Nursery and Early Years’ Education Security

Access control and safety monitoring solutions to protect those who matter most

Nursery security - children running down a corridor holding hands

Why does your nursery need security?

Safety and nursery security consistently rank in the Top 5 most important considerations for parents when choosing a kindergarten, day nursery or crèche for their child.

Mumsnet lists it in the Top 3. Day nurseries can have superb staff, play facilities and excellent safeguarding, but if you don’t get the fundamentals of nursery security right your business is at risk. An unsatisfactory Ofsted report, or worse, an incident in which a child is hurt, or parent/ stranger abducted can result in irrevocable reputational damage.

An effective security system for your nursery should include robust and reliable Access Control, CCTV and a simple Intruder Alarm. Deliver increased staff productivity through choosing the right security system for your business’ needs and save hours of management time.

Our customer, Day Care at Saint Martins, Solihull, talks about their experience of Almas and our team.

 

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Secure Your Doors

Almas’ access control systems give day nurseries a flexible and affordable management tool to control exactly who can gain entry to the premises, and when.

Drop off/ collection times are busy. It’s difficult to keep track of who is coming in and out, let alone catch up with late payers, or tackle parents who constantly exceed agreed hours.

You need to be confident that only authorised users can access your site. With staff labour in short supply, having someone at reception who has to field visitors or deliveries at all times is not cost-effective or productive.

Which access control system is right for my nursery?

There are a wide variety of access control solutions on the market; they range from pin codes to biometric systems with face scanners and fingerprint readers, and each comes with its own level of security.

In a nursery setting pin codes, fobs, swipe cards or keys can all be lost, stolen, lent, forgotten or subject to abuse. Biometric readers and video intercoms give you a robust door entry system to protect your ingress and egress points.

A scale showing the least secure form of access and then increasingly secure to the most secure biometric door access control

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Biometric Access Control is Simple and Easy to use

Almas’ stylish GDPR compliant, fingerprint readers, face scanners and Optima access control software give you complete peace of mind that only authorised people can access your childcare setting.

With Almas’ Optima access control software, you can enrol new users quickly, suspend late payers in seconds, and set start and end of access (validity) dates for trainee staff or parents.

Our systems range from simple, single-entry fingerprint readers to complex multipoint entry systems with a mixture of face scanners and/ or fingerprint readers.

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Video Intercoms

Restricting access to the nursery is vital at all times. This requires a staff member to potentially leave a room, when visitors or deliveries arrive, upsetting childcare ratios and potentially causing a liability risk should there be an accident.

Video intercom systems allow you to communicate with someone elsewhere in the nursery through a built in camera and display screen.

Video intercoms allow you to check who is at the door through the viewing screen. Display screens can be placed in different locations, and the routing programmed to ring a specific room to reduce disruption.

Here’s how a video intercom system works:

  • The camera and microphone are mounted by the nursery entrance or gate
  • When someone presses the button, a signal is sent through the intercom system.
  • The intercom system sends a video feed from the camera to a display screen inside the nursery
  • The member of staff inside can see and hear the person at the door through the display screen.
  • To communicate with the person at the door, the person inside can use the intercom’s microphone and speaker.
  • If the person inside wants to allow the person at the door to enter, they can use the intercom to unlock the door remotely.
An intercom door entry screen showing a child walking into a nursery and 3 different configurations of intercom stations

logo of eyworks nursery management software

Nursery Management Meets Biometric Security

Almas are delighted to introduce our integration with leading Nursery Management Software Providers, eyworks.

The integration brings improved security, increased efficiency and saves hours of management time in one, simple platform by integrating facial or fingerprint access control with staff clocking in.

“The integration has saved countless hours collating and verifying manual staff logs. We’ve seen productivity increases as staff have realised we’ve eliminated the human element of payroll reconciliation.”

Anthony Ioannou – Owner of Abacus Ark Nursery Group

Watch below to find out how you could start saving time today! Onboarding offer for new and existing customers – get in touch today!

 

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Nursery CCTV

It’s not CCTV, it’s safety monitoring. No member of staff can watch every child all the time. In a second a child can fall and hurt themselves or may get too boisterous leading to an accident. CCTV recordings give your management team the opportunity to review footage, identify what happened and then implement training or measures to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

CCTV Protects Your Business and Your Team

Safety monitoring provides evidence in the event of an unfounded claim of wrongdoing and can also identify if there is an issue with an employee. Good quality recordings stand up to disciplinary action for HR or criminal investigation by the authorities. If there is a dispute or issue, it allows you to swiftly investigate, this can help prevent staff absences and reduce reputational damage.

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Which Security Cameras are Right for your Nursery?

It could be an IP or Analogue CCTV system. There is a dizzying array of security cameras available including dome or fisheye, internal or external, vandal proof, TIOC, PTZ and more.

Our Security Consultants will help you decide whether CCTV safety monitoring is suitable for your nursey setting. They will conduct a free, no obligation, site survey to confirm the best locations and types of security camera for your needs and prevent over-specification.

Nursey CCTV and GDPR

Observing privacy considerations is also vital to stay compliant while protecting your business, team and the children in your care. We’ll advise you regarding GDPR responsibilities and compliant signage comes with every package.

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Staff Clocking In: Time & Attendance

How do you check whether your team’s hours are accurate? Familiarity between teams and junior management can lead to tardiness going unreported.
The childcare sector often has part time, work experience or trainee staff; it’s vital to have a robust system for monitoring their attendance.

The Almas biometric time and attendance system is a reliable, simple and effective tool.

