The Pre-school Learning Alliance has expressed concern after it emerged that the private details of a number of childminders, including home addresses, were mistakenly published on the government’s Childcare Service website.
Childminders alerted the Alliance to the fact that the website’s ‘Search for a childcare provider’ page contained their personal data, despite the fact that they had not given permission for this data to be published.
HMRC have since removed this website facility in order to correct this error, following a number of childminder complaints.
Commenting, Neil Leitch, chief executive of the Pre-school Learning Alliance, said:
“It is completely unacceptable that confidential childminder data, including details of home addresses, was published on the Childcare Service website, and those affected are absolutely right to be angry at this breach of privacy.
“While we recognise that HMRC is now working to resolve this issue, it never should have happened in the first place, and it certainly shouldn’t have taken so long for HMRC to finally acknowledge that something had gone seriously wrong.
“With tax-free childcare already in effect, and just two months until the roll-out of the 30 hour offer, we are still receiving regular reports of problems with the Childcare Service website from both parents and providers. This simply isn’t good enough. Government needs to get a grip on this policy and fast, and so we hope HMRC will be looking to review and address these ongoing issues as a matter of priority.”