Saturday

Comments Raise Concern Over Nanny Cam

opinion 1
I've been working for two families that I love, keeping their two infants. One family brings their baby over to the other family's house each day. So for a while now I've suspected that they have a nanny cam because of certain comments they've made and I think it could be apart of their security system because there are motion sensors in every room. The one in the room we stay the most in is far out of my reach and doesn't seem to work as a real motion sensor. So I just don't know what to do about this, I take great care with these babies and the parents talk about how valuable I am, but I am not ok with being filmed. It's just creepy to me even though I'm in their house with their babies. I would feel very violated if I found out they did have a camera and would want to leave because I've had several other job offers, but I love these babies. Please any ideas would be appreciated.

73 comments:

CarolinaNanny said...

Unfortunately, being in this profession, nanny cams are extremely common (and awkward). My current family has a camera in the play room area but it is visible to me and more so that they can log in at work and check in/see the baby throughout the day. We had a talk about it before they even had it installed and they wanted to make sure I knew that it was not anything to do with concerns about his wellbeing or my behavior...just kind of a nice way to be able to see him during the day without being here. I feel comfortable with this because I am aware that it is there and I don't feel paranoid that there are cameras all around just filming my every move. Your situation seems a bit unfair because you seem to have a good relationship with the family, so secretly taping you while you work and watching the tapes almost makes it seem like they do not trust you. I can justify it by saying that they really are just so common and people are just being cautious by having them, but since they know you are valuable and take great care of their children, I would honestly ask them about it. If it were me I would casually bring it up the next time they make a comment referring to something they may have seem on camera...because I do agree with you that it can be a little uncomfortable and also insulting since you and they both know that you are doing a great job. Good luck and I hope things go well and you can stay with these families!

MandaJ said...

I would ask them about it too.
I've been a Nanny for 3 different Families and to my knowledge- none of them have used Nanny cams- although I have often thought about it- and worried about it.
Would they appreciate it if their employers kept cameras in their offices? Probably not.
If they don't trust you with their children- then they shouldn't have a Nanny.
There have been times when I have spilled something on my shirt and have completely removed my shirt to put in the dryer. I'd be mortified if they saw that- but- I wasn't doing anything wrong. I was just drying my shirt.

MonkeyNanny said...

I have had a hard time with this too. I once discovered a nannycam and quit on the spot. It is absolutely not ok to film someone without their knowledge. I totally agree with MandaJ's post-I've changed my clothes at work too and hope I didn't have an audience!

It is a difficult subject to bring up, but I hope you can talk to them about it. Remind them that in every other job where there are cameras present, the employees know about them. Also mention that you would feel awkward if they saw you blowing your nose or picking your teeth or any of those harmless but embarrassing things we do when we think no one is looking.

m said...

to be honest, I would feel the same as OP. Just really uncomfortable and I would not stay.

OP, you have every right to not work in a house that is filming you. It should be a personal decision. Ask them if you are being filmed and see their reaction.

And stop about the babies: it's a job and they are not your kids.
Get over it and quit.

DoNotFilmMe!! said...

Ugh. Parents always assume if we are uncomfortable with nannycams is must mean we are doing something wrong. Here is a list of things I would not want caught on camera, but could not be considered doing anything wrong.

-Changed clothes in the living room because the baby fell asleep on the couch and I couldn't leave him.

-Blew my nose and actually picked it a little. I know, gross, but we've all done it.

-Scratched or readjusted my bra.

-Had a coughing fit after choking on juice.

-Picked/flossed my teeth.

-Played with legos while the kid was napping. (Yeah, legos are still fun!)

-Yoga or stretching while the kid is napping.

-Dozing off while the kid is napping. I'm a light sleeper and never failed to hear when a child woke up.

None of these things are wrong or make someone a bad nanny, but it would feel like a huge invasion of privacy if my employers saw me do these. I would be totally embarrassed and would probably quit.

♫ Amy Darling ♥ said...

If you are being filmed w/out them telling you, then they are being deceptive and you should quit on the spot.

How will you know for sure though? Perhaps "flash" the camera a few times just to let them know that you "know." Then see the look on their faces next time you show up. Priceless. LOL.

Bre said...

I would be most bothered that they didn't inform you they were filming. If you know you have another job I might quit for that reason alone. I'm very big on honesty and in my opinion they are being deeceptive.

I may be wrong but isn't that illegal?


If you don't trust someone, if you have a feeling don't use a camera to confirm it either don't hire thwm or let them go.

Village said...

As hard as this is to believe, this is not about you. It is about vulnerable little babies who are defenseless and pre verbal, and about parents who would love to be with their babies, and can through a nanny cam.

If you can figure out where the camera is, talk to it and hold up the babies for better viewing. Or if they do something cute, say something like, 'oh I hope or I wish your parents saw that. You are so cute.'

Chill out. Put yourself in the parents' place. Would you want to make ABSOLUTELY POSITIVELY SURE your baby was safe? Of course you would.

MandaJ said...

@ Village- Are you a Nanny?

I think we all understand the Parent's point of view. It's obvious that Parents would love to see their Children throughout the day and make sure they're safe.
But, it *is* also about the Nanny- as the Nanny has a very big role. The Nanny needs to feel comfortable in the environement just as much as the children & the Parents.
There still should be a common courtesy of informing a Nanny that there will be filming.

Bre said...

I wanted to add that I have worked for parents and at centers with cameras for the reasons that Village mentioned parents wanted to see what their little ones were up to during the day.
I don't have a problem with that, and if a parent is up front and tells me they will be filming I wouldn't automatically rule out working for them.

