Should You Use A Nanny Cam?

Nanny helping with homework
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As the name suggests, nanny cams are cameras placed in a home to keep an eye on your nanny, babysitter, or au pair who watches your children. Typically, they are installed in strategic locations throughout the home to get a view of your nanny and child. In some cases, the camera is hidden in an object or out of sight.

More parents consider using hidden in-home surveillance devices, or nanny cams, to watch their child's caregiver. Before you make this decision it is important to be informed and think about the benefits or consequences of using a nanny cam.


There are a variety of cameras available on the market today. Most are wireless and can be hidden in almost any type of household item from a plant to a stuffed animal. And the prices vary too from about $100 for a basic camera offering remote computer access to more than $500 for digital systems, which can send video images live via computer or cell phone.

Using a nanny cam give some parents peace of mind and confidence.


Studies and polls show that many care providers are not necessarily against videotaping of child-provider interaction, it's just that they want to know about it. Trust and respect is a very important aspect of a nanny-parent relationship. If your nanny finds out that you use a nanny cam and did not inform her, she may feel that you do not trust her. Before you hire a child care provider, do thorough background checks and speak with references in detail. If you still want to set up a camera, it would be best to inform your child care provider.

Other Uses for In-Home Surveillance

Spy cams can be used for many other reasons than just childcare. The device can be used while your home is being cleaned, for occasional in-home sitter services and for security reasons. However, spy shops indicate the leading reason continues to be to monitor care providers.

What Do Child Care Providers Think About Nanny Cams?

Do providers support the use of video cameras? While media stories have focused on potential abuse and inattention being reasons parents should consider using a nanny cam, some sitters have indicated a camera can provide a positive connection with the families while at work.

Many nannies do not mind the use of cameras as long as parents tell a potential care provider upfront that a nanny cam will be used so that they can feel comfortable and confident about their child's care.

It's then up to the provider to accept or decline the position with a family who uses a nanny cam.

Is It Legal to Use a Hidden Camera?

It is indeed legal in all 50 states to use a hidden camera. However, it is illegal to record speech without a person's consent in the following 15 states: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Washington.

Are More Daycare Centers Starting to Use Cameras?

More daycare centers are installing cameras and even provide parents with the ability to spot check and watch their child while at work. Some facilities provide parents with a real-time access to watch happenings in their child's classroom via the internet. Parents report that while they often don't use it all the time, it's nice to be able to log in and check on their child whenever they desire.

Even if you decide to install a nanny cam, you should still make an effort to communicate with your nanny on a daily basis. Talk about what she and your children did that day and any issues that arose.

If you do not trust the nanny and feel the need to watch her on the nanny cam, she may not be the right caregiver for you and your family.

A Word From Verywell

The decision whether to place a nanny cam in your home is a personal one. If you feel you need one because you are worried and have a bad feeling, you should go with your gut. However, if you do not trust your nanny, it may be time to re-evaluate the relationship.

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