A new Florida day care and preschool is giving parents the chance to monitor their child throughout the day via webcams.
Wee Warriors Daycare and Preschool is scheduled to open Aug. 25 at Fair Haven Baptist Church in Zephyrhills. Inside, children's movements will be captured by an elaborate 16-camera system that can be monitored by downloading an app to a smartphone or computer. Parents and guardians will be issued codes to give them access.
"Each one of these rooms you can look on your smartphone and watch your kids so you can be at work and check in on your kid," said Mike Smith, pastor of the church and principal of its Zephyrhills Christian Academy for grades kindergarten through 12. "You'll get a vision of the entire room and the same thing in every single classroom."
Elliot Rondon, a technician with Low-Voltage Technologies in Brandon, told The Tampa Tribune that aside from viewing the footage in real-time, parents can watch recordings later and zoom in if they want a closer look at their child.
"We came up with the idea because a lot of the fear of sending your kids to a day care today is, 'Are my kids being abused?' or 'What's going on with my kids while they are there all day?' We want to know what's going on with our babies," Smith said. "We figured it would be a good idea to put a camera in every room that is accessible to the parents. They'll have a code that they'll be able to go to, and at any time during the day, they can open up their kids' classroom and see their kids."
Still, Smith said just because cameras will be watching every move doesn't mean the school will shy away from discipline.
"There has to be correction if a kid bites or if a kid won't listen," he said, "so we have a disciplinary policy in place to be able to handle that."