Do you run a small child care center? If so, you're entrusted with the safety of the children who attend it. If you don't have a paper shredder at your establishment, however, you may be violating this trust and putting your daycare business and the children who go there at risk. Read on to learn 3 reasons you absolutely need a paper shredder at your child care facility.
If your child care center receives funding under any Department of Education program, such as the 21st Century Community Learning Program or the Child Care Access Means Parents in School Program, then you are required by law to abide by the rules of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
Under FERPA, an institution is usually prohibited from disclosing any personal information associated with a child to a third party without consent from the child's parent or legal guardian. The penalties for not complying with FERPA vary by state; in most cases, those who violate the rules will lose their federal funding, and some states allow for those violated to seek monetary damages.
As a child care provider, you likely hold a lot of personal information about the children you take care of. If this information falls into the wrong hands, you could violate FERPA and face steep consequences. By shredding documents that contain the personal information of the children you care for rather than throwing them in the trash, you limit your risk of this happening.
Children are often the target of identity theft because they don't usually apply for credit cards or check their credit reports, so it could take several years to discover that their personal information has been stolen. With as little as one social security number plucked from records that you've thrown in your dumpster, an identity thief can apply for credit cards, rent an apartment, get a job, or apply for a loan under the name of one of the children you care for.
Should this happen, the child who has been victimized could grow up to find their credit and employment history ruined before they ever even get the chance to establish it. Protect the future of the children you care for by making sure any bit of paper that contains their personal information is shredded and destroyed rather than just tossed in the trash.
Children whose parents are going through a divorce are at risk of family abduction for 5 years following the divorce, and there are over 1 million divorces involving children each year. Knowing these statistics, you can assume that there is a good chance that at least one child you care for is at risk.
Making sure that the children at your facility are only picked up by their guardian parents is not enough to protect them from possible abduction. Family members who abduct children often have a history of crime and/or violence; these are people who probably wouldn't think twice about rummaging through a dumpster to try finding the home address of a child they plan to kidnap. Make sure you limit the risk of a child in your care falling victim to family abduction by destroying all documents that contain their personal information so they don't fall into the hands of somebody who plans to use the information maliciously.
If you run a child care facility, you have a responsibility to protect the privacy of the children who attend it. Uphold that responsibility by investing in a paper shredder, such as a destroyit 4002 shredder, for your facility so no personal information about the children you care for is every disclosed to somebody who isn't privy to it.