Insane Overprotection at Day Care!

At the risk of wasting my, “What is this world coming to?” quota for life (I think we’re only issued about 7 million), WHAT IS THIS WORLD COMING TO? Look at this article in Tuesday’s Washington Post. It’s about a brand new device, normally used to secure NUCLEAR REACTORS now being used to secure a…pre-school.

The doors at Lola’s Place pre-k in Maryland are guarded by a “vascular recognition system.” A what?

“…a machine that uses infrared light to read a hand’s veins, 4 millimeters beneath the skin. Like fingerprints, vein patterns are unique, and the computer installed at Lola’s Place will unlock the doors only for individuals it recognizes. Strangers must be buzzed inside by a staff member.

“It’s a technology that was developed to protect Asian financial centers, said Ayal Vogel, a vice president for sales at Tampa-based Identica, the manufacturer. Today, vein readers secure nuclear facilities, ports, power plants and sensitive data at universities…”

It’s not that I don’t want to see kids safe at preschool. It’s that if we all felt our kids needed this kind of protection, the world of childhood would be in virtual lockdown. Which is where it’s heading.

This view of the world — that kids are likely to be snatched out of pre-schools by criminal masterminds who laugh at a simply locked door — is (not to put too fine a point on it) paranoid-delusional-freakish. But as the article said, Lola’s Place is just the first pre-school to employ this system. The company is thinking about  New York, L.A. and D.C. next.

Then, perhaps, your town.

Then perhaps they’ll want to wire your house.

Then perhaps they’ll suggest you erect a nice, friendly,  fenced-in, razor wired, armed guard protected sandbox.

After all, “You can’t be too safe.”

 Or can you? — Lenore

53 Responses to Insane Overprotection at Day Care!

  1. Ashley July 29, 2009 at 9:12 pm #

    Overall, I agree. That said I think there is a significant risk for interfamily abduction at preschools. A divorce goes bad, daddy comes to the daycare to pick up his kid and he’s not supposed to, etc.

    This is way overkill though.

    My little sister’s daycare had a password lock on the front door, and this was in the mid 90s.

  2. Melissa July 29, 2009 at 9:13 pm #

    “It’s not nap time.” HAHAHA! You’re too funny.

  3. crossgirl July 29, 2009 at 9:19 pm #

    Wonders how many kids this place has lost that they feel the need for such high level security.

  4. urthlvr July 29, 2009 at 9:24 pm #

    Heinlein was right. In his novels, (I’m thinking Stranger in a Strange Land and Fear no Evil) written 40 years ago, we are his future with only the rich being able to afford the electrified, razor wire fences, security cameras and security guards to protect them from the mobs of criminals roaming the streets. We need more Lazarous Long’s who know how to do stuff and aren’t afraid of every little creak a building makes.

  5. Shannon July 29, 2009 at 9:47 pm #

    All the security in the world won’t stop interfamily abductions as long as the staff can still buzz them in. Family wouldn’t be strangers.

  6. Tana July 29, 2009 at 9:53 pm #

    I was amazed at the lady in the article’s commute. She drives nearly 4 hours a day to have her little one locked up tight!

    I also had to laugh at why a PIN system was insufficient. “someone can look over your shoulder and read your PIN.” I know when I’m entering my PIN at an atm or other machine, I won’t notice a stranger lurking close enough to see what keys I’m punching in. Really? Even when I’m hunting through my purse, reminding my son to “stay in sight, please, and don’t run in the store you’re a danger to others,” (he’s 4) if someone I don’t know is that close, I’m going to be uncomfortable and ask them to step back.

    They also use a fingerprint system inside the door (lest someone sneak in an unregistered twin), and use surveillance to log every activity. Thanks, folks, but at the end of the day, I’d rather not have a log of my son’s bowel movements.

  7. Shannon July 29, 2009 at 11:08 pm #

    Ha, I *wish* there was naptime at nuclear plants. There’s something that really might make the world a little safer.