But the not telling, I don't know it just doesn't sit well with me.

Village wtf said...

Village - the point is that the nanny should be informed if there is a camera. Filming a nanny without her consent is just plan creepy, and rude.

MissMannah said...

In my opinion, if you are doing something you wouldn't want your boss walking in on at any given moment...you shouldn't be doing it. The boss could have forgotten something at home and needed to stop by really quick, interrupting you. Manda, does your DB really need to see you walking around while your shirt is in the dryer? For that matter, does your charge? I was horrified when I read that one, but not nearly as horrified as when I read that Donotfilmme let a baby sleep on the couch. Unless you had a hand on his back at all times, he could have easily rolled off, not to even mention SIDS. Maybe yall need some nanny cams installed to make sure you are behaving professionally.

Yes, I'm being judgmental. No, I don't care.

OP, just ask them. It's no big deal. You can then decide what you want to do from there. I would be offended if someone was filming me without my permission and I might quit. But if a parent told me from the beginning that they had nanny cams, I would have absolutely no problem with it because I have nothing to hide. (Yes, I occasionally do embarrassing things like adjust my bra or dig for gold with a tissue. Who cares?)

StrawberryShortKakes said...

As paranoid as I am, I would NOT be ok with a nanny cam! The thought of it just freaks me out. I am a very self-conscious person around adults but around children I act like a total idiot and enjoy every second of it. As weird as it sounds, I wouldn't be as good with kids if I knew someone was watching. I love being silly with kids, singing, and stuff but I know I act totally different when others are around. Maybe I'm weird but that's just how I am.

I think it is strange that someone would be ok with being filmed all day long. It would be like being on a TV show or something. I would not be able to relax. In my last nanny job, I took care of an infant who slept a great deal. I had limited chores to do and would do them during her first nap. The parents were very clean so there wasn't anything to do during the rest of her naps. I would bring a book or study material for the GRE or I'd text my friends or use the computer (obviously with MB's permission). Nothing was wrong with what I was doing but I felt weird getting paid to watch the child sleep and if I knew they were watching me do that on film, I would feel even worse about it. I also know that I would get frustrated from time to time with a screaming baby and would talk to myself to assure that I stayed calm and things like that and I know I wouldn't feel comfortable with the parents "spying" on my every move.

I say no cams said...

It all comes down to the question, does technology make us better parents? I say no. I think nanny cams are just a tool parents use to make themselves feel like better parents, even though it is obvious that they are absentee caregivers.

Tales from the (Nanny)Hood said...

Disclosure. Disclosure, disclosure, disclosure.

Parents, if you are planning to nanny cam, you need to say this to EVERY candidate:

"We do reserve the right to use a nanny cam at any time during our employment of a nanny. We know you understand"

Then, you have disclosed the fact that filming may take place, and the nanny has the right to say no to the job or to say yes.

It's not all that complicated.

Village said...

I agree. SInce there is nothing wrong with it, the parents should be up front about it. Again, if the nanny knows where the cameras are, she can be sure the parents can see their babies.

Some parents don't want to tell because they think the behavior of the nanny would change, or she would know where the 'dead' spots are.

You are also dealing with two sets of first time parents. As I've mentioned before, some first timers get a little crazy.

Village said...

Yes, I was a care giver before nanny was a popular term, and demand lead me to open an agency.

Jedd Meir said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ELam said...

Contrary to popular belief, filming someone without their knowledge, so long as there is no audio and it does not infringe upon the nanny's privacy rights (i.e. bathrooms or the nanny's bedroom if they are a live-in) is completely legal and acceptable. It is simply surveillance.

The debate on whether to tell or not to tell the nanny is an ethical one, not a legal one.

I'm not all pro-nanny cam or anything (I can see the pros and the cons), just wanted to de-bunk the "that's illegal!" myth.

DoNotFilmMe!! said...

OH Please!! MissMannah, you need to get over yourself. A 15 month old who falls asleep on the couch is not going to die of SIDS. And if you actually read what I said, the reason I was sitting right next to him while changing my clothes is so he wouldn't roll off! For crying out loud, his parents let him sleep on the couch all the time. The point I was making was, I felt safe to change my clothes, and if I had found out they were watching, it would be creepy. I think you missed the point because you are so busy constantly tearing down your fellow nannies.

Claire said...

I think it is really funny when parents say they are protecting their children by not telling nannies about nannycams.

Don't you think your nanny will be on her absolute best behavior if she KNOWS about the cameras? I would certainly make sure I was supernanny at all times if I was being watched.

The worst is when parents say, "We suspected she was mistreating the kids so we set up a hidden camera." Really?? If I even remotely suspected someone was mistreating my kids they would never ever be allowed near my kids again.

Putting in a hidden camera is not going to stop the nanny from doing something wrong. Your kids will be just as hurt, or your stuff will be just as stolen. It seems to me that the only reason to not tell about a nannycam is if you are trying to entrap your nanny somehow, which is just scummy.

m said...

Claire said: "If I even remotely suspected someone was mistreating my kids they would never ever be allowed near my kids again."

She gets my vote for best comment of the week.

Exactly, Claire! Thank you! Why would you even let your nanny be with your kids if you even slightly, remotely suspected bad behavior? this is crazy. I completely agree.

Nashville Nanny said...

