Video Monitoring For Child Care
At childcare.net, we strongly encourage parents to monitor their child care arrangements to ensure they remain safe and of good quality. We've even published workbooks on the topic, such as our Warning Signs of Poor Child Care and Monitoring Your Child Care Arrangements. And with the ever-growing placement of real-time video cameras in daycare centres, parent's can handle the task from the convenience of their work computer. Even parents on the go or without access to a computer will soon be able to check in on their children through the Internet on their cell phones thanks to forward-thinking companies like Watchkids.com.
While daycare centers and family daycare homes have open-door policies that let you visit your child anytime, not all parents are able to leave work during the day. For these parents, access to a daycare video system where they can pop online and see how their child is doing, is well worth the nominal month service fee.
Parents who sign up for a center's video service log on at least six times a day, on average, for 15 minutes at a time, notes Bonnie Rotham Morris, in her New York Times article, Webcams Focus on Day Care. "Parents who are watching say the service is the balm that soothes their guilt about leaving their children in day care for stretches as long as 12 hours daily."
Daycare video systems also enhance parent provider communication. Instead of asking the teacher how a child's day was, parents can ask specific questions about their child's behaviour or eating habits, or simply have a chuckle about a silly thing they saw their child do. Likewise, parents can strike up a conversation with their child on the ride home about the art project of the day or the book they read with the teacher.
But parents aren't the only one's who benefit from from a daycare real-time video system. The centres themselves have a lot to gain from installing the program. This type of service helps generating new enrollments and increase revenue opportunities. It reaffirms a complete open-door policy enhancing trust, communication, and goodwill between staff and parents. Above all, it soothes a parent's worries and concerns when they see, first hand, how wonderful and caring employees at a centre are.
How does it Work?
Real network cameras that do not need to be connected to a PC are installed in centre classrooms and positioned on the children's favorite gathering places. No cameras are pointed at diaper-changing stations, bathrooms or administrative offices. Authorized parents can then log in with a unique user name and password enabling them to view streaming images of their children via an Internet connection.
Today, companies like WatchKids, provide free cameras and the servers that drive the video over the Internet. For a nominal monthly fee parents can have fun watching their child play and learn. Watchkids also provides an online community that allows the childcare provider to communicate with the parents through a secure message system. As a monitoring system for child care, the peace of mind such systems provide is priceless.