Wednesday

Underpaid and Overwatched

Received Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Opinion 4 So, I have been working for a family for about three months, I have a five year old and a two year old that I take care of. I am not there often just once a week and twice a week every other week. So, they are not allowed to watch t.v. and I have to do driving back and forth to preschool. I am there from 7:30AM until 5PM, they pay me $85 dollars for the day, thats less than ten dollars an hour. I find this to be short considering there are two kids, driving involved and there is minimal down time. THEN, the other day I spotted a nanny cam, so they don't only under pay me, they are watching me? This is all very confusing to me, I am a first time nanny, I am a grad student but his just seems disrespectful. Is there any feedback for a new nanny?

54 comments:

Nanny Sarah said...

The parents have that decision to make.. a camera or not. Money wise.. it is your first time and the times are tough for everyone.. so that probably had some sort of decision in the amount you make... you also only work part-time. Talk to the parents- DON'T mention the camera- unless they have already told you about it. Its hidden for a reason.

i would quit. said...

I think that if a parent is filming you without your knowledge, it is rude. I would have no problem being filmed but to not know about it would be creepy.

Regarding the pay, it is less than 10 an hour, but you are a first time nanny you say, so you have no experience. For someone with no previous experience, I think that is quite good.

I would personally quit because I think they are dishonest to not tell you about the nanny cam. I disagree with nanny sarah: tell them that you saw the camera and you are confused as to why they did not tell you that you are on film.

Then I would give my notice. 8 dollar an hour babysitting jobs, part time, are a dime a dozen. You do not need to be working for dishonest people.

TC said...

There are going to be people on here that think nanny cams are perfectly ok while there will be others that find it horrible.

The choice is yours as to continue with this job or find something else.

My personal opinion is they should be honest about the cams, they don't have to tell you where they are just that they are there. If they don't I personally feel it's wrong and I would quit if I ever found that out.

*Note to anyone who disagrees with me, feel free to but please don't bring up the legal aspects to me. I am well aware that it's perfectly legal I just PERSONALLY think it's wrong and just like you I'm entitled to my opinion.

JD said...

Nanny cams Suck! I was a live in for a family with nanny cams in every room of the house, excluding the bathrooms and kitchen. There was even one in my room. The Dad told me they were motion detectors for the alarm, but one of the family stopped by and in the process of filling me in on all the last nannies drama, told me that the "motion detectors" were in fact cameras. This was confirmed when the mother called me because she couldn't see us and hadn't been able to for a while (I was bathing the kids in the bathroom). I didn't stay at that job very long.

Just My Two Cents Just Now said...

Uh oh..Pandora's box is opening up now!!
Anyway, regarding the nanny camera my opinion is that if a parent is going to film you, then he or she should have the respect of telling the nanny prior to hiring her. Some nannies think it is okay while others do not. It should be up to the nanny to decide if she wants to take the job or not and the family can decide if they want the particular nanny or not. But to film someone w/out their knowledge is deceptive kills any good will that exists between the nanny and the family if the nanny finds out. Sure it is legal, but I do not believe it ethical to film someone w/out their knowledge period. Legal and ethical do not necessarily belong in the same category. I would mention that you saw the camera and just say that on a personal level, you feel like you should have been notified prior to accepting the position. I bet it does bother you from what you stated in your post.
Moneywise, sure you are a beginner and everyone has to start somewhere, but what they are paying you, is what they would pay either an illegal immigrant or a 13 yr old. You do not have any experience, but that does not give them the right to short-change you!! You are caring for 2 children for less than $10/hr and on top of that you are driving in your own car!! Shame on that family!! As another poster stated, these types of jobs are a dime a dozen...so give your notice this week and move on. I am sure this is not your primary source of income and you can do much better and should!
Good Luck to you and I hope you find another family out there who appreciates all you have to offer.

Wren said...

Wow, JD! They had one IN YOUR ROOM?? that's crazy! i don't see how that one could be legal.

bostonnanny said...

JD, the one in your room def was illegal and you could have sued. they were watching you get dressed and undressed!!!

I would told to parents off, if your so concerned about what your children are doing every second of the day then stay the fuck home and raise them yourself.

Hungrycollegestudent said...

I know this issue swapped over to the nannycam issue, but I was wondering about the preschool comment you made. Does that mean there are times during your shift you only have one (or none) of the children? I'm just seeking clarification, because that might be another reason you are receiving lower wages.

Adventures In Nannyland said...

