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Old 03-10-2012, 10:17 AM
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nannyde nannyde is offline
All powerful, all knowing daycare whisperer
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Des Moines
Posts: 7,311

I have a lot of experience dealing with cameras in child care both with using them in mine and working for centers by watching their cameras for them remotely.

I would encourage you to set a fee for any camera footage viewing. Set it high. The amount of parent conferencing time to review tape can get very very costly to the center. Be prepared for requests for live feeds.

Be prepared to get requests to show tape to your licensor if there are accidents, accusations, or complaints. Be prepared for your staff who has access to the tape to video tape the tape with their cell phones.

If you just have video and not audio you will get about 15 percent of the total information on what happened or is happening. It's time consuming to deconstruct the other 85 percent. Staff who are on camera figure out where the blind spots are so if you see a lot of going off of camera you can be sure that they are hiding something which can be cell phone use all the way to being rough with the kids. They learn how to LOOK good on camera while they are doing something they shouldn't or making it look like they are doing something they really aren't. Nap time is a HIGH time for camera dodging. Watch for blanket use with staffs hands and arms under blankets.

With everything great there is a downside. There are a LOT of downsides to having cameras. The consent needs to be more informative then permission. Be clear that the camera footage belongs to the center and if you will allow review there has to be a steep fee for review and conferencing. You will have requests to review for things like diaper changes and feedings so you may have to review an entire day to answer the parents questions.

Get an attorney to write up the release and have it be solely for your protection and do NOT give any promises of heightened security or performance because of the cameras. You don't get better performance because of being watched. The staff figure out how to manage the cameras in a couple of days and then pretty much forget they are there. They figure out that the majority of the things they do are not caught or the time it would take to really watch them is something that the center doesn't have. Having the cameras doesn't really do any good if you don't have someone watching them live. They help in some ways to protect but they offer up as many day to day issues as they do protect from some big issues.
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