    I understand all too well that custody issues necessitate better pick up and drop off systems at schools. My alcoholic aunt recently lost custody of her nine-year-old daughter, and the daughter’s been in a school-provided latchkey program this summer during the days while her father works. I have no doubt that Aunt Drunkard would try to kidnap her daughter, presented with the opportunity. (Drunk logic dictates that it’s much too hard to show up for court hearings but a perfectly straightforward manner to plot elaborate schemes, alas.)

    But I was just visiting the family a week ago and discovered that this latchkey program has developed a far better system than vascular recognition. My uncle put several people on a list of people who could legitimately pick Lizzie up from school, which he can change at any time, and the staff simply checks IDs until they know you well enough not to ask anymore. Simple, right? AND NOT A SINGLE CHILD HAS BEEN KIDNAPPED SO FAR. No biometrics required. Someone keeps a good eye on the kids and they’re instructed that they cannot leave without signing out. Perhaps a little harder in the case of preschoolers, but still, I’m quite sure I would have been able to handle this as early as three or four.

  8. runwolf July 29, 2009 at 11:13 pm #

    I’m thinking this is just good marketing. Capitalism at its finest. Cater to those with paranoia and money.

    Here in town we had a gentleman going to day care centers trying to snatch kids. Honest injun! His goal was to grab a kid right out of a day care center. He tried it at a high end center, a low end center and a gym’s day care that I know of.

    In each case, the staff felt something was off and prevented him from taking the child. At the low end center the owner chased him out. At the high end and gym the camera’s caught him and the police had his picture and identified him quickly.

    The point is, he tried three centers that we know of and the number of successful snatchings? Zero.

  9. Elizabeth July 29, 2009 at 11:22 pm #

    What comes to mind here for me is to wonder what kind of message is being sent to the children who are INSIDE that day care center. That the world outside is horrifically dangerous and that they must be kept away from it at all cost. My children’s day care/pre-school has a door that requires a PIN to get in. It works just fine.

    More important than some high tech door locking system is the consistent presence of staff who knows the names and faces of the children’s care-givers and/or parents so that when pick-up time arrives there isn’t anything to wonder about. And if there is, then the staff KNOWS when something is amiss.

    Once again, this is about allowing technology and security to trump human instinct. Staff at daycare centers need to be empowered to think, pay attention, and make smart choices. Installing security systems that are over-the-top simply undermines the individual’s faith in him/herself that s/he can handle potential problems or worse, that they don’t have to pay attention because the security system is doing it for them.

    Let’s get back to some basic human interaction, please!

  10. Lisa July 29, 2009 at 11:26 pm #

    @Shannon, that’s exactly the “system” that my daughter’s daycare system was used: I had to list who was allowed to pick her up, and they had to bring ID. They did also have a code to punch in at the door to get in. Two of the three places, including my daughters after school program now, allowed someone not on the list to pick up if I called and gave them the name – they would just add someone at my request, which is critical for me since if I’m not going to get there on time, I don’t always know which of my friends might be available to help out, and I don’t like to impose on the same person more than once or twice anyhow. I don’t know what I’d do if only people with fingerprint scans could pick her up!

  11. Jenn July 29, 2009 at 11:34 pm #

    Okay, full confession: as a geek, that sounds totally cool. Like a spy movie. But with…naptime and crackers. Plus, bonus: you don’t have to remember a PIN or code number. A retinal or vein scan is quick and very effective, unless someone manages to pluck out your eyeballs or chop off your hand.

    But I have to laugh at the overkill. Are they training superchildren to fight crime in some sort of top secret government facility? lol. Also, more confession: my son’s preschool has NO LOCKS. That’s right, none. It’s a small place down the street you can just go into! I know, I’m playing with fire, huh? But I’ve never been too concerned about it.

  12. Lynn July 29, 2009 at 11:44 pm #

    That preschool would be my worst nightmare, I would hate for my child to be in that! I would be afraid there would be some emergency circumstance, say an explosion or an earthquake, where I would need to get my kids and the system would be damaged so I couldn’t be let in.

    The person quoted in the article is more likely to have her child hurt in a car accident driving 2 hours a day to get there, than abducted from the child care center.

