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Should I get a Nanny Cam?

Posted on April 23, 2013 at 11:25 AM

Your Maternity leave is almost over and you want to hire a Nanny or you need to hire a Nanny and return to work. The thought of leaving you child with a stranger already gives you goose bumps, make you have panic attacks, over anxious and then freinds or neighbors mention Nanny Cams. Answer to all your prayers you think or is it?

Over the many years of having Consulted with full time working parents who hire Nannies to care for their children, some have mentioned they were considering installing Nanny Cams and have asked what I think about them. So, here is my opinion, first as a parent myself who have lived in the New York City area for many years, while privileged to be working from home.

A NannyCam is a type of wireless or wired video surveillance system marketed to parents who want to use an in-home surveillance device to monitor their caregiver's interactions with their children. Many video surveillance systems used as nanny cams can be hidden in small objects such as a child's stuffed toy. There are privacy and legal issues to consider when using a nanny cam without permission being given by the caregiver to be recorded.

Hiring a Nanny you can trust with your child is never easy and installing a Nanny Cam might appear like the answer to all your anxiety and guilt about leaving your child with a stranger - a non family member.  My advice to parents is to conduct a full and thorough background investigation on any applicant you consider, irrespective of references as you alone need to make a decision about trusting your caregiver. If after receiving satisfactory references and a trial with an applicant which gives you time to get to know your Nanny, even if at this point, you do not feel you can trust a caregiver, a Nanny cam is not going to reolve the problem. A Nany Cam will only give you a false sense of security and will go on to prove your instinct. Do NOT take a chance by resorting to using a Nanny Cam with a Nanny you cannot trust anyway. You might also need to ask yourself if you are ready to go back to work leaving your child with a Nanny. Maybe you are not and that is perfectly normal. The answer therefore is not to make yourself be so full of guilt and to feel you have to log into your Nanny Cam throughout your working day when you should be able to relax and focus on your job as you are paying someone else to focus on your child:)

IF, however, your reason to installing a Nanny Cam is to have a peace of mind, but not because of a trust issue, then discuss your wish to install a Nanny Cam with Nannies you are considring to hire. You will find, most Nannies will not be happy about having a Nanny Cam used as they will only see it as a issue with trust.

There are other ways of checking up on whether your Nanny is providing the level of care she is expected to.
  • Drop in on your Nany and your child sporadically or get family members to do so.  
  • Have the Nanny keep a daily log of activities for the day
  • Be aware of your Nanny's moods and temperament so that you will pick it up if she is going through a illness or a personal issue. Does your Nanny lool tired or fatigued? Is she able to sustain working as many hours as she has been?
  • Have regular meetings with the Nanny to discuss where your child is at developmentally, socially and at school. 
  • Know your Nanny's financial situation - can she manage her living expenses with what you are paying her? 
Bottom line is never ever leave your child with someone you have just met as it takes time to get to know a Babysiiter or a Nanny and allocate time and resources to conduct a full and thorough background investigation which should include a national finger print search conducted by non other than the FBI:) The finger print search is the only way you can verify the identity of an individual as a basic name check will not cover aliases in  a time frame where identity fraud is rampagant and everything is for sale:)

Are you a Nanny or a Parent? What do you think? I would love to know your opinions, so please comment away! 

Categories: Nanny, Babysitter, Background checks

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