Nursery watch
Many parents agree it is a heart-wrenching moment when you leave your young child at nursery before going to work, but logging on to a nursery website to watch your child's daily activities could be the solution. HEATHER RAMSDEN spoke to the managing director of a Woolwich nursery which has installed a network of cameras
Published on Sep 2006, "This is London" supplement

The Sunshine Day nursery in Woolwich Arsenal is an 82-place nursery for children aged up to five years old and every day the nursery is monitored by 16 cameras, two in each of the nursery's rooms.

Parents can log on to the secure website from home or work using secure passwords.

They may only log in to the room their child is in and watch them at set times during, feeding, sleeping and play.

Managing director Majma Uddin said the nursery's network, called Nurserycam was introduced, "so we could keep in line with our policy of being an open-door nursery.

"Nowadays the nursery industry is ripe with tales of abuse and we pride ourselves on having nothing to hide. We keep a backlog of about six months, so if there is ever a complaint we can go back to the incident and we have proof.

"In our experience, parents are happy with the system. At first they don't know what it is but then after a while they understand the power of it and they do use it.

A recent psychological study found webcams fulfil various psychological needs of today's parents, especially the needs for safety, love and for knowledge and understanding.

In interviews with parents it found webcams allowed them to gain insight and participate in their children's activities at the nursery, thereby helping them with their child's development.

So if you're caught between choosing to develop your career or stay at home with your children, sending your child to a webcam-linked nursery might be the answer. As one parent said: "It's just a quick check in the morning and after lunch to let me know everything is fine."

Grandparents or relatives abroad can also benefit from the system because they can log on from anywhere which has an internet connection.

Majam concluded: "It saves ambiguity. All nurseries should have it."

To find nurseries with webcams in your area, visit www.nurserycam.co.uk