  13. Thomasin July 29, 2009 at 11:47 pm #

    I think at some level the problem is that we’re depositing our children at ‘facilities’ vs. with a trusted care giver. We’re treating the kiddos like the Picasso that must be tucked away and protected from sunlight and dust rather than understanding that, as one of a kind as they are, they’re not meant for life behind safety bars. Let’s start treating them like children, being supportive of their needs for exploration and allowing them to grow. Which, yes, will include some skinned knees and the occasional ‘stranger’ spotting them (seeing them is different than abducting them!). I would put more trust in a caregiver who actually knew and loved my child than the most high-tech daycare center in existence.

  14. LauraL July 30, 2009 at 12:00 am #

    Prison. They’re training the children to be in prison.

  15. KateNonymous July 30, 2009 at 12:26 am #

    @Shannon, I used be an after-hours nanny for a toddler who was in preschool during the day. You’re describing exactly the system that his daycare center used. In 1991. When I started taking care of him, I would sometimes need to pick him up from daycare. His mother took me over, I filled out some information and provided my driver’s license, and they made sure that I met the lead teachers as well as all of the teachers in his room. That way they had a record of who I was, and I was visually familiar to them. And you know what? It worked.

    The only issue I can see is that many centers have high turnover rates among their staff. But that’s not an issue that’s terribly hard to address, and I can’t imagine why that system wouldn’t work just as well today as it did then. (And apparently, at your niece’s day care center, it does!)

  16. Mike July 30, 2009 at 1:40 am #

    @Jenn, I’m with you it sounds pretty James Bond and as the price of this technology comes down we’ll probably see this more often. From a small business perspective it’s a pretty good differentiator and hey wouldn’t be offering it if people didn’t want that level of perceived security. Just think of the new offerings from the Child Safety Industrial Complex. You could get a hand scanner for the house or your child’s room. That way when you have to let the nanny go you don’t need to worry about copied keys you can just remove their profile. Of course the lasers are optional.

  17. AirborneVet July 30, 2009 at 1:41 am #

    Woah! I have to agree with the above geeky writer. This does sound cool! BUT is it painful?? What if you have an identical evil twin?? Can this gadget tell the difference? Will the preschool make parents pay more just to have this ‘added security’?

    I have a strange feeling this place has been sued over a stupid employee allowing a child to go home with a stranger. Any bets?

  18. Katie July 30, 2009 at 1:43 am #

    This isn’t at all surprising (though it is sad). It starts from birth! When my older son was born (3.5 years ago), roughly HALF of the instructions we got from hospital staff were about not taking the bassinet too close to the elevator doors, because it would set off the anti-baby-theft security system and lock down the entire hospital. Apparently this is now SOP at most large hospitals in the country. My husband and I couldn’t believe it. We chalked it up to “keeping up with the Joneses”: once one hospital installs this insane security system, the company that makes them can push it to all the other hospitals (“you don’t want to be the only ones without this important system!”).

    We also won’t take the kids to Chuck E Cheese because they’ve implemented a crazy security checkpoint system. It’s just too much.

  19. Lisa July 30, 2009 at 2:07 am #

    @Thomasin, “facilities” and “trusted care giver” are not mutually exclusive. I trusted my daughter’s daycares completely. I preferred a large center to a smaller in-home daycare or individual babysitter for a variety of reasons (none of which related to prison-level security systems). The daycare facilities of this type have longer hours to accommodate more people’s work schedules (and the reality of life that the work isn’t ALWAYS done in a strict 8 hours). Also, the teachers in different rooms cover for each other when someone is out sick or on vacation. The daycare my daughter went to when she was very young was an in-home daycare, 10 kids max with 2 caregivers at all times… but they shut down for a full 2 weeks every year, were NOT open for minor holidays, and had hours from 8:30AM – 5:00 PM. It wouldn’t have been an option for me once I became a single mom… I found a center that was open from 6:30AM-6:30PM, only closed for a handful of major holidays, and allowed staff to take vacations without closing down. It was a lifesaver, despite the code I had to punch in at the door (no fingerprint, retinal scan, etc though!)

  20. KarenW July 30, 2009 at 2:52 am #

    Katie, what does your Chuck E. Cheese have for security? If it is the hand stamp system, then the Chuck E. Cheese by me has always done that. Or is it now something more high tech and weird?

