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As a babysitter/nanny I am not comfortable with being watched on camera. Anyone else feel the way I do?

Now I know for some this would be raising red flags but please do hear me out . I don't think people are understanding why I am asking if others feel the same way. Now I could be wrong but I feel as though parents watching the babysitter watch their kid could open the door to micro-managing the caretaker! Of course I understand for many that is not the case. * I've never been recorded but there are some opinions I have if there was a family who wanted to hire me that did for these very reasons. ** Please only comment if you feel the same way as I do, I already know majority of people like the nanny cams. I want to know if i'm completely alone or if others feel the same way. 

I personally don't feel comfortable being watched because I don't feel like I can do my job in a relaxing environment. Some people will bring up the argument that "hey there are cameras in every other work place!" but the difference is it's just me being watched not my other co-workers because there is no one else there. Any little thing I do can be perceived the wrong way and I believe this gives parents the opportunity to micro-manage the babysitter without letting her do her job freely or simply to overreact . It makes it hard to be affectionate with the children (such as hugs and comforting them when they cry etc.) extra difficult. 

What if the kids are just watching t.v and I take that opportunity to check my email or something small like that? It just seems unrealistic to be entertaining the kids every minute and hour of the day when most likely parents themselves don't even do that. Sometimes kids just want to relax and letting them do that does not mean i'm not doing my job because i'm still supervising them. I would just feel paranoid for doing the smallest of things afraid that the parents would flip out. That kind of pressure is not good for a babysitter/nanny.  I know you can never fully trust someone you don't know and I am sensitive to that. However my POV is why not get to know that person then? instead of hiring and recording them? 

I feel like after going through a background check,  calling references, and there's a good rapport with the person you want to, in essence join your family, and there still isn't some degree of trust, then how do you go on from there?

As far as secretly recording nanny's/babysitters I do believe there's just a ethic line that is being crossed. If i found myself in that situation I would feel creeped out and would most likely quit. If I can't be trusted enough for the parents to even tell me then why hire me? Now this is my opinion.

Answers
Hannah in Tulsa, OK
Aug. 30, 2018

I just went to a interview and they had one camera in there to watch and they said they would lock the door so the kid couldn't get out but i didn't think this was right AT ALL so i simply declined this job

What? They locked their kid in a room?OMGG ! good thing you declined. Thanks for responding

I worked for a family who put up baby gates in the room same as trapping the child in the room. But for saftey reasons. The child is autistic and does not sleep much. So roaming around the home at all hours of the night is out of the question. Autistic or not a child who doesnt follow rules or comprehend them well it is dangerous and really comes into play when their are behavioral problems with the child. Other than that i have never seen a child restricted from coming out of its room.

User in Englewood, CO
June 25, 2017

It is unfair to judge the family. We do not know the reasons for the restrictions and as already noted children with autism and behavior problems have special needs. Not to mention parents are entitled to teach self soothing methods. But to get back to your point this is the perfect example of the need for video protection for both parties involved! Good luck with your job search!

Hello I understand you I was in a case monitor from the front of my face to the back of my entire body,I wasn't allowed to go upstairs to the babys room I was left in the living room and a small kitchen monitored at all times .I was so stress with this client changing her schedule and cancellations that I was about to loose my other clients.V

All the jobs I've gotten I have to just assume I am on camera.Just do your job the best you can..A camera can work well for both parties.

I do not mind cameras if I know, I had one case that had them all over the house and as I didn't know I was going from the bathroom to my room in a less the dressed way. I was mad when I found out. I do believe they have a right to have cameras but not to keep them secret like that.

Good for you ! That's all you want to know about that .

User in Lodi, NY
Aug. 4, 2017

Hi, Caring for someone else's child is already a liability; the sitter/nanny assumes responsibility and is therefore in a precarious situation.... what if something happens to the child while you are with him/her? If the child gets hurt while playing, and you take the child to the hospital, are the parents going to charge you for fees or take you to court etc ? Those thoughts are always nerve wracking. If the parents set up cameras without me knowing, I would probably quit unless I had a sound, positive relationship with the family. Legal rights as a sitter are so complicated... having a camera watching me without signing some kind of legal or workers rights agreement (which is exactly what parents are NOT looking for as a sitter is supposed to alleviate stress... cameras should be used for public work spaces, like a day care, but not for a privately contracted sitter) would be acceptable for a camera. That is the only way I would accept being under surveillance-- a legal contract with clear stipulations for both parties.

