What Is Confidentiality in a Child Care Setting?

In a child care setting, confidentiality refers to upholding the privacy of children and their families. Private information about a child and the family should not leak outside the child care facility to unauthorized persons. Information to be kept confidential includes health insurance data, child enrollment forms, emergency contact information, consent forms, heath screening and diagnosis forms and immunization forms. Exposing these materials is a breach of confidentiality.

In addition to forms and information directly related to a child and his or her family, information on other service providers such as regular medical and dental providers should be kept confidential. Other information to be kept confidential includes a child’s nutritional restrictions, any progress reports, observation logs, parents’ conference logs, medication logs and documentation of medical, behavioral or developmental evaluations. Information on a child’s referrals, follow-ups and injury documentation should also be treated confidentially. All written information should be kept safe, with identifying information such as Social Security numbers kept locked up. Federal guidelines exist regarding what information must be kept confidential by law.

Information on a specific child should only be shared with people who have a need to know it because they will have to make decisions regarding that child. Child care workers should seek advice from their supervisors regarding what information may be shared regarding a specific child.