  21. Sioux B July 30, 2009 at 3:15 am #

    Sweet merciful heavens!

    As many of you have pointed out, a person at the front desk is just as safe or safer. The hand scanner won’t keep out Shannon’s “Auntie Boozie” or the vengeful parent in a nasty divorce, precisely because it will recognize them until the staff can remove them from the system. The staff would probably be aware of the situation and make a judgement call whether to confirm an unusual pickup.

    In one fell swoop that day care center teaches our kids that the outside world is dangerous and that security theater is better than real security. There’s a double whammy for you!

  22. Thomasin July 30, 2009 at 3:59 am #

    @Lisa, you’re correct. Neither a large center nor a small in-home provider corner the market on ‘trusted care giver.’ I apologize that I sounded so harsh. I suppose my remark should have been geared toward the safety measures ‘necessary’ when tending large groups of kids vs. when you’re caring for just two or three. I’m more comfortable with the low-key atmosphere of an in-home. No keypads, no sign-in sheets, just one good provider I know would stand between my kids and a bear. I have no doubt there are providers as stout of heart in the larger facilities as well.

  23. Alexicographer July 30, 2009 at 4:46 am #

    @Lynn, you are exactly right that, “The person quoted in the article is more likely to have her child hurt in a car accident driving 2 hours [each way] a day to get there, than abducted from the child care center.” And beyond that, how sad that her child is stuck in a car for 4 hours/day instead of able to relax and play with her mother. Yuck.

  24. Nicola July 30, 2009 at 5:03 am #

    @LauraL: Exactly. Training our kids for prison. I’m just so glad that my kids won’t grow up like that… I’m just horrified to think what life will be like for the kids they have… by that time, the crazies will probably have infiltrated the litigation system and made wonderful laws such as, “You may not allow any child under 17 to swim without adult supervision under penalty code AZz40l3.” “Children under 18 not permitted to drive vehicle without adult supervision.” “No more than 3 children under the age of 18 allowed in a vehicle without adult supervision.” “More than 2 children under the age of 18 within the legal and rightful boundaries of the mall subject to fines and juvenile imprisonment under penalty code m0r0IV.”

    “And I think to myself… what a wonderful world…”

  25. Sharon July 30, 2009 at 5:54 am #

    So…wait. Do these kids ever get to go outside? Or is there a high barbed wire topped security fence over the playground?

  26. Chris H July 30, 2009 at 7:57 am #

    Hmmm… For the first time I’d have to disagree. The door is locked anyway, you are just talking about method of entry.
    My daughter only goes to daycare once a week and I NEVER remember to bring along the damm swipe card.
    I’d much rather just press my hand to a pad to gain entry. Sounds very cool.
    Sharon, the kids do go outside, it is just a fenced playground. Next to a reasonably busy road with lots of three year olds, sounds reasonable to me.
    I was discussing the reason for the locked door with my daycare and they said in practical terms it was more to keep door knocking sellers (I forget the actual term she used) from disturbing their day rather than keeping out potential child abductor/killers.

  27. LauraL July 30, 2009 at 7:59 am #

    ChrisH, eh, I dunno…sounds way too much like having way too much private and personal information that could get into the wrong hands – biochips, anyone?

  28. Chris H July 30, 2009 at 8:08 am #

    You are right. Someone would just need to build a warm, blood pumping replica my hands including the sub-skin veins and I’m totally leaving myself open for identity theft.

    LauraL, you haven’t gotten rid of child-abduction paranoia and just replaced it with “the girls at daycare are nefarious villains” paranoia (otherwise known as ‘everyone’s out to get you’) have you?

  29. LauraL July 30, 2009 at 8:10 am #

    @ChrisH, heh, point, but no. Still, just like the overprotection we’re fighting now, everything starts with just a little more, and a little more, and a little more…

  30. Chris H July 30, 2009 at 8:38 am #

    Don’t get me wrong, Laura, totally agree with you. I am all for Free Range and question the need for the front door of a child care to be locked at all (surely just a really high handle is enough to prevent a child walking out!).

    However in this case the difference between a key, a swipe card or number keypad or a biometric hand is convenience to me.