Okay, I understand why parents would have a nanny cam...they fear the worst every parent does! However, if you are going to go that far to monitor your nanny 24/7, spend all day wondering what's going on, going on line to "check in," or watch a full days worth of tape when you get home why bother?! I mean how much work can you get done if your constantly getting side tracked by what your nanny is doing? Why not just stay home and raise your children yourself?

I have been a nanny for sometime now and though I have never found a nanny cam I do believe my current employers do have them. I just noticed that there have been times where they have mentioned things they would only know if they were here. There are MANY examples but I'll just give one. For instance, during nap time I'll call my Mom to chat and I brought up that the family never has any grocieries or essential supplies and it's left up to me to get the said grocieries and supplies and I was fed up with being left with zero supplies when I arrived in the morning. And like magic the next day the parents say they are going to the store is there anything I/they need...strange because they never asked me before, EVER! In fact they are usually oblivious to what grocieries or home supplies they need. I have nothing to hide and do my job very well I personally think it's creepy, and unethical.

I can't help but wonder if they are going to judge me for not just how I take care of their child but things about me outside my job as well. For example what if I break wind? Will they be disgusted by me? I mean I am human it happens I am not around others so I think it's okay but in reality I am being tapped. Or like during nap time, I can't make a personal phone call about something private, or call my doctor to make an appointment I cannot be candid because I know I am being tapped. I mean do you know how stressful that is? That I cannot call my doctor about a health issue I am having because I do not feel comfortable to disclose that information at work in fear of being judged or have others in my personal life! Bottom line it's none of their buisness! It's a strange position to be in so I can understand 100% OP! Again I just think its' creepy.

I think too you are underpaid, and getting a raw deal all around. I have known first time nannies who make way more. If I were you I would find a new job...it's not worth the stress of being watched and the limp paycheck. Good luck!

nycmom said...

Adventures - I believe (though don't claim to know absolutely) that video recording on nanny cams is legal in all states. However, recording audio is definitely NOT legal in many states (California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, Oregon, Pennyslvania, and Washington) as it violates federal wiretapping laws.

JD, agree with previous poster that a cam in your bedroom is illegal (same with bathrooms - anywhere you have a reasonable expectation of privacy).

Well, being one of the few employers, I can see my opinions on nanny cams differ. I think they can be a useful tool to making parents comfortable with a new nanny in the first few weeks of employment. I can't see having them in place once trust is established, but do see their value in the beginning of a relationship especially if the children are too young to accurately report their day. I think that value is negated if you inform a nanny they are present.

We have all seen horrifying things caught on camera. IMO, even one of these horrific videos preventing future abuse makes nanny cams worthwhile. I truly would not mind if I were being taped in my workplace, where I also work with a vulnerable population. I can understand how a nanny would be offended to be taped in the context of a long-term relationship with employer, but I don't fully understand why it is personally offensive at the start of a new job. After all, their existence is common knowledge so simply assume that they ARE present rather than assuming they aren't. I do get the desire not to have small personal things like adjusting your pants or nose picking caught on tape. But no employer cares about that (and if they do, they aren't worth working for anyway). I'm sure I've been seen on cameras at work doing embarrassing things and I'm okay with that because I know that a greater good is being served by the monitoring.

Just My Two Cents Just Now said...

Yes, OP where I live at (CA) it is completely illegal to tape audio and if someone were being audio taped, I would try to press charges ASAP!! That is so wrong!! Re: Adventures in Nannyland..if I were you I would be beyond pissed off. Ugh.
Anyway, I agree that in the beginning of a childcare situation, I would not feel 100% comfortable. But there is no 100% way of knowing exactly what is going on with your child at all times. What happens when the nanny takes your child to the park in his or her stroller? Or in the car for day outings? You cannot ever know 100% what is going on with your child. If there are no nanny cams in the bathroom, then how do you know what is going on in there when your nanny bathes him or her? You don't. Nanny cams do not guarantee anything. So the only way you will know 100% what your child is up to all day, at every minute then you need to stay home and care for your child yourself. Sure you may not live in as nice a house or be able to afford more than one car, but at least you will have your peace of mind. I think there are many other options on whether your nanny is doing her job or not. Perhaps, come home some time early w/out the nanny's knowledge. Or have a neighbor visit the same park as your nanny does or have the neighbor keep an eye on the house and let you know what times nanny comes and goes, etc.

