Confidentiality: Respecting the Privacy of All Families — Learning Links

These resources are intended as a starting point to learn more about respecting the privacy of all families, and confidentiality. Some resources may require a subscription or have restricted access due to a publisher paywall. You will need a PDF viewer for some of the resources – download Adobe Reader here.

Ethics and personal-professional principles:

Professional organizations representing the early childhood and school age communities recognize in their codes of ethics the importance of honoring family confidentiality. Some examples:

Legal considerations and confidentiality:

Exceptions to the rule about sharing information:

  • “Need to knowsituations exist that can be shared whether or not parental permission has been obtained, such as in cases of:
  • Child abuse — If the child care professional has a reasonable concern that a child may be neglected or abused, as a mandated reporter, the professional is required by law to report this to the proper authorities. Child care licensing rules state how and where to report suspected child abuse and neglect. In Maine, contact Child Abuse Reporting.
  • Health conditions that are notifiable (refers to any communicable disease, occupational disease, or environmental disease, the occurrence or suspected occurrence of which is required to be reported to the Department of Health and Human Services pursuant to Maine’s Disease Reporting Rules— the director or designee must notify their public health department. In Maine, notify the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (ME CDC). Staff and families should also be told about the illness but without disclosing the identity of the ill person. For a list of Maine’s Notifiable Conditions see Rules for the Control of Notifiable Conditions, Chapter 2(J).

Confidentiality resources:

Disclaimer: This information is for educational purposes only. It is not and does not take the place of legal advice for any specific situation nor is it offered as such. 

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Updated: 08/10/2023