View Poll Results: Do you want webcam access to see your children at daycare.

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  • Yes, but I wouldn't pay extra

    9 29.03%
  • No.

    4 12.90%
  • Yes, I would pay up to an extra $5.00 per week for this service.

    10 32.26%
  • Yes I woul pay up to $10.00 per week for this service.

    8 25.81%
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Thread: Webcams

  1. #1
    v.ridley
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    Default Webcams

    Hi all! I found it very interesting and exciting to see that kidsandcompany.ca offers web cams for their parents. You have your own access and password, and you can only look at your child's classroom. I thought what a great service. I am trying to convince the daycare I will be sending my children to, to look at this as an options. I hope you will help out with the poll and let me know what you think of this idea!!!

  2. #2
    Expert Forum User The Ultimate London Mom!

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    I think thats a wonderful idea! I am surprised actually that they don't do it already. It would make me feel much more comfortable leaving my LO (however, I am afraid I would log on all the time at work and get distracted or miss her too much and be sad) either way, its a good thing I think.

  3. #3
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    As a home daycare provider I must say that I would not have any problem if a parent requested this, because I am sure that I am providing proper care to all my little ones. I only wish that when my children were small and I had some really good and some really bad babysitters that there was some sort of technology that could have saved my own babies from some of the trauma they went through!

    It sounds like an invasion of privacy and you will get lots of differing opinions, but during work hours, I really don't believe it is an unreasonable request. Parents would have limited time at work to check in on their kids, but maybe they would have time on breaks and lunch. The whole idea would be a random check though, so that the daycare provider had no idea what time the parent was checking in. She may feel really self-conscious at first taking care of the kids but after a few days she would be able to just go about her normal day without thinking about it at all probably.

    I'm interested to see how parents respond to your poll!

  4. #4
    Expert Forum User bikruca's Avatar
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    kinda cool but also kinda freaks me out. big brother yk?
    Heather.

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  5. #5
    girlsmum
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    I didn't vote as I sit on the fence on this issue. I WANT to be able to trust the place where my girls are being care for, to say "yeah" I want a webcam installed might imply that I don't trust as most daycare experiences are good ones. If my girls acted differently suddenly when being dropped off for care I'd change providers anyway whether I'd seen cam footage or not.
    I guess some feel the need for it and there is in some cases, my teen's class could have used some footage taken of the way the teacher behaved in her grade 6 class, but I confronted the teacher myself anyway, saying that something was wrong and the students that approached me to confirm some issues I'd watched grow up for 8 years and if she was being improper to "change" herself immediately and left. She knew I would have brought her before the BOE.
    So how would I vote then..............

  6. #6
    v.ridley
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    I just want to be clear. I am not proposing the webcams as a method to watch the teacher or over trust issues, but more to be involved with my child through the day. See some of the things I am missing. I think, personally it would help me to feel connected and as though I haven't ;missed' out on their day. It's in no way a statement that I don't trust what the daycare providers are doing. If that was te case, my child(ren) would not be going there.

  7. #7
    girlsmum
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    Gotcha............voted! If my girls suddenly started with some words, I'd like to be able to hear them, if only onscreen!

  8. #8
    v.ridley
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    Thanks for voting Pat. I'm hoping others are just out because of the beautiful weekend and will vote/comment soon. I would really like a good sampling to help me make more case, or possibly not make my case if that's the general opinion. y'know?

  9. #9
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    I'd say I would like it. My husband and I have discussed this and our biggest concern is actually the internet security. Being done through a 3rd party with expertise is an interesting idea. The internet is a scary enough place to put up pictures of your children, let alone a video stream. If they could show reasonable security measures, I would love to be able to look. She isn't away from us for very long, but we still kind of 'sneak' up to the daycare room to peek in and see what she is doing. It is neat to see what she is doing and how she interacts with others when we aren't in the picture. They often tell us about things they do and how she gets involved or dances or does actions and it would be neat to take a peek during the day to perchance catch that moment

    I'm not sure about paying extra, mainly because of costs at the moment. I voted for without the extra fee, but could see something like the $5/week, at least initially if there was a start-up cost, I think the maintenance, longer term I would expect to be covered in the operating fees.

