JAMES Bond-style fingerprinting technology is helping to protect toddlers at an Elland nursery.
The high-tech biometric access system allows staff at the Providence Day Nursery to know when a parent comes to collect their child.
With the swipe of a fingerprint, parents and carers are able to gain access to the nursery while those whose fingerprint is not stored in the system are unable to enter.
Staff can then use the videophone to find out who has attempted to gain access.
Nursery owner Jane Erlank said: “We’ve got a responsibility to the parents and children to keep them safe.
“Seeing the Madeleine McCann case on television has brought to life the society we live in and it concerns me greatly. It made me realise that we have to take extra steps to protect our children and this technology will help.”
The nursery is one of the first in the UK to install the system, which reads the fingerprints of all staff, parents and carers before automatically releasing the door.
With 129 children on the books and more than 50 attending daily, Jane says it has given everyone peace of mind.
“Though we’ve never had a problem with safety, we have to think about all the possibilities. Before we had a push button system where parents would enter a PIN, but it had its problems. There could be someone stood behind watching what number is entered or the number pads could wear down with use and the code could be worked out.
“This system now gives me peace of mind that I know who is coming in and out and it also gives the parents peace of mind to know their children are safe here.”
All but a few of the parents have signed up to the scheme.
Jane said: “It is done on a voluntary basis, so they don’t have to do it, but they have been very, very positive.”
The Providence Street nursery has achieved much success lately, with a ‘good’ rating in its Ofsted report and a four-star Environmental Health Award. It has also gained the Investor in People title.
The toddlers are now getting ready for their Hallowe’en party and are continuing to support and raise funds for the Helping Hands charity which works with people who have learning disabilities.