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You are in their home, with their children and their personal belongings. As long as there is no camera in the bathroom, I don't think youre in the right to ask for wider boundaries. You're already well within their boundary, and totally unsupervised. I'm sure they don't mind you hugging or comforting their child, or checking your email if the kids are occupied. i also think it will raise huge red flags to them if you ask for less camera coverage because they're already (reasonably) suspicious. I think if you want to ensure you have absolute privacy in the bathroom but they want to ensure there is no impropriety in there, you should ask that they leave one bathroom camera free so that can be your bathroom, and the kid isn't permitted to be in there at the same time as you. Any other demands will likely put you at an impasse.

The point I was making was solely around being micro-managed from the home. Thanks for your opinion though.

Are you saying there are families that have cameras installed in the bathrooms? I've never considered this before and it's freaking me out a little bit... has this happened to anyone?

I most definitely disagree with you Mara. It is illegal to record and/or video a person without their consent. I would have an issue of a family recording me. Whether it be myself as a nanny or caregiver. If you have issues with someone being in your home assisting your family, I believe you shouldn’t hire people. It’s a different concept when there are cameras in particularity areas, likeso the garage and/or rooms, or medicine cabinets, safe, guns, etc. but just to micromanage or place someone on the low list by watching them throughout the shift, it’s a bit too much. They should send their child/children to daycare, then they would be managed and cameras can watch their every move. Nanny or caregiver, ALWAYS, ask if cameras are in the home. Families do not have to share this with you, however if you ask and it’s not truthfully spoken, lawsuits can definitely be a battle. Know your rights and what families can and cannot do. It doesn’t matter if it’s their home or not. Everyone has rights, KNOW YOURS!

As a mom and caregiver i understand a nanny cam, but I personally wouldn’t let my children be watched by someone I felt I needed to watch . I would be all nitpicky and I know myself well enough to know that I’d become a bit obsessed and it wouldn’t be fair to the nanny . I like to keep it simple anyway and I am just gonna have to know who is in my home . Ok that being said I’m not going to be hiring a nanny anyway , I am in the nanny end of the spectrum . I guess I would feel self conscious but I’m sure I’d get used to it . I would probably have anxiety if the children were to be really upset and I was thinking I was Being watched and judged on how I handled it . That is a scenario I think could hinder me doing my best or not being able to focus 100%. Ideally I think it would be awesome to hang out with the parents for a nice long interview and get together more before hiring me so we all have a feel for each other . I want the parents and children alike to be familiar with my energy and and me with theirs . I want them to be relaxed and know I’m here to make Their lives better and they can and should ask me anything . I think that you just have to spend time and get to know people before you can trust them , especially with your children . I have 3 of my own so I get it . I would really just be worried about me doing something embarrassing on Camera like singing or talking to myself more than anything lol.

Isabella in Yuma, AZ
Jan. 10, 2019

that is my exact thought process as well, if the parents feel they cannot trust you, and that they must watch you on the cameras placed around the house, why accept the job? i would want an extremely close bond with the families I work with , and i feel if they were constantly watching and scrutinizing the care i give, it might inhibit that.

Jane in Carson, CA
Jan. 13, 2019

My 5 year was abused by the nanny’s son who was 13. I wish I had a camera because my daughter is now 14 and having sex and I just recently got the full picture of what my then 5 year old girl endured. Yes. She is damaged.

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Honestly, I'm uncomfortable with it as well but it is absolutely their right to have cameras in their home. I just would rather not know about it. That way I am not self conscious all the time. A good rule of thumb is to always behave while on the job as if you were being filmed anyway.

secretly being watched would betray the trust of the babysitter/nanny in my personal opinion if they found out. Of course we are all on our best behavior , we have a job to do however using the same examples I used in my question i believe it's a way to make the biggest deal out of the littlest thing. I guess i'd tell the parents up front that i would be checking my phone here and there.