  10. #10
    v.ridley
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    Thanks lhastie. I appreciate the input. I definitely agree security measures need to be in place and be proved secure. I am sure this is available through most sites.
    And like you, for me it's about not missing out. I feel so guilty being at work and wondering what I am missing

  11. #11
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    Back in 2000 I used to work for the first organization to use video of the internet in Canada...they used the Watch Me Grow system which was the first of its kind in the States - since then there are lots of spins off companies.

    As for the paying.... either way centres offering this service to parents the parents are going to be paying....you either have it be in included in the weekly fees of all by having a slightly higher fee that all parents pay regardless of use or you sign up for the program and pay a sustantially higher monthly charge...back in 2000 it was $39.99/month. It is very expensive to install the system initially and childcare centres are definitely not going to do it if it will not pay for itself...they just do not have 'extra funds' lying around...however if you get a strong enough indication of interest a non-profit centre might be able to fundraise to get a system?

    ITA - it is not meant to be a 'big brother' watching thing nor would I ever let my 'gut instinct' guard down just cause a centre had the sysytem - as the cameras do not usually cover the entire classroom nor ALL areas of a centre (bathrooms / sleeprooms / hallways) someone who is intentionally wanting to 'avoid' being caught doing something they should not be doing will learn where/when to do it 'unwatched'...just as they avoid a Supervisor or other authoritarians watchful eye.

    The purpose of the cameras are to be a positive communication tool. It is an awesome tool for parents to stay connected with their wee ones - for young infants who cannot communicate it gives ops for parents to click and and see them engaged in fun things and feel connected as they grow it can be used for 'conversation starters' with verbal children - so you can avoid the 'nothing' and 'I dont remember responses' to "what did you do at daycare today" by being able to start conversations with "Mommy saw you enjoying the creative art table can you tell me a little more about what you did there?" Also it can help with keeping communication avenues open with caregivers as sometimes we might forget a 'minor incident' in our end of the day offerings but if you want more info you can say 'I saw my wee one struggling with another child over the blocks this morning - can you fill me in with the details cause it looked like you handles it awesome and I would like to be consistent at home'

    Someone in a previous post mentioned "I would love to hear their first word'....to be honest most centres that I know of do not stream 'sound' for several reasons...most of which the 'white noise' in a classroom makes it hard to pick up individual children/interactions and if I remember correctly the other one is a 'legal' issue something about in that you can stream vidoe in a workplace but when you add sound it can border 'invasion of privacy issues' on the part of the employees.

    As an ECE I had no issue with the VOI in classrooms - I personally found that it made the relationships with parents that much closer as they had a much better understanding of how busy and active days were and were much more forgiving to things like misplaced toys from home or paint stained clothes, etc. The biggest challenge for me was getting my staff to remember 'proper attire' in the workforce cause bending / squatting / sitting cross legged with kids present is one thing doing it on camera can send quite the image to view parents

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by totallyawake View Post
    The biggest challenge for me was getting my staff to remember 'proper attire' in the workforce cause bending / squatting / sitting cross legged with kids present is one thing doing it on camera can send quite the image to view parents
    lol - How true, camera up high could catch quite a bit of cleavage.

    I would love to have cameras in DD's daycare. I always watch her for a few minures before I let her know I'm there so I can see her interact with the other kids and see which toys she's playing with. They tell me all this stuff she does, but I don't get to see it.

    If I had any concerns with daycare staff I wouldn't have her there in the first place, it wouldn't a be a safety measure for me at all.
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  13. #13
    v.ridley
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    totallyawake. Thanks for the insightful views.

    did any of the parents have complaints or concerns about the systems being in place? What about your colleagues?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by v.ridley View Post
    did any of the parents have complaints or concerns about the systems being in place? .....
    IME the centre REALLY advertized the webcams as a selling feature so parents were well aware they were in use prior to enrolling and therefore were 'supportive' of them and I imagine anyone who was not comfortable with the concept would just have saught care elsewhere....I think it would be different to try and install the system in a centre that is already open and operating as a new feature because you will have those who do NOT want their child's image out there over the Internet...so for them if the system goes in anyway then they will have to either seek care elsewhere or if that is not an optoin I can see them being 'dissatified' with the new service.

