Should Nannies Insist on Use of Nanny Cams to Protect Themselves?

Nanny Charged After Found Hitting and Kicking Infant on Nanny Cam

We have often spoken about proper screening of nanny candidates and performing proper background check on domestic workers before hiring them. We even published a series about misleading advertising on some nanny web sites claiming they pre-screen their caregivers.  Of course, those familiar with the industry know that there is no way any nanny web site can properly pre-screen families or nannies on their web sites.

There has been much talk in the media about a nanny, Dechen Kyiden, 22, of Queens captured in a video hitting and kicking a 6-month-old infant in Hoboken, NJ this week.

As in-home childcare providers (nannies, au pairs, baby nurses, and sitters) should we INSIST on cameras in the home to protect the ourselves from charges of abuse or stealing? If the baby trips or bruises himself at play or if the mother misplaces jewelry, why should the nanny be a suspect?

Would Inviting Parents to Use Nanny Cams Make Getting a Nanny Job Easier?


  1. I've thought about it! But what about when we're out and about?

  2. In answer to the question, when we are out and about, the risk of being witnessed increases. It's the behind "closed doors" when one is alone element that I think concerns parents.Historically, I have always said I wouldn't care about a nanny cam, as I really have nothing to hide, and when debates on this have happened in the past I told myself to keep functioning as if there were some in the house.I thought about this today nanny cams today when I was out and about. At the nail salon they had cameras in four different areas, and from where I got my manicure I could see people. I go to a few stores with my friend and you could see survelliance. And as I'm driving on the highway I see signs that says cameras are being used to monitor traffic. At my charge's former school there is close circuit cameras at entrances.Cameras really are everywhere. So I would sure bring 'em on. No big deal. If it makes parents feel more safe, so be it.Especially when one is with preverbal infants and toddlers. No problem whatsoever.

  3. It's humiliating and embarrassing to have nanny cams. It makes me feel like the family doesn't trust me. If they have them at least tell me and don't stick them in some teddy bear which is just degrading.

  4. My only issue with nanny cams is that the parents be open and honest with having them and that they follow proper laws like not having them in my private areas (bedroom & bathroom). It used to be a hot topic for me and I hated them. But I know it shouldn't be an issue if we have nothing to fear. It would just be boring footage wouldn't it? I certainly would never do anything illegal. Daycares and preschools have them used regularly now.

  5. If nanny cams are used as protection for nannies, both the nanny and the parents need to understand that not everything will be caught on camera unless the whole house is completely covered, which would be creepy. And frankly, any nanny determined to do harm would figure out where she could take the child if she wanted to be abusive (i.e., bathrooms, garage, etc.)And speaking of bathrooms, what happens if you are accused of something malicious because you take the toddler/crawler into the bathroom with you? Yes, YOU know it was needed so that they wouldn't hurt themselves while you were in the bathroom alone, but what if the parents saw that action as malevolent?I am concerned, in summation, that just as parents think nanny cams are some sort of safety device, nannies might buy into that belief as well.

  6. It is the "hiding" or hidden nanny cams that bother me! It's dishonest. Just be upfront about it. If a tired, cranky, mad nanny knew they are there that would help deter bad behavior I think.

  7. I agree that cameras are everywhere. I have worked for two families in the past who told me that they had nannycams when I was hired. One mom even showed me where it was so that I would not move the camera to another place. They were upfront, honest, and told me that this was for the benefit off all the people coming in and out of the house (vendors, other staff, contractors) so it was not meant to be spying on me. In this type of case, I can see how a family would feel this could be a benefit to them. I would not decline a job if a family said straight out that they had a surveillance system in their home. But if I later found out that they had installed something for the purpose of "spying" on me without my knowlege, this would be an indicator to me of that family's lack of trust in my level of responsibility and service. I am sure I would eventually leave this position.