Rocket Scientist said...

nycmom, I agree with you about the nanny cams. Although they do not give a 100% guarantee, as others have mentioned, they do give the parents a good idea of what goes on when they are absent. I can understand why a parent would want that assurance at the beginning of the relationship, and I can also understand keeping it a secret during that time. I would only be able to justify this for about the first month or so, personally. After that I think trust should be established, especially since the parents have documented evidence of the good care their children are given. I think that once that trial period of nanny cam surveillance is finished, the parents should inform the nanny. "Hey, we have used a nanny cam just to make sure that our trust in you was justified. We loved seeing how well you care for our child, and no longer feel the need for a nanny cam." I think that this allows for the parents to feel secure, and it shows that they respect the nanny and do not feel the need to keep it from her after she has proven herself.

OP, I agree with those who said you do not make enough. Although you are new to the job, you are not just a high school student wanting some extra cash for the mall. You are an adult capable of handling emergencies, trustworthy enough to drive the kids around town, etc. You have responsibilities of your own to think of, as far as your homework, bills, and the like. I think your time is worth more than what you are getting for it. Good luck with whatever you decide!

ohionanny said...

My personal opinions about nanny cams is that they are meant to PREVENT abuse and dishonesty, rather than CATCH it happening. For this reason, parents should always tell their nanny they are being recorded. I mean, who in their right mind would rather their child be in danger and possibly hurt in order 'catch' a bad nanny. A nanny (good or bad) who is uncomfortable will quit, or they may stay and do their job as they should.

It is THEIR house after all. However, upon finding a hidden nanny cam, I would not stay due to not being told and feeling like the parents were trying to entrap me (I mean, seriously - who wants their every move monitored, even if they are doing what they should be doing?). If they told me, I might stay but express my discomfort over it.

MissMannah said...

I agree 100% with ohionanny. I've been on several nanny interviews where the parents have said they have a nannycam and I've always said I have no problem with that, and it is true. I work at a daycare right now and there's a camera and I don't care or even really notice it. I have nothing to hide. BUT! If I stumbled upon a hidden one in someone's home, I'd be beyond pissed and would ask the parents why they didn't tell me it was there.

MissMannah said...

Oh and as for the money thing, I don't think the wages are all that bad, but I live in good old Okie, where nobody makes very much money. It depends on where you live if the wages are terrible or not. You are a first-time nanny so you can't really expect a competitive salary yet, especially with only working one or two days a week.

TC said...

MissMannah, I found a babysitting job through sittercity.com and they told me they had cams and I was ok with it BECAUSE they told me, had I just found them I would have been pretty pissed and I would have never babysat for them again

I don't agree with cams, but as long as I'm told up front I am ok with them.

KKsNanny said...

Not telling your nanny that you've installed a nannycam seems silly to me. The purpose of hiding a camera is typically to catch your nanny doing something you don't approve of, as well as monitor your childrens safety. But why would you not tell the nanny and wait for an abusive situation (just an example) to happen when you could just tell her she was being filmed so she wouldn't do it in the first place? I mean if you know you are being filmed, you are going to be alot less likely to cut corners than if you thought no one was looking. I think nanny cams are fine so long as the nanny is aware of them, and is ok with being filmed.

In my previous position, we discussed it as a group, and decided to install the nanny cam so that the parents could see how their child was enjoying his day (when they had down time at work). They installed the camera, but it wasn't working correctly. After trying several times to get it fixed, they finally just nixed the idea, and by that point they trusted me anyway because I was even comfortable in the first place with installing a camera. I just think it should certainly be brought up.

Just My Two Cents Just Now said...

I think whether a nanny is comfortable with a nanny cam is up to the discretion of the nanny. I think if you do not tell the nanny, and she finds out..then she will probably feel deceived and all trust and respect will fly out the window. If a family tells the nanny up front, then they are doing their part in establishing good will. + I think a nanny who says she is okay with it is showing that she is an honest and good nanny and has nothing to hide. It takes both sides to secure a good working relationship.
But as a nanny, I have a question. Say I do agree to use of a nanny cam. How do I know that the tape will only be viewed by the family who employs me? How will I ever be sure that others would not have access to the tape now or later on? I wouldn't want my employers to show the tape to their friends and such. For example, maybe they have a mutual friend they want to set me up with and show them the nanny tape so the friend can see whether he thinks I am cute or not. Or perhaps they may have an issue with something they saw on tape and show it to one of their friends to see what their friend thinks of what I am doing, etc.
-------------------------
Yes, please let us know OP how you found the nanny cam. I was always under the impression they were hidden in obscure places like the smoke detector or behind a plant. If I were you and I found a nanny cam that I didn't know was there in the first place, I would not bring it up to the parents that I found it, but I would have fun with it...maybe flash the family..LOL. That would put them in the awkward position of having to tell me that they had been filming me so the joke would be on them!!!~

Rocket Scientist said...

