Privacy and Confidentiality

The use of quality early intervention and education data enables policymakers, administrators, educators, service providers and parents to design and implement effective practices to improve child and family outcomes. While the benefits of data use are clear, there are growing concerns about the scope and type of child data collected, as well as the protection and sharing of those data. This page provides resources, including federal guidance, on practices and policy regarding the privacy and confidentiality of early childhood data.

Resources from the U.S. Departments of Education and Health & Human Services

Relevant Federal Privacy & Confidentiality Regulations

FERPA Regulations
IDEA Part B Regulations
IDEA Part C Regulations

For more information on the Famiily Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), visit the U.S. Department of Education’s Family Policy Compliance Office (FPCO) website.

Guidance, Memos, & Policy Letters

Confidentiality Toolkit Logo: Department of Health & Human ServicesThis resource tool from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families (ACF) supports state and local efforts by bringing greater clarity to the rules governing confidentiality in ACF and certain related programs by providing ... Read more

New brief on privacy concerns related to technology in EC programs logo: OPREThe Use of Technology to Support Early Childhood Practice: Protecting Child, Parent, and Practitioner Privacy, released in January 2017 by the Office of Planning, Research & Evaluation, addresses privacy & security considerations related to software, apps, and web-based tools that ... Read more

A Little Privacy Please? Safeguarding the Privacy of Young Children with Disabilities under IDEA and FERPA This webinar featured privacy and legal experts from the U.S. Department of Education discussing answers to frequently asked questions related to privacy and confidentiality for IDEA early childhood programs. This webinar directly supports OSEP’s recently-released document, Understanding the Confidentiality Requirement ... Read more

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Resources from ED-Funded Technical Assistance Centers


Early Childhood Data Privacy resources Icon of key and hard driveThe U.S. Department of Education’s Privacy Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) has developed a collection of early childhood data privacy resources. Link to Resource List Read more

Privacy Collaboration! The Latest Resources from DaSy, PTAC, and IDC Presenters: Baron Rodriguez, Jeff Sellers, & Jennifer Tschantz This 2014 presentation shares how DaSy, IDC, and PTAC are collaborating to address state questions around data sharing, privacy, and security and provides an overview of new resources recently developed by ... Read more

Current State Analysis on FERPA and HIPAA Challenges to Accessing Early Intervention and Early Childhood Special Education Data PTAC logo: padlockConference: Conference on Research Innovations in Early Intervention (CRIEI) Date: February 2014 Presenters: Baron Rodriguez, Donna Spiker & Missy Cochenour This poster presents multiple case studies from across the country to highlight promising practices about researcher access to state data ... Read more

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Data Sharing

Lessons Learned from Developing Data Sharing Agreements This 2015 webinar shares common challenges and pitfalls in developing data sharing agreements, as well as effective strategies and best practices for developing these agreements. Presented by Baron Rodriguez, Sharon Walsh, Jill Singer, & Nicholas Ortiz in September, 2015 Link to Presentation ... Read more

What do IDEA and FERPA tell us about Data Sharing? Dept. of Education logoThis 2014 webinar is a reprisal of a popular session from our 2014 Improving Data, Improving Outcomes conference. Presenters from the U.S. Department of Education share information on current issues and guidance on IDEA and FERPA requirements regarding data sharing ... Read more

Data Sharing Agreement Checklist for IDEA Part C and Part B 619 Agencies and Programs PTAC logo: padlockThis 2014 document is an adaptation of the 2012 release of “Data Sharing Agreement Checklist” intended for K-12 audiences. Presented as a checklist, the document summarizes the requirements for the written agreements under the audit or evaluation exception that is ... Read more

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Data Security & Access

Student Privacy 101: FERPA for Parents and Students Department of EducationThis 2013 short video highlights the key points of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) for parents and students. Link to video Read more

IDEA and FERPA Privacy Provisions: Understanding the Basics Conference: Division for Early Childhood Date: October 2015 Presenters: Ross Lemke & Sharon Walsh This 2015 DEC conference presentation informs viewers of the privacy provisions under IDEA Part C, IDEA Part B, and FERPA. It covers the basics surrounding the ... Read more

Data De-identification: An Overview of Basic Terms Types of data by sensitivityThis 2014 document is intended to assist early intervention service programs and providers and preschool special education programs and agencies in maintaining compliance with privacy and confidentiality requirements under IDEA and FERPA. It reviews the terminology used to describe data ... Read more

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Data Governance

Avoid the Pitfalls: Benefits of Formal Part C Data System Governance Red DaSyThis 2016 brief promotes formal data governance for Part C data by describing lessons learned from other industries; outlining the risks of informal data governance and benefits of formal data governance; and providing action steps to support state Part C ... Read more

Data Governance Demystified: Concepts to Reality Presenters: Bruce Bull, Sharon Walsh, Denise Mauzy, Christy Cronheim, Rick Harris, & Maria Synodi This 2014 presentation focuses on the role of Data Governance in protecting data and facilitating improved results. State successes and challenges will be explored: authority, accountability, ... Read more

Data Governance and Stewardship PTAC logo: padlockThis 2011 brief provides guidance on how to successfully manage complex data systems by establishing a comprehensive data governance approach. Data governance principles discussed in this paper apply to a large number of audiences and can be used to improve ... Read more

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For more resources on data privacy and confidentiality please visit the Privacy Technical Assistance Center (PTAC). Funded by the U.S. Department of Education, PTAC provides resources for education stakeholders to learn about data privacy, confidentiality, and security practices related to student-level longitudinal data systems. PTAC partners with DaSy on privacy issues related to IDEA Part C and Part B 619.