Allowing a stranger into our homes is a troubling prospect. Even if that person is in our employ, putting our valuables, and especially our children, at their disposal means taking a risk. In this way, a nanny cam is much like a home security system
: even if we trust our neighbors, a level of verification is welcome comfort when the potential for harm is high. Nanny cams are a matter of much controversy, but evaluating the option in your own home is a simple matter of understanding the pros, and cons, and aligning your childcare resources to the benefit of your kids.
The Case in Favor
Home surveillance is nothing new. Both audio and video monitoring equipment has been implemented for decades to keep the premises of businesses and homes safe. Nanny cams, on the other hand, are a bit of an anachronism. Surreptitiously placing cameras in your home provides the ability to monitor your child-care providers and ensure the safety of your children, but not without downsides. First, we’ll examine the positives.
The overwhelming benefit of nanny cams is the peace of mind that comes with knowing that your children are safe. The equipment is discrete and allows for 24/7 monitoring, helping to ensure that your children are unharmed. That’s not to say that all nannies present a danger to children, simply that the potential for harm, to some, outweighs the assumption of trust.
Even if your child is not in danger, nanny cams afford the ability to monitor your childcare provider and offer suggestions. If your children are playing inside too much, you can make note of that, and request that your nanny get them outside more often. If they’re being exposed to violent movies or playing unsupervised, this too can be corrected. Nanny cams offer a level of verification for services that ultimately affect the well-being and development of your children, a venue deserving of some additional scrutiny, to be sure.
The Case Against
The negatives, however, render the decision to install a nanny cam a matter of personal preference. Between laws regulating their use and the deleterious effects of spying on your relationship with your nanny, certain accommodations must be taken in order to properly employ the technology.
The legal aspects of using a nanny cam deserve acknowledgement before a purchase is made. The first law of relevance requires that any device that captures both video and
audio must be disclosed to your care provider. The second permits secret deployment of nanny cams in all areas, aside from those that would be considered private, such as the bathroom. Violation of either of these regulations can ultimately result in recorded evidence being tossed out, should a nanny's elicit behavior be uncovered.
Less binding than the legality of nanny cams is the inherent effect on your relationship with your nanny. Suddenly discovering that one’s performance is being monitored, particularly in secret, is sure to breach the bonds of trust between you and your nanny, which can lead to resentment and even resignation. For this reason, it’s important to notify your nanny during the interview that you will be employing recording devices, and emphasize that the practice is simply to guarantee the safety of your children.
Between these two sides, the decision is ultimately yours to make. Taking any measure necessary to ensure the safety of your children is a worthwhile aim, but requires an honest relationship with your childcare provider if the integrity of all parties is to be respected. Weigh the pros and cons of the decision prior to making a purchase and remember, sometimes the best way to ensure your children’s safety and well-being, is to establish a strong, trusting relationship with your nanny.
The concept of nanny cams has seen its fair share of movie parody, but the practice has real world benefits, provided the challenges are accounted for. Hidden cameras offer the chance to protect your loved ones
while verifying the services you receive, but installing such devices should follow an honest conversation with your nanny. Your children’s safety is paramount, and childcare is a team effort. Deciding how to keep your team accountable is up to you.