kiddie cam
n. A camcorder that displays a live feed so that parents can monitor either their children or their children's babysitter from a remote location.
Little Sunshine's Playhouse Day Care…is a 24-hour day-care facility that is licensed to hold 64 kids per shift. There will be 24 employees working around the clock…There will be video cameras called "Kiddie cams" in each room that allow parents to go onto a Web site to watch their children playing anytime during the day or night.
—“Rooflines,” Springfield News-Leader, May 27, 2002
About 75 child-care facilities across the country are using the "kiddie cams," which are being marketed as a way to alleviate working parents' concerns about the care and safety of their children. Cameras are placed in the rooms where youngsters play or sleep, and parents pay an extra fee to access the images over the Internet.
—Jennifer Lenhart, “Keeping an Electronic Eye on the Kids,” The Washington Post, May 29, 1998
1997 (earliest)
For parents with nannies or au pairs, Campaign spokeswoman Ellen Lubell said they may want to try one of the "kiddie cams" that monitor and record baby sitters. But always tell baby sitters in advance that they may be recorded, Lubell said, or they may complain that you've violated their privacy or impugned them professionally with your suspicions.
—H.J. Cummins, “National study finds Minnesota child care 'minimally acceptable',” Star Tribune (Minneapolis, MN), November 14, 1997
Kiddie cams are also known as kinder-cams and cradle cams. They began as home-based devices that enabled parents to monitor their kids from another room, or tape what the babysitter or nanny was up to when the parents were away. When Web cams became popular, it didn't take long for the technology to migrate to the Internet. Now many day-care centers boast kiddie cams that offer a Web-based video feed that enables monitoring over the Internet.