  8. I don't think the parents should be obligated to tell the nanny that cams are about as long as there obviously not in areas where we go to the bathroom or if a live in nanny in our private bedroom. If nannies knew they were there it's a no brainier that she will not do what she may if she didn't know it was there 😉 KINDA makes total sense to me. I used nannies during my son's childhood and am now a nanny go figure lol. I'm all for the cams 100%!!! I have NOTHING to hide, do you?

  9. To the comment above me, if you KNOW the cam is there it is a daaaa situation that you would NOT be stupid enough to do what SOME do if you didn't know it was sure your going to be okay with it lol. I used cams with my son and was I spying on her, you BETCHA that's my child! Call it spying, call it an invasion I don't care it's a PARENTS rights as long as it does not infringe on certain areas of the household as I said prior to this post. I think that people who are getting all upset about it are the ones Id sure like to know your full name because I surely would NOT hire you for those exact reasons! CAMERAS are EVERY where so if you've got to itch or pick my suggestion is to do it in the bathroom 😉

  10. The problem with nanny cams is they catch neglect or abuse AFTER the fact. The screening process is most important to protect children. and and such web sites is that ANYONE can post on these sites if they pay the money. The background check is 100% up to naive parents. Only proper screening can protect children when strangers are hired to care for them in your home. Once the nanny cam records abuse it's too late!

  11. Just always act and behave as if the family has nanny cams and everything will be all right.

  12. I think it would be a good idea for nannies to welcome nanny cams on their cover letter or resume! At least mention it in the interview. I have told every nanny we have hired that we do have nanny cams. We don't but I would rather them think we did.

  13. HERE ARE SOME IDEAS:*Suggest the family call to check your references, so they can speak directly to other parents, who have employed you. Many times parents feel better after speaking to someone who has been in the same situation. Agencies may not always be able to convey that "personal aspect." *Have copies of your driver’s license, CPR/1St Aid. Cards/Diplomas/ your Nanny Portfolio, which you present to families during an interview.(a good nanny will be proud to show her accomplishments!) *Welcome them to call home at different times during the day to check in.(That way they can see you are not frazzled or upset or if the children maybe fussy or crying or mis-behaving when they call.)*Let them know you are comfortable having their neighbors, friends, or relatives drop by for a visit/playdate/outing while you are working.*If your charges attend school, inform the parents of conversations, inter-actions you have had with their child's teachers or instructors. (Hopefully the parents will mention this to the teacher, and the teacher will then, give the parent a first-hand account- and hopefully give you a pat on the back with their verbal praise, to the parent, thru their first-hand feedback regarding what they see while the child is in your care.)* Meet up with the parents during the day for lunch or at their child's classes/ OR~ have someone else the parents know join you and your charge(s) for playdates, so they can give feedback to the parents on how they feel you and your charges interact.*Try to spend time with the parents and your charges all together, so they can see how their child responds to you and visa-versa.*If possible, try to get all your duties done by the end of each day, before the parents arrive home. (This will show you are able and capable of completing your required duties each day. *Take pride in the family's and child's belongings- go that extra mile to make things are neat and in order. *Communicate with the parents-let them know they can talk openly with you and that you'd like to address any concerns as they arises- so you can come to a solution and move on. *Keep a daily detailed written child/nanny log. It does not have to be fancy, a note book works well, with a run down of the child(ren)’s day. It will help greatly to open the lines of communication, as well as, help you keep an on-going record of your charge(s) day. In addition it will offer the opportunity to write notes back and forth to each other on various issues/topics/reminders.*You*~ the NANNY~ offer to video tape and take pictures during the day and on special outings.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~A SERIOUS NANNY WILL:~ Continue their involvement in child-related education~Keep current their CPR and 1st Aid Certification~Be a member of a nanny support group or nanny message board (you can easily find them by doing a Google/Yahoo/Facebook internet search). Anytime you reach out to the nanny community, it shows you are proud of your occupation and you want to build a professional network.~Be a member of a nanny/childcare organization.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~*Other signs to show that you and their child(ren) are a good match:~Comment often on ways their child(ren) is thriving under your care- have you taught them something new? Helped them pursue or expand upon their interests?~Be enthusiastic to share new developments and milestones their child has reached. Offer your feedback, and then ask for their suggestions on how they feel you can best help their child(ren).Frequent communication and helping to make the parents feel involved in their child's day will help to ensure a healthy relationship.

