A new craise for virtual childcare has been bubbling up in the British capital, and it’s being led by a young man who says he has seen his share of parents who have “lost” their children to virtual babysitters.
Dubbed the “Dice Roller” craze, the idea of virtual babysitter is to take an existing babysitter and make her a virtual one.
The craze is taking off in the US, with online platforms such as Ebay and Craigslist offering to pay for babysitters to visit a child, usually under a $20,000 price tag.
While the price tag is a huge barrier for many families, some parents are opting for a more modest fee for a virtual babysiter.
The virtual babysit idea is nothing new in the United States, but with parents who can’t afford to fly or pay for their own flight, it has come to the UK where parents are desperate to find a way to pay the bills.
Baroness Jenny Jones, who is in charge of the National Child and Family Agency, said the trend is catching on in the country.
“There’s definitely a lot of excitement around it,” she said.
“People are finding that this is something they can do with their children.”
Some of them say they’ve spent more than $20 on the experience, and that’s a pretty big amount.
“Jones said that some of the children who have chosen to use a virtual surrogate have had their parents pay to visit them.
But she also added that she has not seen any cases of the idea being used in the public sector.
She said it was an issue for the government because it was not clear if it could be used by the NHS, which operates private healthcare services.”
We’re talking about people who are making the most of their existing childcare services,” Jones said.
But Baroness Jones also admitted that the idea was a little different from the current idea of using a virtual childcare facility, which is for people to share rooms.”
The new technology is for families to have a virtual nursery, and to have that space available, but I think we’re still a long way off where that can be seen,” she told the BBC.
The Baroness said she was not opposed to using virtual childcare, but she said she felt it was a “really, really hard thing to achieve”.”
You can do this by putting your children in a small child-care facility, but the children need to be in their own rooms,” she explained.
Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk is also helping to launch a new industry in the city, called “virtual children”, with a plan to offer a virtual version of the Tube to families who have a child with learning difficulties.
According to Musk, the new venture will provide children with an interactive experience with a child who can use a wheel chair and talk to them.
Musk has previously said that he thinks the new virtual child-sharing industry is the future of parenting, and hopes to see it spread to other countries.”
My personal view is that there’s a lot to be learned from countries where there’s no internet and no parental control,” he said last year.”
That’s why I think there’s an opportunity for us to have children be part of an immersive world that can provide a great deal of emotional stimulation.
“In the UK, some people who have seen the “Baronesses” craise have taken to social media to defend the idea.
The “Billionaires” hashtag on Twitter has also gone viral, with some people even offering to give their children an “Ebababoon” to be used as a virtual parent.
Bethany Green, who has a 4-year-old son, was horrified when she saw the tweet.”
I’m just appalled that this idea is being championed by a man who doesn’t even understand how the Internet works,” she wrote.”
How do I turn on my son’s video camera, or let him borrow a video game controller to play with his little brother?
“What the hell is he thinking?”
But Green said that she does not see the problem as a bad thing.
“This isn’t really about the technology, it’s about the fact that it’s a bit of a stretch to suggest that these are bad things,” she added.
“It’s just a bit weird that someone would want to have this happen to them.”
Jones, however, said she thinks it is a good thing to have such a discussion.
“One of the things I’m most passionate about is that it allows people to get the skills to make their own life decisions.
We can have an informed discussion about the things we do in our lives, rather than being spoon fed,” she concluded.
Follow Claire on Twitter: @ClaireWright