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WELS A$CEND PRIVACY POLICY

A$CEND is a salary supplement award program for early childhood educators employed at participating Thrive by 5 programs. Early childhood educators employed at participating Thrive by 5 programs may apply for the salary supplement using the A$CEND app. A$CEND is funded and administered by The Children’s Trust with career advising support from the Children’s Forum.

The information collected through the A$CEND app is essential for determining eligibility and the amount of salary supplement that the educator (you) may qualify for.

This Privacy Policy explains the information we collect and how it is used. We understand that your information is sensitive and needs to be secured. We build security into our services to protect it, including features like two-factor authentication.

Data Types

The types of data we collect are identified as personal data. Listed below are all the types of data we collect and why we collect them.

Personal Data

Personal data is information that you provide to us which personally identifies you, including your name, email address, physical address, SSN or EIN, birthdate, or other data that can be reasonably linked to your A$CEND account.

When you create an account, we collect the following personal data:

  • First & Last Name: This information is necessary so we can know who you are and match you with the right employment data collected by the Children’s Forum.
  • Email: We ask that you register with the same email address used when you registered for the Children’s Forum Registry so that we can match you with the right data records provided by the Children’s Forum. We may also notify you with important notifications such as when your application is approved.
  • Password: To keep your account secure.
  • Mobile phone number: For two-factor authentication, which allows us to better secure your data.

When you are signed in, we also collect the following data types that we then store with your WELS A$CEND account and share with The Children’s Trust and The Children’s forum. These are also treated as personal data.

  • Work Phone Number: Work phone number is collected so that we may contact your employer to set up a site visit for CLASS Score requests. Having an eligible CLASS score can add to your salary supplement.
  • Physical Address: Physical address is collected so we can email important tax documents.
  • Spoken and Primary Language: Your languages are collected we can identify what language to best communicate with you.
  • Gender, Ethnicity & Race: We collect this information for the purposes of reporting aggregate data on the demographics of our early learning workforce for the purpose of advocacy and continuous learning.
  • While using the A$CEND app you will also view data you have already provided to the Children’s Forum and that they have verified as true, including Employment, Education, Certifications, and Trainings. This data is used to calculate your eligibility and salary supplement amount.
  • You may also provide/enter additional data you have not yet shared with the Children’s Forum, such as Education and Qualifications. This data will then be submitted to the Children’s Forum for verification. Once verified, it will be used to determine your salary supplement amount.
  • Once your application is approved, you will be required to provide the following personal data (which is submitted to the Children’s Trust via a secure API). This data is used to match or set up a Vendor. This data is also provided to the IRS as required by law for tax purposes.
  • Tax ID: The A$CEND Salary Supplement is a taxable salary, and we are requirement by law to submit it to the IRS. Your Social Security Number (SSN) or Employer Identification Number (EIN) is used to submit a 1099 at the end of the year to the IRS.
  • Upload a signed and completed W-9 form which is then provided to the IRS for tax purposes.

Once your Vendor is set up and approved in the Children’s Trust Core Integrator System, you will need to provide the following personal data (through an IFrame hosted by Merge IT, refer to the Children’s Trust ACH Direct deposit terms and conditions for more information https://www.thechildrenstrust.org/content/ach-direct-deposit) so you can receive your salary supplement via ACH. An ACH is an electronic fund transfer made between banks and credit unions across what is called the Automated Clearing House network. ACH is used for all kinds of fund transfer transactions, including direct deposit of paychecks and monthly debits for routine payments. This data is collected directly by Merge IT and it is not stored or kept in the WELS A$CEND database.

  • Bank Routing & Account Number: These are collected so that you may receive payment via ACH (Direct Deposit)
  • Image of a Voided Check: To verify that the bank information provided is correct, as well as to avoid potential mistakes with payments.

When you are not signed into your A$CEND Account, we store the information and data we collect with unique identifiers tied to the browser, application, or device you are using. This allows us to do things like maintain your preferences across browsing sessions.

Information we collect as you use our services

Your apps, browsers & devices

We collect information about the apps, browsers, and devices you use to access A$CEND services, which helps us provide features like automatic product updates and dimming your screen if your battery runs low.

The information we collect includes unique identifiers, browser type and settings, device type and settings, operating system, mobile network information (including carrier name and phone number), and application version number. We also collect information about the interaction of your apps, browsers, and devices with our services, including IP address, crash reports, system activity, and the date, time, and referrer URL of your request.

Your activity

We collect information about your activity in our services, which we use to track any issues you may encounter and to keep track in error logs. If there is an issue with your application, this will help us determine the steps you followed and will help us restore your application. This information includes:

  • Data entered through the app in various steps of the application.
  • When you logged in.
  • When you signed out.
  • When you submit the application.
  • When you submit your tax information.
  • When you submit your bank information.

Measure performance

We use data for analytics and measurement to understand how our services are used and to determine how to best enhance them. We use a variety of tools to do this, including Google Analytics.

Communicate with you

We use information we collect, like your email address or mobile number, to interact with you directly. For example, we may send you a notification if we detect suspicious activity, like an attempt to sign into your A$CEND Account from an unusual location. Or we may let you know about upcoming changes or improvements to our services. If you contact us, we will also keep a record of your request to help solve any issues you might be facing.

To protect you

We use information to help improve the safety and reliability of our services. This includes detecting, preventing, and responding to fraud, abuse, security risks, and technical issues that could harm you and your data.

We use different technologies to process your information for these purposes. We analyze your content to help us detect abuse such as spam, malware, and illegal content. We also use algorithms to recognize patterns in data.

We may combine the information we collect among our services and across your devices for the purposes described above.

