Early Childhood Services should be aware of the perils of using social media to communicate information and images of children. Social media is a great marketing tool for early childhood services. You can showcase your service indoors and outdoors, share examples of your curriculum and learning opportunities, promote upcoming events or provide general information for parents.
However, before posting images of children on your Facebook or other social media accounts, consider the necessity of using the images that you are posting to a public platform. Posting photos of children publicly with identifying information such as their real name, age and location is not a good idea for early childhood services – regardless of parental permission.
Posting identifying information about children on public social media platforms puts them at risk both at present and in the future. Even with the highest security settings in place, it is still very difficult to control who actually has access to images – long after the child has left your early childhood service.
‘Cute’ images of a child now at age 3, can later be used as material for cyberbullying at age 13. Posting videos and images on social media also identifies the child’s whereabouts at the time of posting. This presents a risk to children who are vulnerable to kidnapping. There is a safer and less intrusive way to share important information to parents and family – the MOSAIC platform was created with child safety at the forefront of its design.
MOSAIC is an online and mobile platform designed for early childhood services and parents in Ireland. MOSAIC is a quality practice tool for Educators to support their daily work with children around the documentation of children’s early learning and care. The platform is also designed to maximise partnership with parents through timely two-way communications and information sharing from a secure platform.
Why MOSAIC is a safe communication option for children, parents and educators
- Private parent and approved family member access through the ‘MOSAIC Family’ App. Parents have to approve additional family members to access the child’s Storybook.
- Group photos are not used in the child’s Storybook – a special application for group photos sits in the administration section of MOSAIC for Educator use in the service. This means that parents do not have digital photographs of anyone else’s child.
- MOSAIC is categorised into classrooms which have their own unique entry credentials for Educators in that particular room.
- An easy delete function for early childhood services to delete all Storybooks, information and imagery relating to each child once they have moved on from the service.
- MOSAIC comes with a full range of compliance templates for use by the service including Digital safety Policies and Procedures for sharing with parents, a Data Sharing Agreement for parents and Parent Permission Forms.
The majority of social media sites own content once it is posted and you have no control of what happens to it. Regardless of security measures are taken, this should be considered as permanent and public communication. So safeguard the children in your care, provide security and peace of mind for parents and use MOSAIC as a professional communication tool for your early childhood service.