Sample Child Care Social Media Policy

Click here for a sample child care social media policy you can adapt for use at your center.

social media apps

There has been some lively discussion on LinkedIn recently regarding social media policies for child care centers, and I wanted to add my input.

Many child care centers have a policy of banning staff from “friending” current parents (or vice versa) on social media channels, and/or discussing anything work-related on social media. As I’ve mentioned before, I disagree with this approach, for a number of reasons:

1. In many states, there are laws that limit employers’ ability to restrict employees’ legal off-duty conduct. These laws are often referenced in the context of moonlighting or cigarette smoking but apply to personal social media use as well.

2. Certain work-related discussions on social media are considered legally protected activity by the National Labor Relations Board, even if you have no unions at your child care center. (I personally think this is ridiculous, but it’s the current state of the law.)

3. You should never have a policy at your center that you are unable or unwilling to enforce. Unless you are planning on regularly monitoring your employees’ Facebook accounts and so forth, combing through them for verboten “friends” or inappropriate mentions of your center, highly restrictive policies are unworkable.

4. Depending on users’ privacy settings, many social media posts can be seen by “friends of friends” or the general public – meaning that your employees’ comments are often still viewable by current parents.

5. You want to do everything possible to encourage a sense of community at your center between staff and parents, and outright social media bans discourage this.

6. Last, but certainly not least: Restrictive social media policies do not teach employees (particularly young employees) how to communicate appropriately in a world that encompasses both work and social media. Training does.

Training is harder and more time-consuming than simply imposing rigid social media bans, but it’s better for both your center and for your teachers’ professional development. It shows that you respect their judgment and their common sense. It also allows for discussion when tricky issues come up.

As I mentioned last week, if you have employees you don’t trust, those people should not be working at your center.

Want a sample child care social media policy you can adapt for use at your center? Click here.