A few questions from someone on the other side of the lens
by Nanny Stella of Nanny 911
What do I think about nanny cams? I think if you’re using them for valid reasons in the short term, then go ahead. For example, if you’re extremely nervous about leaving your child with a “stranger” and initially want to ease your mind and help ensure your child’s safety and well-being, go for it. Are you going to be working full time and genuinely want to see your child throughout the day, to ease some of that anxiety about the things you are missing out on? Then go on and wire it up.
But honestly, is a nanny cam just a tool for you to be “in control” and spy on your babysitter and children? If that’s the case, shame on you.
When it comes to nanny cams, the real dilemma is whether or not they should be a secret. Do you want to give a prospective bad employee the heads up so that they can be on good behavior? Isn’t that like giving someone the answers to the driving test?
I have a different perspective sometimes, but if you asked at the interview, “Do you mind the use of a nanny cam?” wouldn’t you be whittling the chafe from the corn? Wouldn’t just the idea of a nanny cam be a deterrent for some?
And do you really have peace of mind with your nanny if you feel the need to have a nanny cam? And once you start to feel comfortable, will you stop using it?
The relationship of nanny and family is based hugely on trust, and for a nanny to find out that she is being watched or taped without her knowledge could lead to the loss of a valuable member of your support system. Once trust is established—because as we all know trust has to be earned—then turn the thing off.
You should allay most of your fears during the hiring process, but you have to be really diligent. Consult all references and run a background check. Once you have hired the best candidate, you still need to pay close attention. Trust your gut instinct all the time; continually check for any warning signs of abuse or inappropriate behavior.
But I really don’t see how sitting at your desk and checking a nanny cam every minute of the day is productive. What happens at lunchtime when you aren’t watching? Awful as it may be, the nanny cam can give you proof of inappropriate behavior, but it won’t prevent it. If you truly don’t trust the nanny with your child, you should look for another alternative, and by that I don’t mean a daycare with cameras! Remember to look for prevention rather than a cure by doing your utmost to ensure you hire the right person.
What do you think? Will you use a nanny cam once your little one arrives and it’s time to go back to work? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!