I'm a nanny AND I have a puppy sitter. I don't mind being filmed, and I inform my puppy sitters that I have a "nanny cam" in my home. If they don't like it, they don't need to be here. My dog can't talk. And I've seen some "lovely" behavior going on while my "Sitters" were supposed to be watching my dog... AND THEY KNEW THEY WERE BEING FILMED. I personally don't care if I'm being filmed because I would never do something that I didn't want my bosses to see. So what if I picked my nose? They do too, I'm sure. It's not like I'm wiping it on the couch. And if I needed to change my shirt, I would take the baby into the bathroom with me. What freak changes their shirt in someone else's living room?!

Just My Two Cents Just Now said...

I have had families who inform me during the interview that there is a camera in the home and they will be filming me. I find it very respectful of them to offer me this full disclosure vs. not telling me a darn thing. However, I always decline these jobs because I am waay uncomfortable in front of cameras. I would feel weird being filmed all day at work, it would be like if I was doing a reality show and seriously...I would rather be a spectator of one than be the star of one. LOL.

It's not like I abuse or neglect children and want to hide it. Far from it actually. With a camera on me all day, I would be very self-conscious when I sing, "The Wheels on the Bus..." since I have a horrid voice, but kids don't mind. Plus, I wouldn't act as goofy as I like to and I would be stiff and on guard the whole time which would make me one boring Nanny.

Parents: Trust me on this. If you film your Nanny, and she knows..she will not be the same fun and goofy Nanny that she would be if she weren't being filmed. I would die if some parents knew how silly I could be around kids...they might think I am a nutcase...but as long as the kiddos love it, I'm good.

Village said...

I guess I'm the odd egg, but I would ASSUME I was being watched if I was caring for non verbal little ones. It would be SOP for me. It wouldn't bother me. I think it would be cool to have the parents joining in and seeing their kids during the day. I think being a professional nanny means being professional. I wouldn't do anything at anyone's house that I wouldn't do in an office setting. To be, it's the same principle. When you are on the job, you are at the office.

Sarah NY said...

Yes I think we have established that it is fine if disclosure is given about the nanny cams but as OP says there are motion sensors in every room and she only suspects she is being filmed...If by every room she is including the bathroom then that is defiantly illegal to have a camera there to film your nanny. If I were her I would confront my employers about the cameras. Nanny cams are nothing new, nor a 'scary' invasive thing, but to be filmed without disclosure or consent(if there is audio involved) Is awful.

MissMannah said...

Donotfilmme, you didn't say he was 15 months old. You said a baby was sleeping on the couch, which raised a big red flag for me. Say what you mean and mean what you say.

Truth Seeker said...

I once worked for this family where I found a nanny camera behind a smoke detector. The battery kept beeping on the smoke detector so I tried to fix it and there was a nanny cam. I was so mad, I quit on the spot. The parents were really embarrassed and said that they only had it in the living room, not in the bathroom. But at the time I felt like if they were mean enough to deceive me by filming me unknowingly, then why should I buy their story that there was no camera in the bathroom. How do I know these people?? Perhaps the father was a sex pervert and wanted to see me naked. What I am trying to say is if someone lies to you once, they will lie to you always. It is best to just leave.

Bree said...

So true Truth Seeker, if a family was sneaky enough to plant a hidden camera and film me w/out offering disclosure,I wouldn't believe them if they told me there wasn't a camera in the restroom. In fact, I wouldn't believe a damn word they said after that.

Phoenix said...

I'm sorry but I feel that if someone doesn't like to be filmed then you must be doing something wrong. If you weren't doing anything wrong then why would you worry? Perhaps you feel that they would look down on you if you were to take a break or relax? Or perhaps they may feel that certain things you do are not acceptable?

Every single place that I have ever worked at had video cameras. Mostly in my pharmacy settings both mail order and retail, but also in my corporate buildings. I've never been concerned just because I don't do anything wrong. And it sounds me like they have these cameras set up already and not specifically because a nanny was hired. Lots of people I know have security cameras around their homes. I don't know why but they did. It wasn't because they had house employees but just because they wanted to be safe I guess.

Being in someone elses home does exclude you from some rights. As long as there are no cameras that film you at vulnerable times ie:bathroom then there really isn't all that much you can do about it. And it still goes back to my main concern. If you aren't doing anything wrong then why are you upset you are potentially being filmed.

MissMannah said...

I agree with you there, if you're not doing anything wrong, you shouldn't worry about being filmed. However, I think the problem isn't so much the cameras themselves, but the sneakiness. This is my opinion, and it seems to be many other nannies' opinions as well, nanny cams are perfectly acceptable but the parents should give the nanny a head's up in the interview. Finding out months down the line that you've been filmed all along without knowing is a breach of trust.

Bree said...

Well said Miss Mannah. Wait what?

I just agreed on something Miss Mannah said. LOL.

Phoenix said...

Yes, I can see that being a breach of trust. And yes in all of my jobs I was very aware of cameras. So I do see the point there.

I don't know if its against the law or not to not inform someone that cameras are in place. Maybe its just a lack of honesty like you say. But from the sounds of this system, like being motion activated in every room, it seems like it was in place pre-nanny. Perhaps the family didn't think it was that big a deal to mention it. New moms can be very outragous sometimes.

OP - maybe you should ask what those little motion detectors are for. Ask if its part of an alarm that you should be aware of... use tact when asking.

Truth Seeker said...

If someone is using cameras to film someone w/out their knowledge, then their character is flawed. In a successful Nanny/Parent relationship, honesty and communication must ultimately prevail.

Phoenix: just because someone does not want to be filmed does not indicate that they are hiding something. I am a GREAT Nanny who loves each of my charges so much...I would lay on a train track for them. However, I also hate being filmed. I am not a reality show star...I am simply a Nanny who wants to do her job w/out worrying about her every move being scrutinized. That's all.