As I understand it, the reasoning behind keeping a nanny cam a secret is that if you tell the nanny she is being filmed, she will just be more selective about where she is when she (God forbid) hurts the child. There is really no way to absolutely prevent child abuse by the child's caregiver. But if the nanny is unaware she is being taped, she will be caught earlier and more easily than if she knows of the surveillance and can simply avoid the rooms where cameras may be. Hopefully anyone like that would be weeded out earlier in the hiring process, but that is not always the case, as some of the nanny sightings posted here attest.

Rocket Scientist said...

Two Cents, those are interesting questions. I hadn't thought of that before... In the case of the "set up," they could more easily show a picture they have of the nanny with their child, so I don't think they would go to the trouble of showing the video. And as far as asking their friends/family for advice, they could just explain the situation. So again, they may not go to the trouble. I agree that it would be wrong for them to show the footage to others, but it just doesn't seem to me that that would happen in a normal situation. If the parents are showing nanny cam footage to others, I would say there are probably bigger problems with the job in general. And again, I don't think parents should use a nanny cam after the first month or so.

talesfromthe(nanny)hood said...

If a parent wants to use a nanny cam, all they need to do is say, "Nanny, we reserve the right to use a nanny can if we choose to do so. We're letting you know so that you're aware that you MAY BE filmed. This is for our comfort, and it doesn't indicate we distrust you or believe anything is happening."

That simple statement puts the possibility of nanny being filmed out there, but doesn't say WHEN or WHERE.

As a nanny I dislike the idea of being filmed, but I respect that parents might feel the need to do so.

bostonnanny said...

Tales from nanny hood, I agree and I actually had a family say something similar to me during an interview and when he mentioned it, i looked at the wall where i noticed a camera earlier.

A lot of homes now have great security systems that allow families to check in during the day but if you know what your looking for you can spot them. They can also use desktop computers with webcams and control them from laptops. Apple makes great software for that.

I have never come across a camera in a toy but i'm sure they would be easy to spot.

Sometimes i think I was a burglar in a past life.

MONKEYSHINES said...

this is how it is now, when you are a nanny assume you are being watched because you usually are.
are you in school? if you are not I suggest going because being a nanny is a go no where dead end career. you dont get mentaly stimulated and you really dont advance yourself. I realized this and got my butt to school.
I realized these moms dont want to stay with their kids they rather work. if a illegal immagrant can do your job you have a low skill job. the only reason I was a nanny because it payed more than min wage. these kids I took care of were self indulgent spoiled sissy brats and cant even do the simplest tasks with out having their hands held. I grew up with nothing and after each of my jobs ended I would think wow I had such a better child hood than these kids.
if your not in school try to go

Just My Two Cents Just Now said...

I have had many families tell me during interviews (phone and in person) that there would be a camera and would it bother me if I was being filmed? I always said NO as I respected the fact that the parents were so upfront with me and that I would know ahead of time. I believe to have a successful Nanny/Parent relationship, honesty and integrity are the main key components. I just can't see how a Nanny would not feel betrayed if they found out they were being filmed with out their knowledge. Truthfully, if I was being filmed..I would be more on guard..maybe not sing any songs (I have a terrible voice, but as long as only the child hears me sing, I am good!) and I would definitely not make my goofy faces since I wouldn't want to look like a dork in front of other adults. LOL.

Phoenix said...

I don't find anything wrong with cameras. I have security cameras all over my house and no one has the right to complain about being filmed on my property. So it is a personal decision whether or not you want to continue to work there. They don't HAVE to tell you about it either. You should just have a problem about the pay.

Complainer said...

Huh? Everyone has the right to complain. You can't tell people not to complain. They also have the right to tell you they don't like what you do.

They don't have the right to come in your house and remove it. But you don't designate the right to tell people what they can and cannot complain about.

ohionanny said...

Personally, for my own safety and peace of mind, I would prefer to work with nanny cams installed while keeping infants. I consider them high risk. I actually told a family that once who was interviewing me for their 3 month old.

Ha!

Anonymous said...

Hi, I made the original post. Upon thinking about it I realize they have every right to video me, I just wish they wouldn't have kept it a secret. I have not yet brought it up and I am feeling awkward about it. If they watched the video when I found it, I picked it up and looked into it because I was unsure of what it was. It wasn't hidden very well. So, they know that I know that they are watching me. Which I do not mind at all, there is no reason for me to be nervous about them watching me. Now it's just the awkward feeling about them not mentioning it to me and me knowing about it and them now knowing that I know.

