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Should You Install A Nanny Cam?

By: Donna Chaffins | Date: August 25, 2012 | Categories: Family and Health, Guest Posts

Guest Post

Installing a nanny cam is something that many parents consider. The reason is that every parent wants to be assured that their child is being cared for in the best possible way.

Peace of mind and the knowledge that your nanny is doing a great job are both obviously important. However, installing a nanny cam may not be the best answer, despite the fact that it often instinctively seems like a good strategy. The following reasons may convince you that a camera is not necessarily the answer:

A Serious Problem Shouldn’t Be Delayed

Never ignore your instincts! If you feel that something is seriously wrong, then you are probably right. A nanny cam should be seen as a way to deter poor quality care, not as a way of trying to catch an act of abuse. In this type of situation, you simply need to take immediate action.

The Reality Can Be Different

If you do ultimately install a nanny cam, it should be a quality camera that records constantly in real time so that you have a better image. Many cheaper cameras simply do not capture images effectively. The result can often be grainy, difficult to accurately make out or distorted. This means that the footage can be interpreted in different ways. If your camera only records when it detects motion, it can be difficult to interpret the footage, especially if your nanny wanders in and out of the frame.

A False Sense Of Security

While a nanny cam will undoubtedly show you some or all of what’s going on when you’re not there, to some extent it provides a false sense of security. Perhaps a better solution is to make sure you are talking to your nanny regularly, especially about any issues, problems or different approaches when it comes to caring for your children. You may also consider asking your nanny to keep a daily journal. Other options include calling to check in on her and coming home from work when she’s not expecting it.

Some Recordings Are Illegal

It’s actually illegal to record conversations without the other person’s consent, despite the fact that you are allowed to install a nanny cam in your home. In some states, there are also laws governing the location of surveillance cameras and the secret recording of any speech.

Breaching Your Nanny’s Trust

Most nannies will be quite upset if they later find out that you installed a nanny cam. If you really feel this is your best option, it’s much better to be upfront and tell her you are doing so. If your nanny does not know there’s a camera, it can potentially be quite embarrassing. A nanny changing her clothes in the living room because the baby made a mess on them is not going to want this image to be recorded!

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While cameras can definitely be useful, in most cases, communicating with your nanny and thoroughly screening her before hiring her are better strategies.

John Winthorp is a writer for www.nanny.net, which is a website where people go to hire a nanny


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22 Responses to Should You Install A Nanny Cam?

  1. Billie says:

    I don’t see a problem with installing a nanny cam if you feel it’s necessary, but I would definitely tell the nanny upfront.

  2. Colleen says:

    I think installing a Nanny Cam is definitely a good thing to do, especially when you are hiring someone that you do not know. I do agree though that it isn’t the “safe” all you still need to take queues from your child and maybe even a surprise trip home.

  3. Lolo says:

    My son goes to an in home daycare, and although I trust our daycare provider 100%, I would like a little sneak peak to see what goes on.

  4. Julie Wood says:

    I think that in today’s world a parent needs all the help they can get, and installing and using a nanny cam can be a great benefit to the parents! But I would tell the nanny that you will be recording her activities. A nanny cam could be a deterrent.

  5. Stefanie says:

    If you feel you need to install a nanny-cam, you probably need to look for another nanny!

  6. Kathleen says:

    If I was going to have someone in my house watching my children regularly, then I would probably install one. I would give the nanny a chance to explain the situation if I found something that I thought could be misconstrued though.

  7. Stefani says:

    I am a full time work at home mom, but if I had a full time babysitter I just might install a cam!

  8. Courtney says:

    I don’t trust anyone to be honest unless they’re family and then I’m still nervous with certain people. I’m all for it.

  9. debra says:

    I think sometimes it’s necessary, especially with someone you don’t know all that well!

  10. Such scary things to think about. Great tips for families.

  11. Wow — it IS scary to think of needing one.

  12. I don’t think I would, but if I did, I would disclose at hiring that we do have surveillance cameras in the home. That tends to eliminate people who would worry about being caught for something!

  13. Leilani says:

    I would never leave my kids with someone I didn’t trust 100%, so I don’t think this would be an issue for our family. But should it ever happen, I would definitely disclose that we use surveillance cameras.

  14. Great post. I’m not sure if I’d disclose that their is a nanny cam installed.

  15. Stephanie says:

    i would do it!!

  16. Kelly says:

    I’m a SAHM but I would have no problem installing a nanny cam. I would tell the sitter upfront.

  17. Tammy says:

    I don’t need one. I don’t have a babysitter for my kids, unless you count relatives. And that’s only a few times a year.

  18. I might install a nanny cam after my daughter is old enough to be home alone. LOL

  19. and thats why I don’t allow any one to watch my kids out side of family. things like that worry me and if I needed a nanny cam then I shouldn’t be leaving my children

  20. LISA FRANKE says:

    I believe parents should definitely install Nanny cams! Even if you think you know someone, sometimes you never really do. My motto is better safe than sorry, especially when it comes to your kids. =)

  21. I would have liked my daughter’s day care to have a camera to check on her.

  22. Heather says:

    When I Nannied out of my home, I actually did have a camera set up so parents could log on and see their child from worked. It streamed live on a private website. Each child had a profile page I updated twice a day and it was a great way to relieve parents stress. I only had to discontinue using it due to changing up the space we had. Which we quickly learned wasn’t much. Parents absolutely loved being able to see or even hear their child play.

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