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Fingerprint security for parents

PUBLISHED: 17:18 04 June 2008 | UPDATED: 09:49 23 August 2010

Dartford
02-05-08
Springfield ;Lodge Day Nursery
Fingerprint scanning system
Linda Berryman with the system

Dartford 02-05-08 Springfield ;Lodge Day Nursery Fingerprint scanning system Linda Berryman with the system

FINGERPRINT scanners are being used to check the identity of parents at a nursery school for the first time in the county. The innovative system at Springfield Lodge Day Nursery, which has sites in Dartford and Swanscombe, went live this week. Managing

FINGERPRINT scanners are being used to check the identity of parents at a nursery school for the first time in the county.

The innovative system at Springfield Lodge Day Nursery, which has sites in Dartford and Swanscombe, went live this week. Managing director Linda Berryman, 56, said the measures were for the "safety and security" of the children and had been welcomed by parents after initial scepticism.

She said: "The system went fully live this week and has taken a lot of planning because of the number of parents and carers involved.

"It is important to note that this is nothing to do with fingerprint scanning children it is the parents only. The system increases security but also allows quicker and easier access to the nursery when dropping off, collecting or coming to spend time and watch your children in the nursery.

"I decided to do this after reading about similar initiatives and looking in to it. The parents are delighted but at first there were some reservations. Once they looked in to it and realised it was just taking a picture of a fingerprint and was not stored alongside other personal data they were fine. It is all in the best interests of the children we care for."

She added: "There has been a huge amount of unease about loss of data. Loss of information at the Home Office for instance made headline news but people can see our system does not put them at risk of this."

The mother-of-one founded the nursery in Powder Mill Lane, Dartford in 1989. Four years ago it was renovated and completely rebuilt. A second nursery was opened at the site of Craylands School, Swanscombe and moved in to its own premises next door two years ago.

Almost 300 children a day from across north Kent are cared for at both sites, with 85 staff working between both of them.

Mrs Berryman said: "We still have reception staff overseeing who comes and goes but this allows the process to be a lot faster and safer for everyone. It allows us to work quicker and to manage staff easier and better for our Ofsted requirements. These fingerprint or biometric systems will be seen more and more in the future, particularly in nursery schools and nursing homes."

What do you think? Write to michael.adkins@archant.co.uk

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