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Parents watch children through nursery webcam

PUBLISHED: 12:21 20 August 2009 | UPDATED: 16:23 07 September 2010

ANXIOUS parents are signing up for a new nursery because it has a web camera recording children which they can watch from home. Hope Montessori Nursery School Ltd on Marylebone Lane was due to open in September but opened partially this mont

Josie Hinton

ANXIOUS parents are signing up for a new nursery because it has a web camera recording children which they can watch from home.

Hope Montessori Nursery School Ltd on Marylebone Lane was due to open in September but opened partially this month after 25 parents signed up to send their children there.

They are attracted to its NurseryCam - a web camera which allows parents to log in from work or home and see what their toddlers are up to in the school play room.

Melissa Kao, director of NurseryCam, said the system was intended so parents can regularly drop in and check up on their kids.

"It's not for parents to log on for two hours non-stop and watch their child," she said. "If they had the time to do that they would have their children at home with them. It's more about trust - it's a feeling that the nursery must be good otherwise they wouldn't be so open to let parents see it."

Christopher Hope, director of Montessori, who has already installed the system in his Paddington premises, said the response from parents had been extremely positive.

"There are a number of reasons why this service appeals to parents," he said.

"If it's the first time they have been separated from their children it gives them a bit of added comfort to be able to log on once or twice a day and not feel quite so removed from their children.

"On a more specific basis it seems to be quite topical because of some of the recent stories that have appeared in the news, such as the abuse case in Plymouth. Most nurseries have nothing to hide, and it's an added benefit to parents to be able to see that."

He added that security was of paramount importance, with parents only being able to log in with their own password.

The nursery may have been greeted by those who have decided to send their children there but others branded the move as over the top when asked by the Ham&High this week.

Nohad Al-Turki, who lives in Marylebone and has four-year-old twins, said the system was unnecessary.

"I would like to be able to send my children to a nursery where I don't feel I have to watch them," she said. "We should be giving power to the teachers to do their job, not undermining them.

"I think the money would be better spent investigating people's history and background before they are employed with children, rather than saying 'I don't trust you, I'm going to watch you'."

NurseryCam is currently installed in around 400 nurseries across the country.


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