Would You Ever Install a Nanny Cam?
Unfortunately, we have all seen the terrible headlines about abuse and neglect by childcare givers, and I think that we can all agree that on some level or another, this scares the sh*t out of every parent that leaves their child in someone else’s care. I happen to be one of those parents. I work full-time, and my toddler spends half her day in preschool and the other half of the day with a nanny, who has been with my family for over a year now.
I love my daughter’s nanny more than I ever thought I could. When I was looking for a childcare provider, I posted a very detailed ad, reviewed about 50 resumes, interviewed about 20 nannies on the phone, and narrowed it down to 3 possibilities. I did my homework and spoke to at least 3 references for each candidate, and when it came down to it, I felt like Jillian was a great fit. Since then, she has become a part of my family, and aside from the random panic-inducing thoughts that pop into my head like, “I hope she holds Ellie’s hand super, extra tight when crossing the street,” I feel 100% confident and comfortable with Jillian’s ability to care for my daughter.
But part of being a mom is that nagging feeling that we can never, ever be too careful. So after seeing the latest headline about a 52-year-old Staten Island nanny allegedly slapping a 5-month old baby in the face – which was supposedly caught on tape with by a camera that was hidden in a carbon monoxide detector, I began to wonder if I would ever install a nanny cam – and I am torn.
On one hand, I feel like we should take every precaution necessary when protecting our children, but on the other hand I feel like if I even considered getting a nanny cam, then perhaps that childcare provider wasn’t right for my daughter and me.
I decided to ask my nanny her thoughts on the topic and she actually said she has asked herself what she would think about a nanny cam, and candidly said that if she came across one without being told she was being watched, she would quit. She added that if a family told her there was a nanny cam, she would really consider if the job was the right fit for her, saying, “I don’t think I would want to work for a family that didn’t trust me.”
But she went on to acknowledge that “we do live in a world in which there are bad people out there, who want to do bad things and are good at lying. If there is suspicion of abuse, neglect, etc. going on in the house while the nanny is there, maybe a nanny cam isn’t such a bad idea, but TELL the nanny.” Jillian also has some excellent suggestions for ways that parents can check up on their childcare provider in a less intrusive manner.
She suggests asking other stay-at-home parents at the park if they have seen your child and nanny out and about, and what they think. When I am out in the neighborhood, I am frequently stopped by other parents that have seen Jillian out with my daughter, and they are always commenting on how impressed they are with her. Not only does this make me smile, because other people are seeing what I see in Jillian, it also strengthens the trust I have for her.
And for me, that is what it all comes down to at the end of the day - trust. I trust Jillian and she trusts me, and with that comes responsibility for both of us. When we both work together to continue to grow that trust, it helps the most important part of this equation – my child.