Ethical Issues for Day Cares

Dare care centers have responsibility for some of the most vulnerable members of society. Those working in the industry must balance the needs of the child and parent with the requirements of the center. Management of ethical issues is an extremely important part of the profession.

Core Values

When dealing with any ethical issue, day care professionals should be guided by core values which underpin ethical framework, such as integrity, honesty and respect.


Day cares have a responsibility to the parent as a client and must be seen to be incorporating their needs. For example, if a parent requests that her child not participate in nonreligious celebrations, the center should adhere to this request.


The need to adhere to privacy requirements raises ethical issues in day care centers. For example, a parent may ask a day care worker details about another child. The worker should recognize that telling the parent this information would contravene ethical standards.


Day care workers must act in a nondiscriminatory manner toward parents, children and other workers. According to “Ethics of Child and Youth Care Professionals," a document adopted by the National Organization of Childcare Worker Associations, grounds for discrimination include:

  • race
  • color
  • ethnicity
  • age
  • gender
  • sexual orientation
  • marital status
  • religion


Boundaries between professional and personal relationships with children and their parents should be understood and respected by day care workers.

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