Early years practitioners must get the consent of parents before observing children in their care. They should share the observations with parents because they have got right to know about learning and development of their children. Practitioners should give them details of other professionals with whom the observations will be shared and get their consent via a written consent form. They should also inform parents the way the observations will be stored and how parents can access them. Usually the observations stay between parents, Senco, key worker and the manager of the nursery but the information can be shared further with safeguarding agencies when a child is at risk. In my placement, practitioners and students get the signatures of parents on the consent letter before carrying out observations. They store all written and digital observations in secure places and only share on ‘need to know’ basis. Digital observations are saved in iPad and laptops in the form of videos and photographs. Members of staff have secured passwords and usernames to access login. Information about observations is also protected with passwords so that the confidentiality is maintained in order to keep children safe.
If observations need to be used as part of the coursework to provide evidence of practice then students must meet the requirements of using observations. They must get the consent of the nursery manager and the parents of the child. In observations paperwork, the name, date of birth and the photographs of the children should not be included. Any personal information which can identify the identity of the child should also be removed. It is the responsibility of early years practitioners and students who observe children to keep all the information confidential.