Keys of Surveillance

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Have you ever really thought of the safety of the children in childcare centers?

"I placed the most precious thing I had in the world in your hands and you people did not take your job seriously."
These were the words of distraught parent, Catrine Teddi from the novel The Perfect Solution. In this fast paced and informative thriller a three year old is stalked and mistakenly given to the stalker by his preschool teacher. The abduction occurs at The Perfect Solution Childcare Center. Through a series of mistakes that occur in the overcrowded confusion of his classroom, three year old, Brhin-Kristoffer Teddi is forced to leave the center with a woman he does not know.
This is a short synopsis of a book I wrote. In this book I weaved fact and fiction to show a lot of things I had encountered in my over twenty years of working in the public arena. after yesterday I see I can't go back, nothing has changed. When I first wrote the book I did a survey with five or six public centers and three home-based centers asking questions about surveillance, security, staff a matter of fact this particular center took part in that survey. Some of their requests came for their staff came from that book. A couple of the centers used the survey to give their workers the required training hours.
At one time I had pondered the thought of marketing myself out as a 'secret shopper'. Reviewing daycares for potential clients...hmmm. I guess in away that is what I was yesterday. I would have recommended it for my clients if it had passed. I would not put a child there let alone work there. Here are the major reasons:
  1. The gate was left open and the daycare faces Calder very near the corner of Major. On the gate was a sign asking for gate to stay closed. On the outside of the door was a sign asking staff to be aware of their surroundings.
  2. The lights were off. It's okay in the rooms at nap time, but the hallway?It gives the illusion of being closed, not welcoming.
  3. No one was around and when, after five minutes of walking through three or four rooms, seeing the office was empty, I did see someone, gave a little wave and she ignored me I felt the urge to leave. She didn't know what my intentions were. Too dangerous. No one knew who was in the building. I have cameras showing who is outside and in the center. Monitors are in the living room and kitchen.
  4. The infant room was sooo quiet. A baby sat in a swing leaning way over trying to grab its toes and another just lay in the bed. No soft music, just quiet and the worker was sitting in a chair. No interaction or stimulation going on there.
  5. There was no organization between staff and whomever ran the office.
  6. Potential clients were left to stand in the hallway for extended periods with no interaction from anyone.
  7. I won't even discuss the chaos and lack of supervision in the after-school building. I shudder.
There were so many other things I could say, but I would have to write a book. I wonder what it would take to be a daycare critic? Any ideas?


jess said... Best Blogger Tips

I have no idea how you would start such a business. There must be some agency that investigates day cares and looks like there would also be health issues to monitor too, but I'm sure you know more about that than I do. Day Cares are all supposed to be licensed, aren't they? And what happens if they aren't?

People who can afford it hire nannies to keep their kids. There used to be a lot of controversy over day care issues but I haven't heard anything lately. It's probably something that should be brought back into the limelight.

Anyway, I'm certain you'd need to become certified or have come kind of licensing or credentials to monitor or investigate day cares. you should research and see what it takes. I knew a woman once who did this same thing with nursing homes- made spot visits, etc.

You've been fighting this battle for a long time, Nancy.

The Voice said... Best Blogger Tips

Do food critics, movie critics and such need certain credentials? I was thinking of something more in that line. Parents are always asking me about certain centers. I just mean the basic questions a person would want to know. Not deep into licensing.

Debra Harris-Johnson said... Best Blogger Tips

You know it's not just the little one's that need love and caring. Have you ever thought about an 'Adult Center'. I had a nanny for my daughter. When she was 2 I retired but by that time she and her nanny had bonded to the point I couldn't let her go. Long story short I paid her 2 days a week just to come play with my child and of course babysit some week ends. By the time my child was 5 the nanny came very seldom but we sent her a little cash once a month just to show our appreciation for the care she gave our daughter. My daughter will be 20 in a few days and her former nanny had a stroke & is in an 'Adult Center' private home setting and we still keep in touch to see if she might need anything. There are plenty of young parents looking for a nanny and there are plenty of people our age looking for care givers for their elderly parents. Think outside the box.

The Voice said... Best Blogger Tips

I have signed up with the Professional Nanny Service here in Beaumont, but they have no one needing care right now. I tried working with adults and my only experience was with the most crankiest elder. And I have worked in the kitchen of a retirement home and met a lot of beautiful people, but that is not where my heart is.

The Voice said... Best Blogger Tips

I have read the first two books, and now everything you have recently posted. You are such a great writer, and experience and maturity has just added flavor. I can't wait to
read "Wade In The Water".
Keep writing.......

Guardian Angel said... Best Blogger Tips

Nancy,I have a 1yr old and I know that choosing a child care center is one of the toughest decisions a parent has to make.I am in the video surveillance industry and I am in the process of developing a system that caters specifically to child care centers.As a concerned parent I'm a taking exceptional interest in making sure that we develop a proper system that gives parents a peace of mind by having the ability to view their child at any giving time of the day,record any events while the child is in the facilty as well as give a distant family member such as a grandparent a form of visual communication with the child.Many child care incidents go untold.I am very interested in the survey questions you conducted to the home and childcare centers.

The Voice said... Best Blogger Tips

Wow, the woman in my book worked for a video surveillance company. I have such an issue with incidents in childcare centers, I can go on forever. You can email me at

Anonymous said... Best Blogger Tips

Things can happen in any setting, from nanny at home to a childcare center.

One benefit of a childcare center is that they (if they are a legitimate quality center) have policies in place to ensure that this does not happen, and there are witnesses to everything. Rarely is a teacher alone with the children. If you have a nanny who knows what she is doing?

Many wonderful things happen in quality childcare centers. You just have to do your homework as a parent instead of blaming your own negligence on such a broad entity as "childcare centers." It's ignorant.

The Voice said... Best Blogger Tips

The description was made after many years of observation and working in "quality" well named centers who are supposed to have policies in place. Teachers are left alone in rooms and buildings with children and lack of supervision has resulted in many deaths and injuries to children.
There are wonderful things happening along side the awful.

As for doing my 'homework', google negligence in childcare centers and see where the ignorance lies.

Those Feeling My Voice