Protecting children James Bond fashion
Published on 19th February 2007, Southern Daily Echo

NURSERY bosses have installed James Bond-style technology to protect youngsters from strangers.

The new entry system, the sort of gadget Q designs for 007 in the popular film series, means parents must have their fingerprints checked before they can enter.

By scanning and checking a parent's unique print the system means that the door can be opened to mums and dads of children at the nursery - but no one else.

Woodberry Day Nursery, which has 100 children on its books aged from four months to five years, is believed to be the first in Southampton to introduce the technology.

It has given peace of mind to dozens of parents who say that making sure their child is safe and secure at the nursery in Botley Road, Sholing, is one of their top priorities.

Only parents and carers whose fingerprints were taken by a special fingerprint reader and put on a special database can gain access to the nursery.

It also means that staff do not have to always answer the door to let parents in.

Nursery manager Kathy Beauchamp said: "The system has been installed for a couple of weeks and it has gone really smoothly.

Enthusiastic "All the parents have been very enthusiastic. It obviously gives them open access as and when they want. For example we have some parents who come to breastfeed their babies."

Victoria Welch, an assistant project manager in the NHS and mum of four-year-old Ethan, of Bitterne Park, said: "I think it is brilliant. It helps make the nursery secure and at the end of the day making sure my child is safe is a top concern."

Michael Crook, 41, a screen technician of Sholing, whose son George (3) attends the nursery said: "It's great because it is so quick to come through the door rather than waiting for someone. It gives you peace of mind."

The pioneering entry system that relies on the biometric data of adults' fingerprints also keeps a record of all the people that have gained access to the nursery.

CCTV images of the nursery's entrance are on show in all the playrooms so staff can see who is coming and going.

Dr Melissa Kao, managing director of NurseryCam Ltd, who created the system, said: "When people think of fingerprint identification they think of James Bond. This proves state-of-the-art technology is available to everyday services too."

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