The Cameras: A GAINESVILLE FIRST
Right from the start we've used technology to keep our parents more connected to their children, because even a little uncertainty about your child's welfare is the worst stress you can endure. You simply cannot give your best at work if you're worried about your child. Back in '97 the internet consisted of America Online and Prodigy over 56 kbs dial-up. No webcams, because they hadn't been invented yet. So we leased 75 digital pagers and gave them to our parents, and throughout the day we'd broadcast messages letting them know where their children were in the school and what they were doing. Parents loved it, and we knew we were on to something.
In 2000 we took the plunge and installed our first camera system. They produced small, grainy images once every sixty seconds. Today we have sixteen HD cameras streaming full-screen images to scores of parents and grandparents all over the world. The technology has changed, but our goal is the same: Guilt Free Child Care.
You'll typically spend five or ten minutes at your preschool for drop off and again at pick-up, so it can be difficult to get a comprehensive understanding of what your child is up to all day, and the information you do get is filtered through the staff and management. Schools with live, internet-accessible cams by their nature have an extremely high level of confidence in their program, facility and teachers. Over the years I've spoken with owners of other schools whose main concern is that if they had cameras they'd be bombarded with calls from concerned parents all day long.
That really hasn't been our experience. We do occasionally get calls, especially from new familes in their first few weeks, but if anything the cameras have served to reduce parent anxiety overall. In addition to the live feeds, all of our camera streams are archived with the capacity to go back 30 days.
We're one of only two centers in Gainesville with live web monitoring, and the only center that installs, designs, maintains and hosts its own camera network. We're happy to demonstrate the camera system for you when you tour, but only enrolled families have access.
Click on the images below to cycle through. These are images taken directly from our cams, however the image in the actual feeds is full screen. (The live feeds also have actual little people running around in them.)