  31. LauraL July 30, 2009 at 8:40 am #

    Chris H, I hear you, but to me it’s just too invasive of MY privacy and I will take a little inconvenience to keep what’s mine, mine.

  32. MaeMae July 30, 2009 at 9:02 am #

    I’m more outraged by the cost than anything. Goodness gracious, maybe I’ve been spoiled but I would never pay that much for child care. I also would never commute that far. The first thing I told my real estate agent was that I wanted to be no more than 20 minutes from my job. I think my kids would benefit more from time at home than an over-kill security system at an over-priced daycare that isn’t even full. The last time I tried to get my children into daycare there were waiting lists everywhere. Maybe the fact that they have only 24 out of 80 spots filled makes our point.

  33. Alexicographer July 30, 2009 at 9:07 am #

    @Chris H and @LauraL Just to (re)join the fun, I don’t really care whether my childcare facility relies on informed care providers (with unlocked doors) or some sort of lock/swipe/biometrics system, with the following 2 provisions: I’m not willing to pay more (biometrics) for something that can be accomplished with less (simple lock or informed childcare providers), and I’m certainly not willing to drive farther to get biometrics. I wouldn’t forget my swipe card that often (“would” because in fact my childcare provider relies on (a) knowing parents/authorized pick up people; and if the door is locked we use the high tech (b) knock until she comes to open it system).

  34. Chris H July 30, 2009 at 9:34 am #

    Alexicographer, agree on all points. I use the fail safe option (b) every week. My childcare is in the same building as I work. (I could watch them play outside from a nearby window except that breaks my ‘never watch children play, you won’t like what you see’ rule).

    But man, I’d get one of those things for my house if I could. Things would have had to have gone pretty bad for you to lose your keys!

  35. Alexicographer July 30, 2009 at 9:45 am #

    @ChrisH, you don’t have to! Just get a unit like this one installed: We had one put in when we remodeled and I love, love love it (ours isn’t this exact model and was a little cheaper — around $100 — but same basic idea and I think also a Schlage). Much more affordable than the $65K cited in the article Lenore linked to!

    (I don’t really know how secure this is compared to a key lock, but I feel it’s good enough for where we live; obviously YMMV).

  36. Melissa July 30, 2009 at 9:52 am #

    Wow, I think having that kind of security at a daycare would make me nervous. My son’s daycare used the old fashioned informed caregivers thing and it worked well enough. In fact I once got a call asking if it was okay for his father to pick him up even though he is on the okay list just because they hadn’t seen him in a few months.

  37. Ayal Vogel July 30, 2009 at 9:54 am #

    Well, I must say all of the responses are rather entertaining.

    This vascular biometric is used for the sole purpose of making it easier for the parents to enter and exit the building. We would all rather live in a society that does not have to worry about abductions, people on drugs or an unstable person who roams the floors of this or any other school. The reality is with a little precaution we avoid any trouble. This solution alleviates any privacy concerns because unlike finger prints, veins can not be used by any law enforcements.

    Why is it that in our society we always solve the problems the day after?

    Each solution that all of you provide certainly works though has its challenges. A lock certainly keeps people out but do you really want to be bothered opening the door or buzzing people in every time? Do parents really have the time to stand by the door waiting to be buzzed in?
    A swipe card is better than a lock though it does not prevent another person from using it. Biometrics which is being used in all types of facilities including health clubs to prevent people from sharing membership provides efficiency. Also, the crazy cost of system has nothing to do with the biometrics. The school wanted to provide information to parents throughout the day of when diapers were changed, if medication was provided, how much of their food they ate and let working parents have some comfort that even though they have to be at work instead of at home raising their own children, they had a peace of mind! Security is a peach of mind. Thats all it is and as a father of three, everytime my child forgets his lunch and I have to wait at the door until they buzz me in, I wish they too had a more efficient way of letting me in though Im glad that at least the door is locked!

    One last thing, if somone cut your hand off, it would not work since it reads the vein pattern and it would change once the hand was cut off :) We thought of that too.

    Ayal Vogel
    Executive Vice President
    Identica Holdings Corp.

