Policy on the Use of Internet,Photographic and Recording Devices

Rationale and Policy Considerations

Photographs, video and audio recordings are used to document for a variety of activities in the early childhood service. This includes to document children’s learning and development, to provide visual displays of children’s work, to support quality assurance and to communicate with parents and families. We believe that the benefits of using the internet, photographic and recording devices for young children’s learning and development are many and varied. Interactive media – when used safely and appropriately within our early childhood service – can enhance learning and help to prepare children for positive use of technology.

We use Mosaic: A Portrait of Early Learning as our online platform to compile and share information about children’s learning and development. According to (EYEI, Department of Education and Skills), among the advantages for parents are that they can view and comment on records of activities and observations shared, and can add their own observations and/or videos of their child. They can be more informed and involved in their child’s learning and development. In this way ‘clear two-way channels of communication are fostered between the early-years setting, parents, families and children.

We are aware that the many benefits of the use of technology, online interactive media and electronic information sharing need to be balanced with the rights of children, families and staff members to privacy, personal integrity and dignity, and the risks that can be associated with the use of such devices and media. We take every precaution to ensure that online safety is fully considered. A Data Controller and a deputy Data Controller are assigned within our team to take responsibility for the collection, storage and use of all personal data including images (photos and video). We understand that recognisable images captured by CCTV systems are also personal data and are subject to the provisions of the Data Protection Act 2018 and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) 2018.

Definitions
Technology This refers broadly to both hardware that enables connectivity and devices (including television and handheld devices such as smartphones and tablets), content (including digital media such as apps, games, software and television programming), and assistive technology devices.
Interactive media This refers to digital and analogue materials, including software programmes, applications (apps), broadcast and streaming media, some children’s television programming, e-books, the Internet, and other forms of content designed to facilitate active and creative use by young children and engagement with other children and adults.
Social media Websites and applications that enable users to create and share content or to participate in social networking.

Policy Statement

We utilise the internet, photographic and recording devices to support the provision of a quality service for children and families.

Parents/guardians are fully informed where technology is used as part of the curriculum or programme and how the internet is used as a learning tool within the service.

Parents/Guardians are fully informed about the use of the Mosaic Platform as detailed in the Assessment for Learning Policy

A Parent/Guardian Permission Statement and a Data Sharing Agreement is provided by the service and must be completed and signed before any child can access the internet or has their photo or moving images taken or posted anywhere.

Photography and recording of children will only take place:

Digital equipment remains in the service at all times (other than during outdoor play). Images are deleted from digital records when children leave the service after 2 years in accordance with GDPR requirements (2 years after the child stops attending is the Tusla recommendation for the Record of Pre-School Child: Regulation 15(4)).

Photography and recording of children while they are in the service by any parent must only be with the consent of management and other parents.

All use of the internet, photographic and recording devices will be considered within our risk assessment process.

We do our best to ensure that all parents have the same level of access to information shared about their child’s learning and development while in the service.

Images and recordings are stored safely and appropriately returned to parents and/or disposed of/deleted when no longer needed for the purpose for which they were taken.

We request that photos or images taken of children while attending the setting are not posted elsewhere by others without the consent of parents/guardians.

Non-staff photographers are never allowed to have unsupervised access to children.

Procedures and Practices

Access to the internet by children includes:
Use of photographic and recording devices in the service

All Educators/Key Workers employed in the room can photograph or record children. The purposes for which photos and/or recordings may be used include:

Parent/guardian consent

Signed informed consent must be obtained for each child from their parent/guardian to access the internet, be photographed or recorded in accordance with this policy. The completed Parent/Guardian Consent Forms is retained on the child’s individual file.

Children’s agreement

Where possible, in addition to parents’ consent, children’s agreement is obtained to:

Use of personal devices in the service

Staff members, families, contractors and visitors may bring personal devices into the service. In order to protect children’s and adults’ personal and privacy rights, we require that:

We ensure the following additional safeguards
Storing images and recordings securely
Early Childhood Staff

Staff members are aware of the service’s expectations around their personal use of social networking sites and must agree to the e-Safety Acceptable Use Agreement and Staff Code of Conduct for the early childhood service (Appendix 1).

Related Policies and Procedures:
Signatures:
Name and position Signature
Approved by
Approved by

Staff Code of Conduct Agreement

This early childhood services acknowledges that staff members will use digital technologies in their personal and social lives so we require them to sign the following Professional Conduct Agreement to ensure clear boundaries between their home and professional roles.

I agree that through my recreational use of social networking sites or other online technologies I will:

Name:

Signature:

Date: