I am a nanny. I spend 10 or more hours a day with a toddler and probably 30% time I slack. I admit it.
I want to be perfect nanny and amuse that kid, snuggle, play, cherish and be perfect, but sometimes I just let her play and I browse cat photos on internet.
My employers have cameras. Not one, but 3
In theory I have no reason to be weird about it, because I know I am doing good job, but still it makes me feel unsatisfied, unappreciated and constantly micro managed. I am qualified and kind. I make sure child is being disciplined, educated, progressing.. I potty train her, feed her healthy and love her like she is my own.
I believe I am good childcare provider. I have great references, years of experience, I care for child’s well being and overall they did hire me because they trust me and like me, so why a big fuss?
Well, I can’t pick my nose, I can’t do anything that’s not absolutely perfect and it is killing me.
I hate the lack of privacy. It makes me feel like a child or a dog in a cage. My eyes constantly fly in that direction, I eat lunch in corner camera can’t reach and I spend every second I can with that kid outside.
Cameras are not hidden, they showed them to me and said they are here for security reasons, not to check on me. It makes sense? Maybe. I want to trust them and they do seem like normal people, but it doesn’t make me any less stressed and stuck up every single day.
When it comes to legal side of the story, employers are allowed to record their employees even without telling them, unless cameras are in any area where person needs to have privacy, such as bathroom.
While it’s not currently against the law to film a person secretly, some laws protect against speech, which could affect what you’re allowed to record with your nanny cam. As of 2011, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, Florida, Maryland, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Illinois and Washington all have laws that protect against speech. It is illegal to tape a person’s speech in these states without first notifying the person beforehand.
That means that in these states, it would be illegal if you used a nanny cam that records audio as well as video to spy on your nanny. Not only could you be prosecuted for the action, but any evidence against an abusive nanny might be inadmissible depending on the state’s policy on audio recordings.
Even though legally it seems to be normal, where is the ethical side of the story?
Is it ok to record someone out of the fear that person will do something horrible to your child, or should parent wait to suspect something before doing that?
And if trust is lost on either side, why even bother testing and confirming your fears?
Possible change of childcare provider, and this time with more requirements and references would solve the case of overly paranoid and protective parents?
In order not to be fully against it, I do admit benefits of it. Seeing all horror stories and nannies abusing their nanny kids, I can see how it can cross your mind to check up on them few times a day, but maybe it would be helpful to adjust your expectations, or reassure your nanny that she is good enough and you don’t expect her to be picture perfect. Being open about your expectations and reasons why you have need to observe your nanny’s day with your child will help you build (or rebuild) relationship with your nanny and it might even improve her performance. I know I work better when being appreciated and treated properly.
How do you feel about this topic?
Are nanny cameras freaking you out?
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