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Webcam at nursery to ‘reassure parents’
A NURSERY has become the first in Oxfordshire to launch a ‘big mother’ style web cam so parents can keep a constant eye on their child.
Cherubs Nursery in Shipton-under-Wychwood, West Oxfordshire, set up Nurserycams, a scheme which has been rolled out elsewhere in the country.
The nursery has set up six webcams which allow parents to watch their toddler’s every move.
Anxious parents will be able to log on to the online server to monitor their tots from home, work or even on their smart phones.
The video streams are encrypted, protected by ‘multi-layered security measures’ and can only be accessed by parents with the correct passwords.
John Hairsine, business manager at Cherubs, started setting up the system six weeks ago and thinks it will prove a great success.
He said: “This is the way to go, it’s a fantastic concept.
“After parents have dropped them off, the child is running around happily after five minutes but the parent is still worrying.
“It reassures the parent and lets them see how much fun their child is having and all the great work going on.”
Mr Hairsine, 66, stressed that they have set up the appropriate precautions to ensure that it is safe.
He added: “It is military service-level encrypted for security reasons and to prevent obsessive use there will be a 15-minute per day limit for users.
“We don’t want employers getting annoyed because parents are glued to the webcam at work.”
The nursery has already introduced technology that allows parents to come and go as they please at the playgroup via a fingerprint recognition system.
Mr Hairsine, from Bourton-on-the-Water, said feedback from parents on the scheme –which costs £4,000 to set up – had been excellent.
“Their reaction has been fantastic. They love the idea.”
Anna Unwin, mum of two-year-old Boo, said: “When you leave your child with a stranger and she’s screaming and crying it can be very stressful.
“Now parents can go home and see them happily playing and be able to relax.
“I don’t see it as intrusive, I think it’s great.”
But Nick Pickles, director of civil liberties campaign group Big Brother Watch, said: “It is sad to hear that parents feel that they cannot trust that the security and happiness of their children will be ensured whilst in a nursery’s care.
“There is a fear that the surveillance of children is acting as a quick fix for complex issues, rather than implementing proper policies and rules to tackle problems.
“What does it say about our society when we want to put children under surveillance before they can read and write?
“In a world where more of our personal information is being collected than ever before, we should be educating children about protecting their privacy, not treating them as if they have none at all.”
But Mr Hairsine added: “It’s the way forward and we should use technology to advance nurseries.
“It builds a connection between the parent and child despite them being in different places.
“It gives parents peace of mind and reassures them about leaving their children with strangers, alleviating their anxieties.”