The nanny cam topic started buzzing on our Working Mom message board recently. And guess what? Most people commenting either had a camera installed – or were looking to buy one. I was shocked.
It's not that I don't understand why people have them. There is someone in your house – with your most prized possession -- your kids. It's hard to trust people sometimes, no matter how many background checks you've run or references you've checked. This isn't something you want to take a chance on.
But I'd never do it.
I believe in trust and open communication. I believe in creating a dialogue with a nanny and letting him or her know you are partners in caring for your child. I believe that if someone doesn't feel right, if the kids aren't responding well to the nanny or if the ideas and projects the nanny said she'd do with kids aren't being produced - then it's time to move on. I believe your instinct will tell you more than a camera will.
But if you have a nanny cam, or feel strongly about getting one before you hire a nanny, please be upfront about it. Think about it this way: You are starting a relationship that should be built around trust and openness. While this person should be constantly proving themselves to you, there should always be a level of respect and appreciation for their work. Hiding a nanny cam does not send this message (they can often be found).
Instead, let your nanny know that you've installed security cameras in the house. It's up to them if they are comfortable with this or not. At least you've been upfront.
Just don't lower your radar because you have a camera. Nothing trumps the power of a strong gut feeling.