According to an inquiry, Educators should not be permitted to carry a phone that may take pictures of children while working and parental consent should be required before taking any photos of children.
Many Early Learning Services provide parents with a daily diary journal showing their child's daily activities. The approach, according to the research, "reduces educators' abilities to effectively supervise, interact with, and engage with children in their learning". It also raises questions about whose device the photos are being taken on, who can view the images, and whether they are "inappropriately posted online or shared through other applications" or accessible through digital apps designed to share the images with a child's approved family.
The research stated that there is a genuine possibility that unscrupulous individuals working for a service could utilise their device to unlawfully share photos of a child with people who aren't parents or educators.
"This risk includes capturing inappropriate photos, especially when the child is being physically or sexually abused or when the youngster is the subject of sexualized imagery. Under these conditions, an authorised provider is unable to control or keep an eye on what photos are taken, where they are being transferred, or who is receiving them".
To ensure that documentation of children, including their photographs, "must only occur on devices owned, monitored and secured by the approved provider," the report suggests revising the national legislation. It also suggests putting "strict controls" in place for the storage of images.
Initiated by the education minister Jason Clare and the early children minister Anne Aly, the assessment of Australia's national quality framework—which sets safety requirements for daycare centres—started in May. With an emphasis on "reducing harm, abuse, and neglect," the Australian Children's Education and Care Quality Authority was tasked with reviewing the country's childcare safety regulations.
Photo Restrictions For Australian Childcare Workers Recommended By Safety Report, The Guardian, 20th December 2023