Surveillance, Security & Safety
The most desirable option to not hand your children over to child
care. In an ideal world, the parents should be the ones taking full
time care of their children and, in the event that you are unable to,
a close relative is the best option. Failing that, a close friend.
However, most people at some stage or another, hand their
children's care over to an external party.
If you're found in this position, of course you would interview the
prospective child minder, check references, do database
searches etc. This, in my opinion, is not enough. Since your
children are so important, I think it is wise to teach them about
security procedures (if they are old enough to understand) and
investigate some surveillance.
If you are handing responsibility over to an external party, the
preference would be for them to mind your children in your own
home. In your home you are able to monitor and survey what's
happening during and after the fact.
For example, you could rent/buy equipment specifically designed
just for the "babysitter monitoring market". There is a huge range
of products from teddy bears with built in camera and recorder
through to smoke detectors with built in cameras and small range
transmittors. You could be in the car down the street and still be
watching the sitter. If you were trialling a new sitter or if your child
is acting strangely or has marks you can not account for, you can
pull the tape out of the bear and review it.
Considerably more difficult would be if your children were being
minded away from your home. Some daycare centres actually
have webcams where you can check in on the progress of your
child throughout the day but no staff is going to be stupid enough
to harm your child in front of the camera they *know* is there. It is
possible, with today's technology, to imbed a small camera or
microphone with a recording device in your child's clothing. This
would allow you to, at least, review at the end of the day how your
child has been treated.
There is no inexpensive way to wire a child with a live video
transmitter. This technology is available but is relatively expensive
and is designed more towards professional investigative work and
is definitely not within the average consumer budget.
If you must have your child minded externally, have them minded
at home. You control the home environment so, therefore, you
can install microphones and camera to your heart's content. In
addition, other issues such as your child being fed foods you
wouldn't approve of or introduced to literature you wouldn't approve
of is less likely to happen in your own home as you are providing
all the materials.