Big Mother is Watching!
... and thanks to a webcam she can see just what you're getting up to!
Published on 6/4/2005, East Anglian Daily Times by Richard Smith

A new nursery is the first in Suffolk to allow parents to see their children play via cameras linked to the internet.

The Rendlesham Day Nursery, at the former Bentwaters air base near Woodbridge, has installed discreet cameras in all the rooms.

Parents will be able to log on to the internet when the nursery opens later this month and watch their children being supervised by the staff.

However, parents will only be permitted to log in when their child is at the nursery and they will only have access to the live pictures taken in the room when he or she is playing.

Security steps including passwords and encryption technology have been taken to ensure that the webcam facility is only accessible to parents and not open to abuse by people who could want to use the pictures illegally.

The nursery is employing NurseryCam technology at a building formerly used by American administration staff in Acer Road.

Tina Powick, nursery owner, was unable to obtain planning permission to open a nursery in Woodbridge so she decided to locate her business at Rendlesham, where hundreds of homes and a primary school are being built.

The BBC documentary Nurseries Undercover last August caused serious anxiety among working parents when it highlighted potential problems at day nurseries.

And Mrs Powick, a childminder from Woodbridge, said she wanted to offer security and peach of mind to prospective parents. They will pay a small surcharge for the extra service.

Mrs Powick said:" There was a lot of concern about what has happened in some nurseries to children and parents were worried."

"They wanted to know that their children were happy and safe."

"The webcam is also CCTV and if there was an accident we could rewind to that point and show parents how it had happened."

"Even if parents donít use the webcam, they know that their child is on CCTV all day."

Six jobs have been created and it is hoped staff numbers will rise to 14 depending on the nursery's registration for number of children permitted on the premises.

The webcams have started to be installed at nurseries throughout the country and they are proving popular with grandparents and parents whose work commitments take them away from home.

The facility is provided by NurseryCam, of Crowthorne, Berkshire, and the company said that it could be watched from anywhere with an internet connection and soon parents would also be able to view their children on colour screen mobile phones.

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