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open day care that parents can see on their computer screens
been the dream of the Farmer family to own a business. They just
didn't know what kind.
finally decided on a children's day care, they set out to create
a stimulating environment with the latest technology ¬ Internet
access so parents can watch their children on their computer screens.
Jackson day care, Education Depot, will apparently be the first
day care in the state to have this Internet access. The cameras
literally give eyes to the Internet, so that parents can see their
children in real time, live action.
is relatively simple. Cameras will be positioned in three rooms
where children play according to age group. Parents pull up Education
Depot's Web site on the Internet, type in a secured password,
and pick the room they want to view. The room appears on their
computer screen and they can view their children for as long as
they like, all day if they have a free computer.
like grandparents can also be linked.
only a computer and access to the Internet to view the day care,
no special plug-ins or software.
to one manufacturer of these Internet camera systems, ParentNet
Inc., being able to watch their children play reduces parents'
stress, ensures the safety of children because at least one parent
will likely be watching at all times, and improves communication
between parents and day care providers.
to day cares, Internet cameras are being used to safeguard vacation
homes and at work by bosses who want to monitor their employees.
Internet access to your child's day cost? Surprisingly, the Farmers
are charging comparable rates to those of other day cares in their
area, maintaining the system creates little overhead.
Depot is tentatively scheduled to open on Sept. 8. Already, Margaret
Farmer, an R.N. and the center's director, has been flooded with
It's no wonder.
access, the Farmers are setting up a computer lab for children
that will not cost extra to use. They promise an R.N. on duty
and a whole staff trained on pediatric basic life support. They
also promise an environment that stimulates children's minds,
even those not big enough to walk.
didn't want a day care where parents drops their kids off, and
the kids play all day, or watch TV and play video games,"
said Margaret's son, Glenn Farmer, a loan officer who has been
coordinating the Internet hookup at the day care.
at Education Depot will be playing, but they'll be learning at
the same time. Babies will have specially-chosen mobiles and mirrors
to look at, older children will follow a curriculum designed by
Marilyn Terrell, a teacher at Boyd Elementary School and ETV's
Teacher of the Year for 1997.
will learn to read and do simple math; school-age children will
have some down time after school but they will have to do their
homework. If they have no homework, they can read a book, said
as young as two years old can use the computer lab. Very young
children will use the Sesame Street learning series starring "Elmo"
that familiarizes them with computers.
Depot is modeled on the requirements for accreditation through
the National Academy of Early Childhood Programs. If accredited,
the center will be one of a handful in the state that is accredited
by the academy, Farmer said.
All of Margaret
Farmer's children and her husband are involved in the business.
Husband Roland is president, Glenn is vice president, daughter
Kimberly Edwards is secretary, and son Sean is treasurer. Two
more sons live in Chicago. Reginald will do the accounting and
Kevin, a certified Microsoft engineer, is handling the computers.
five children of her own, Margaret Farmer knows how eager children
are to learn. That's why she's working to create a learning environment,
not a day care that just baby sits kids all day. "I want
them to be independent thinkers," she said.