Parent cam nanny said...

I wish I had a parent cam so I could see what the parents do at the weekend. I have to retrain the kids every Monday morning.

nay for nanny cams said...

Having a nanny cam does not protect your child. It is an after-the-fact fix that parents use to make themselves feel safer when they don't really feel safe at all. I think most parents want a nanny cam to monitor every move a nanny makes, to scrutinize the nanny, not to prevent abuse, which it cannot.

redrosebeetle said...

My take -- if a store has to put up signs that warn you that you are being filmed, the parents should also disclose that they are filming you in their home.

In this day and age, it wouldn't be beyond some parent to post a particularly funny clip on youtube and hope it goes viral. It's legally questionable, at best, but, legality can't go back in time and fix something that's all ready been done.

On the pro side, it protects the nanny as much as it protects the parents. But, the nanny needs to be aware of filming so s/he can take the job if they want to or not.

nycmom said...

I feel compelled to present a (I think :) rational parent's POV about why we might choose to use an undisclosed nanny cam. I have posted the same views in the past, but am not on here much these days and the users have changed so much. I do apologize to some of the old regulars with whom I have had a respectful "agree to disagree" discsusion in the past for the repetition ...

I believe using a nanny cam for the first 1-2 weeks of employing a new nanny, if your kids are too young to be accurate reporters, is responsible parenting. No matter how much we all want to believe we are a perfect judge of character and references never lie, this just isn't reality.

I think it would be crazy to assume you can trust a stranger - even a well-vetted stranger - with your children with no oversight. After the first 1-2 weeks, I'd get rid of the camera as THEN I would feel I could trust my caregiver. I've seen too many videos and heard too many stories of abuse from nannies who came with glowing references and clean background checks.

I also don't want to keep nanny camming on an ongoing basis and creating a home environment of surveilling my nanny. I just want to visually ascertain basic decent childcare and establish trust. I vehemently believe a parent would be crazy to trust ANY hired caregiver without some direct observation. I've been fooled. I have friends who have been fooled. Every parent with a terrible nanny cam video has been fooled (and I think we have all, sadly, seen more than enough of these horrible videos in the news). Most parents of the sitings on here have been fooled. It would be hubris for me to think I was infallible in the hiring process.

Also, I'm filmed at my job everyday during every patient interaction. I have absolutely NO problem with this. I work with a vulnerable population, similar to young children, and believe it would be irresponsible for the hospital to not be watching.

I know, given this is a 95% nanny site, that most nannies disagree. Please be aware that most parents truly do not care about small things like nose-picking. Decent employers screen only for physical abuse and obvious neglect, not for nitpicky details.

Anyway, I likely won't have time right now to reply to all those who will doubtless be upset at my comments (though I will try), but I did want to at least present a parents' thought process and explain that it doesn't come from a place of malice.

another mom said...

nyc mom,

I really respect your opinion. However, most nannies (I am not a nanny, I am a mom myself who would never install a nanny cam. Maybe for my husband, but not my nanny lol) are on their best behavior the first month or so. What about nannies who get burnt out and then start to slide?

oh well said...

If you are going to use a nanny cam I don't see why you would only use it in the beginning. I understand why some nannies would be uncomfortable with being filmed, which makes me really impressed with those nannies who say they do not mind it.

nycmom said...

Another Mom,

I think that is a very reasonable concern, but not one best dealt with via a nanny cam. I'm really just hoping/trying to catch someone who has a malevolent or completely lazy neglectful nature by the initial nanny cam. After you have established trust, all further issues IMHO should be addressed directly. I do agree that someone is on their best behavior at first, but I think it is hard to hide *every* nuance or unkind gesture you might make over the course of 1-2 weeks of nanny cam-ing.

Sammi "Sweetheart" from Joisy... said...

nycmom:
If I was your Nanny, I would flash the camera every day just for fun. I can't even imagine you ever looking me in the eye ever again. LOL.

Seriously, I would probably just pick my nose or a wedgie just for fun. Just to make a statement.....

Hmmm said...

Get one of those nanny cam detectors! Are those real by the way? And do they work?

Nanny Authority said...

Well, this is a very common problem as the parents are concerned that their babies would be victims of domestic violence/ child abuse and also theft.
I come accross so many cases.
You can fins a good agency which can help you find the right people for you.

Phoenix said...

I'm with nycmom. I am filmed everyday as well and I don't have a problem with it. I am not able to show empathy towards anyone who has a problem with being filmed. I assume some people would feel that it shows a lack of trust. But if you just hire someone new it would be stupid to trust them right off the bat.

Nanny Turned Mom said...

So many of you mentioned nannycams are a good way to prevent child abuse. I really don't see how they prevent abuse if the nanny doesn't know she is being filmed. So if your reason for not telling her about the cams is to prevent abuse, that's like saying you are using your child as bait to entrap your nanny. If she's gonna beat your kid, she will do it whether there is a secret camera or not. Your child will still be traumatized, just so you can crow over having 'caught' your nanny.

If you can't trust someone in your home with your kid, you either don't have the right nanny or you are not ready to have a nanny at all.

Little Sister said...

Wow some of these comments scare me. I actually have to wonder if the "nannies" who say they don't mind nannycams are really parents who have nannycams and are trying to convince themselves that they are not doing something morally reprehensible.

