USA: KINDERCAM ALLOWS PARENTS TO WATCH THEIR CHILDREN AT DAY CARE



English/Nat

Millions of children go to day-care centres every day, and all parents, at one time or another, worry about how they are faring.

But now there is a solution – the Internet.

New camera technology means parents can now watch their children at play – while they’re at work.

Three year-old Kristen Rivera is sitting on the floor with her friends at a day-care in Marietta, Georgia in the United States.

But her mother is never far away.

Across town, at her workplace, Maddie Rivera can check up on her child by just clicking on her computer’s mouse.

SOUNDBITE: (English)
“Just turning on the computer and logging in to see your son or daughter. It just puts a big smile on your face when you see them jumping around or swinging or walking or eating.”
SUPER CAPTION: Maddie Rivera, mother

Rivera clicks again, and now she is watching her 10-month old son, Johnny, in a swing in the infant nursery.

Rivera is using “KinderCam”, which allows parents to log in onto the Internet, and watch their children at day-care.

SOUNDBITE: (English)
“Most parents, they just can’t leave work. So this gives them an opportunity to still be part of their day even though they can’t physically be with them.”
SUPER CAPTION: Seth Steinberg, KinderCam co-creator

Seth Steinberg and his wife Christine created KinderCam after their daughter was born.

They had begun to feel the stress of all parents whose children go to day-care centres.

SOUNDBITE: (English)
“It really eases the anxiety to know that no, they didn’t cry all day, yes they did eat their lunch, they really do take a nap, they do get their diaper changed.”
SUPER CAPTION: Christine Steinberg, KinderCam co-creator

Parents get a password which allows them to view only their own child’s classroom.

KinderCam representatives claim their security is as good as on-line banking.

So far, about half the families of this day-care centre are paying for Kindercam, which costs about a dollar per day.

SOUNDBITE: (English)
“When I see my daughter Kristen actually sitting down, and behaving and listening to a story it actually makes me feel very proud of her.”
SUPER CAPTION: Maddie Rivera, mother

A camera is mounted on the wall of this day-care and watches the children unobtrusively.

SOUNDBITE: (English)
“There probably was a big brother in the sky concept to begin with. But the way we look at it, if we are doing our job, and I think we are, then it really doesn’t matter who watches us, and when.”
SUPER CAPTION: Harry Fraley, owner of the day-care centre

KinderCam also markets itself as a handy device for grandparents who don’t get to see their grandchildren very often, and also for parents who travel.

Maddie Rivera’s husband is leaving town soon and plans to use the technology to stay in touch.

SOUNDBITE: (English)
“He is going away to Europe. He will be carrying his laptop and he can open up his laptop and log in, and see his two children, that far away.”
SUPER CAPTION: Maddie Rivera, mother

Although KinderCam is still in its infancy, it is already being used in five centres in the United States, two in Georgia and three in Texas.

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