Standards for child and youth development programs

2020 Edition

Early Childhood Education (CYD-ECE) 12: Protecting the Rights of Children and Families

The rights and privacy of children and their family members are respected.

2020 Edition




Early Childhood Education facilitates appropriate child development and ensures the health and safety of children in care.
The program’s practices fully meet the standard, as indicated by full implementation of the practices outlined in the Practice Standards.
Practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards.
Practice requires significant improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards.
Implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards.
Self-Study EvidenceOn-Site EvidenceOn-Site Activities
  • Policy and procedures related to the rights of children and families (CYD-ECE 12.01)
  • Rights and responsibilities information provided to parents
  • Sample authorization form for release of confidential information
  • Grievance reports (for the last two quarters)
  • Consent forms (e.g., in childrens files)
  • Interview:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant staff
    3. Parents
  • Review child files

Fundamental Practice

CYD-ECE 12.01

Children and their families have the right to fair and equitable treatment including:

  1. the right to be treated in a non-discriminatory manner; and
  2. the consistent enforcement of program rules and expectations.


Program information, other print materials, electronic media, and trainings should be presented in a non-discriminatory manner, using nonstigmatizing language.


Fair and equiptable treatment includes being treated in a culturally responsive and affirming manner, including the freedom to express and practice religious and spiritual beliefs.

Fundamental Practice

CYD-ECE 12.02

The program has a system that stakeholders can use to express and resolve grievances/complaints, which includes:

  1. the right to file a grievance without interference or retaliation;
  2. timely written notification of the resolution and an explanation of any further appeal, rights or recourse; and
  3. at least one level of review that does not involve the person about whom the complaint has been made or the person who reached the decision under review.


Stakeholders include, but are not limited to, the family members of program applicants and participants.  The program’s system for expressing and resolving grievances should be stipulated in written procedures that set forth steps and timelines covering all elements of the standard.

CYD-ECE 12.03

The program accommodates the written and oral communication needs of children and families by:

  1. communicating, in writing and orally, in the languages of the major population groups served;
  2. providing, or arranging for, bilingual personnel or translators or arranging for the use of communication technology, as needed;
  3. providing telephone amplification, sign language services, or other communication methods for deaf or hearing impaired persons, to the extent possible;
  4. providing, or arranging for, communication assistance for persons with special needs who have difficulty making their needs known; and
  5. considering the person's literacy level.


Whenever possible personnel should speak with families in their home languages, and provide written information in their home languages and at their literacy levels.  Personnel should also avoid using children as translators, if possible.

CYD-ECE 12.04

Informed, written consent is obtained from parents or legal guardians prior to recording, photographing, or filming children.

Related Standards:


It is not necessary to obtain consent each time children may be recorded, photographed, or filmed; consent may be provided at enrollment and maintained in program records or files.  Consents should be reviewed and updated annually.

Fundamental Practice

CYD-ECE 12.05

The program informs parents or legal guardians, prior to the disclosure of confidential or private information, about circumstances when the program may be legally or ethically permitted or required to release such information without their consent.

CYD-ECE 12.06

When the program receives a request for the release of confidential information about a child, or when the release of confidential information is necessary for program participation, prior to releasing such information, the program:

  1. determines if the reason to release information is valid;
  2. obtains informed, written authorization from the child’s parent or legal guardian; and
  3. offers a copy of the signed authorization to the parent or legal guardian, and maintains a copy in the child’s file.
Related Standards:


In the context of this standard, “valid” means justifiable, legitimate, convincing, legally permissible, and in the best interest of the child.

If the program deems it necessary, it should seek legal counsel regarding the confidentiality of records and the conditions under which they may be released with or without the authorization of a child’s parent or legal guardian.  When permitted or required by law, regulation, or court order, authorization to release confidential information is not necessary.  However, the parent or legal guardian should still be informed that the information will be released.


Although the standard does not require it, programs may choose to involve children in the authorization process, to the extent that they are capable of being involved.  Programs are also responsible for complying with any state laws that address the involvement of children in providing authorization, if applicable.