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Activist calls for cameras in nurseries

Surveillance issue: Kelly Hunt, executive director of the Coalition for the Protection of Children (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

Security cameras in childcare facilities should be mandatory, the head of a children’s charity said yesterday.

Kelly Hunt, executive director at the Coalition for the Protection of Children, said that child safety “should be at the core of every establishment and home environment”.

She added: “We believe that the installation of cameras in all facilities where young children are being supervised should be a requirement.

“Video monitoring would serve to protect both children and staff as well as provide full transparency by all childcare providers.”

Ms Hunt was speaking after it was announced on Tuesday that a nursery had been closed after a baby suffered a serious head injury.

Michael Weeks, the Minister of Social Development and Sport, said that the closure was precautionary as an investigation into the 12-month-old boy’s injury is carried out.

He added that it was not clear if the child’s injury had happened while at the daycare centre.

Mr Weeks refused to name the nursery, but said that there had been “a few” previous incidents there.

Police announced on Sunday that detectives were involved in the investigation.

Ms Hunt said her organisation was “deeply saddened” to hear about the toddler’s injury.

She added: “This unfortunate incident is a clarion call for everyone to immediately prioritise child safety.”

Ms Hunt said that because an investigation was under way, she could not comment on the specifics of the case.

She said that the coalition wanted the Government “to prioritise the ongoing inspection” of all childcare environments.

Ms Hunt added: “We understand that the Ministry of Health is in the process of reviewing the regulation of childcare providers and we look forward to understanding the procedures surrounding enforcement.

“Babies and toddlers are particularly vulnerable so the consistent review and observation of these premises is paramount and should be an ongoing part of maintaining a valid licence to operate as a daycare.”

Ms Hunt said: “Childcare delivery is the most important business in the world and we must not stray from this belief.”

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