Delivery in day(s): 4
UNCC100 Self and Community Exploring the Anatomy of Modern Society
Privacy in childcare
While working in a childcare setting numerous issues can arise that may either hamper the safety and security of children or may have the effect upon the quality of services delivered to them. One of the major issues that may be faced as a childcare worker is privacy in childcare. Similar to adults, Children also have a right to privacy where their personal information gathered on a ‘need to know' basis must not be shared with irrelevant and unnecessary sources in any given case (CELA, 2017). It is essential to respect the dignity of children and families by keeping their information management private and confidential. However, the right to privacy for older children are recognised but for younger children especially babies and toddlers, it is often ignored, both by educators and families (CELA, 2017).
There are several cases of breach of privacy in childcare. For instance, taking photographs and images of children without consent and disseminating these images. These images such as of a child engaged in the private act may either be used for criminal purposes or for non-criminal purposes that too may result in embarrassment, bullying or simply invasion of privacy (Australian Government, 2013). Government and regulatory bodies have taken active steps in ensuring privacy and confidentiality of children through legislation like Privacy Act 1988, Information Privacy Act 2000, Health Records Act 2001 and Freedom of Information Act 1982 that work to protect children’s information through privacy principles. But the problem is that these laws are applicable to larger private or non-profit businesses running childcare centres but not in smaller centres or individuals running a centre which is exempted from Privacy Act (Australian Government, 2013). Thus, to protect the right of children and ensure due respect to them, it becomes essential for childcare centres to have privacy policies regarding collection, use and disclosure of personal information. Moreover, childcare staff and workers must also be educated and trained to ensure privacy and confidentiality of children in these centres (Stonehouse, 2010).
In addition to personal information of children many times, sensitive family information like relationship issues, economic conditions, family disputes, drug abuse, addictions, etc is also revealed to childcare workers. In that case, it becomes my ethical and legal duty to keep this information confidential and not share with people who don’t need it (Stonehouse, 2010). I learned this is in my semester that I must be well aware of all laws and regulations regarding the handling of personal information where certain information like related to allergies and medical conditions must be shared with relevant people but other sensitive information must be secured. I must avoid engaging in gossiping and discussions and discourage my colleagues from doing the same. Further, all essential personal information must be recorded and kept safely in locked cabinets and all digital information must be well secured with passwords (Stonehouse, 2010).
1. Australian Government (2013) Particular Privacy Issues Affecting Children And Young People Policy (online) Available at https://www.alrc.gov.au/publications/69.%20Particular%20Privacy%20Issues%20Affecting%20Children%20and%20Young%20People/child-care-services#_ftn88 [accessed on 23 October, 2017]
2. Australian Government (2013) (online) Available at https://www.alrc.gov.au/publications/your-information-australian-privacy-law-and-practice-alrc-report-108/terms-reference [accessed on 23 October, 2017]
3. CELA (Community Early Learning Australia) (2017). Security and Privacy information Policy (online) Available at https://www.cela.org.au/privacy/ [accessed on 23 October, 2017]
4. Stonehouse, A. (2010) A Matter Of Respect: Recognising Young Children’s Right To Privacy (online) Available at http://ncac.acecqa.gov.au/educator-resources/pcf-articles/Recognising_chns_right_to_privacy_Sept10.pdf [accessed on 23 October, 2017]