Childcare and child development

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               One piece of legislation that promotes the children’s rights in my setting is the Data Protection Act 1998. This legislation gives everyone the right to know what information is held about them and it provides a framework to ensure that personal information is handled properly. One of its purposes is to safeguard the fundamental rights of individuals.

               The Act works in two ways, firstly it states that anyone who processes personal information must follow the eight principles below to make sure that the personal information is:

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  • Fairly and lawfully processed
  • Processed for limited purposes
  • Adequate, relevant and not excessive
  • Accurate and up to date
  • Not kept for longer than is necessary
  • Processed in line with your rights


Not transferred to other countries without adequate protection

               Secondly, the Act provides everyone with important rights; these include the right to find out what personal information is held about them on computers and most paper records. It also gives the individual the right to complain if they are denied access to their personal information or feel that their information has not be handled according to the eight principles I have stated above.

The Data Protection Act 1998 affects the way I run my setting. I have to ensure that:

Any personal information I have is kept confidential and stored in a locked filing cabinet and I only can access it.

I am careful when discussing with parents anything confidential that no-one is around to overhear our conversation, including in person or on the telephone

All personal information I hold is relevant to my setting and is kept up to date

I do not keep any information longer than necessary

No data that I hold can be used or passed onto other parties without written consent from the parent

Parents have the right to request access to my records at any time, but they can only see the information held about themselves and their children

My confidentiality policy covers the above please see Appendix 1

Every organisation that processes personal information must notify the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) unless they are exempt; failure to notify is a criminal offence. I am exempt because no personal information I keep is stored on a computer. The only information I store on the computer is my accounts. If you had to notify they have now made changes to the notification fee structure that came into effect on 1st October 2009, it is now a tiered fee structure to reflect the costs of the ICO regulating data controllers of different sizes.

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