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Webcam in nurseries
34

gillunderhill · 02/09/2007 14:59

Hi I co-own a large nursery and we are soon to move to new premises, giving us the opportunity to review security etc. A state of the art system is available which includes a biometric fingerprint entry system, CCTV, and webcam. I am interested in your thoughts about webcam (being able to view your child via the internet in their home room), and, if you had the choice between two similar nurseries, one with and one without webcam, which would you choose and why? Also if any of you already use a nursery with it installed, is it helpful?

Hope you don't mind me asking, and your honest opinions would be much appreciated! It would be great if loads of you answered then I could get an idea of whether the majority approve or disapprove.....

Many thanks!

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Biglips · 02/09/2007 15:01

My life would come to a stop if i had to check on my DD on the webcam...i be too paranoid!! but everyone is different.

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cornsilk · 02/09/2007 15:08

What would you do if parent's didn't give permission for it - I'm assuming they have to.

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mummymagic · 02/09/2007 15:14

Er... I think its weird. I would be worried about access to the webcam and presumably all other parents would be able to see my child. Don't see the point.

I also personally think that nurseries with too many novelties (french lessons, yoga, special food) are forgetting about the basics of merely looking after children well (just my opinion from looking round some).

Why not use it as a fun thing for the children to do at certain times? eg at 2pm different children can say hello to their parents as part of using the computer.

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gillunderhill · 02/09/2007 15:18

That's why I'm asking really - it would be a very bad move to consider installing something that parents were not happy with, and the last thing I want to do is upset the customer! Some people seem to see it as a very positive thing, whilst others are not sure.

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mummymagic · 02/09/2007 15:21

Oh yes, this is just my opinion.

But there may be a lot of parents who would go for it. It probably depends on your market.

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gillunderhill · 02/09/2007 15:24

It's supposed to give peace of mind to parents that their child is happy and settled, and it promotes an 'open door' policy in the light of some of the awful press nurseries have received lately. The message from nurseries with it installed is that they have nothing to hide, you are free to look anytime, and that they are proud of the standard of care that they give. It works on the basis that you can only view the room your child is in, and then only when your child is there. So yes, other parents of children in the same room would be albe to see your child too, in the same way that they would when they dropped off/collected their child.

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lulumama · 02/09/2007 15:26

i would want the people working in the nursery to give the best possible care beacsue they want to, not because they think a parent might be watching

i think it is a bad idea, although an open door policy is great

the nursery DS went to offered parents the chance to come and have lunch with their children

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gillunderhill · 02/09/2007 15:31

You're right, an open door policy is essential. At the moment we operate a key fob entry system, so some parents do drop in at any time, but obviously a lot can't do that if they work some distance away, and I wondered whether this would be an extension of the policy.

I like the idea of lunch with the children!

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nannynick · 02/09/2007 17:28

While temping in a nursery a year or so ago, the topic of having a Webcam came up in a lunchtime conversation between myself and the nursery manager.

One drawback the manager found was that a parent could log in at anytime and watch their child constantly. One parent would do this a lot, they would watch and call the nursery manager whenever they saw anything they wanted changing. They wanted someone to hold their little one at all times, make sure other children didn't take toys off their child etc. In the end, it got too much for all concerned and the child left the nursery.

However, CCTV can be useful. If a child wanders off while playing outside and hides somewhere for example, the CCTV can be quickly reviewed to see which direction the child was last spotted heading, thus making the search area smaller. Not to worry you, children rarely get mislaid, but some children can be good at hiding!

Having CCTV can also protect staff from allegations of abuse. CCTV can also be used as evidence by the police if criminal damage occurs on the nursery site.

Biometric fingerprint I think is going a bit far, anyone entering the building should be met by a staff member anyway. Staff can have keyfobs to open automatic doors, plus managers will have keys. CCTV for security purposes I think is a must these days, but I don't feel it needs to be web enabled. However, I am not a parent... so my view is as someone who works in childcare. If a parent wanted to review CCTV they could do so (under usual data protection act rules).

From a marketing point of view though, it is a good question - if a nursery had a webcam system installed, would a parent select that nursery over a nursery which only had a CCTV system (without web access)?

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winegums · 03/09/2007 13:19

Have webcams at my DD nursery. great when she first started - bonus for her granparents - they don't live in London, nother story!! staff don't sem to be put out and very secure i can only only see the rooms DD is in and only on the days she attends.

