Childcare providers, including childminders, who store personal details about families and children on their computer, contact details or photos on their smart phones or take photos on digital cameras may need to notify the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) that they are a ‘data controller’ for data protection purposes. The ICO is the UK's independent public body who enforces and oversees the Data Protection Act.
Data protection responsibilities under the Data Protection Act 2018 are as follows:
- If you keep all your childcare records on paper, you do not need to notify the ICO.
- If you keep information about the names, ages and addresses of children/parents, details of payments purely for accounts and records purposes, you are also exempt from notification
- If you keep more extensive records, or information of a more sensitive nature, for example about children's health, behaviour or development, on a computer then you need to contact the ICO to find out if you need to notify
- If you take digital photographs of the children in your care, you will be expected to register with the ICO.