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Parents with a desire to protect their children’s safety may decide to use nanny cameras. Hidden or exposed nanny cams will grant you the ability to capture “disturbing violent activities of a childcare provider” as well as “excellent activities of a childcare provider.”
Current technology allows parents to discreetly install and monitor nanny cams. The ethical or legal issues involved in the nanny cam’s use should be considered.
It is legal for a homeowner to install a hidden camera, 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.
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.
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. It is advised that parents should continue to talk with their children and listen carefully to the child’s feedback about his or her nanny. Heed any concerns about the childcare worker’s behavior with immediate discussion.