As far as pay, the economy is bad I understand that. However, as far as experience. I have a ten year old sister, an eight year old sister, a seven year old brother, a six year old sister, and a five year old sister. So experience I am not lacking. I guess I just thought that someone would pay the amount they think their nanny is worth. I wake them up and get them ready in the morning, they eat super healthy meals, I plan art projects, we do educational projects, we go to the park, play lots of games on top of all of this. I am also working really hard with the youngest on her potty training. I make sure that the house looks exactly like it did when they left in the morning and sometimes even better.

I guess I just feel that one day when I have kids I will pay someone accordingly with the most precious little people in my life. Many times, you get what you pay for and they are getting a bargain.

nanny cams do no good. said...

nyc mom:

nanny cams do not prevent bad things from happening. they capture bad things happening as they are happening. therefore, they do not stop the bad things from happening the first time. only additional times.

Just My Two Cents Just Now said...

Ohio Nanny..that is a good point, I never thought about it but it is true that having cameras around can protect the nanny in the event that something happens to the child. That way it can be documented on film that the Nanny had nothing to do w/whatever happened. A lot of posters think I am stubborn and never see the other side of my opinions, but this simply is not true..I do..as I am doing now. So while I can see that the cameras may benefit the nanny as well, I still have a trust issue. Okay, say for instance a family was secretly filming me watch their child then later on either I found out or they told me. Well, my next big question to them would be, "Were there cameras in the bathroom?" and they would say to me, "Of course not!!" But after they deceived me once, how can I ever be sure they are not deceiving me again? Sure it is illegal to put cameras in the bathroom, but just because it is illegal does not mean they will not do it. They could, they just would not tell me and then do their damnest not to get caught. Perhaps the father installed one w/out telling the mother as he had some sexual fetish or whatever. Once someone deceives me, anything else they tell me after I find out bears no weight.

Just My Two Cents Just Now said...

Monkey Shines..as much as I want to disagree with you about what you just said, I cannot argue with you. You made some valid points and I agree that being a nanny is not a lifelong dream profession. But I do not want to see it only as a means to an end. I enjoy my work, it makes me proud to know that I may have contributed something in another person's life whether it may be simply teaching them to say their name or introducing a love for the song "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star." I love ALL of my charges with all of my heart and consider them my children along with my real ones (!)
Sure, I want to go on to something else eventually, but I am content with what I do now and I do not think everyone is cut out to do this type of work. One must posses a unique personality with a ton of patience, love, energy as well as the type of enthusiasm that takes precedence over whatever personal problems one may have in his or her life.

nycmom said...

nanny cams do no good:

Yes, I am aware that the purpose of a nanny cam is not to prevent the initial instance of abuse, nor did I say this.

I said, "even one of these horrific videos preventing future abuse makes nanny cams worthwhile."

The purpose is to discover if a malicious caregiver made it through the interview process undetected. Then to stop the person before further incidents of abuse can occur. Finally, to have foolproof video documentation of an abuser so you can actually involve the police and protect other kids in the future. In my mind, catching an abuser unaware and protecting kids in the future is definitely doing some good!

Look, we all think we can pick these things up in interviews. We all think we would never be fooled by any abuser: abusive caregiver, family member commiting sexual abuse, trusted friend embezzeling money from a company. Yet, these things happen *all the time* so clearly our detection skills are not perfect. I'd rather admit I could make a mistake in hiring, but find out early in the work relationship than pretend I am invincible and incapable of being tricked. Despite my belief, I have never successfully used a nanny cam (considered it once, but it was too hard and didn't follow through). But I'm pretty sure if I go through the new nanny process again that I would use it unless my older dc were around all the time.

ohionanny said...

nyc mom - seriously? so the nanny cam is to 'catch' an abusive nanny, if she slid through your intuitive powers, and you are willing to let your child be used as an object of possible abuse so you can feel better (or worse) about your perceptive abilities on screening bad nannies?

This makes no sense to me. I would not want my child to go through an abusive incident even ONCE just so I could 'catch' someone and then make sure it happens to no one else. I mean, I would hope it would happen to no one else, but my child would not be the guinea pig to determine that.

It is negligent parenting, IMO, to use the nanny cam AND your own child to 'catch' abuse.

You use it as a preventative measure.

Schoolio said...

Most of the nannies I know DID go to school...and graduate with many different majors. Just saying.

Phoenix said...

Actually it can be used as a preventative measure only if the nanny knows it's there. If he/she doesn't know then they would have no reason to be cautious. It is the same concept as putting security cameras in stores. Yes there are some people who will do bad things despite the cameras but the average person will be deterred. It is a great way to prevent things. The nanny has to know it exists though.

Reading Comprehension said...

