Today’s parents are a lot more savvy than the generations before them. They work outside of the home more, and have to depend on caregivers to look after their children. Many parents say, and I agree, that there’s no substitution for Mom and Dad. They also say that they have a lot of anxiety about leaving their kids because they can’t see what’s happening to them. Modern society has found an answer for that – the nanny-cam.
I’m often asked how I feel about nanny-cams. To be honest, I’ve never encountered one, or if I have, I didn’t know about it. In Canada, it is legal to install a camera in your home, but it is highly recommended that you tell your nanny or sitter that you are doing so and that they will be recorded. This is because some footage that places caregivers in compromising positions or use audio of the caregiver are not permissible in court and can get a parent sued. Nanny-cams should be installed in common rooms, not bedrooms or bathrooms, and never in a nanny’s living space.
I, and many other caregivers, feel that I’d be fine with being recorded if only the parents I work for were honest about it. Daycares have cameras set up so that parents can check in on their children any time they want. I feel this is a good solution for both parties involved – the camera doesn’t lie. What happens on camera is what really happened, and no lies can cover it up. Parents feel comfortable leaving their children where they can “see” them, and caregivers feel comfortable knowing that what they do is above-board. One of my biggest pet peeves is when people assume I’m lying or attribute things to me that I haven’t done. This has only happened once while I nannied, and I left the job soon after. I can’t personally work in a place where I can’t trust my clients or be trusted as a caregiver. I think most nannies feel the same.
What I don’t think is a good idea is to hide a camera to “get one over” on your nanny or try to “catch her in the act”. If you are this distrustful of your nanny that you need to hide a camera to watch her, then you should not be using her as a caregiving solution. Find a nanny that will agree to be filmed and use your nanny-cam that way. It’s more effective and much more ethical.
I can say that I act the same way in front of parents as I do when they are not in the home with me. I have nothing to hide, and therefore I have no problem with being filmed. But I do feel it’s a mark of respect to let your caregiver know you will be using a nanny-cam. If there is no trust between you, the relationship will not work out.
What do you think about nanny-cams?