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gillunderhill · 03/09/2007 22:13

Winegums do you have to pay for access to the webcam?

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BettySpaghetti · 03/09/2007 22:26

Despite the negative stories I've posted there are a lot of positives too.

I posted a wanted ad recently for something (camping stove) and a lovely woman emailed me to say that we were welcome to borrow hers anytime we liked if we weren't succesful.

She was a woman who had responded to one of our offers in the past so maybe this was part of it?

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BettySpaghetti · 03/09/2007 22:26

oops wrong thread

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SKYTVADDICT · 03/09/2007 22:29

DS was going to start a nursery with a webcam next January but I have decided to put him with a c/m instead. I was quite looking forward to using the webcam though. It was going to be £5 a month on top of cost.

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winegums · 04/09/2007 07:39

hi, we don't pay for the webcam - it's part of the package offered by the nursery.

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FirstAtForty · 04/09/2007 08:32

I think it's understandably really difficult and emotional for mothers to leave young children at nursery for the first time, and viewing them on the webcam all the time I think would exert extra and unhelpful pressure on both the parent and staff.

Much more important that the parent is encouraged to spend some 'real time' at the nursery, especially during the first few weeks as the child is settling in. (I used to come at lunchtimes to bf, which Initially I thought would be a pain but I really enjoyed it). You can then chat properly to the staff about any issues, get to know them and really get a feeling for how they understand the children and respond to their needs.

On the question of marketing, I think it is something that I would have been attracted to before she went there. But now I don't think it would be good if they did install it - it would be too tempting to compulsively watch it when you need to be getting on with work etc!

So IMO better to rely on a good reputation and recommendations than 'gimmicky' stuff. My main deciding factor was that it had been recommended by other mothers and a former member of staff.

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RubySlippers · 04/09/2007 08:36

this sort of thing wouldn't attract me to a nursery
i want good, nurturing care and low staff turn over, as well as good home cooked food
i would hate to think DS was only being well cared for because i could check up on him
my son's nursery doesn't have this but they have a good open door policy and i am more reassured by this
TBH it sounds gimmicky

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winegums · 04/09/2007 09:29

i don't use it to check up - it's just there if i want to see DD but don't use it every day. i certainly didn't choose the nursery 'cos of the webcam it's an added bonus. use key fobs to get in and they certainly have an open door policy. staff are lovely and all the food is home cooked and organic.

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Squiffy · 04/09/2007 09:59

Our nursery has CCTV everywhere but doesn't allow parents to access it. It is there for 2 reasons:-

  1. In case anything 'happens' they can check the circumstances
  2. They can use it for training purposes for their staff

    I reckon the fact that it is there is a huge bonus, and I thoroughly approve of the fact that parents do NOT have access... I think if people don't have complete trust in a nursery then they shouldn't leave their children there, webcam or not...
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Squiffy · 04/09/2007 10:00

oops ... when I say 'our nursery' I mean the local one my children go to, not that I run one myself...

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legalalien · 04/09/2007 10:13

I'm quite surprised to hear about the webcam, as I would have thought it raised some fairly thorny data protection issues (constant monitoring using CCTV is difficult enough). As Nanny Nick notes, parents would be entitled to access CCTV images under normal data protection rules. If I were a nursery worker in a nursery where parents had constant web-enabled access, I think I'd be justifiably concerned about my privacy and asking a few questions about how the system was being justified from a data protection perspective.

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thehairybabysmum · 04/09/2007 10:55

It would put me off using a nursery i think, i dont think constant cctv monitoring is healthy. Can understand it outside for security at night and stuff but thats it.

To me it implies maybe staff not trustworthy, or management are a bit detached...easier to monitor staff with cctv then having a good relationship with them??

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gillunderhill · 04/09/2007 18:14

This is all good stuff - thanks for your views - keep them coming please, it's helping loads to understand your thoughts!

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inlovewithjose · 04/09/2007 22:13

think its a step back, almost like admitting defeat(the staff are so bad they need constant watching) some parents might go for it, but i wouldnt. good luck

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dinny · 04/09/2007 22:17

no way would I want a nursery to have webcam - would rather not spend all day obsessively staring at the screen.

but our old nursery did have biometric fingerpad entry system and I realy liked it.

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