  • Automatic time tracking through fingerprint clocking in saves hours of management time.
  • Track staff holidays, hours worked, and absences
  • Get rid of cumbersome traditional paper rotas and sign in sheets which are prone to falsification, error and inaccuracy.
  • Payroll reporting is simple; check and pay your team accurately.

Simple clocking in requirements for small teams is integrated within Almas’ access control software and OneTime module. More complex requirements are accommodated with our advanced OnTime clocking in software.

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plan of a nursery setting with icons showing where access control readers, cctv cameras and intruder alarm sensors would be placed

 360° Security from Almas

Strengthen your nursery security with Almas Industries’ unique 360 module. This integrates your individual security solutions onto one easy-to-monitor plan. Security cameras, facial or fingerprint readers and intruder alarm sensors are mapped on a site overview. You can remotely open doors or view specific camera feeds all in one place.

Access Control and CCTV events can be linked. If the door is propped, or held, open for longer than it should be, an alert is created. You can click immediately to review the CCTV footage from a few seconds before, during and after the event. You can ascertain quickly that no child escaped and no unauthorised intruder gained access.

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Why Almas? The Right Solution, For Your Childcare Business

Almas are experts in security solutions for the early years’ childcare sector with over 15 years’ experience protecting Early Years’ childcare settings. Almas Industries’ integrated biometric access control and CCTV solutions protect your nursery, creche or pre-school and we will advise you of your responsibilities under GDPR. We offer a range of payment options including no upfront cost and full maintenance, with local, expert engineers on hand when you need it.
Set yourselves apart from the competition as well as improving your nursery’s security and saving time.

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What do our customers say?

Get in touch today for more information, or to arrange a security consultation

You can call us on 0333 567 77 99 (UK) or 01 68 333 68 (IRE) or complete your details below and we will contact you.

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    FAQs

    We are here to help

    Or if you would prefer to speak to a security consultant

    Children need a safe space where they develop themselves by taking risks through challenging play. Accidents are sometimes inevitable but proper security measures, including safety monitoring, minimises risks for the children providing a safe learning environment for them to grow.

    Parents factor how safe a nursery is in their considerations when choosing a provider for their children. If your setting is clearly safe and secure, it sets you apart from the competition – read more here

     

    CCTV systems are a valuable tool in certain locations around a nursery to help protect and ensure the safety of the children and staff.

    Good quality CCTV footage delivers benefits including:

    • Training opportunities for staff
    • Review and establish facts swiftly in the event of an incident
    • Provide evidence in HR or police investigations

    However, guidelines and laws must be adhered to regarding protection and privacy.

    Read our comprehensive blog about whether you should install CCTV here

    Or get in touch with us for our definitive guide on Nursery CCTV

    Nurseries need to ensure that they comply with GDPR when it comes to the security solutions you have in place.

    The GDPR promote safety regarding the processing of personal data of all individuals and children are classed as vulnerable.

    If you are implementing a biometric access control system or CCTV security cameras, or biometric time and attendance then you should complete a Data Privacy Impact Assessment.

    With a fingerprint or facial access control system, the children will not be enrolled, but you must communicate with staff and parents as to why you are implementing the system. The ICO is a good authority as to your responsibilties.

    CCTV cameras definitely will capture children’s images and you should have policies in place covering all responsibiltities under the GDPR.

    If you’d like further information please get in touch. We provide our customers with templates, signage and advice to keep them compliant.

    Opinion is divided on this matter. For new parents it can promote confidence in the first few days that their child is in nursery.

    However, if you give CCTV access details to parents, then they will be able to view other parent’s children too. You have no way of controlling what is done with that footage.

    Almas Industries strongly advise that parents should not have access remotely to CCTV cameras, but ultimately it is the nursery management team’s decision.

    You should have a policy and procedure in place that covers any request to view footage by a parent. This could be in response to an incident on site that the parent feels should be investigated or wants to take further.

    Parents cannot force you to give them access to see the footage. We would suggest you conduct an investigation and report back to the parent. If they still want to review the footage then if appropriate you could invite them in to view it in a controlled environment.

    The police or garda can request footage be downloaded. They should complete a request form and any request should come from a trusted email address.

    Almas Customers have access to GDPR templates and advice, please just ask your Security Consultant

    For your signage to be considered GDPR compliant, it should be placed at the entrance to any access points to your site, so it’s visible as the individual is captured on camera.

    CCTV signage must also contain the reason why it is being used, details of the organisation that is using the CCTV system and contact details should there be any queries.

    The sign should also be a size that is appropriate for the setting; we generally advise A3 externally and A4 internally.

    Read our comprehensive blog on GDPR compliance and CCTV signage here

    Simply, in the case of a nursery setting, it depends on your site, its configuration, size and what you want to view.

    IP and Analogue CCTV systems both have their benefits. It’s best to ask an expert installer to specify the right system for your needs. You know childcare, they know security – draw on their experience.

    Yes, it is legal to have CCTV cameras set up in the baby room of a nursery.

    Nursery owners ask us whether they can have cameras in a changing area. Opinion is divided, we would generally advise against it due to the sensitivity nature of data being captured. However, ultimately it is the nursery owner’s decision. There are also techniques that can be applied to mask the actual changing mats. Ultimately we believe that CCTV is safety monitoring and it’s there to protect your team and the children in your care, but the footage, both access to and storage of, must be strictly protected.

    It is vital that you have a Data Privacy Impact Assessment in place that covers all your responsibilities under the GDPR.

    If you’d like advice on safety monitoring for your nursery setting, please get in touch with us. You can also read our comprehensive blog on the matter here