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10.6 Children’s records

Policy statement

We have record keeping systems in place that meet legal requirements; the means we use to store and share that information takes place within the framework of the Data Protection Act (1998) and the Human Rights Act (1998).

This policy and procedure is taken in conjunction with the Confidentiality and Client Access to Records Policy and the Information Sharing Policy.

Procedures

We keep two kinds of records on children attending our setting.

Developmental records

  • These include observations of children in the setting, photographs, video clips and samples of their work and summary developmental reports.
  • These are usually kept in the playroom and can be freely accessed, and contributed to, by staff, the child and the child’s parents.

Personal records

  • These include registration and admission forms, signed consent forms, correspondence concerning the child or family, reports or minutes from meetings concerning the child from other agencies, an ongoing record of relevant contact with parents, and observations by staff on any confidential matter involving the child, such as developmental concerns or child protection matters.
  • These confidential records are stored in a lockable file or cabinet and are kept secure by the person in charge in an office or other suitably safe place.
  • Parents have access, in accordance with our Client Access to Records Policy, 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.
  • We retain children’s records for three years after they have left the setting, except records that relate to an accident or child protection matter, which are kept until a child reaches the age of 21 years. These are kept in a secure place.

Other records

  • We keep a daily record of the names of the children we are caring for, their hours of attendance and the names of their key person.
  • Issues to do with the employment of staff, whether paid or unpaid, remain confidential to the people directly involved with making personnel decisions.
  • Students on Pre-school Learning Alliance or other recognised qualifications and training, when they are observing in the setting, are advised of our Confidentiality and Client Access to Records Policy and are required to respect it.

Legal framework

  • Data Protection Act (1998)
  • Human Rights Act (1998)

Further guidance

  • Information Sharing: Guidance for Practitioners and Managers (DCSF 2008)