  38. Chris H July 30, 2009 at 10:00 am #

    Hey Ayal,
    Was that end-user-tested? And if I follow the paranoia vein enough – how many hands does a child abducting psycho need to cut off on average before they realise this!
    Got any sub-$65K options?

  39. Chris H July 30, 2009 at 10:13 am #

    And Ayal,
    I think I would point out that this blog supports the idea that we don’t really live in a society where “people on drugs or an unstable person who roams the floors of this or any other school”. It is just media generated hype based on a few unfortunate cases.

    That said, local conditions must be considered and I’ve never hit the hard streets of Sterling.

    But good for you for adding your two cents. You rock.

  40. Chris H July 30, 2009 at 10:17 am #

    But I’m totally with you on convenience!

  41. Ayal Vogel July 30, 2009 at 10:17 am #

    The reality is that the vein reader alone does not cost much more than a buzzer with a camera and intercom.
    As I mentioned, 65k is for all the rest of the technology that the writer failed to mention. My children certainly walk or ride their bikes to town and I believe in allowing them to be free. Though as a responsible parent, I would rather have the school take precautions as long as its done with common sense.

    In DC, NY, TX, IL, CA you act differently than in other places. We could all move to Sweden where they leave the babies in their strollers when they are in the coffee shops.

  42. Chris H July 30, 2009 at 10:49 am #

    Wait a second… When you say “people on drugs wondering around schools”… are you talking about teenagers?

    Speaking of leaving kids in strollers, a local Sydney paper did recently crucify some poor mother/carer for leaving a sleeping child in a car child seat for ten minutes on a cold winter’s day while she got a coffee about fifty metres away (took a picture of the kid and everything)! Luckily, the child managed to survive.,22049,25784030-5006009,00.html

    The photo looks small but was the entire front page of the Sunday paper! While she technically did break the law about leaving children in cars (implemented after some mother left her children strapped into a car while she gambled at the casino for an entire night) this is one of those cases where any common sense assessment shows the child is in no danger, except from roving reporters with a Sunday deadline.

    Anyhow, don’t want to take over the comment section (I’m passing time ’til I can leave work) so I’ll let others take up the cause.

    Good afternoon!

  43. Shannon July 30, 2009 at 11:12 am #

    Ayal, it’s not the convenience or even (primarily) the cost, although I would point out that simply having staff check IDs is probably the cheapest and most effective option of all. (And this is just a guess on my part, but I bet they check IDs once you’re inside the building, too.)

    No, it’s the symbolism. It’s the idea that our daycare centers and preschools require military-style biometric methods to keep the little ones under (proverbial) lock and key. It’s the citadel aesthetic that people here are objecting to, not the specific biometric method. It’s biometric methods in general.

    And frankly, although I don’t have kids, I don’t think I’d ever want them imprinted with any information other than serious food allergies and life-threatening diseases. (Conditions, presumably, that could be noted down the old fashioned way: with pen and paper.) Some people are under the mistaken impression that nobody knows how to deal with their children but themselves. This is what leads to so many women quitting work once they have them. I’ve got a newsflash for the concerned parents crowd: people have been bearing and raising children long before you had yours. If you’re a first time parent, there are probably people who are *better* at understanding your child’s needs than you are. It’s time to cut the umbilical cord and stop caring about how many diaper changes your kids get per day.

  44. ebohlman July 30, 2009 at 1:18 pm #

    In the not-so-humble opinion of this childless man, the expensive, non-security part of the system is catering to mothers who feel guilty about working, in a culture where a woman’s role is to identify with her kids’ bodily functions.

  45. Bob Davis July 30, 2009 at 1:52 pm #

    I first saw one of these biometric ID units by the front door of a day-care center in Pasadena (CA) many years ago, and thought “James Bond goes to nursery school.” That said, it wasn’t that far from a “homeless center”, so they might have had some unpleasant experiences that prompted the installation.

  46. Dave July 30, 2009 at 2:12 pm #

    When does this stop? A four hour a day commute to day care. It’s one way to keep you kid of the streets. The article also mentions that this type of technology gets our children accustom to survalence. I don’t want my grandchildren to be used to being watched by strangers even if they are the police or the head of security at the day care.

