Another surveillance app for parents
“When Matthew Whisker picks his children up from their north shore childcare centre he doesn’t automatically have to ask how their day went – he already knows.
The Neutral Bay father has an app which alerts him to the daily activities and achievements of his children Harry, 11 months, and Lulu, five, almost immediately via his smart phone.
The app is being trialled in three Sydney centres operated by Only About Children, with plans to roll it out more widely later this year. Victoria’s Woodland Education has developed a similar app which also alerts parents to the real-time minutiae and milestones of their children’s lives, including what they had for lunch and if they soiled their nappies.
But experts have questioned whether young children need to have their lives documented in such detail and how it might affect normal interactions between parents, kids and carers.
Only About Children’s chief operations officer, Kathryn Hutchins, said the group, which has 31 centres in NSW, Victoria and Queensland, developed the app in response to parental demand.
‘‘We want to capture the moments working parents may want to see but don’t have the opportunity to because they are at work,’’ she said. ‘‘For example, if your child is just learning to walk, there will be a photo that shows that activity.’’
Educators carry a small handset tablet, photographing the children and writing short descriptions of what they are doing before uploading the content. The parent then gets a push notification, alerting them to the status update.”