Several people said "if you're not doing anything wrong, you shouldn't mind being on camera." So are you saying that you wouldn't mind if someone watched you have sex with your husband? There is nothing wrong with that, so what's the problem? What about using the bathroom? By this logic, as long as you are correctly using the toilet, you should be totally fine with someone staring at you the whole time.

Even though I would never have sex or pee outside the bathroom while at work, I still feel super uncomfortable at the thought of someone watching me eat, sing, play, blow my nose, etc. Not wanting cameras does not mean we are up to no good. It just means this is not George Orwell's 1984. Big brother should not be watching.

MissMannah said...

Little Sister, you are making absolutely no sense. And I have news for you: just about every time you step out in public, odds are you are being filmed. In stores, in traffic, whatever. It doesn't matter if you are breaking the law or not, or whether you are aware of the cameras. They are out there. Same as in the workplace. Phoenix and several other people who work in a corporate environment said they are filmed on a daily basis at work, which is why I said I have no problem with a nannycam. No, I'm not lying or trying to be sanctimonious. And I have been filmed while working at several different daycares and never had a problem with it. Like I said, I had nothing to hide. However, it is illegal for parents to place a nannycam in the bathroom or in the nanny's personal quarters if she's a live-in. We weren't even discussing that, so you just threw that in as a red herring.

StrawberryShortKakes said...

I agree with Little Sister to an extent. I am aware that, as MissMannah pointed out, every time we step outside we could possibly be filmed in a store, a library, a park, etc. However, the difference between being filmed in those places and being filmed while working as a nanny in a home is that a home is generally a private place. To me, it just feels weird to have surveillance in a place that is generally a place that people let their hair down, so to speak. I understand that a nanny is not in a person's home to relax and that she is on the clock and working, but it just would feel weird to me. I am no longer a nanny but I do work in children's homes on a daily basis and sometimes in daycares. I would feel perfectly fine if I found out the daycare had a camera, which is probably does, but I would be weirded out if I found out any of the houses had cameras. Have I done anything "wrong" while I have been in their houses? No. I just feel like a home is not the place for a camera.

Little Sister said...

Thanks Strawberry, that's exactly what I mean. I can't do my job if someone is watching, and when I'm in someone's home, I like to know that they respect my privacy as much as I respect their family.

Miss Mannah, I think you missed my point. I wasn't talking about them filming in the bathroom...I was making a point about the statement "if you're not doing anything wrong, you shouldn't mind the cameras." I was using the sex and bathroom thing as an example of why that statement doesn't hold up. I was saying that there are lots of things people don't want others to watch, and it doesn't mean they did anything wrong.

Sorry if that was unclear, I wasn't sure how to word it. Does it make more sense now?

nfnc said...

I thought little sis made perfect sense to me. Her opinion is valid. I happen to feel the same exact way.

another nanny said...

I have no problem with nanny cams either. While I would prefer to be told about them (even if I'm not told the location), I usually assume they're there until I know for sure. There's a certain mindset I have, though, that helped me become okay with the idea:
1. I treat the home as any other work environment. I wouldn't do something that I wouldn't do in an office environment (think cubicles)
2. I assume that if the parents see me being silly they'll be happy to see that kind of positive interaction with their child
3. Related to #2, I would rather have the parents see me doing a good job and put their mind at ease than to have them constantly feeling uneasy
4. I live in a major city where there are cameras EVERYwhere, so surveillance is just a normal part of life

Also, I have just gotten a lot less self conscious with age.

MissMannah said...

No, I think your point still doesn't make any sense. The point of "I'm not doing anything wrong" makes sense to me because the way I feel about it is that MB is paying me to watch her baby so she should be able to watch me at any given moment if she so chooses. And I'm not doing anything wrong, so why should I care if she does choose to? Your point was that there are things we don't want other people to watch, and that's true. My charge and I interacting is not one of those things.

Strawberry, I can kind of understand where you're coming from there but the difference being is that while it is a home, it is not YOUR home. It is your workplace and the nanny shouldn't blur the lines. That's what I'm afraid is happening too much here: nannies are getting way too comfortable in their bosses' homes. They are changing clothes in the living room? That's just a big WTF to me.

StrawberryShortKakes said...

Thanks for trying to understand my point of view. As soon as I said the thing about a house being somewhere to "let your hair down" I knew someone would be thinking that a nanny is in a person's house to work and not relax. It is her place of employment just as much as someone who works in an office or pharmacy or whatever, totally agree with you there. But to me, that doesn't change the fact that while it is a place of employment, it is still a house, making the "rules" a bit different than another employing working in a more public place. Not many receptionists or pharmacists can take off their shoes in their place of employment.

Truth Seeker said...

If someone is so deceitful as to film you w/out your knowledge, then what other deceptions are they capable of? People...a family who films their Nanny w/out offering full disclosure is shady to the maximum. I wouldn't trust them w/anything at all and would quit on the spot.

I am a Nanny. Not a youtube star. Not a reality star. Who really knows what is done w/the footage? When if I become a famous politician?? Will my previous family sell the footage of me to make $$? Kind of extreme thinking, I know, yet it raises a point.

I once interviewed w/a family who had a Nanny and were unsatisfied w/her work. During our interview, they said they wanted to show me some footage of her sitting on the couch, ignoring the baby while she watched T.V. I agreed and only saw like 10 min. of footage. The Nanny was talking and playing w/the baby the whole time, and was glancing at the T.V. occasionally yet it was obvious her attention was on the baby primarily. This irked me as I could see the Nanny's face clearly even though there was no audio. I thought..."Poor Nanny, she will be so lucky when she is fired because this family is nuts!" That's one of the reasons I hate these cams....no one knows what will be done w/the film footage. Will they show it to their friends for an opinion? Would the husband watch the footage and show his buddies what a cute Nanny he has? Would the parents show it to prospective other Nannies like the ones I met did? You just never know in this day and age what will happen.

