Cameras in nursery

(18 Posts)

Just discovered that in dd nursery staff use their own mobile phones for taking photos of the kids. Manager is very against changing this. This also means staff still have their phones on them when they take children to be changed.

somewheresomehow Sat 16-Feb-13 16:50:26

For me this is a major safeguarding issue. I work as supply nursery staff and in every nursery i have been in phones are either in a locker or in their bags away from the children. Any staff member would be up for disciplinary and possibly sacked for having their phone on them. The manager should stop this immediately and make sure that all children's photos are deleted pronto.
I would not be leaving a child of mine in their care if this was happening

insancerre Sat 16-Feb-13 18:44:32

Settings should have a policy on the use of mobile phones- it's the law under the EYFS.
While it doesn't actually say that phones are banned it is what it imples- why else have a policy on their use if they could be used freely and without any sanctions.
MOST nurseries have banned the use of mobile phones by staff while they have children in their care and most have banned the use of mobiles in the setting at all, except for in the staff room.
In my setting even parents are banned from using their mobiles in the setting.

Op, I would raise this issue with the nursery and ask to see their mobile phone policy- this is a very big safeguarding issue at the moment.
This from the EYFS-
The safeguarding policy and procedures must include an explanation of the action to be taken in the event of an allegation being made against a member of staff, and cover the use of mobile phones and cameras in the setting
EYFS

Thanks this is in Scotland so different rules apply but have emailed care inspectorate for advice.

Tanith Mon 18-Feb-13 08:31:40

Not at all a safeguarding issue and most certainly not an implied ban on mobiles in the EYFS!
It reminds me of the hysterical fuss that led to "no touching" policies that I think some nurseries still have, where children weren't allowed on laps for cuddles.
A lot of settings use them for recording evidence for the EYFS - on iphones, there are even apps for doing this.
There should be a clear policy on how the nursery deal with mobile phones and what they do with any photos taken. It's then up to parents how comfortable they are with the policy.

BlueyDragon Mon 18-Feb-13 08:39:24

I'd be hugely uncomfortable with this, you have no control over what then happens to the staff phones and the pictures on them - lost, stolen, whatever. If the nursery wants pics in EYFS records then there should be a nursery camera that doesn't leave the premises. And the nursery should have a policy on photos full stop under the Data Protection Act (not 100% sure for Scotland though).

There was an horrendous abuse case in nurseries only a couple of years ago where the perpetrators used their mobiles to take pictures of the abuse and circulate them. Certainly our nursery tightened up after that and banned parents/carers and staff from using the cameras on the premises.

TheChimpParadox Mon 18-Feb-13 08:51:01

I believe it is a safeguarding issue - as mentoioned in Blue Dragons post - a couple of yeras ago the case of female nursery worker taking photos on mobile phone. After that alot of nurseries tightened up on mobile phones - where I occasionally work - phones are away and we have a nursery camera to take photos.

How can you 'police' what staff do with the photos of children in their setting on their phone camera - yes they may be for the EYFS but there is a risk (as highlighted in previous court cases) and it has to be managed hence no mobile phones in work.

Tanith Mon 18-Feb-13 10:25:05

Yes, I know all about the Plymouth case, but I fail to see why every nursery worker should be viewed with suspicion.

Really, if they can be trusted so little, they shouldn't be trusted with young children in the first place!

There are childcarers all over the country that use mobile phones with the parents' permission: nannies, childminders, nursery workers. It is not a safeguarding issue.

BlueyDragon Mon 18-Feb-13 10:42:05

I'm not viewing every nursery worker with suspicion, I am viewing the people they know and who I haven't had the opportunity to assess with suspicion. I don't know where the photos might end up. We have a nanny now and she uses her phone to take pictures of our kids but the boundaries are set out very clearly. And that's one person, not an entire nursery staff.

I agree with you Tanith that there should be a clear policy and it's up to parents how comfortable they are with it. I wouldn't be comfortable with staff using their mobiles for photos in the nursery; other people may be.

Locketjuice Mon 18-Feb-13 11:23:04

We wasnt allowed to even carry our phone in our hands from the staff room to go out for lunch it had to be away at all times and never leave the staff room whilst not on lunch

Tanith Mon 18-Feb-13 12:39:02

I agree, BlueyDragon: so long as boundaries are defined and the policy is clearly stated, as required by the EYFS, there should be no issue, certainly not a safeguarding one.

Happilymarried155 Mon 18-Feb-13 22:16:37

Serious safeguarding issue here. Yes nursery workers shouldn't all be regarded with suspision but unfortuately some nursery workers do break the rules, this is why there should be strict rules regarding mobile phones. Why on earth can the nursery not just have one nursery camera that all pictures are taken on, it is highly inappropriate for the staff to have access to thier phones all day, they should be taking care of the children not preoccupied on thier phones.
If I was you I would contact ofsted. They would not be happy about this.

Unfortunately I'm in Scotland so no ofsted and owner says the equivilant body is aware.

Foxy800 Wed 27-Feb-13 21:35:05

Thats awful, i work in a nursery and all staffs phones are in their locker, not allowed anywhere else in the nursery. We have cameras in the nursery solely for taking photos of the children for their profiles etc and only for that, they are never taken off site etc, but as for phones in the nursery that is a HUGE NO, we even ask the parents to turn them off when coming into the nursery.

BackforGood Wed 27-Feb-13 22:01:06

It most certainly is a safeguarding issue Tanith - I only renewed my DSP training in the Autumn and it was made perfectly clear.
My question to the managment would be why the staff need their phones on them anyway ? Surely they should be working, not phoning or texting. If there were some emergency then the contact number would be the landline in the Nursery.
I visit nurseries as part of my job, and 3 times this year have been asked to lock my phone away as I enter the premises, even though I would never actually be alone witha child, and most places either request I turn it off, or don't mention it - as it would be pretty obvious if I took my phone out infront of them for some inappropriate use. I think tha'ts a bit OTT, but the staff in the setting need to think about safeguarding themselves from accusations. There's NO WAY they should have photos of the dc on their own phones.

Phil2216 Thu 28-Feb-13 19:43:01

I can tell you after June this year it will be completely illegal for any staff to have there phones on them they must be kept out of the room and it is illegal now to ever take a mobile in to a nappy changing room I would inform the police if I was you

BlueyDragon Fri 01-Mar-13 06:28:31

Phil, the OP is in Scotland with a different legal system. What legislation is it illegal under in England and Wales? Making indecent photographs is illegal, but simply having a camera phone on your person in a nursery isn't AFAIK.

LadyWidmerpool Fri 01-Mar-13 06:42:51

I'm in Scotland and have never seen a mobile phone in my daughter's nursery. Staff shouldn't be using their phones, they are a distraction when they need to be absolutely eagle eyed the whole time. Also they are at risk of damage! Do you have a parents' forum or something similar? Our nursery is obsessed with parent feedback (think it helps with inspections!) so has lots of communication channels. If the manager isn't interested in parents' feedback/concerns that would be worrying to me. How hard is it to buy a cheap camera?!

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