Parents with a desire to protect their children’s safety may decide to use a nanny cam. According to author Robin Sax, (“Predators and Child Molesters: What Every Parent Needs To Know To Keep Kids Safe”) hidden nanny cams sometimes capture “disturbing violent activities of a childcare provider.” Current technology allows parents to discreetly install and monitor nanny cams. In most cases, the childcare provider does not know the employer has installed the nanny cam hidden camera. The ethic or legal issues involved in the nanny cam’s use should be considered.
Nanny cam legal in all states, with some caveats.Sax writes that it is legal for a homeowner to install a hidden camera in all 50 states as long as the camera isn’t installed in a private space, such as a bathroom or bedroom used by the childcare worker. Court rulings support parents’ rights to film the worker in the child’s bedroom or in common spaces, e.g. the kitchen or living room. However, it’s illegal in some states to make audio recordings without permission of the individual.
Should parents tell childcare workers about a nanny cam? A discussion about the presence of a nanny cam can yield benefits to the employer. Before hiring a nanny or childcare worker, parents can explain the decision to use a nanny cam to monitor routine childcare tasks. If a prospective nanny objects or considers the nanny cam an intrusion, parents probably won’t want to hire the individual. A second benefit to the nanny cam discussion is that, if the prospective employee has any tendency to treat a child improperly, knowledge of nanny cam taping can serve as a deterrent. A third benefit supports mutual respect between the childcare worker and employer. A discussion about childcare expectations is essential in any working relationship. The nanny cam’s presence need not cause concern for an ethical, responsible childcare worker.
Nanny cam types. Today’s technology makes it possible to install nanny cams anywhere parents want to monitor childcare activities. Small nanny cams–placed in a teddy bear, houseplant, light fixture or pen–don’t attract attention to function or imply parents’ distrust of the childcare worker. Although nanny cams can’t possibly ‘catch everything’ occurring between a childcare worker and child, they are useful in establishing a ‘spot check’ monitoring system. Parents should continue to talk with children and listen carefully to the child’s feedback about her nanny. Heed any concerns about the childcare worker’s behavior with immediate discussion.