Daycares Give Parents Webcams So Moms Can Watch Kids From Work

Say What!? 28

web camIf you could know everything that your daycare provider was doing or every thought and emotion that your child was experiencing all day long, would you want to? Nanny cams have been around for what seems like forever. I’ve joked and said that I would watch a nanny like a hawk from wherever I was and the sad thing is when my girls were babies, I probably would have. With cameras popping up everywhere these days, privacy is quickly becoming a thing of the past. Why would we be surprised that the latest trend is for daycares to provide parents with constant access to their child? I’m still not sure if I completely love this idea or hands down hate it.

When I was pregnant with my first daughter, I was in grad school getting my masters. I was a graduate assistant and the professor who I worked for had offices directly across the hall from the university daycare that was run by elementary education students. Perfect, right?

I had it all figured out. I would take a few weeks off for maternity leave and when I returned, I was going to place my baby in the daycare directly across the hall from my office. I would make an art of the pop in for unscheduled kisses on baby toes and I could nurse whenever needed, I was going to have it all. Then I had the baby and everything changed.

When the time came, I just couldn’t convince myself to leave her in anyone else’s care; no matter how capable and well intentioned they might have been. I stayed home with my girls because I didn’t want to leave. We never lived near family and I just didn't feel comfortable leaving my daughter with strangers. I was lucky that staying home was an option for me. I found a career that allowed me to work from home and be with my girls.

If I had worked outside of the home and my girls were in daycare, I'm not sure having the ability to check in on them would have been a great idea for me. First, I know that I would have become completely obsessed with watching what they were doing, scared I'd miss something and my productivity at work would surely have suffered. I mentioned becoming the master of the pop in if they were across the hall? If I could access them all day long, I’d always be doing a virtual hangout.

Webcams are a great idea in theory but really what I would truly prefer is to be able to have the peace of mind to leave my children in the capable hands of someone that I felt comfortable with and trusted to take care of my children. As the girls get older, I am getting there.

Watching from a webcam when my girls were newborns would not only have caused me to do my job halfheartedly, I'm sure if I was watching it could influence my child’s care giver if they knew they were being televised. It's pretty impossible for anyone to be himself or herself when they are on display. In the end, the child may suffer from sub par care. I want my daycare provider focused on my child and free to be themselves not worrying about whether or not they will look 10 pounds heavier or be caught picking their nose.

Do you think having constant access to your child at daycare would be a good tool for parents?

Image via Anantal/Flickr

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Kelli... KelliansMom

My sons preschool has the cam option but it's a whole $100 bucks added to your registration fee so we opted out. But I think it's a great tool.

nonmember avatar Nicole

That's awesome. I'm a SAHM and I left my son at a daycare for 2 hours for the first time, and he's 20 months. I almost cried! I honestly don't know how working moms do it, and I would absolutely pay more for this option if I needed to.

Trick... Trickychic

When my daughter (11 now) was in preschool they had webcams you could watch on your computer and that was one of the things I liked about the school. I could feel secure that I could check on hrr any time. I think they should all have them.

banan... banana-bear

When my daughter was in a PPCD integrated program at a private preschool, they offered this service and I used it from time to time. It's a great option and yes, the cams will surely make the staff think twice about their actions - which is WONDERFUL. I used to giggle and smile when I saw my daughter playing with other kids and doing her work. It was nice to "pop in" without having to be there. My youngest will be attending the same school next month for her first year of preschool and you bet that camera is one of the main reasons she will be going there. Actually, it's kind of a deal breaker, IMO.

Rebec... Rebecca7708

Honestly, just knowing that I could use it would be enough for me.

elle7777 elle7777


Even if you don't actually use it I think it is a tool to keep the daycare providers in check. A lot less is liable to happen if they know that someone could always be watching.

nonmember avatar NavyWife

I'm on the fence about it. I think it's an insult to the daycare workers because it's sending the message that moms don't trust them. At the same time, if a parent is leaving their special-needs child at daycare, it can be a wonderful tool. I personally wouldn't use one because I think other than that special-needs circumstance, they are silly.

nonmember avatar PDF

I have worked as a daycare provider at centers with and without cameras. It didn't make a difference in my caregiving at all. You get used to the cameras being there. However, I think it is more important to build trusting relationship with your child's caregiver and that will influence the caregiver more than worrying about being on camera. The downside of the camera is that parents don't see the entire context of the classroom. They only see their child and wonder why they are not being attended to like other children. I don't think cameras are bad, but I think it gives a false sense of security to parents. I don't think most parents used the cameras but it felt good knowing they could if they wanted to.

Trans Trans

I just feel its wonderful if daycare provides such fascilities to working moms. Not everyone gets the opportunity to work from home and especially moms who are out to work with their kids in daycare  would find it a great help. Moms are always worried about their kids and with such a fascility they would atleast know as to how their kids are performing in daycare. It's just wonderful in my view.

Rhond... RhondaVeggie

I think it's ridiculous. If you are going to pay someone to raise your kid for you then find someone you can trust without needing a camera on them at all times. It's a huge privacy issue too. I volunteer at my sons school and we all have to agree that we will not talk about the kids outside of school. I doubt that the parents with webcams are agreeing to any such thing so anytime any kid does something like hit another child everyone knows about it. What if a kid makes a naked run for it from the bathroom? Every parent gets to see your kid naked, not to mention anyone who happens to be looking over their shoulder or anyone else who gets the password to see the cams like a grandparent or a hacker who just wants to sit and watch little kids frolic. Why would anyone want their child broadcast over the Internet for hours a day?

The only way you can know that your child is being raised properly is to do it yourself. Either raise your own kids or trust the people to pay to do it for you. Trying to stick your nose in is no benefit to anyone.

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