Nursery webcam gives parents peace of mind
Published on 12 May 2006, ICSouthLondon.co.uk by Zara Bishop

MUMS and dads can keep an eye on their children at nursery from the comfort of their own desks.

Fifteen parents have registered to use a webcam system at Pitta Patta Nursery in Forest Hill which is the first of its kind in South London.

Nursery manager Ann Vennard said: "A lot of parents feel they are missing out on their children's day. If they have left their children crying in the morning, they can see if they have calmed down."

She added: "We have not had any negative feedback. Everyone has said what a fabulous idea it is."

"No one has rung up and said why aren't you playing with my child."

"The staff are all told about the webcam, but 80 per cent of the time they forget the camera is there."

The private nursery, in St German's Road, which opened in March, has installed 16 video cameras which are hooked up to the internet.

The 3,990pounds system covers the four playrooms and the garden which are used by 26 children aged between three months and five years.

Mums and dads have separate log-in names and passwords, and only have access to the web-site when their child is at the nursery.

Ms Vennard can see who is looking at the web-site and has the power to block cameras and restrict access.

Ms Vennard said: "There is always the idea that parents could be checking up on [nursery staff], especially the new parents."

"You have got to be very confident in the nursery to take this on because it would be a way parents could find complaints. I think nurseries and schools could use this type of system in the future."

Administration officer Carole Williams, from Forest Hill, whose daughter, Henria, two, attends the nursery said: "I thought it was absolutely amazing. I log on in my lunch break."

"It is nice to see her when I am missing her and I really feel close to her."

"If I didn't trust them, I wouldn't have brought her here to begin with. They fact they put the system in shows they think they have got nothing to hide."