschool, which is to the safety and well-being of the child.  Please see also our policy on Safeguarding Children.

Record keeping, client access to records and information sharing.

Statement

In our setting staff and managers can be said to have a “confidential relationship” with families. It is our intention to respect the privacy of children and their parents/carers, while ensuring that they access high quality early years care and education in our setting. We aim to ensure all parents/carers can share their information in the confidence that it will only be used to enhance the welfare of their children. There are record keeping systems in place that meet legal requirement; means of storing and sharing that information takes place within the framework of the Data Protection Act and the Human Rights Act. 

Procedure

  • We always check whether parents regard the information they are sharing as confidential or not.
  • Sometimes parents share information about themselves with other parents as well as staff; the setting cannot be held responsible if information is shared beyond those parents whom the person has “confided” in. 
  • We inform parents when we need to record confidential information beyond the general personal information we keep, e.g. with regard to any injuries or changes in relation to the child or family, any discussions with parents on sensitive matters, any records we are obliged to keep regarding action taken in respect of child protection and any contact and correspondence with external agencies to their child.
  • We keep all records (children, families and staff) securely whilst remaining as accessible as possible.
  • Staff induction, including students, incorporates an awareness of the importance of confidentiality in their roles.
  • In the event of a complaint please approach the Managers who will fully investigate and take appropriate action.

Record keeping

We keep two kinds of records on children attending our setting: developmental records e.g. observations photos and personal records and personal details e.g. consent forms registration.

  • Parents have ready access to the files and records of their own children but do not have access to information about any other child.
  • Any concerns/evidence relating to a child’s personal safety are kept in a secure, confidential file and are shared with as few people as possible on a “need-to-know” basis. 
  • Personal information about children, families and staff is kept securely locked whilst remaining as accessible as possible.
  • Issues to do with the employment of staff, whether paid or unpaid, remain confidential to the people directly involved with making personnel decisions.
  • Records relating to individual children e.g. care plans, speech and language referral forms

 – We will pass these on to the child’s next school or setting following our Local Authority’s protocols for transition and sharing of sensitive records. Copies will be kept until the child reaches 25 years of age.

We keep records for the purpose of maintaining our business e.g. registration, financial, risk assessments and employment records.

Client access to confidential records

Parents may request access to any confidential records held on their child and family following the procedure below:

  • Any requests to see the child’s personal file by parent or person with parental responsibility must be made in writing to the setting leader, who will inform the chairperson.
  • We will provide access within 14 days although this may be extended.
  • All third parties are written to stating a request for disclosure has been received and asking for their permission to disclose to the person requesting it. Copies of these letters are retained on file.
  • Third parties include all family members who may be referred to in the records and workers from any other agency, (it is usual for the agency to refuse to disclose, preferring to go to the individual directly.)
  • When all consents/refusals to disclose have been received these are attached to a copy of the request and a photocopy of the complete file is taken. 
  • We will go through the file removing any information any third party has refused to disclose. What remains will detail information recorded by us detailing the work initiated and followed by us in relation to confidential matters. (clean copy)
  • The clean copy is photocopied for the parents who are then invited in to discuss the contents with the manager who can offer explanation.
  • Legal advice may be sought before sharing a file, especially where the parent has possible grounds for litigation against us or another (third party) agency.

Sharing confidential records

We recognise that parents have a right to know that information they share will be regarded as confidential as well as being informed of the circumstances and reasons, when we are obliged to share information.

  • We are obliged to share confidential information without authorisation from the person who provided it or to whom it relates if it is in the public interest.
  • This decision is made by setting managers and chairperson when:  

there is evidence or reasonable cause to believe that the child is suffering, or is at risk of suffering, significant harm. 

To prevent significant harm arising to children and young people or serious harm to adults, including the prevention, detection and prosecution of serious crime.

Consent

Parents have a right to be informed that their consent to share information will be sought in most cases, as well as the kind of circumstances where their consent may not be sought, or their refusal to give consent overridden.

Our policies and procedures describe our responsibility in relation to gaining consent to share information and when it may be overridden.

Parents sign a form at registration to say they understand this.

Parents are asked to give written consent to share information about any additional needs their child may have, or to pass on child development summaries to the next provider/school.

 

All the undertakings above are subject to the paramount commitment of us, which is to the safety and well-being of the child. Please see also our policy on safeguarding children.

Legal framework

General Data Protection Regulation (regulation (EU) 2016/679) (GDPR)

Human Rights Act 1998 

This policy was reviewed August 2019

Signed on behalf of the Preschool Anne Ridgway and Heather Gardner