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Old 01-28-2011, 06:17 PM
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Diadem Diadem is offline
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Hello all! I'm new to the forum. Here's my long story/question:

I've been working at my daycare in Michigan for 5 years. Never had a complaint from a parent, never been written up, nothing. In a meeting last week, my bosses informed us that they would be installing cameras for parents to view their children via the internet. They told us that they would be sending notifications home this week to all of the parents. This never happened. My question is: is it legal for daycares to have cameras without parental consent when streaming it on the internet? What if a parent objects to their child being broadcasted on the internet? Are they still allowed to do it? I know they should at least notify the parents that it's happening. Also, the assistant manager told us that our bosses don't want certain parents knowing that there are cameras. I feel that it's a bit shady to do that. Is that even legal?

Here are my concerns and I want to know if they're legitimate concerns:

-I work in the preschool room and we're always at least 4 kids over every day. The parents will see this. The ratio for preschoolers is 12:1

-We don't have a bathroom downstairs (the class is in the basement of the house) what happens if a parent logs in and sees that I'm not in the room because I have to get snack or go to the bathroom.

-Since we are over everyday, I can't give the children that special attention that they deserve when we're working on our daily worksheets (writing and math).

My bosses are great people, they're flexible, they're generous, and they try their best to accomodate the staff and the parents. I'm just concerned that they didn't do all the research involving the legalities with brodcasting the kids on the internet, even if it is password secured.
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Old 01-28-2011, 07:45 PM
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I dont know the legalities but I worked for a child development Center in Louisiana 8 years ago and we had internet cameras then. We the staff as well as all parents had access to the site. Parents and staff had our own user names and passwords. I know it was a new facility and parents were aware during the tours that cameras were in each room. If they didnt like it, then they didnt sign the paperwork. We never kept the cameras a secret and it was hard to anyways. There was always the moms saying "remember so and so, Ill know if you take your socks off, I can see you" and point to a camera when other parents were present. Itll slip out that cameras are around.

As far as being out of ratio. Now thats not legal! Id be worried too if a parent questioned why there were so many kids in a classroom or why a room wasnt staffed if a teacher had to leave. Your company should be working on those issues as well. It shouldnt be up to par just for when state comes in. The cameras arent as much of a issue as you would think it would be. Parents should be notified that there are cameras though and sign consent forms. If they refuse then thats theirs and they can take their kids elsewhere.
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Old 01-28-2011, 07:46 PM
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Welcome to the forum by the way!
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Old 01-28-2011, 07:52 PM
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Also I have my own personal camera set up in my daycare room. It streams for my IP and my IP only. My husband has it set up so its on our network and I can reach it from my netbook connected to our network or my iPhone on the network and not 3g. The parents are aware we have this as it helps me monitor the kids if they are in the playroom and I have to make food. Ive never had a parent object to me having the camera and most have thought it was a excellent idea. They cant see it, its not meant for them and they dont care.

This might help you more then the facility post I made.
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Old 01-28-2011, 08:32 PM
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Your center will get in trouble for being over-ratio. If you're truely concerned and don't want to get introuble and also want to remain confidential, I would straight up call the child care licensing agency and tell them your concern about having too many children present.

Since letters have not gone home to parents and the cameras have not been installed, do you think it is something to get other employees to be doing their job as a scare tactic? It might be. Who knows, maybe the cameras are fake and they don't want you to know that.

I don't think it's required for parents to sign a release form if it's all password protected, but they obviously better all have different names/passwords in order to view it instead of a general one. If they are given those individual accounts, they are well informed that cameras will be in use. I'm sure something should have been added to your handbook about this policy. I don't think your center can "hide" the cameras so if they try it, it will only backfire on your center. One thing that is illegal though is to put pictures and video of a child in foster care online, if you have any, I would immediately call licensing (outside of work so it's confidential) and explain your concern.
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Old 01-28-2011, 11:54 PM
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Welcome to the forum!
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Old 01-31-2011, 09:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Abigail View Post
Your center will get in trouble for being over-ratio. If you're truely concerned and don't want to get introuble and also want to remain confidential, I would straight up call the child care licensing agency and tell them your concern about having too many children present.

Since letters have not gone home to parents and the cameras have not been installed, do you think it is something to get other employees to be doing their job as a scare tactic? It might be. Who knows, maybe the cameras are fake and they don't want you to know that.

I don't think it's required for parents to sign a release form if it's all password protected, but they obviously better all have different names/passwords in order to view it instead of a general one. If they are given those individual accounts, they are well informed that cameras will be in use. I'm sure something should have been added to your handbook about this policy. I don't think your center can "hide" the cameras so if they try it, it will only backfire on your center. One thing that is illegal though is to put pictures and video of a child in foster care online, if you have any, I would immediately call licensing (outside of work so it's confidential) and explain your concern.
Thanks for the advice. My bosses have told us in one of our meetings that they have "people on the inside" that will tell them if someone has notified the authorities. I don't know if it is true or not, but when one of our staff notified the state about the ages of some of the children in the rooms, our boss called us into her office one by one to find out who did it. They never did find out who it was, but they have an idea. Also, we the staff are not allowed to view. We will not be provided with a user account. I think it would be a great learning tool for us to be able to view the tapes to see our mistakes or how we should handle certain situations.
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Old 01-31-2011, 09:46 AM
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I would start looking for a new job....JMO and on the basis that #1 you are over ratio, I couldn't STAND that day after day, do you get paid more because they are making more? You sound like you really want to help these children and it's not fair to you, the children and the parents... and #2 they seem shady based on your remark that they have people on the inside...REALLY? That seems like a threat, I'm sorry to sound harsh but I used to work for a preschool just like this and they are sooooo sweet and syrupy to your face and act like they'll bend over backwards but they are in it for the money (not that that is a horrible thing but children first which they are not doing here) and if they have "people on the inside" then i would absolutely be contacting the state regarding your concerns. It seems like having the cameras is the least of your worries. And it seems like they would be stabbing themselves in the foot so to speak if they did use them.
Coming off my box now, it's just that there are crooked daycare centers and even though they may not be one they have all the right "red flags" .
Good Luck! I'm new too, so glad your here
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Old 01-31-2011, 09:52 AM
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I also just realized that you have been there for 5 years so you have a lot of time invested which is hard to let go however I worked at a crooked center for 4 (because I thought I could make it better and hated leaving the children ....HOWEVER it turned out to be a blessing because I took 5 of them with me and opened up my home daycare) lol funny how things work.
I hope it works out for you, I wouldn't let the ratio problem go either, here in NC it's the teacher's responsibility...not sure why or how but we would get wrote up for this each time and it just looks bad on our name.
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Old 01-31-2011, 09:58 AM
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I am going to have to agree with Stacy. I would be calling as well as looking for a new job. I feel sorry for all of you who are putting up with, what I am going to call being bullied into, keeping their issues a secret.

Best of luck. I don't know the rules about cameras, so I am not any help there, sorry.
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Old 01-31-2011, 10:16 AM
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I'm sorry, but I honestly think you should turn tail and RUN as fast as you can from this job. I would never willingly work somewhere that was so blatantly not following rules/laws. I really, really, really think that you should document EVERYTHING you can, alert the highest authorities you can about the stuff, and leave. Especially the part about "having people on the inside" who let them know if authorities have been told...yeah...it sounds like the kind of situation that if (god forbid) something tragic happened, EVERYONE who knew about it/was involved will be in MAJOR trouble.
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