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Nursery Management

Using Open or Personal Devices in Childcare Settings

One of the key benefits of our system is the fact that it’s tablet based for simple, quick and interactive logging of the children’s activity. But it’s not all plain-sailing for tablet based logging – take some of the key issues that need to be addressed in the sensitive environment of a childcare setting.

A simple task such as logging the following observation: “Laura has painted her name today without any help…”, with the picture of Laura and her painting taken on the tablet and logged in the system, takes just a few seconds to complete with the parents being able to see this instantaneously if they want to! How wonderful. But there are concerns with something as simple as this.

The key challenge with using open or personal devices in childcare settings, is the security of the child’s sensitive information. The picture is then on the tablet, being able to be sent, forwarded, copied multiple times, shared on social media very easily. Parents and staff are always worried about these tablets being used in an inappropriate way by others as tablets these days are loaded with an abundance of applications, which anyone can share information with the tap of a button. Scarier are the video chatting applications through which somebody would be able to discretely share activities taking place within the childcare environment. And of course, there is the issue of children getting their hands on them, as the use of tablet devices in children is on the increase. How many infants can use them with ease these days?! Most of them, without hesitation.

Next is the issue of the productivity of the staff. With a range of applications available on the tablets, there is very little that managers can do to limit the use of email, internet browsing, eBay shopping and various other apps by staff members.. This decrease in productivity can be significantly detrimental to the nursery and poses a risk to the children’s education and well-being.

One simple way to address this problem is to go about uninstalling all these various applications before the tablets are deployed in the environment. This might in general work if one or two tablets are being used in the environment. Larger settings will need more tablets – perhaps two in a room, increasing the effort to clean-up the tablets. Moreover, these tablets do not allow uninstallation of certain applications, such as the app stores – making it quite easy for anyone to install/reinstall new applications. Such an ongoing check and maintenance of these tablets can prove to be a significant headache to the managers.

To address these difficult hurdles, we provide tablets with a custom “firmware” deployed on them significantly enhancing their security.

Our secure and specialised tablets have all apps stripped off so that internet, social media, emails etc. cannot be used on the tablet, leaving just the eyLog app running. App store applications are all removed preventing any further installations. Managers and parents can rest assured that staff are limited to being able to observe, assess or plan on these devices only. PIN based access ensures that children cannot get into the system, nor can anyone else without a valid logon.

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