To Nanny Cam or Not?

Many parents feel that using a nanny cam to videotape their caregiver’s interactions with their child will ensure their child’s safety. But is secretly videotaping your caregiver the best way to ensure your child’s safety?


What does the International Nanny Association say about nanny cams?

The International Nanny Association strongly recommends if an employer has installed or plans to install hidden cameras, that the employer discusses the subject with the nanny, preferably before employment commences.

If the nanny does not object to being videotaped during working hours INA recommends addressing videotaping in a written and signed, employer work agreement. If the nanny is uncomfortable with the situation she/he should be able to quit or refuse the position without fear of negative consequence.

Undisclosed hidden cameras may cause embarrassment for both the employer and the nanny. A family may lose an excellent nanny if the nanny discovers the camera and feels that she or he has been spied upon and is not trusted.

The association also advises that The Federal Wire-Tapping Law of The Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986, 18 US Code, Section 2510-3126, 1987 Version, states that it is illegal to tape conversations without the knowledge and consent of the individual being taped.

Read the International Nanny Associations’ full statement in nanny cams here.

Here are a few things you should consider before opting to use a nanny cam:

Have you screened your caregiver thoroughly?

Do you really know who is caring for your kids? Have you preformed a background screening – and not the kind can you purchase on the Internet? (In some states criminal records may not be ready available through an Internet search. Instead go with a company like PFC Information Services that specializes in caregiver screenings.) Have you verified the individual’s identity? Checked references? Verified education and employment history? Conducted several interviews? All of these things and more help you gather the information you need to determine if the caregiver is someone you can trust.

Consider your motives

What would your motives be for using a nanny cam?  Is your motive is to deter abuse or neglect or to prove it is happening? If it’s to prove it’s happening, it’s time to look for another caregiver.

Other ways to ensure safety

Popping in unexpectedly may give you more accurate insight to how your caregiver interacts with your children. Make it a habit to regularly check in when your caregiver least expects it.

Go with your gut.  If you have concerns about your child’s safety, don’t ignore them. Pay attention to what your mind and body is telling you.

What do I think?

As a nanny with over 15 years of professional experience with heavy involvement in the local, national and international nanny industry, it’s my opinion that if you feel like you need a nanny cam, chances are you’ve hired the wrong caregiver for your children.

What do you think?

What’s your thought on using nanny cams? Do you use one? Why? And if you don’t use, one tell us why not? I’d like to know! Share your comments below.