Should You Get A Nanny Cam?

Nanny CAM hidden in an alarm clockThe alarm clock on the left is an example of a hidden Nanny Cam.

It is every parents nightmare. Police in Cherokee Country, GA say parents caught Nanny abusing their 13th month old child. In recent news, a woman who was hired through a national childcare service from the internet was discovered to be abusive towards a child of just a little over one year old that she was caring for. The family that employed this woman installed nanny cams once they began to notice behavioral changes in their child. The first day, in which the woman cared for the child under the supervision of the nanny cams, she was caught being abusive. The evidence portrays this individual slapping the young child in the face, pushing the child, and even pinching! Should you get a nanny cam? Stories like this seem to suggest “yes”.

You can read more of this story by visiting the following link: http://www.wsbtv.com/news/14938393/detail.html . Reading this story sent mixed emotions through me. I felt anger, sadness, and shock all at the same time. Having small kids myself made this story really touch home. The rest of this report will discuss signs of child abuse and questions you should ask your Nanny or babysitter before you hire them.

It has been estimated that thousands and thousands are children become the victims of some type of abuse each year. This is a very unsettling statistic for parents that require childcare services. If you are required to seek the assistance of a nanny or other type of babysitter for your children, it is important to be cautious when it comes to the selection process. A detailed interview should always be conducted prior to making an official hiring decision when it comes to child care. First, you should establish the educational and professional background experience of the individual you are electing to hire. Next, you should gain an understanding on any special skills and training that the individual has. Listed below are some examples of basis interview questions aimed at potential child care providers:

  • You should ask questions that relate to “why” an individual has chosen child care as their career. Information about what makes the profession appealing to them, some of the fondest experiences that they have had in child care, and information related to the things that they expect from the position are important.
  • You should inquire about the criminal history of the applicant. Many parents elect to have the individual agree to a criminal background check.
  • Questions regarding relevant knowledge and experience in the area of first aid, CPR, and similar types of safety training are appropriate.
  • Questions that display a person’s character should be asked. You may ask about how a particular “crisis” situation should be handled, methods of dealing with common childhood complications like temper tantrums and sleep difficulties, and even methods of discipline.
  • If you are a parent that must seek the assistance of another individual to care for your child, it is especially important that you become familiar with the common signs of a child who is being abused. It is important to understand that the term “abuse” is a rather broad term; however, the specifications that contribute to abuse are rather specific. A child may be abused in the form of neglect, they may experience abuse that is sexual in nature, abuse that is physical is also common, and a child may experience emotional abuse. The following represents signs of abuse in children:
    • Children may appear to be unclean, and wearing inappropriate clothing
    • Uncharacteristic behavior
    • Withdrawing from social activities and situations
    • A decline in academic success
    • Not participating in play and/or events that were once exciting for the child
    • Markings on a child that have no explanation

Installing a Nanny Cam is an individual choice, and unfortunately a choice many parents should seriously consider if you need to hire a nanny or baby sitter. I am not advocating we all go out and get Nanny Cams, but until you really get to know your Nanny or babbysitter, it may be something a parent should think about.

These cams should be hidden in obscure places so that you can catch a “true” glimpse into the realities that your child faces when you are not present. You should make the time to review these recordings on a daily basis. There are many cases in which a child receives help a little too late.

What do you think? As a parent these type of stories send a lot of emotions through me. I don't know if I will go out and buy a Nanny Cam, but I will take more care and scrutinize the people who care for my kids when my wife and I are not around in more detail.

Scroll down to the bottom of this page to share your thoughts.

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Comments on Should You Get A Nanny Cam? Leave a Comment

January 9, 2008

Amanda Wilson @ 12:32 pm #

I am personally a nanny in washington state and I am appalled by this nanny cam thing. I have been a nanny for 4 years and love the children I work with and the fact that people are buying these cameras is ridiculous, COMMUNICATE with your children if you are concerned. Most parents should be able to tell when someone is not giving proper care. If a child is too young to communicate I could maybe understand this- maybe- but you need to tell your nanny. Video taping someone without their consent is VERY illegal. If you are that concerned about childcare put your child in DAYCARE where providers are supervised. This is upsetting to someone who has provided outstanding childcare for so long.

March 2, 2008

Teresa @ 1:22 am #

I disagree with Amanda Wilson, I would have to think twice before I would hire her to watch my child. It is not illegal to video anyone unless its in the bedroom or bathroom.
Usually a nanny is for a child that is under age 5 so yes they would have communication problems that young also the child may have been told by the sitter that if they told they would kill their mom or dad . I have two children that were molested for 4 years and told me only after the molester died! Come on Woman be for real…you may be appalled by the video camera but imagine if it was your child someone was watching that was being abused …

Anyone that hires a Nanny to watch their child should have the camera installed family or not…..You have to keep the kids safe because No one else will if you don’t!

April 19, 2010

Secure Nanny Cam @ 12:59 pm #

Very thought-provoking article. I would like to speak to an earlier response, in that it is not illegal to video tape your nanny without his/her consent. However, one should check their local laws in regard to audio recording.

US Code Title 18, Section 2512 makes illegal the interception of oral communication by surreptitious manner (such as a hidden camera). There are certain states with "one party consent" laws, but these generally do not apply to nanny cams, because one is generally not home (and therefore not a consenting party in the recording) when a nanny cam is in use.

Parents absolutely do have the right to know what's going on within their own home and especially with their child. In a broader context, there really are few jobs where video recording isn't the norm. Most places of employment (retail and corporate) employ video recording these days.

June 6, 2010

Denise @ 11:50 pm #

If you are concerned with legality, nanny cams are legal, as long as there not sound.

What I did, was make my nanny sign a document stating that she was aware of the cameras, (not location, or how many) and she understood the reason for them.

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