In some cases, day care teachers issue special codes to parents, enabling them to “follow” their children from room to room. Parental access does have limitations, however. For example, if a parent enrolls his 4-year-old child in day care, he won’t be allowed to view the infant nursery. He will only be able to see what’s happening in the child’s classroom. For privacy reasons, cameras are never placed in restrooms and changing stations.
How Secure Is It?
Parents who rely on childcare need to be assured that they’re leaving their children in a secure, protected environment. Since it’s no different with digital day care, it’s no wonder Internet video companies are aggressive when it comes to security.
For starters, providers of Internet video monitoring never identify the locations of the childcare facilities they feature on their Web sites. Rigorous security measures, such as firewalls, password protection, encryption, and routine monitoring of Web site traffic are the industry standard. Encryption, which is considered the most effective way to safeguard data, is the translation of information into a secret code.
“It’s scary, but it would probably be easier to break into the actual day care building than to hack into our secure servers,” says Glen Schenenga, vice president and general manager of the New York City-based ParentWatch. “We’ve never experienced a breach of security; it’s nearly impossible.”
Keeping Parents in the Loop
Having the freedom to check in on their kids at any given moment, whether by logging on to make sure their children are eating enough or watching to see if a fever has subsided, increases parents’ peace of mind and reduces anxiety. It also offers working parents the opportunity to become involved in the day-to-day care of their children from any location.
According to Schenenga, caregivers often use the digital cameras to send messages to parents. He shared the story of a father who recently logged on to the ParentWatch Web site to see his baby girl not long after dropping her off at day care. She wasn’t upset when he left her, but the Web cam showed a very different story. His child was now irritated and crying. Reaching out for help, a clever teacher held a sign to the camera that read, “Please bring your daughter her binky!” The father delivered the pacifier right away and all was well.
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