Best bet. Do not film yourself.
Ask Paris and Kim. LOL.

Bre said...

Wow! I can't believe they showed you the tape. That's crazy to me.

Phoenix said...

nannycams are a good way to prevent abuse as long as the nanny knows they are there. If an abusive nanny doesn't know about the cameras then the parents are not making any extra moves to keep their kids safe. This way they would be able to catch the abuse after the fact, not try to avoid it. Companies have used security cameras to make employees think twice about illegal behavior. Now a nanny cam would make the nanny think twice if she was an abuser.

And someone viewing my husband and me having sex without my knowledge is not really a good argument. That would mean either A) They have a camera in MY house and they are pervs or B) I was having sex with my husband in someone elses home without them knowing (I have done that before, but back to the point) Nanny cams are set up by parents in the house they own. They have every right to have security cameras in place. That has nothing to do with illegal taping of people screwing.

The nanny is employed by the parents. When she wanders into their home she is on the clock. You nannies that complain about the parents no longer treating you like employees because they show up 15 minutes late here, 30 minutes late there. This to me is the family treating you like a family member in their house but then you would complain that your place of employment is treating you like an employee and filming you. You can't have it both ways. You are either and employee or you aren't. it is best that it is kept at a professional level and that does mean security measures may be put in place to make sure everything is going as it is supposed to.

nycmom said...

Sammi,

I wouldn't mind if you flashed me, though since I have fast-forwarded through past footage without my kids in it (and I assme you wouldn't be doing this in front of the kids), I probably wouldn't even notice!

Nanny Turned Mom,

Goodness - of course no parent's goal is to get footage so "you can crow over having 'caught' your nanny." And no one intends to "use their child as bait." That would imply prior knowledge that the nanny was abusive, hiring her intentionally anyway, then getting covert footage to submit to the police. I can't imagine any parent doing that.

It is true that in all the "bad" nanny cam videos that HAVE been sadly recorded, the children have been mistreated. However, IMO, the benefits here far outweigh the negative. Yes, the child was a victim once. But never again. Imagine how many instances of future abuse and victimization I would save my child and all future children that nanny may have cared for were she not caught?

Now I would never intentionally put my child in this situation. That is ridiculous. Your belief seems to be based upon a flawed presumption that disclosing a nanny cam prevents ALL instances of abuse by an abusive nanny. I wholeheartedly disagree. I think if I am fooled and hire an evil person AND tell her I have nanny cams, that won't magically prevent her from ever being abusive or neglectful. It will likely prevent her from doing so in my home. But if she is a malicious person, she will still mistreat kids. She'll just now be smart enough to do it somewhere she can't be caught. So my child will be much worse off - still being a victim AND having a mom who did not catch the abuse. I'll take one instance of recorded abuse/neglect + fired nanny + police + no further opportunities to harm children; over many instances of abuse/neglect over months/years + ongoing ability to continue to harm kids.

FWIW, this site (at least its original intention) is essentially a Community Nanny Cam with all of us watching out for each other's kids. There have been some awful stories on here. There might be some parents electing to ignore signs of abuse, but for the most part these sitings are from parents who are getting fooled. I really, really don't want to let my own arrogance and belief that I am infallible in hiring nannies, or laziness (a nanny cam is a lot of work - another reason I can't imagine any parent wanting to do it on an ongoing basis) stop me from doing my job as a parent to protect my kids to the best of my ability.

m said...

well said, truth seeker. you get it.

world's best nanny said...

Let'em tape me! I ain't doin nuthin wrong! If they happen to catch something personal, I'd laugh it off and say "You want to use the camera, fine, but you're gonna see me picking wedgies" that may get old real quick We all seem to get off track once in a while, priority #1 is that baby!

MissMannah said...

Oh my god, Truth Seeker, that is awful. I can't even imagine how I would react in that situation. Maybe there needs to be a disclosure in nanny contracts that addresses cameras? Something along the lines of: "We reserve the right to film you at any time in our living room or in the baby's room, and if the need arises we will share this footage with you. All footage will be destroyed upon completion of employment."

Truth Seeker said...

I agree MissMannah. Because families shouldn't be able to do whatever they would like to do with the footage. I bet the poor Nanny that I saw on tape had NO idea she was being filmed nor that the family would show it to other prospective Nannies in the future. Shame on this family!!

Brianna said...

I used to think nanny cameras were a good idea, but after reading "TruthSeeker's" post, I cannot in good faith think that anymore.

I never thought about that before.

Jess said...

Truth Seeker, that is so scary. I have a scary nanny cam story too. When I was hired, they showed me their outdoor security cams but not the one inside. I found it a few weeks into the job, and I was of course outraged that they had been filming me secretly, but it got even creepier. The dad had a hidden closet in the basement with the monitor from the camera. He would sit down there are watch me from his basement! When I brought it up to the mom and told her I found the camera, she was willing to talk calmly about it, but her husband started yelling and screaming and freaking out. There was something freaky going on there.

Now I won't work with nannycams or work-from-home dads!

Phoenix said...

Yes but what happened to TruthSeeker was probably not what other parents do.

It is like one bad apple ruins the whole tree. Just because one family does it, doesn't mean ALL families do it. Just because one nanny is abusive, doesn't mean ALL nannies are abusive.

