Fingerprint security at day nursery
A NURSERY in Northamptonshire has installed a hi-tech fingerprint entry system to create an even safer environment at the centre.
Published on 21/07/06 Northampton Chronicle and Echo

Hardingstone Day Nursery is using sophisticated technology, usually seen in military bases and government buildings, to admit parents and carers on to its premises as part of a 1,700pounds package of security measures to protect staff and children.

It is thought the centre is the only nursery in Northamptonshire to enforce an entry system using biometric data.
The system, called NurseryCam, was introduced at the childcare facility, which caters for youngsters aged three months to five years, when the nursery relocated to a larger building in the village.

Nursery owner, Jackie Byles, said the move meant only authorised people could be admitted on to the site.

She said: "Before the children join us, we ask the parents to attend a pre-visit where they place their thumb or a finger on an electronic scanner. The print is stored on a computer and used to confirm the person's identity."

She added: "It's really a two-way safety procedure because it also keeps the children on the premises because they can be very canny and might get out without a supervisor looking.

"There really isn't a big civil liberties issue because even though the system records biometric data, it's a numerical pattern attached to that fingerprint, not an actual copy of a fingerprint."

The first nursery to install a fingerprint entry system was at a childcare centre in Northumberland in January.

Other security measures at Hardingstone Day Nursery include number-coded doors in the classrooms and CCTV cameras around the building.

Mrs Byles said: "We could have spent the money on buying toys and learning equipment but we decided the safety of the children and staff were paramount.

"There's been a lot of positive feedback from the parents and they really like it because it gives them that extra reassurance."