Protect the Privacy of your Daycare Parents Online

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Privacy is a serious concern for parents who use family child care providers.

I recently delivered a webinar “Managing Legal Risks in Early Childhood Programs” sponsored by Early Childhood Investigations Webinars. You can listen to it for free.

Here are some Questions and Answers I prepared after the webinar in response to questions raised during the webinar.

Q: “I want to know about whether or not to use the social networks like Facebook or should I stay completely away from using them?”

A: Social media, including Facebook, can be a valuable tool in promoting your program to prospective parents and sharing information with current parents. You need to be very careful about not posting any information about parents or children without the permission of the parents. If you have staff they should not take pictures of children without your permission.

 

Q: “What about parents who take pictures and post them on Facebook. I am liable for their actions?”

A: You should establish a policy about when parents can take pictures of their child and other children while in your program. In general, you shouldn’t permit this unless the other parents agree to have their child’s picture taken. If a parent who takes a picture does have the permission of the other parents then you are not liable for that parent posting the picture on Facebook. If the parent who takes a picture does not have the permission of the other parent, in violation of your program’s privacy policy, and your program knew about it and did nothing, then it’s possible you could be held liable for not protecting the parent’s privacy.

 

Q: “We have family events and a parent takes a picture of their child at the event and post it on Facebook and another child is in the background. Are we liable?”

A: I would recommend having a privacy policy that asks parents for permission to have pictures of their child taken at such family events by other parents. It may be very difficult to exclude a child from photos if a parent doesn’t give permission. As long as parents know ahead of time that this is an event where pictures will be allowed to be taken, your program won’t be held liable.

This is the beginning of an article I’ve posted on childcareinfo.com. In the rest of the article I offer further tips on how to protect the privacy of parents.

Childcareinfo.com is a community for family child care providers and parents that offers a wide variety of resources including recipes, a blog, and a newsletter.  It serves as a clearinghouse for many online resources (children’s activities, training opportunities, equipment, and more).

Childcareinfo.com was created by Minute Menu (now KidKare) to offer free assistance that will help the family child care community grow.

Tom Copeland – www.tomcopelandblog.com

Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/132053576@N03/


Categories: Legal, Legal & Insurance

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