Before you go on a rant telling someone to go to school you ought to read their post first. She said she was a grad student. That means she has ALREADY graduated this lovely university you think it is so important she attend, and is STILL studying.

Nicole said...

To play "devil's advocate" here..if I ever were the type of person who wanted to abuse a child, then I would find a way one way or another. I could take the child with me into the bathroom or abuse him or her in my car. We have all seen those terrible videos on the news where a horrible nanny is seen shaking or hitting a child and man, they sure are hard to watch (!) But let's remember that those incidents are far and few between (Thank God!!) just like people who go shoot up post offices. And the sad thing about these nannies who are caught on film is that 99% of the time they are just fired. Even after the videos are seen on T.V. and viewed by the proper authorities, the final verdict is that usually the nannies are not charged with any type of neglect. Sad, isn't it?

Nicole said...

*Abuse
I meant to state that usually the nannies are not charged with any type of child abuse. I think it is because there is a certain line that exists between abuse and discipline and even if the nanny shakes or puts a child down forcefully on the couch (as seen in these nanny cam footages), there is no damage done such as bruises and such.

Bostonnanny said...

Reading comp. I assume your responding to monkeyshines comment. She only asked if the op was in school and then suggested she go to school if she isn't. So I think you should take your own advice.
She is absolutely true in her remarks about nannying as career. It is highly unlikely that the majority of nannies will be able to remain nannies. Nannying is a stepping stone career, you do it until you go into your long term career like teaching or child psychology. Yes many nannies have a college degree but how many actually get those degrees in the hopes of becoming a nanny? They are just holding down nanny positions until they can get hired for the position they actually went to school for. I love what I do and will prob do it for another 5years but I'm in college to become a social worker not a nanny. As a nanny you will be hard pressed to find a position over 40/ 50grand a year and the likelyhood of you making that much for the next 20-30 years is 0. This is not a career you can advance in or have any sense of security. You more from job to job every few years and usually don't make much of a pay difference.
Nannying is a wonderful option in the short term but not long term.

Adventures In Nannyland said...

Nyc mom, again I understand you are a parent and you have the right to film nannies in your home, it is your home afterall. And I highly doubt you would be a 100% comfortable if you yourself were being filmed at work. Lets get real here. It's easier said than done. I don't know about you, but I get up in the morning ready to work, not looking to be part of some social studies project. I still find it creepy. Again I understand because as a parent worrying comes with the territory and you can never be too careful. Fearing the worst is always tugging at you. I also no job is harder than being a parent!

But just so you know...I have a family member who is a detective and personally told me after I told him about the possiblity of being filmed at work, he shared some useful and practical information with me, more common sense if you ask me. He told me legal or not people can film nannies WITH audio. This is simply because they have access thanks to the internet they can buy/purchase this said equipment if they so choose. Basically my detective family member told me, that in situations like filming a nanny they want what they want and deal with their legal responsibilities later, they simply want proof of a qualified nanny and will do it how they see fit. And you know what, I think he is 100% right! If a parent wants ligit proof they are leaving their child in good hands they will do what THEY see fit, not what is legal or ethical because it's their child and their home. Simple but true.

Hyde Park Gal said...

Hi Bostonnanny, just want to let you know there are a few of us who have made a career out of being a nanny, I have worked as one since '84. Sure, first few jobs were short term, but current job 9 years and 2 more to go, last job 13 years and they still come to decorate my Christmas tree! I am very well paid; and yes I'm old and creaky! ( But my hair is still dark!)

bostonnanny said...

Hyde Park Gal,
Thats wonderful, I know some women are lucky enough to find long term positions but I was talking about the majority of nannies. Especially nannies who are starting off now with college degrees, they don't intend to be life long nannies. It's just a filler job for them.

It is hard to find employment of 5 years or more and I truly feel that once you hit a certain age(45/50+) finding a position gets harder.

Rocket Scientist said...

"To play "devil's advocate" here..if I ever were the type of person who wanted to abuse a child, then I would find a way one way or another. I could take the child with me into the bathroom or abuse him or her in my car."

