Child Care Security Gets a Little More Mission: Impossible

Kidnappers, take heed — you will need more than a key code to break into new high-tech child care centers, which are turning to biometrics for security.

Jessica Ward, who is "all about security when it comes to [her] kids" takes them to Playhouse Child Care Center in Minnesota. If she wants to pick up one of her two kids, she better hope her fingers are intact for the fancy identification system.

Sales of biometric security units for child care centers grew from 790 in 2009 to 2,210 last year. We're either getting more advanced or more paranoid. Maybe a little bit of both.

And sometimes fingerprints aren't enough. At The Learning Curve Child Center and Preparatory Preschool in Arizona, owner Ted Pichler switched from a thumbprint reader to a system that identifies a parent's handwriting based on his or her signature.

These technological advances do seem to foster a safer environment for kids, although I'm dubious of Pichler's hubris when he says, "There's no way of faking it or bypassing the system or anything like that." I've seen spy flicks — there's always a way.

Not to mention the fact that you should never underestimate the machines themselves. It'll make you look foolish when the security system becomes self-aware.

[Image via Shutterstock]