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  #1  
Old 06-09-2013, 12:45 PM
Zak's Mommy
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Default Video Surveillance in a Childcare Center

Hello,
I am hoping someone on this forum can help me. My son goes to daycare in Washington state. On Friday evening I found out that my son's daycare installed a video surveillance camera in the play area of the daycare about a week and a half ago. There was never a notice that went out about the recording device.
Here is where I have an issue, I was advised by a group of moms that one day while they were there they heard a man talking from the device. It was the owner's husband talking remotly to his daughter telling her to stop doing flips. When the moms asked who that was, the daughter responded "that was my dad watching the video of us at home." First, this man is listed as an owner of the center but I have never heard/ seen anything about him and since he does not work for the center a background check was never done. Second, the video feed goes directly to his laptop at home. I have no idea if this is a secure feed.
I have been trying to find any regulation or law regarding video recording (don't know if they record audio, I just know he has the ability to speak through the device remotly) and can't find what I am looking for. Has anyone dealt with this in the past?
My son is not returning to that center and my husband and I are speaking with the owner tomorrow regarding this in addition to contacting the Department of Early Learning.

Thank you for your help.
****** (Zak's Mommy)

Last edited by Michael; 06-09-2013 at 02:25 PM.
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  #2  
Old 06-09-2013, 02:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zak's Mommy View Post
Hello,
I am hoping someone on this forum can help me. My son goes to daycare in Washington state. On Friday evening I found out that my son's daycare installed a video surveillance camera in the play area of the daycare about a week and a half ago. There was never a notice that went out about the recording device.
Here is where I have an issue, I was advised by a group of moms that one day while they were there they heard a man talking from the device. It was the owner's husband talking remotly to his daughter telling her to stop doing flips. When the moms asked who that was, the daughter responded "that was my dad watching the video of us at home." First, this man is listed as an owner of the center but I have never heard/ seen anything about him and since he does not work for the center a background check was never done. Second, the video feed goes directly to his laptop at home. I have no idea if this is a secure feed.
I have been trying to find any regulation or law regarding video recording (don't know if they record audio, I just know he has the ability to speak through the device remotly) and can't find what I am looking for. Has anyone dealt with this in the past?
My son is not returning to that center and my husband and I are speaking with the owner tomorrow regarding this in addition to contacting the Department of Early Learning.

Thank you for your help.
****** (Zak's Mommy(
I know state regulations vary, but I would assume as the owner of the daycare - he would have been required to have had a background check done. Simply because his ownership would require him to be on premises and do business within the daycare. Background checks are required for anyone owning/operating a daycare, and are done as one of the first steps in licensing. (that is how it works in

As to the security of the feed, I would hope/assume all that information would have been given to parents at enrollment. But it sounds as if it wasn't.

I find it bizarre that the feed goes to his home rather than staying within the facility (as I know other local daycares in my area do).

As far as the legality, there are more experienced and legally more well versed members of this forum that will be more prepared to address those issues.

If the feed is secure and goes only to the owner, I feel like that would legally be acceptable. If it is not, I feel it would be considered amount the same lines as not having a permission form to take photos. Also, it may be a non-recording surveillance camera, a local center has one for surveillance only, and I don't believe they have to have permission since it is within the daycare, and basically just a second set of eyes for the director.
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Old 06-09-2013, 02:29 PM
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Where I work, we are fortunate to have an on-site daycare center. The daycare center DOES have video monitoring. They have it to protect their own rear ends and parents. No signatures were required, but they did mention at interview they had these cameras. I imagine that it's their business, and just like any store these days need cameras and don't disclose it to you, that it's not "illegal".

In fact, one parent didn't want to pay the center. She said her kid was "abused" after a biter bit her kid twice (neither time did it break skin, but it was the same biter). The center took her to court to collect, and her argument was just what I stated. She LOST her case and had to pay because she could not prove that the daycare was negligent in any way. The daycare had the tapes to support their side of the story. From what I understand after talking to her, she didn't realize that the staff WAS doing what they could as quickly as they could to address the biter's behavior and comfort her kid. She overreacted and decided just to not pay instead of ask more questions or even ask to see the video. I guess I say all that to say this: It is NOT abnormal for centers to have some way to protect themselves in case of an accusation.

As far as why/when an owner would want to watch a video at home on the computer, that I don't know unless a. there was a dispute with a parent and he wanted to refer back to the video documentation, tag it etc. or b. he wanted to prove a point to his kid (perhaps she denied doing flips and he was showing her the video to remind her she WAS doing flips after being told not to; not exactly unheard of)

If he's an owner of the center, he very likely did have a background check. At least here in this state, ANYONE who could POSSIBLY have any exposure to the kids have FBI fingerprint checks done (and that would be all owners/teachers/cooks, etc over age 18 years of age). It sounds like, though, he doesn't really visit on site though, and handles more of the "business" side of things, but without talking to them first, I doubt you'd ever know.

Since the daughter saw the video, and it wasn't hidden from the other moms, I doubt he was doing anything he shouldn't have been doing.
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Old 06-09-2013, 05:39 PM
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I use video surveillance in my home for during nap time... For video conferencing sometimes between parents and children... And to see remotely who is coming up my driveway at the gate.

All parents know I have it and why I have it and I've never had a problem with it either way.

My parents sign a photo/video permission at enrollment.
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Old 06-09-2013, 08:00 PM
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I have video surveilence installed in my home daycare as well, video cameras are allowed as long as its not recording the areas where diaper changes occur or bathrooms. We do not need permission for this.
The center that by daughter used to attend did have videos as well and parents were given access to the cameras of their child rooms only, just to see their child through out the day.