Nicole-- Exactly!! If an employer tells the nanny that she is being filmed, she knows that there are still certain areas where there are no cameras, such as the bathroom. (Yes, Adventures in Nannyland, it is true that some employers may put cameras there anyway, but it is much more likely for them to be in the living room/child's room.)That is precisely the reason why I agree with nycmom about nanny cams. Telling a nanny she will be filmed does not absolutely prevent her from abusing the child. All it does is prevent her from doing it in areas where she is most likely to be caught. If she believes there is no nanny cam, she would be less careful about where she is when abusing the child (again, God forbid this should happen!). Wouldn't you rather catch the abuse the first time, rather than months or years later?

nycmom said...

ohionanny:

Yes, seriously. For me, the goal of a nanny cam would be to establish that I had not made a mistake in hiring and be sure the nanny was doing a good job caring for my kids. I'm not sure if you are trying to make a point or truly don't understand, but the "goal" is not to use my child as a guinea pig, verify my powers of perception, or to catch an abusive nanny. I'm not out to "catch" anyone nor setting up some kind of sting. It would be simply to make sure the nanny was attentive and doing a good job. However, if I did record abuse THEN the benefit would be that I could involve the police and prevent future incidents of abuse happening to other kids.

No one WANTS their child to go through abuse, obviously. We just have differing opinions on the efficacy of nanny cams as preventative measures vs temporary trust building/screening. I do not believe a nanny cam is a good preventative tool to stop abuse. I think if an abusive person knew it were present it would prevent abuse in the home, but would still allow for abuse elsewhere. I don't think it would result in a net benefit as you seem to.

I believe a hidden cam for 2-4 weeks after hiring a new nanny would serve MY goals: it would allow me to trust a caregiver and feel confident that I had some moments where our nanny was acting like her "true," unguarded self. I don't think a neglectful nanny could keep up a front for 2-4 weeks if she wasn't aware she was being taped. The survey I've read says less than 3% of families have used hidden nanny cams, so I don't think most nannies are expecting them or used to encountering them.

Luckily we each get to make the choice that is best for our family. If you want to use a nanny cam, you can announce it and it will make you feel better because you believe it will prevent abuse. If I want to use a nanny cam, I will do so as a hidden tool for 2-4 weeks with a new hire. It will make me feel better since I believe it will allow me to trust my caregiver and has a better chance of picking up on bad caregiving. So we will both be happy with our own choices - which is exactly as it should be!

Adventures in Nannyland:

Yes, I would be and am comfortable being filmed at my job. Part of my work is in ERs with psychiatrically ill patients and a large homeless population. I am being watched by security cameras at all times. I do not know when I am being recorded, but am sure it is done sometimes. For all I know it records everything daily, then tapes over at intervals. I have not asked because I don't care. I have ZERO issue with being recorded. None whatsoever. As I said earlier, I work with a vulnerable populations so think oversight is wise. There was an incident of Doctor/nurse/security neglect in a Psych ER in Brooklyn recently which made the news:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9lKUwBCIBzA&feature=related

It was horrible and I'm glad it was caught. It also resulted in dramatic improvements in this particular ER.

Just My Two Cents Just Now said...

Rocket Scientist, I agree with you. If a nanny is prone to abuse her charge, then she will ultimately abuse her charge in an area of the house where she will assume there are no cameras or in her personal vehicle. No nanny will conduct abuse in a common area of the house where she knows there is even a remote chance of there being a camera. She will play her cards safe and conduct herself elsewhere. Where there is a will, there is a way. There are always loopholes in life and nothing is ever 100% foolproof.
Bostonnanny, I agree that being a nanny is not typically a life-long career choice. Kudos to you Hyde Park nanny for your longevity! You definitely rock!! But for the majority of nannies, it is a job that is for right now, many college students do it as they know many families who encourage education are very accommodating with school schedules and many parents of young children do it as it allows them to bring their children to work with them, etc. But I strongly do not think a degree in Child Development is going to secure you financially in the long term. In fact, Yahoo stated that a Child Development degree is one of the worst majors you can major in as the money is not very good in this area. I agree completely. I am a Business major and while many families prefer to hire a nanny with a Child Development degree or a potential CD degree, I know my Business degree will pay better dividends later on.

Just My Two Cents Just Now said...

Adventures in NannyLand..that is precisely why I find installing hidden cameras to be completely unethical. Because once someone installs a hidden camera w/out telling the nanny, then the deception begins. They will not know where to draw the line. They will do as you stated and install audio. If someone were to film me w/out my knowledge, and I found out later, I would not know what else they were doing behind my back. How would I know whether or not they were using audio? I wouldn't since my trust in them would be non-existent. And how would I believe them if they promised me no cameras were put in the bathroom? Same thing, I wouldn't. Once trust is eroded between two parties, then trust is eroded and the real truth bears no weight. Just like if my hubby cheated on me and I found out, yet he claimed he only cheated this one time and that was it. How would I know that he never cheated before? Also, it would be very difficult for a nanny to catch a family either taping audio or having a camera in the bathroom as I don't know if the police would investigate w/out any proof and how do you prove that you are being filmed in the bathroom? I have never heard of anyone being prosecuted for this..in the Nanny/Parent context that is.
NYC Mom..you cannot compare being filmed in the ER w/being filmed in a private home. We all assume we are being filmed whether it be in Target, Walmart, Hospitals, etc. It pretty much is common knowledge. But being filmed in someone's home, in your most private moments with someone's child..that is intrusion and deception plain and simple.

nycmom said...

