This week has seen the initial launch of ContactPoint, a national database which holds the details of every child in England. The service was conceived in the wake of the Victoria Climbie Inquiry and created under the Children Act 2004, with the intention of making important information about children accessible to at least childcare professionals in all sectors.
However, the service has proved controversial, with critics arguing that ContactPoint raises many questions about safety (the system has already been delayed twice due to security fears) and an individual's right to privacy. Both opposition parties have pledged to scrap the database should they come to power.
What do readers think? Is ContactPoint likely to make the work of childcare professionals easier, with the added benefit of improving child welfare, or is this a further example of the 'Big Brother' society impinging on civil liberties? The case for the new service is made in this Times column, while a Guardian piece entitled Losing Contact argues that it is flawed. You can vote in the poll on the right of this page, or leave a comment in response to this post - here's how.