    I am coming to the conclusion that the last person I want to ask about security is a trained professional. They always assume the worst and move to overkill. I was part of a neighborhood task force on grime that left me only frustrated. The experts want to tell be a 57 year old adult who is very street wise not to do things like walk with an i-pod and to fight to have security cameras put throughout the neighborhood. How about if we just act neighborly and sit in the front year watching our children play and get to know one another. then the crime status will drop because we will learn to police ourselves.

    If the day care work is familiar with who is to pick up the child than they would know who too give the child too. Even a parent who is not supposed to take the child would be prevented at the door. Relationships lead to safety more than high tech devices.

  47. MaeMae July 30, 2009 at 8:17 pm #

    I’m in complete agreeance with Shannon. I used to hate standing in the daycare room after a long day at work listening to what my child ate, what they played with and how many bowel movements they had. I expected her to eat, play and eliminate waste. I wanted the teachers to understand that I left my daughter with them because I trusted them. The fact that she was always smiling at the end of the day was proof enough for me that she had had a good day. No journals or bathroom reports necessary, thank you.

  48. Lisa July 30, 2009 at 11:28 pm #

    @MaeMae, I completely agree! I have never understood the need to keep track of every diaper change and feeding. I appreciated being told about “firsts”, and to have a general idea of what they were seeing was the same behavior I was seeing at home, but that’s about it. I asked her about the details of her day once she could talk, but that was more for her benefit than any real need for me to know which toys she played with or how many times she went outside.

  49. morninglightmama July 31, 2009 at 1:45 am #

    Oh for the love of all that is holy. As an early childhood educator, I am so freaking offended that the sole reason a parent would choose a preschool for their child is the security system! Curricular approaches? Teachers’ accreditations? Nah, just as long as those imaginary boogey men can’t come in and steal my kid!

    Okay, perhaps that’s not the ultimate point to put on it, but that did raise my hackles a bit. Just another raise the fear stakes, and then parents begin to think,. maybe I do need to worry that a regular locked door or security system just isn’t enough… I’ve had enough of imposed FEAR for the profit of the companies marketing the “solutions” for problems that don’t even exist!!

  50. Alexicographer July 31, 2009 at 5:54 am #

    @Ayal, thanks for joining the conversation.

    Your product is not what I’d choose, though I guess I’m OK with people choosing it. I do, though, find it disturbing that someone would consider the tradeoff of a long daily commute worthwhile in order to gain access to the device. Really — what became of the idea that we value spending time with our families? Obviously that’s not your product’s “fault,” (though I object to the way it’s profiled in the linked article as making children safer, suggesting that we should be willing to give something up in order to get it), but it still strikes me that the particular parent profiled in the article has made a decision that is, to me, exactly at odds with what responsible parenting involves.

    And in general I can’t imagine that your device improves the quality of the experience of the children (or parents) at the daycare in part because I wouldn’t want my child to attend a childcare facility organized so that the children were kept behind physical barriers (as opposed to, you know, out playing in the woods with an appropriate number of adults nearby supervising them), so it’s certainly not for me … I mean, I can’t imagine a facility installing a hand-scanner and then saying, “Oh, by the way, we also spend about 6 hours each day playing outdoors where we rely on nothing more than our good judgment to protect the children in our care.”

  51. Ben September 17, 2009 at 7:15 pm #

    Wow, what a waste of money, instead of an expensive lock, you could just talk to the kid’s teacher…

  52. Childcare Expert May 4, 2010 at 2:01 am #

    I agree with you 100%. We live in an age where everyone is paranoid about the safety of their children. Parents will watch the news thinking that there is a good possibility that the events that happen on the news can happen to their children. So the parents go to extreme measures just to have the piece at mind knowing that their children are safe. I personally find such security measures to be utterly ridiculous.

  53. car review September 9, 2010 at 4:59 pm #

    Okay, full confession: as a geek, that sounds totally cool. Like a spy movie. But with…naptime and crackers. Plus, bonus: you don’t have to remember a PIN or code number. A retinal or vein scan is quick and very effective, unless someone manages to pluck out your eyeballs or chop off your hand.