It is sad to say but the world we live can be a scary place. Far too often we hear unsettling news stories of nannies or babysitters caught on a spy cam abusing a child. While these stories are upsetting, they are especially disturbing for a new parent who is making the transition back to work, leaving their most precious child in the care of a “stranger”.
The truth is that most nannies have pursued their childcare careers based on a genuine love of children yet there are still some who are not well intentioned or mentally fit for the role. Because of this, parents should ensure that the person watching their child has undergone a thorough background check and that there is a predetermined plan for quality control checkups.
One way to keep an eye on your child, and the things happening in your home, is to install a nanny camera.
What are the benefits of having nanny camera?
The biggest benefit of having a nanny camera is the assurance and peace of mind that your child is safe and being well cared for.
A camera allows you to observe the interactions between your child and nanny. This tool may not prevent instances of abuse or neglect from happening but it will give you the ability to see or sense if something is not right, and make changes accordingly. While watching your child smile, laugh, and snuggle with your nanny can stir up many emotions, knowing that your child is nurtured can help you fend off any “working mom guilt” and focus on the tasks at hand. On the flip side, if you do not see a loving bond between your child and nanny, or your nanny does not appear to be tending to the emotional needs of your child you will have the knowledge to take appropriate action.
A nanny cam also gives you the ability to see how your nanny and child go about the day and spot any areas that may need to be discussed. Perhaps you would like your nanny to take your child outside to play more often, read books before naptime, or create art and other sensory opportunities. Maybe you are noticing that your nanny spends too much time on her phone, seems bored, or is not engaging your child in play. All of these observations can be addressed by having video access while you are away.
What nanny camera laws should I be aware of?
It is legal to have video surveillance of your nanny in your home- with or without her permission- in all 50 states. However, bear in mind that you may not tape in the bathroom or a live in nanny’s private quarters.
Several states have laws that protect against audio recording without a nanny’s signed written agreement. Be sure to check your state’s guidelines as you can be prosecuted and any abuse or neglect found can be immiscible in the court of law.
Should I tell my nanny about the camera?
The most important aspects of any relationship are: trust and healthy communication.
Choice Parenting recommends discussing nanny cameras during the interview process to explain your reasons for doing so and address any concerns that the applicant may have. Most honest nannies with nothing to hide will respect and understand a parent’s concern, as she has not yet had the opportunity to prove herself a trusted part of the team. However, if down the line a nanny finds a hidden camera has been recording her without her knowledge, she may feel hurt, not trusted, and the relationship may be damaged. Parents should also be careful to not use the nanny camera for micromanaging. This too can drive a great nanny away! Rather, keep a note of any non-urgent requests or concerns you see to address at a once a week catch up.
Telling your nanny about the camera allows you the opportunity to discuss anything that you see -not just the negatives. Be sure that you take note of positive actions and behaviors as well! Thank your nanny for being so loving with your crying infant, for her patience helping your toddler potty-train, or for emptying the dishwasher when it is was not part of her duty. Positive reinforcement is your most powerful tool for changing behavior and shaping a lasting relationship.
What nanny cam questions do you have?
Hi! I am Holly...
For over a decade, my career focus has been centered in and around NYC in the childcare, education, and family support industries.