    Like any technology - complaints or concerns were usually around kinks in systems that resulted in 'down time' or when a persons personal provider was running slow resulting in 'skipping images' as they veiwed and such.

    On occassion parents had concerns at seeing things that occured during the day and and not having the 'verbal' dialogue to go with it (ie toddler/preschool programs with biting/aggression issues occassionally parents would see an incident that the staff did not witness in its entirity and would have questions...etc) However these were all things that with open honest communication between caregiver and parent we could deal with - afterall parents need to realize that in a busy classroom with 15 to 24 children we are going to 'miss' subtle interactions that a third party not 'in the thick of it' might catch.

    I will share my own observation with the 'use' of the program with families.... there was a strong tendency back when I worked there to be very high infant / toddler age group subscriptions but once children reached preschool age and were 'verbal' the parents would cancel their subscription as it no longer seemed an investment priority to them - most parents commenting that the $40 could be better spent on extra curricular programs for their kids ...so it would be my suggestion that when 'budgeting' for how much to charge for the service that you count on your infant and toddler families carrying the cost...otherwise the centre could run into trouble carrying the additional expense

    Quote Originally Posted by v.ridley View Post
    What about your colleagues?
    IME I think that there is an even LARGER division between educators who feel like the concept is 'no big deal' and those who absolutely do NOT want to feel the pressure of being watched at all times....from my experience in the beginning we found it harder to recruit people willing (other centres would get 50 applicants to our 5 for example) as there was a lot of 'fear' of the unknown of it...bot being a new centre and the camera thing as well.... however once we were open for a while and people who worked there shared that after a while you 'forget' that the cameras are even there more people applied for positions....in reality it is no different for us then having 'observation windows' in the lab school classrooms as ECE students where professors/teachers watch our skills from one way mirrors...so it tends to be younger generation that has no big concerns and the older ones who have been in the field a long time and do not feel the 'need' to be watched that have issues with it...education on the 'communication' benefits can help bring most educators around as the one thing that I did find is that the parents who subscribed to the camera program were MUCH more sympathetic and supportive to our work and had closer relationships with educators and we all want that!

    Are you aware of the organziations in the area who do this...aside from Kidscompany... that you could visit to get more information about how it works or different 'systems'? Sometimes it helps to see a few different ways the systems are successful and hear others challenges with it.

    I know that the Butterfly Learning Centre is Waterloo has a VOI system as well - it is apparently one that they own and operate themselves rather then going through another company....it is my understanding that they had a lot of problems initially getting the system in place and security issues resolved however it is up and running now. There is also Peekaboo Childcare Services which was the first chain to offer this service in Canada.... Kitchener would be their closest location....last I heard their centres used a combination of both 'service providers' as well as a couple whose owners are more savy who 'operate their own' and they also have over 10 locations last I heard so they might be an avenue for more information on the pros and cons over time...and there is also a centre in Ancaster called Pathways that had a state of the art system as well when they opened...including fingerprint ID to even enter thev building without invitation!

    As it has been 8 years since I used the system myself so I imagine that there has been vast improvements in what is available for centres wanting this type of system and ideally the cost has come down considerably cause the centre I worked at the initial system of cameras and computer support systems were in access of $15,000 plus a monthly tech support charge.

  15. #15
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    My kids both go to kids and co childcare.
    I love the web cam. it gives me an idead of how sociallly they act with others, and lets me ask them specific questions as to there day (instead of asking what did you do today and the reply is I dont know)
    As for the safety. There is not a question. I feel that my kids are safe and happy to be there. If I had a dought they would not be there at all!! The camera offers me no more a sense of security but fullfill the curiosity which is what I think most parents are looking for. As for the peeks the staff at Kids and Co wear uniforms.
    (for example if I thought there safety was in jeperdy there or anywhere for that matter, they would simply not be there. My thinking my children were not safe is reaason enough to change the situation)
    We love Kids and Co. the employees are super nice, great with the kids and play with them.
    I can not say enough about the place my 5.5 yr old tells me how much he loves it when he is there.
    WEb cams are great is what the blabbering of mine is all about.

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