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Would You Spy On Your Child’s Daycare Centre?

August 20, 2012

Keeping an eye on your children has taken on a new meaning for parents with children in daycare.

Moms and dads worried about their kids  at daycare have a new way of keeping tabs on their toddlers – they can watch them live on CCTV.

Digital technology and the Internet let working parents peek in on their kids. They are able to log onto the Net from their laptops, iPads or smart phones, head to the daycare’s website and type in a password to open up windows displaying their toddlers finger-painting or having their nap.

The cameras are on 24 hours a day and, from strategic positions, capture wide-angle views of what is happening at all times. The footage is digitized, compressed and streamed to a video server. Through a broadband connection,  the live footage is transmitted instantaneously from the server to the website, where parents can view what’s being captured by the cameras in real time.

So far, Canada only has a few daycare operations offering live streaming video. Kinder Campus Ltd., an individually owned Edmonton centre with two loacations, is one of them. That puts Canada behind the United States, where Webcam technology has been used to stream live video for a decade. About 1000 of that country’s daycares currently offer it.

An article in The Globe and Mail on May 25, 2001, Debra Paufler, owner and director of Kinder Campus, said she wanted the technology because she viewed it as a way to involve parents in their children’s care. “The main benefit has been increased respect for our staff because now parents can see how hard they work and what they actually do all day. It also alleviates ‘mommy guilt’, inspired by toddlers who cry when they’re dropped off. We tend to have mellow kids and high-maintenance parents. Parents leave and think, ‘My child is crying all day at daycare.’ When you log on and see them happy and playing instead, you don’t have to feel so guilty. Parents who travel frequently on business also really welcome the opportunity.”

Addie Sorrell, a Together Magazine Intern, suggests the following pros and cons in a recent post:

Pros of daycare web-cam feeds

  • There’s less of a chance of missing monumental moments, like your child’s first steps.
  • Bullies will always wait until the grown-ups have their backs turned to shove someone (potentially your someone) out of their chair. Live video footage will help when dealing with those incidents.
  • Peace of mind, especially for new parents, knowing they can always take a quick peek to calm their nerves.
  • Being able to witness how your child’s social skills develop while in daycare and how he/she interacts with other children.

Cons of daycare web-cam feeds

  • An important aspect when choosing daycare is trust. What does it say about that trust if you use CCTV to check up on the daycare staff?
  • You are tempted to watch your child 24/7. That might interfere with your performance at work.
  • Websites can always be hacked. Who else is watching your child?
  • Webcams in daycare could be viewed as an invasion of privacy.

What do you think? Would you spy on your child’s daycare centre?

If you don’t have a security system, are not happy with your current security provider or don’t have your system  monitored, call me for a free, no-obligation consultation. You will be glad you did!

Ulli Robson, Security Specialist, (780) 288-2986


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