NURSERY WEBCAM PIONEER
Parents can watch their children via internet
Published on Dec, Express Echo by Catherine Watson and Nicholas Randall

A new Exeter nursery will become the first in the country to use a pioneering webcam allowing parents to watch their children.

Munchkins Day Nursery, in St. Leonard's, which opens in January, has installed a system called NurseryCam, which gives parents the chance to go on the internet to see live pictures of their children.

Mums and dads can use a secure internet site from any computer to check on their youngsters and see how they are being looked after.

Kate Smith, who set up Munchkins, said: "We decided to go with the webcam after TV programmed this year which worried people about the nurseries."

"It will reassure parents that their children are being looked after properly. We were a bit concerned about what the staff would think when we were recruiting them, but they are all on board."

"They all think it is a wonderful idea. It will show everyone what a good job they are doing. And it will all be recorded, so if there are any disputes we can go back and look at the tape."

Munchkins, based in a large Victorian house in Mount Radford Crescent, has space for 60 children a day between the ages of eight weeks and five years.

The webcam equipment is being provided by NurseryCam Ltd, which has set up similar systems in nurseries across the country.

Dr Melissa Kao, a director, said: "This allows parents to be more involved in their children's development. It also gives nurseries chances to showcase services."

She said the facility would reassure parents after recent TV documentaries highlighted problems at nurseries in other parts of the country.

Kate, 26, who has been working as a nursery nurse in Exeter for 10 years, said: "The nursery pays a monthly fee to have it set up and we provide passwords to parents. They don't have to pay any extra."

"We are also providing a range of additional services. We are having French lessons for the three-to-five year olds, organic meals and baby massage for relaxation times."

"We are booking up quite fast but we still have a few places. We have appointed 15 nursery nurses and nursery assistants and we will eventually have more than 20."

The nursery opens on January 4. For more details, telephone Kate on 01392 498814.

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