JMTC:

I can and do compare them. There are many similaries. The primary one being that both are being filmed in your place of employment. I do not consider it intrusive since it is *my* private home and *my* child - not my nannny's. Taking a job is voluntary, not forced and the existence of nanny cams is common knowledge. So if you are worried about what you might do without being aware of being filmed, then just assume there ARE nanny cams at each job.

As I said in my original post, being one of the few employers on here, I am certain my opinion is in the minority on this site. Of course most people aren't going to WANT to be filmed doing their job and are going to see it as intrusive. I understand that. But as I've already stated, in *my* opinion, the potential good outweighs privacy concerns as long as the law is being followed. Regardless of your assumptions that everyone would record audio and break the law, I can assure you I would not and have not. You aren't going to change my mind on this one simply because it has been discussed on here many, many times and I've considered it in great detail. I respect your different opinion and you of course have the choice to not take any job where you suspect there are nanny cams.

Just My Two Cents Just Now said...

nyc mom...by stating my opinion on here, I am not trying to sway you one way or another. I am just trying to state my opinion..that is all. It's like my feelings on other topics such as gay marriage, abortion, etc. I like to express my opinions, however my primary purpose is not to change the opinion of someone else. I love a healthy debate and think the world would be boring and incredibly unbearable if everyone agreed with everyone else. I shudder at the thought.
I just personally feel nanny work is a much different type or work as it is in a more intimate setting than say a hospital or department store. The tapes in other places you mentioned are usually in public places where the general public knows about it. A home setting is a more private setting and it is more intrusive to install a camera there. I am sorry, but I have tried to see your side regarding the similarities in both environments and I cannot see any. A lot of people do not see working as a nanny in the same context as working in a corporation...I have even had many people say to me, "When are you going to get a REAL job?" Many people see being a nanny as just a temp job or liken it to the babysitting they once did in high school. This is unfortunate, but I believe it is because of the environment you are working in..a private home setting. And this is why using a hidden camera is much different than one at a gas station or convenience store.

nanny2 said...

I'm wondering if the difference in opinion is not just employer/nanny as far as nanny cams, but also with locale. I am a nanny in NYC, my family has cameras, and it doesn't bother me. But I think there's kind of less privacy in general here, what with sharing shoebox apartments with 5 roommates, taking public transit, and security cams on the sidewalks. If you live in a less densely populated area, you might be accustomed to more privacy and therefore be more uncomfortable with nanny cams.

Just My Two Cents Just Now said...

Nanny2..good point. I live in CA where things are more spread out and many people here demand privacy more I suppose.
On the issue of nanny cams,I know many people think just because they are legal to use then it must be okay. But I do not think legal and ethical should ever be used in the same context. For example, it is legal for our government to deny homosexuals the right to marry and fight for their home country, and it is legal to inseminate an unwed mother with eight children. But just because it is legal to so, does not (in my opinion) make it right to do so. I think it wrong to film someone on private property without the other parties consent. On public property, we all are fair game, but on private property I think the rules should be a little different.

Another nyc mother said...

*Sorry,I didn't mean to call you a moron. Just got me a little angry about your views on gay rights.

Just sayin' said...

Another nyc mother- it's all legal, but the ethical part is debatable. Slavery, "separate but equal," and child abuse were also long-standing traditions in our country. They are now considered illegal and unethical, but at one point in time all were legal, and considered by some to be ethical.

To the OP: I don't know where you live, but regardless the pay seems too low for someone with a college degree.

Christina said...

Well, let's put it this way; a lot of parents want more for less. I think the CL ads searching for nannies for 3-5 dollars an hour are a good example of what I mean. If you are paying someone a terrible wage for hard work, you're going to probably get the bare minimum and likely someone you don't trust. Not to say that OP isn't trustworthy, but my point still stands.

Just My Two Cents Just Now said...

I agree Christina..a lot of the parents I meet on CL are cheap as heck. They do not want to shell out more than they have to...that could be why they look for childcare on CL. It is a free website and they don't even want to lay out any $$ for their search. Why not look for babysitter on a childcare website? I.e., Care.com, sittercity, etc. Sure anyone can post a profile, but there are numerous nannies on there with background checks and reviews and it is much better than CL.