One thing that I was taught in one of my accounting classes in college was the concept of protecting your assets and "dis-couarging" theft. It went along with this whole thing I won't get into. But basically it meant that if employees are aware they are being filmed that are "less likely" to engage in criminal behavior. But that doesn't mean they won't. If a nanny is hell bent on getting a job just so she can be evil and abuse little kids she will find ways to do it, whether a camera is there or not. If parents feel they must use cameras in their home it has nothing to do with trust of the nanny or the nanny in general. It is so the parents can have peace of mind. They would probably review every second of those tapes for the first couple weeks. Then whne they find no disturbing behavior maybe every month or so. It would get to the point they would only review the tapes if the suspect any abuse. Such as Timmy coming up with bruises that nanny can't explian. Or suddenly Susie is screaming when she is alone with the nanny.

And if a family is showing tapes of nanny without her permission (unless it is criminal behavior shown to police or therapists or friends for advice) it is ILLEGAL. And if the content was used in a manner that is not suitable, the nanny has grounds to sue.

Nannies need to understand this isn't about them. It isn't a knock on their character or how much the family trusts you or not. This is about the CHILDREN. The parents need peace of mind and if they feel cameras are going to do it, then party on. Some parents prefer the pop-in, or calling non-stop. hell, my mom used to think my nanny was going to kidnap me. Parents are going to be parents and there is nothing that can change that no matter how stupid everyone else thinks it is. Point is, it is their house, their children, and their money; they can put cameras in whether the nanny knows or doesnt know and whether or not the nanny approves is not of a concern.

talesfromthe(nanny)hood said...

If you search "cat attacks babysitter" on youtube, you'll find a bit that was obviously nanny cam material. I wonder if the family asked that sitter for written permission before putting her out there for posterity?

No nannycams said...

Personally, I would NEVER take a nanny position where my employers had a nanny cam. But that's just me. I am an overachiever, and the anxiety and stress of having the mom or dad "looking over my shoulder" all day would be miserable. Even the BEST of nannies (or mommies, for that matter!) have hours here and there when, ahem, that monthly visitor makes you a little less interactive, a little less patient w the kids than you normally are. Or getting over the flu (that the kids give you when mom and dad expect you to care for them sick) or I have a headache or whatever. But 98% of the time you're a 5 star nanny. MANY MANY MANY parents, even the best, will obsess over one or two bad moments and conveniently forget the vast majority that you are an amazing nanny. We all know that's true. We women do it to our own husbands, sometimes!! So I feel if they are going to film you, they should at least have the courtesy of telling you. What is the purpose of having it SECRET, anyway? For your kids' sake, or for yourself - the paranoid parent? Won't make a difference for kid's safety, well being whether the nanny knows or not abt nannycam. But I've worked at a daycare before where a parentcam was installed, and although it did cause me more anxiety, I was at least OK with it because I knew about it.

P said...

Sorry Phoenix, but I know from experience that a lot of nannycam footage ends up as dad's entertainment.

Alicia B said...

I could not in good conscience take a job where there was a nannycam. It's just not in me. Like an above commenter said, I am an overachiever. I do not want to be constantly anxious about the parent nitpicking minute details of my day. I nitpick over minute details of my own day just fine, while it's happening.

I am supernanny to their children, I believe I deserve some trust. I navigate all sorts of diaper blowouts, daily meltdowns and countless feedings, burpings, and nap rituals. Not to mention if I drive their kid around, what a spectacular ride it is when we end up in one piece at our destination, without a scratch! I'm proud of myself for keeping kids safe, but with a nannycam I'd just be an anxious, jumbled mess. Definitely less fun, because I'll be second guessing myself the whole way.

I would probably go off on someone if I found a nannycam in their house, though. Just sayin'. Invasion of privacy and whatnot, morally I don't believe in filming/photographing anyone without their permission. I do the best I can to stay out of ALL photos, videos, etc. That's one trait that carried over from my heritage, at least.

New nanny said...

I just got a nannying job and they put in a camera the week I first started. They never had a camera for the old nanny. The old nanny asked them about the nanny cam and they told her what it was and asked her not to tell me. But as I was shadowing the nanny last week she told me about the camera. I can clearly see it myself too. I want to ask them about it but I'm not sure what I should say. I feel very weird that they didn't want me knowing about it. It's one thing to have the camera but it's another thing to keep it a secret. What should I say to them and what should I do if she lies and says its not a camera?

Super Self Conscious said...

I just started working for a family, last week. They have an infant, and the mom actually works from home a lot of the time, even while I'm there. I've noticed camera's set up, and it doesn't bother me, and freaks me out at the same time.

I've nanny-ed a lot and never noticed/found/suspected camera's before, but these weren't really hidden at all. I saw them with in the first 1/2 hr or so the first day there. It's awkward, like they wanted me to notice them, but they never mentioned them in the interview or afterwards.

That confusing head scratcher aside, I'm fine with knowing they can check on me at any time, I'm not doing anything wrong with the baby etc. But it's really weird to think someone could be looking at me at any time. I forgot for a minute and I think I picked my nose while the baby was sleeping next to me (without realizing it) the other day, and then I stressed about whether they were watching or filming to watch later and if they would see... and I'm weird about eating lunch and what faces I'm making while watching a show or checking FB on my computer.

(Disclaimer- Infants sleep a lot. I have a fair amount of free time to entertain myself, and I've been encouraged by the parents to do my homework or watch tv when he's not occupying my time).