I can understand your frustration though, especially not being notified about the cameras, and it is a little creepy hearing a voice come out of it! The teacher should have control of the child, or be trusted enough to do their job. Very Big Brotherish!
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Old 06-10-2013, 08:23 AM
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If something bad happened and it was being monitored at the time, then he could quickly call 911 and get help.

Chances are he was checking the system or just seeing what his dd was doing... Seems unlikely he would have time to watch all day
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Old 06-10-2013, 09:58 AM
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In my state if I have a video that connects to the internet (so parents can view) OCFS must be able to access it also. I wonder if because the video is able to be accessed at the owners home, that would count?

That said, if he is listed as the owner, I can't see how he would have been able to escape getting the background check, even if he's not on sight? If he's on the paperwork, it seems likely he would have to be cleared.
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Old 06-11-2013, 07:22 AM
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There are businesses that monitor your center FOR you. Consulting businesses do it, too, to monitor the employees training needs by watching the classroom environment.

Remote monitoring is offered to parents as well in many chain centers that can afford it. It only takes a login and password.

Many are streamed to an online account for monitoring by an employee offsite. It is not uncommon for that employee to be watching several centers at the same time by scanning.

The owners having a login to check the camera themselves, especially a room his own child was in, is the norm.

Having your childs provider monitored by another adult is a good thing in a large center where turnover is high. It protects you and the owners. IMHO, of course.
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Old 03-01-2014, 05:42 PM
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Can the video just show the parents child and not other children playing, if they link in from work? Is there a privacy issue here, lets say it's a famous persons child playing with other children, are we breaking child privacy issues here. I'm thinking of putting up vid camera's with not linking parents in, because I'm not so sure how safe it is and if a smart pedophile can network in?
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Old 03-02-2014, 08:22 AM
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Can the video just show the parents child and not other children playing, if they link in from work? Is there a privacy issue here, lets say it's a famous persons child playing with other children, are we breaking child privacy issues here. I'm thinking of putting up vid camera's with not linking parents in, because I'm not so sure how safe it is and if a smart pedophile can network in?
The only way you can show only one child is to have the children only play alone. I don't see any logical or practical way for a video feed to show only one specific child.

I have video cameras for surveillance of my property and my DCK's but it isn't video feed that parents can link into from work.
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Old 03-02-2014, 08:27 AM
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The only way you can show only one child is to have the children only play alone. I don't see any logical or practical way for a video feed to show only one specific child.

I have video cameras for surveillance of my property and my DCK's but it isn't video feed that parents can link into from work.
Parents here can skype with their personal kid and I do live feed during events occasionally. My two moms are waitresses and only one has phone technology at work but they can watch the live feed after it's over at home. I just send them the link.

It works great because the mom whose husband is in jail has saved every link for him to watch when he gets home next month.
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Old 03-11-2014, 12:00 AM
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Arrow I'm sort of worried about privacy issues...

How do licencors feel about being video taped or being monitored? Is it breaking any law in WA state to video tape everyone, even officials from the state. I feel since it's our residence our home business, it should be allowed for most all scenario's. I understand most grocery stores have it, food establishments, department stores. I have stickers on the outside of the house saying we video tape, the parents sign the contract sign in sheet agreeing to be video taped,my website, I've added it to my parent hand book also. Maybe I'll add it to bottom of my email also, mentioning anyone that visits our place at anytime, agree to being video taped. We haven't set up video taping with all camera's yet, we're just learning how to do it, without hiring an agency. The video camera's point to exits, the sign in sheet and clock and the playroom, the playroom gets taped, but only randomly, we haven't figured out how to do continual video taping so ours shuts off. I want to have all the camera's taping and sending it to a secondary drive or something similar. I understand that no one should video tape the diaper changer area with a baby or child on it and restrooms of course. When we're closed, we tweak the camera eye's and move it to other locations, we haven't quite decided on a permanent spot yet, once we do, we'll drill holes and attach to walls. We're just basically trying it out, it's a fairly new system for us. My significant other is an IT person and he tests the camera's once in a while. Sometimes it errors out and he has to reboot and make sure it's working. I find that I can view from my cell, laptop, desk top and so can he. If I go run out for coffee and have my primary assistants on duty, I see that I can use it for training purposes. I also can see that I can make a video taping portfolio of when a child first started with us and then see their growth in social skills, communication skills and cognitive. I like being able to check in once in awhile. My cell app lets me send vid clips and emails if I put the setting in at the time of taking the picture or vid. I found it to help in a few situations when parents say they brought a certain coat in the door and say it didn't make it back to them, but then the tape shows grandma or father taking it at pick up. A licensed daycare home in WA state has everyone that lives or work in the house ran through a background check that's of age. I would think licensed facility owners do also. If he's in the home office, at another location, he's like the IT person who does surveillance monitoring sort of like hiring a company or a separate person to do it but saving the $$$ by doing it himself, with tweaking the camera's to make sure they work, checking sound systems, maybe changing some settings or just updating the program. I'm sure the father wouldn't want to compromise his business by having an unsecured video feed that would lead to his private home-- where his children reside. He's a father, checking in on his daughter, missing her. He was probably just thinking he missed her and was checking in on her so he feels part of the parenting with supporting the center's guiding efforts. I would first call DEL and ask to see if he has a criminal history check, if your worried. Lots of people miss seeing my video stickers on the house, I often have to point them out, even though there next to the front door and back door.
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