Should You Invest in a Nanny Cam to Keep Your Family Safe?

By October 17, 2013Gadgets

Should You Invest in a Nanny Cam to Keep Your Family Safe?

What Is A Nanny Cam?

Like the name suggests, a nanny cam is a camera that is designed specifically to watch people around the home while you’re away. A nanny cam typically comes disguised as an everyday object, like a teddy bear for example.

Should You Install a Nanny Cam?

It depends on several factors, some of which include the size of your home, your budget, and your goals. The key benefit of installing a nanny cam is that you get to make sure that your kids are okay. Some nanny cams are able to offer live feeds transmitted over the web, which makes it easier for you to monitor events in your home in real time. If you’ve recently hired a nanny or you have questions about a caregiver, a nanny cam can help quell your fears (or justify your suspicions).

Having a nanny cam also gives you a good way of checking on the nanny. Maybe the nanny spends too much time watching TV, updating her Facebook page, or doing crosswords. If you know what the nanny’s weaknesses are, you’ll find it easier creating rules to address this. Finally, a nanny cam allows you to participate to some degree in your kid’s lives. You may not be there when your little boy takes his first walk, but if it is captured on a cam, you will always be able to relieve the moment.

The Question of Law

Is it against the law to install nanny cams in your home? No, it isn’t. But there are laws that guide what you can and can’t do. If you plan to put up a nanny cam in your home, you should first familiarize yourself with the laws on use. Generally, the laws can be divided into two areas: audio recording laws and video surveillance laws.

  • Audio Recording: If you plan to make an audio and video recording, then you must notify your nanny. This rule is upheld in states such as Louisiana, Nevada, Oregon, Montana, New Hampshire, Maryland, California, Washington, and Florida among other options. Failing to inform your nanny could jeopardize your case. Any evidence found would be considered inadmissible.
  • Video Surveillance; You’re not required to inform your nanny if you put up a nanny cam. The law allows you, in all 50 states, to set up a nanny cam in your home, even without your nanny’s consent. However, it is illegal for you to set up a nanny camera in any places that a nanny might consider private. For instance, you cannot place a nanny cam in the nanny’s bedroom (for live-in nannies). For obvious reasons, it is also against the law to video tape a nanny while she is in the restroom or toilet. Places that are allowed are areas considered as common spaces such as the living room, playroom, and kitchen.

Are there any Downsides to Installing a Nanny Cam

Installing a nanny cam offers some useful benefits. Nevertheless, before doing so, you should be aware of the possible risks and downsides. First, even though you are well in your right to install a cam, there is the important fact that it could ruin the relationship you have with your nanny if it is discovered. Very few people like being spied on. Your nanny will take the surveillance to mean that you don’t trust him or her alone with your child. In some instances, the nanny could quit.

You can get around this by discussing about the nanny cam, beforehand. The interview is a goodtime to bring this up. Let the prospective nanny know that you are likely to have a cam in your home. Stress that it is not because you do not trust them, but because you are concerned about the safety of your kids. Since you’re yet to build a relationship, most nannies will be more open to the use of a cam at this point. However, after several weeks, as you begin to build a relationship and trust with your nanny, you may want to consider removing the cam.

Another downside to a nanny cam is that it can be expensive. A good unit, one that comes with live feeds, can cost several hundred dollars. And you still have to consider buying storage device to back up the video files after each day.

The Bottom Line

It is not just the safety of your kid that you need to worry about. You should also be concerned about how your kid is being raised. For instance, does your nanny allow your kids to watch violent movies while you are away? Do not let a nanny cam replace the relationship with your nanny. Even if you do install one, always remember to communicate regularly with the nanny. Take the time to find out how the day went, what the children did, and what issues, if any emerged during the day. Above all, pay attention to your gut. If you feel safe or insecure around a nanny, there may be a good reason for it.