We will ask for your consent before using your information for any purpose that is not covered in this Privacy Policy.

SHARING YOUR INFORMATION

When you share your information

In order to determine your eligibility and pay you the A$CEND salary supplement, we must share this information with our affiliated partners.

For external processing

We provide personal information to our affiliates and other trusted businesses or persons to process it for us, based on our instructions and in compliance with our Privacy Policy and any other appropriate confidentiality and security measures. For example, we use service providers to help operate our data centers, deliver our products and services, improve our internal business processes, and offer additional support to customers and users.

For legal reasons

We will share personal information outside of WELS if we have a good-faith belief that access, use, preservation, or disclosure of the information is reasonably necessary to:

  • Meet any applicable law, regulation, legal process, or enforceable governmental request.
  • Enforce applicable Terms of Service, including investigation of potential violations.
  • Detect, prevent, or otherwise address fraud, security, or technical issues.
  • Protect against harm to the rights, property or safety of WELS, our partners, or the public as required or permitted by law.

We may share non-personally identifiable information publicly and with our partners — such as publishers, advertisers, developers, or rights holders. For example, we share information publicly to show trends about the general use of our services.

If WELS is involved in a merger, acquisition, or sale of assets, we will continue to ensure the confidentiality of your personal information and give affected users notice before personal information is transferred or becomes subject to a different privacy policy.

KEEPING YOUR INFORMATION SECURE

We build security into our services to protect your information.

All WELS products are built with strong security features that continuously protect your information. The insights we gain from maintaining our services help us detect and automatically block security threats from ever reaching you. If we do detect something risky that we think you should know about, we will notify you and help guide you through steps to stay better protected.

We work hard to protect you and A$CEND from unauthorized access, alteration, disclosure, or destruction of information we hold. To do so, we:

  • Use encryption to keep your data private while in transit.
  • Offer a range of security features, like Security Checkup, and two-factor authentications to help you protect your account.
  • Review our information collection, storage, and processing practices (including physical security measures) to prevent unauthorized access to our systems.
  • Restrict access to personal information to employees, contractors, and agents who need that information in order to process it. Anyone with this access is subject to strict contractual confidentiality obligations and may be disciplined or terminated if they fail to meet these obligations.

RETAINING YOUR INFORMATION

We retain the data we collect for different periods of time depending on what it is and how we use it. Some data you can delete whenever you like, such as the content you create or upload such as photos and documents. Other types of data we retain for longer periods of time if necessary for legitimate business or legal purposes including security, fraud and abuse prevention, or financial record-keeping.

When you delete data, we follow up a deletion process to make sure that your data is safely and completely removed from our servers or retained only in anonymized form. We try to ensure that our services protect information from accidental or malicious deletion. Because of this, there may be delays between the time when you delete something and when copies are deleted from our active and backup systems.

Categories of personal information we collect

Identifiers such as your name, phone number, and address, as well as unique identifiers tied to the browser, application, or device you are using.

Demographic information such as your age, gender, race, ethnicity, and language.

Biometric information, if you choose to provide it.

Internet, network, and other activity information such as browsers, and devices you use with our services (like IP address, crash reports, and system activity); and activity on third-party sites and apps that use our services.

Geolocation data that may be determined by GPS, IP address, and other data from sensors on or around your device, depending in part on your device and account settings.

Professional, employment, and education information such as information you provide or that is maintained through an organization using services at which you study or are employed.

Other information you create or provide, such as the content you create, upload, or receive (like photos, and docs).

Business purposes for which information may be used or disclosed

Protecting against security threats, abuse, and illegal activity. WELS uses and may disclose information to detect, prevent, and respond to security incidents, as well as for protecting against other malicious, deceptive, fraudulent, or illegal activity. For example, to protect our services, WELS may receive or disclose information about IP addresses that malicious actors have compromised.

Auditing and measurement. WELS uses information for analytics and measurement to understand how our services are used, as well as to fulfill obligations to our partners like publishers, advertisers, developers, or rights holders. We may disclose non-personally identifiable information publicly and with these partners, including for auditing purposes.

Maintaining our services. WELS uses information to ensure our services are working as intended, such as tracking outages or troubleshooting bugs and other issues that you report to us.

Research and development. WELS uses information to improve our services and to develop new products, features and technologies that benefit our users and the public.

Use of service providers. WELS shares information with service providers to perform services on our behalf, in compliance with our Privacy Policy and other appropriate confidentiality and security measures. For example, we may rely on service providers to help provide customer support.

Legal reasons. WELS also uses information to satisfy applicable laws or regulations, and discloses information in response to legal process or enforceable government requests, including to law enforcement.

Parties with whom information may be shared

Third parties to whom you consent to sharing your information, such as services that integrate with WELS’ services.

Service providers, trusted businesses or persons that process information on WELS’ behalf, based on our instructions and in compliance with our Privacy Policy and any other appropriate confidentiality and security measures.

Law enforcement or other third parties, for the legal reasons described in Sharing your information.

ABOUT THIS POLICY

When this policy applies

This Privacy Policy applies to all of the services offered by WELS Systems Foundation and its affiliates, including the A$CEND app, Provider Portal, and Early Learning Coalition (ELC) Portal. This Privacy Policy does not apply to services which have separate privacy policies that do not incorporate this Privacy Policy.

This Privacy Policy does not apply to:

  • The information practices of other companies and organizations that use our services.
  • Services offered by other companies or individuals, including products or sites they offer that may include WELS services to which the policy applies.

Changes to this policy

We may change this policy as needed. We always indicate the date the last changes were published. If changes are significant, we will provide a more prominent notice (including, for certain services, email notification of Privacy Policy changes).

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