  14. I came up with the above list because I know many nannies say they would not mind being “nanny camed”/ video taped. But truly you never know how you are going to feel until it actually happens to you.At my first ever nanny job- the parents asked during the interview- "How would you feel about use using a nanny cam so we can see how our child's day went'? It was my first nanny job- and the child was only 14 months old so I told them, "Sure, I understand, you need to be comfortable with the care your child is receiving."I was hired and did not give it a second thought.After two weeks on the job I accidentally came across the video tape. It was eerie- a black and white four split screen-no sound showing 4 areas in the house- the front entrance door, the baby's crib, the baby's high chair, and the playroom. I was really shocked- and did not know what to do or say. So I said nothing.I really loved my job- but felt like I could not relax and take a break while the baby was napping, or be silly, dance around, etc. I also felt like EVERYTHING always had to be perfect, because they would always be able to see every minute of my work day.Days turned into months- and then years- and both of us never said anything. They treated me well, always told me how happy they were with me and gave me great raises, bonuses and gifts. So I am confident they were OK with what they saw. However, when my first nanny position ended, I interviewed for another job- I always mentioned my nanny cam experience, as I did not want to be nanny camed again, because I felt after 2 years I had experience and also other great references from doing additional babysitting. As the years passed, I kept my CPR and 1st Aid Certification current; I became a member of several nanny and childcare organizations, and co-founded a nanny support group in my area. I also created an extensive nanny portfolio with all my nanny/family reviews, the thank you cards from families, nanny and childcare care conference attendance, my INA Nanny Credit ional Certificate and many other little things I’ve collected over the years that pertain to childcare.Over the years I have come to find other ways to gain the parents trust so they can become comfortable with the care their child is receiving. and created the list above…

  15. I will not be inviting parents to use a nanny cam. I think it's a waste of money and energy. But, your point that a nanny that says it is ok to use a nanny cam will get a job over another nanny that does not.

  16. Of course it would be a plus for a nanny to tell the parents she's OK with nanny cams!Video surveillance is everywhere so if it is legal there should not be a problem if parents use it in a legal way. Daycares allow the technology now and parents love it. They can log on their computers anytime while at work and see what is going on in the daycare. They ought to be allowed to monitor the care in their own home. As long as there is no invasion of privacy (bedrooms or bathrooms)really no big deal. I wonder if the nannies who answer angrily or defensively are guilty of some infraction? I mean I do not do anything too bad so I do not care if there is video monitoring. Just do not do anything at work you would not want your employer to see and you have nothing to worry about. What you eat or if you rest for half an hour reading a magazine or napping next to a toddler for half an hour, or watching tv while ironing are nothing to worry about.Nanny Becca Seattle

  17. The bigger story here is that nanny web sites don't screen nannies.There is no more important decision a parent will EVER make then who they hire to work in their home caring for their children. To use nanny web sites like to hire that most important person just because it's cheap and easy had a terrible outcome! I don't know if I blame like most are right now in the media. They do have to make it clear they ARE NOT a nanny agency. THEY DO NOT SCREEN anyone.You get what you pay for and sadly in this case the parents tried to take the easier and cheaper route of hiring someone on instead of through an experienced and reputable nanny agency. After seeing this story I can't really blame a parent for using a nanny cam. I think they should tell the nanny they have them though.

  18. It probably would be a good idea actually for a nanny to include that she welcomes the use of nanny cams on her resume.

  19. I just think instincts probably save more kids than nanny cams. If you feel you need to install nanny cams you probably ought to find a new nanny.

  20. I understand both sides. I wouldn't do anything that would get me in trouble. No picking your nose or burping if there are nanny cams.

  21. I am thinking that might be a good idea.

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