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Video Cameras & Daycare
Should I Monitor My Facility?

By: Mr. Marty - Daycare Owner

(Editor's Note) Many of you have visited our Daycare.com Forum and communicated with other operators from differing parts of the country. We read a recent post regarding an accused incident of inappropriate "touching" that had made one family daycare's future uncertain and a potential legal nightmare. A response by another facility brought home the idea of protecting one's business from a possible suit and criminal charges. Whether true or false, a video system within the facility center or home family daycare could eliminate such a dilemma. We asked "Mr. Marty" owner of a large daycare facility in Pennsylvania if he would elaborate for our viewers why he made the decision to monitor his place of business.

A while back we had a school-age child that accused another school-age child of asking to be touched sexually. The child told his father and then the trouble began. CYS was notified and after a lengthy investigation it was determined to be unfounded, but the effects on us and our employee's were long lasting.

We would do whatever was needed to keep this from happening again. We decided to have a 16 camera CCTV (Closed Circuit Television) system with a DVR recorder installed. We contacted several companies and chose one to do the job. The cost for this system was $12,000. (Editor's Note: Systems can range from $$$ to $$,$$$ depending on your needs and the size of your facility.)

I know what you are thinking… OMG I can’t afford that…. Well think again, you can’t afford not to. First of all our center is LARGE, it is in the ground floor of a school building, we have 6 classrooms, a kitchen area, a very long hallway, a front office and a back office. We have 2 cameras in each classroom for coverage, 1 in the kitchen area, 1 in the front office, 2 in the hallway, 1 outside at the entry and 1 at the food storage area. All are infrared (IR) so in low light you can still see. We got this system on a long term lease and the payments are manageable.

Let me tell you what this system has done for us!!

One of our frequent "I gave you a check and you lost it" customers was approached about a late payment. She stated "I put it in the payment box yesterday"…… We said ok and she left…… we reviewed the video for the time and day she stated she "paid" and low and behold she never went anywhere near the payment box. Upon her return we once again asked about the payment and again she stated she had placed it in the box yesterday. We asked the customer for a moment and proceeded to show her the video of her not going anywhere near the box! She wrote us a check right then and there and was never late again…….. $200.00 saved by the cameras.

Another parent once complained that one of our teachers was physically restraining her child and the child had bruises on her arms. We reviewed the video and sure enough there it was in living color. We notified our state inspector of the incident and terminated this employee. In response to our viewing the tape and reporting the incident before the parents filed a complaint with the state, we were not cited.

The beauty of the Internet is that we can log on and watch the cameras from anywhere. We have found employee’s improperly handling children, sleeping, surfing the internet, eating our food, all resulting in their being disciplined or terminated. Our food supply was disappearing alarmingly fast before the camera’s were installed, now surprisingly a months worth of food lasts a whole month! The result is employees now do their job.

When children fight we can see who did what to who and when. The parents who say “My child would never do that” can now see that indeed they did.

As Daycare providers we all know that no matter what the ratio is, incidents happen because we do not have eyes in the back of our heads. It only takes a second for a fall, a punch, a kick, a bite to happen, and it is always the providers fault.

The moral of this story is that the cameras have made our daycare a safer and better place. The employee’s do their jobs, the parents are more assured that their children are safe and can view the videos when requested. The State knows any complaints can be addressed by viewing the video and best of all the false accusations and complaints have stopped. We now have the peace of mind knowing when we can not be there physically we can still pop in and watch the videos, making sure things are being done right and the children are okay.

In this day and age of litigious parents, agencies that find you guilty till proven innocent, children with less than adequate upbringing, a security camera system is worth it’s weight in gold.

From our experience, installing these systems is not that hard. We are now in the process of installing a second system in our newest daycare center at a considerable savings over our first system. If you can use a screwdriver, pliers, a drill and some electrical tape you can even install your own system.

IMHO (In My Honest Opinion) any daycare large or small will benefit from camera’s because no matter how good you are, how careful you are, or how wonderful you are, one day an incident will happen and a picture/video would be priceless if it can save you from being cited or sued or paying unemployment! Your employees may complain, but as we said "If you are doing your job you have nothing to worry about". My only wish is that sound recording was allowed, but in our state it is not.

Thanks for your time! Mr. Marty

Depending on the CCTV system you purchase some facilities allow parents the ability to look in on their children in real-time from anywhere they have broadband access. Usually these systems have double passwords and are very secure.

Wilife Inc. DVS800I Video Monitoring System offers an inexpensive ($299) full-featured, single camera system with three mounting options. This kit includes a smart Security Camera, powerful Software and free Remote Viewing Technology. Built-in Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) lets you automatically connect your cameras and PC. Designed for indoors use, the WiLife Indoors Camera can also be used to securely monitor outside using its window mount. Some technical knowhow for setup is required.

Features:

- Secure your home and small business with a professional-grade digital video surveillance system
- High-resolution color video with digital motion detection
- Monitor up to six cameras simultaneously with PC software
- View live video from anywhere, anytime
- Easier than wireless, just plug it in

Click Here To purchase the Wilife Inc. DVS800I Video Monitoring System!

If you would like more information regarding a CCTV Security System for your facility. Please contact us at:


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