Anyway, it's really stressful to try and remember that there is someone else in the room all the time, and behave as I would in the company of other people as far as small unconscious gestures (picking, scratching, face making, chewing...), when the "someone else" is an inanimate object. Babies and animals don't really inspire that kind of self-awareness in me. When you're in a place for more than 6-7 hours, and the only thing to talk to is non-verbal, you forget!

So, I just wanted to share why the nanny cam bothers me. I understand your dilemma, except that I just met this family. I want to be more comfortable with it and not care, and I don't as far as child care etc. But I'm the type of person who dwells on my awkward mishaps or embarrasments for hours afterward, and gets social anxiety about what people think about me and my actions... so this is really difficult for me to process.

Not really advice, just commiserating. Good Luck with whatever you decide!

Colleen McDermott said...

I have been a nanny for 6 years. I have worked for 5 families. The first two families were great. And two of my past families I am still in touch with. I always knew about Nanny cams. I did wonder about them, which is why I always try to keep things, like changing at work in the bathroom.
Like I said most of families have been great. However, about two years ago, I worked for an absolutely insane family. Her little boy was on the Autism spectrum. When I first arrived he had limited verbal skills, would go to the bathroom on the floor, would hit and bite me, run away from me outside, and engage in all sorts of problem and agressive behavior. But I stayed because I needed the job, and the family had a behavioral thearpist and I was learning a lot work with this kid plus I loved him. If the kid wasn't enough of a challenge the mom was terrible. She did not want to do anything. When I was first given the position, the hours were 3-6pm Monday through friday. Which was fine cause it worked with my college class schedule at the time. But it only got worse from there,she kept adding hours, and expected me to clean her home before the child got home. I busted my a** for this woman but it was NEVER enough. During the two year period, I was out sick maybe 5 times, and went on I think 3 short vacations,and missed work once due to extreme weather.
Now when I was doing my work perfectly or the way she wanted it, she would tell me how I suck, have no common sense, stress her out etc.... Then she said I was not doing enough exercise with her son, so I took him walks, started having him bike,run, dance etc... I read to him, worked on home work,his ABCs. He was on a preschool/early kindergarten level. I have a background in psych and education so I have an idea about what is apporiate, and what level a child should be on in school, and socially and how to get him there. Plus the behavioral thearpist agreed with me. Anyway, the mom after a year or so of hell, me busting my butt, trying to work with her,being flexible, professional. She tells him how I am supposed to be an expert, I need to do more for him, etc... but then she says, I can find someone else, do you want me to find someone? Do you?! Then later on that same day she says be aware we will be putting cameras in to track his progress, I was floored, because it was this threat, you aren't doing enough,you stress me out, if she had said I just want it to check in on him, be more a part of his afternoon, to observe his behavioral thearpy, I may have felt differently. However, in the sittuation I was in it was the last straw,I was being verbally abused then threatened by her. So I quit. I think it really depends on the sittuation. If you are made aware of it right of the bat, and it is only in common places, living room, kitchen and or the child's room I personally find just a slightly weird, sometimes reality of being a nanny. I don't know about the legality of it but the existence of a nanny cam should be disclosed. My current family has one, which is sometimes weird but since I knew about I am ok with it.

Colleen McDermott said...

I have been a nanny for 6 years. I have worked for 5 families. The first two families were great. And two of my past families I am still in touch with. I always knew about Nanny cams. I did wonder about them, which is why I always try to keep things, like changing at work in the bathroom.
Like I said most of families have been great. However, about two years ago, I worked for an absolutely insane family. Her little boy was on the Autism spectrum. When I first arrived he had limited verbal skills, would go to the bathroom on the floor, would hit and bite me, run away from me outside, and engage in all sorts of problem and agressive behavior. But I stayed because I needed the job, and the family had a behavioral thearpist and I was learning a lot work with this kid plus I loved him. If the kid wasn't enough of a challenge the mom was terrible. She did not want to do anything. When I was first given the position, the hours were 3-6pm Monday through friday. Which was fine cause it worked with my college class schedule at the time. But it only got worse from there,she kept adding hours, and expected me to clean her home before the child got home. I busted my a** for this woman but it was NEVER enough. During the two year period, I was out sick maybe 5 times, and went on I think 3 short vacations,and missed work once due to extreme weather.
Now when I was doing my work perfectly or the way she wanted it, she would tell me how I suck, have no common sense, stress her out etc.... Then she said I was not doing enough exercise with her son, so I took him walks, started having him bike,run, dance etc... I read to him, worked on home work,his ABCs. He was on a preschool/early kindergarten level. I have a background in psych and education so I have an idea about what is apporiate, and what level a child should be on in school, and socially and how to get him there. Plus the behavioral thearpist agreed with me. Anyway, the mom after a year or so of hell, me busting my butt, trying to work with her,being flexible, professional. She tells him how I am supposed to be an expert, I need to do more for him, etc... but then she says, I can find someone else, do you want me to find someone? Do you?! Then later on that same day she says be aware we will be putting cameras in to track his progress, I was floored, because it was this threat, you aren't doing enough,you stress me out, if she had said I just want it to check in on him, be more a part of his afternoon, to observe his behavioral thearpy, I may have felt differently. However, in the sittuation I was in it was the last straw,I was being verbally abused then threatened by her. So I quit. I think it really depends on the sittuation. If you are made aware of it right of the bat, and it is only in common places, living room, kitchen and or the child's room I personally find just a slightly weird, sometimes reality of being a nanny. I don't know about the legality of it but the existence of a nanny cam should be disclosed. My current family has one, which is sometimes weird but since I knew about I am ok with it.