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[31 AUG 99] GEORGE ELIOT KINDERGARTEN NEWS
Nursery Considers Cameras

The owners of one of Coventry’s biggest day nursery operations are considering installing close circuit television to allay parents’ fears about child safety.

But they stress that any decision would be after close consultation with staff who might fear the ‘Big Brother’ factor.

Recent cases highlighted on television have caused nationwide concern among parents and the owners of George Eliot Kindergarten in Coventry are looking at using cameras as a means of offering assurances.

The kindergarten has three premises in Coventry looking after a total of 167 children from babies up to school age. The business is owned and run by Mrs Mary Murphy and her daughters Michelle Turrell and Susan Chan and has premises in George Eliot Road, Crabmill Lane and Papenham Green.

Michelle said:

"There has been talk of nurseries installing digital cameras which could beam pictures live on the Internet so that parents could check on their children from their homes or offices. I understand something of the sort is being pioneered at a private nursery in London, but it would be hideously expensive.

"We have a total of 12 or 14 rooms, so that means we would need a camera in each room, then we would need to pay for an internet server and there would be the cost of being linked permanently to a telephone line.

"We have looked into installing closed circuit television cameras and I think logically that would be our next step. You would probably start in the baby rooms and work up through the age groups."

There have been well publicised cases of child abductions from hospitals in other parts of the country and cases of assaults on children by nursing staff. CCTV cameras would be a strong deterrent and would also be an aid for staff training.

Michael adds:

"I must emphasise however that anything like the introduction of cameras into our nurseries would have to be after very careful and full consultation with all members of staff. Some people might take the view that it would be a ‘Big Brother’ situation.

"I believe they would forget the presence of the cameras after a short time. As I say, we have considered it, but we are a very long way from planning to install cameras at our nurseries."
   

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CWN / Education / Nurseries / Coventry / George Eliot Kindergarten / 31 Aug 99

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