If 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