Cameras in the Day Care Classroom: The Latest Web Craze
Also a father, Sparrow says he used to feel detached from what his child did all day long. Not anymore. "Now parents can go to work, tap in, and see what their child is doing today, that they are happy, well cared-for, and being developed," he tells WebMD. "This way, parents can lead the conversation when they talk to their kids later by asking 'did you have circle time today?' or 'did you work on your ABCs?'" he says.
The onslaught of media coverage about the former British au pair Louise Woodward, who was accused of killing an infant after he was fatally injured while in her care, has called attention to the need for tighter security and surveillance at day care facilities and during home care.
But, Sparrow insists, while web cameras are not watchdog systems, they could offer this side benefit, he says.
However, "in most facilities, teachers end up liking the system because they now get recognition," he says. "Teachers often don't get enough contact with parents, and this technology helps keep parents involved in child development."
Web cameras have been in place at the Cambridge Prep School on Jacksonville, Fla., since it opened two years ago.
"We love it and the parents love it," says owner Eve Kratsaf. "Parents and even grandparents can send emails to the center and can stay in touch while they are at work," she tells WebMD. "This way, parents are part of their child's day and can talk about the particulars with them at night."