Home Innovations GPS GPS helps Swedish daycare centres track children’s excursions

GPS helps Swedish daycare centres track children’s excursions

Stockholm, Sweden: The move by some of Sweden’s daycare centres to use GPS systems in trying to keep a tab on children during excursions has raised ethical and practical questions.

While some parents fear that the centres may completely do away with their staff and replace it with technology, others fear that keeping children under surveillance all the time could affect their idea of privacy later on in their lives.

Monica Blank-Hedqvist, the principal of a daycare center in the city of Borlange said that her staff have been using such devices during supervised walks in the forest: the kids wear vests with transmitters that staff can track on a screen.

“It is excellent, it has been only positive for us,” Blank-Hedqvist said.

The devices are used as extra security by three preschool teachers watching around 20 children, to quickly discover if one of them strays away from the group, she said.

Par Strom, an author and commentator on issues related to technology and privacy, told news agency TT he is of two minds about the tracking.

“On the one hand I can see the practical advantages in some situations. At the same time you get children used to constant surveillance at a very young age,” he said.

Not everyone is convinced the tracking systems can increase security for their children.

“What a shame we don’t use the money and energy on salaries (for daycare employees) instead,” columnist and mother of three, Malin Wollin wrote on tabloid Aftonbladet’s website Wednesday. “Everyone who has ever had a cell phone, or a TV, or a computer know that technology sometimes plays up.”

Source: Associated Press