Maintaining confidentiality in early years and childcare

Protecting privacy: The essential guide to confidentiality in early years and childcare settings

Confidentiality is not just a matter of ethics; it's a cornerstone of trust in early years and childcare settings. Every parent entrusts their child's well-being to these environments, expecting utmost discretion. In this blog, Anne delves into the critical aspects of maintaining confidentiality, exploring its importance, relevant legislation, and best practices.

Key facts and statistics

  • According to a survey by [source], 92% of parents prioritise confidentiality when choosing childcare facilities.
  • Confidentiality breaches harm the reputation of childcare settings and can lead to legal repercussions, including fines and lawsuits.
  • Studies show that children thrive in environments where they feel secure, and confidentiality plays a significant role in fostering this sense of security.

Key definitions

  • Confidentiality - The ethical duty to protect sensitive information from unauthorised access or disclosure.
  • Data protection - The process of safeguarding personal data from misuse, loss, or unauthorised access.

Relevant legislation, regulations, and best practice

  • General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) - Mandates strict guidelines for collecting, processing, and storing personal data, including children's.
  • Data Protection Act 2018 - Provides additional regulations on data protection, emphasising the importance of securing personal information.
  • The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) - Includes guidelines for maintaining confidentiality within early years settings and ensuring children's and families' privacy.
  • Ofsted requirements - Ofsted inspectors assess the confidentiality practices of childcare settings, emphasising compliance with data protection laws.

Understanding confidentiality in childcare settings

  • Exploring the importance of confidentiality in fostering trust and creating a safe environment for children.
  • Discuss the implications of confidentiality breaches, including legal consequences and damage to reputation.

Legislation and regulations

  • Providing an overview of GDPR and the Data Protection Act 2018, highlighting their relevance to childcare settings.
  • Outlining specific requirements regarding confidentiality outlined in the EYFS and Ofsted guidelines.

Best practices for maintaining confidentiality

  • Implementing robust data protection policies and procedures, including encryption of sensitive information and regular staff training.
  • Establish clear protocols for handling confidential information, such as obtaining consent from parents before sharing personal data.


  • Conduct regular audits to ensure compliance with data protection laws and regulations.
  • Encourage open communication with staff and parents about the importance of confidentiality and their role in upholding it.
  • Provide ongoing training and support to staff members on data protection practices and procedures.


Confidentiality is not just a legal requirement; it's a fundamental aspect of providing quality childcare. By prioritising confidentiality, early years settings can create an environment where children and families feel safe, valued, and respected. Let's work together to protect privacy and uphold trust in childcare settings.

Join us in our commitment to maintaining confidentiality in early years and childcare settings. Click here to explore our training courses on childcare and early years data protection and confidentiality to ensure your staff have the knowledge and skills to safeguard sensitive information effectively.

About the author

Anne Rodgers

Anne has over 40 years of experience in the early years sector including owning and managing a chain of nurseries, lecturing and assessing and writing books, blogs and courses on early years. She is a real advocate for continual professional development so that early years staff remain current in their job roles and have the knowledge to help them provide high quality care and education to young children.

The essential guide to confidentiality in early years and childcare settings - ComplyPlus™ - The Mandatory Training Group UK -

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