See Your Kids For Parents For Providers
Why KinderCam
Who We Are
Center Locations
The Press
Contact Us

Cameras Let Parents Watch Kids From Work
By Marcus Franklin
Cox News Service

Dayton, Ohio- Karen Bramwell periodically likes to drop in on her two young sons at day care, but those personal visits aren't always possible with her bustling work schedule.

So the Proctor & Gamble logistics manager logs onto the the Internet to see her 3-year old Robbie and 18-month-old Kyle at Kids R Kids, a Mason, Ohio, child care center equipped with surveillance cameras. With a log-in and password provided by the center.

Bramwell and other parents can access the camera's images via the Internet to see what the little ones are up to. The timed and dated photos can be updated with the click of a button.

"I like the fact that I can take a glance at my children through out the day just to see what's going on," Bramwell, 38, said. "I can't look in and check on them without disrupting them."

Surveillance cameras, primarily the domain of airport and other high-traffic areas, are popping up in day-care centers-partly in hopes of curbing potential abuse and neglect, but also for reducing separation anxiety levels between parents and their kids.

Ohio has at least one licensed childcare center-Kids R Kids- with the camera internet feature and officials at another center are seeking a license to open a second facility in Harrison Township with surveillance cameras, said John Allen with the Ohio Department of Human Services, which regulates child care businesses.

The Harrison Township facility is a client of Washington-based a company that provides the service for 50 child care centers throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.

Richard Suplee, spokesman for the company, said business has "quadrupled in size and speed over the last year." The company, one of a handful that offers the service, began in November 1996, he said. Suplee guessed that as many as 200-250 centers use the feature.

But some experts say the feature merely capitalizes on parents' "guilt and paranoia. "Others predict that internet accessible cameras will become as popular in day care centers as cribs and playpens. National childcare advocates second-guess the prediction, saying the feature is unlikely to significantly reduce child abuse in day care facilities.

Officials of the DayMetro Community Family Association, a not-for-profit Dayton organization, plan to open the 6,200-square-foot DayMetro Childcare Center this month. DayMetro, which runs a center for 28 toddlers in Trotwood, expects to win it's state license soon. Camera-internet service at DayMetro will be provided by Atlanta-based ParentNet.

For an additional $20. a month, parents can use the service and even e-mail their school-age children at the center, which takes youngsters up to 12-years old.

Even though it hasn't opened the center already has filled half of it's 100 slots-primarily because parents are drawn to the camera-internet feature, claims Yvette Haber, DayMetro's childcare coordinator.

When Tomi Emmerick, 32, pays a surprise lunch visit to her son's current daycare center in Fairborn, 2-year old Nicholas thinks it's time to go home. When Emmerick returns to work, he gets upset and cries, she said.

"It's hard for me to leave him when he gets like that, but I have no choice because I have to get back to work.," said Emmerick, who plans to enroll Nicholas in DayMetro when it opens.

The surveillance-Internet feature is prompting the change, she said.

"We'll be able to watch him from time to time during the day and he won't be expecting us to take him home. We won't disturb his day, " Emmerick said

Richard Chace of the Alexandria, VA. Based Security Industry association suspects that surveillance cameras in daycare centers probably will become the norm over the next ten years."

Call 1-888KCAM123 (1-888-522-6123) | e-mail: