Having or installing a “nanny camera” in your home is a personal choice. Typically, these cameras are installed in strategic locations throughout the house in order for you, the parents, to keep an eye on your children when you’re not home. When you’re away at work, it’s hard feeling like you’re missing out on what your kids are doing, and sometimes a quick check on them can go a long way to giving you peace of mind. But it’s important to communicate with your nanny about the presence of cameras within the home – for several reasons.

Here are some things you should keep in mind when it comes to nanny cams and your nanny.

They Shouldn’t Be Used To ‘Catch’ Your Nanny

First things first – if you have a bad feeling about your nanny or you have reason to believe she may not be trustworthy around your children, please don’t rely on a nanny cam to prove yourself right. If something feels off about your current childcare situation, then you shouldn’t have them watching your children. End of story.

Nanny cameras should be used primarily so you can check in on the kids. Are they doing their homework at the appropriate time? Are they behaving the way you asked? Those are the types of reasons to have cameras.

Keep Your Cameras In Plain Sight

One way to ensure a breakdown in communication and trust is to omit the presence of cameras when hiring your nanny. You should absolutely be up front about having them so that everyone is on the same page, and your nanny is aware she’s being filmed.

Disclosing the presence of nanny cams in your home can also prevent unsafe situations. Nannies who are told about the cameras during the hiring process typically don’t have reservations about them – but by not being upfront about having them, the opposite is true. She might feel awkward or troubled by the fact that she wasn’t initially aware they existed.

If, during the interview process, the potential nanny seems to have a poor reaction to the presence of cameras (or even the possibility of a camera), judge their response for yourself. If they have a hostile or defensive reaction, they may not be the right candidate for you. Basically, being honest from the get-go about this will only save you time and aggravation down the line.

How To Tell Your Nanny About Having Cameras

While remembering honesty is the best policy, don’t forget to normalize the presence of cameras. Because most families do have them – and it is normal. If you’re wondering about how to approach the subject, here’s what we suggest:

“I wanted to let you know that we do have a couple of cameras around the house. It’s important to me that you know they are there, and that you know we don’t have them to spy on your or watch you. As a working parent, I really just miss my kiddo and it helps me get through the day when I can peek in on them from time to time while I’m at work. I like seeing what they’re up to – nothing more, nothing less. I hope you’re alright with that.”

Laws Surrounding Nanny Cams

  • It’s currently legal in all 50 states to use a hidden camera. However, when it comes to recording speech, you need consent in the following states: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Washington. You can buy nanny cams that don’t record sound.
  • You absolutely cannot and should not place nanny cameras in private places, like the bathroom.
  • Secure your WiFi network to avoid anyone being able to hack into your camera security.
  • When not in use, shut the power to the camera off or disconnect it from the internet.