I've honestly never encountered a family that had a problem with me checking my phone. My last position was a nanny-share and there was no home phone, so I kept in touch with my employers throughout the day by texting and occasional phone calls. They didn't have cameras but I told them up front I was ok with them and we went over phone use, TV time, etc so I wasn't ever worried about them not approving of how I spent my time. Plus, if they have cameras then you benefit as well. There is video evidence if they ever decided to wrongly accuse you of something. Not that many parents would do that- but it has happened!

Hannah in Omaha, NE
July 1, 2017

I agree with u, I mean when I'm babysitting, I just do my own thing, even when i know im being watched, but I would be freaked out if I knew I was being watched, to me, thats just creepy and ya I understand it is their home and their child with their belongings but if u dont fully trust the babysitter or whatever first then, WHY HIRE THEM?!~idk thats just my opinion.......

I once worked 3 years for a family that had a camera in the playroom only . It wasn't as intimidating as I expected , but I wondered who their children were left alone with before me that made them decide putting the next nanny on candid camera was the best option for them . I just concentrated on having some laughs with a bunch of naughty kids and I got paid to be a film star .

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User in Lacey, WA
Nov. 29, 2018

I had a nanny job where I was being recorded and didn't know about it until 6 months into the job! I was pretty upset with the parents for not disclosing this information to me during the interview or hiring process. I also found out that it is illegal in the state of WA to record someone who is making a personal phone call without their knowledge. A few months into the job I had a pretty good idea that I was being recorded because every time I went into a room with the children in my care that the camera couldn't see I would receive a text from the mom asking "how is everything?". The "micro-managing" was way over my boundaries... I had changed clothes from getting throw-up on me in the living room since the babies didn't care and I thought I was alone with them. Other things such as personal gestures like picking nose, farting, etc. were all recorded without my knowledge. The parents were first timers, and I understand it is difficult to trust anyone with their babies much less a stranger in their home. And in my mind the camera was mostly to watch their babies and make sure they were safe. But I should have definitely been told of the camera from day one! Sometimes the dad was even there "micro-managing" me most of the day. Which took my focus off the babies and made me very frustrated and going home upset. Because now I had to spread my time between 3 people instead of 2 and he wasn't letting me do my job! It was a shame that they couldn't just let me do my job and trust that I was very experienced and their babies were in the best of care! After I knew I was being recorded I tending to use that as a way of communication with the parents, ha-ha!. Made sure I could change in the bathroom (without camera), and for the most part just ignored it and went about my day as I would normally. I do think camera's are good to have but there are boundaries to everything and they need to be discussed upfront!   

Hey Elizabeth! This is what I mean! Why does it have to be a secret? I'd call out the family right there, it's my right to know i'm being recorded for whatever reason. I was thinking the other day of a similar situation. If there's a spill (which is very common) I may change my shirt on the spot and If I was under the assumption It's just me and the baby this would pose a major problem. Questions should be asked as well to the families who ARE upfront: who will have access to these videos, just the parents? are they showing their friends? posting on youtube? idk but cameras can go far... As far as the micro-managing it's extremely annoying especially if they are in the home or they are watching through the camera on an outing. I can only relate now to the cameras because I have been with a family temporarily this summer. Hate feeling bossed around, it just makes me want to leave early every time. Hoping your next family is more relaxed. Good luck !

Jason in Gardner, MA
Jan. 27, 2018

In most states, it is not illegal to record as long as audio isn’t recorded. It the nanny camera is showing your actions, that is within their rights. People record people on the streets, grocery stores, street cameras. Parents don’t have to let you know. Many babysitters have been caught abusing children on nanny cameras, so IMO they have every right to have one within legal means.

User in Acton, CA
Feb. 11, 2018

Elizabeth and Mara! I totally totally agree with both of you. That's the same way I feel. You are not alone Mara.

User in Bel Air, MD
May 10, 2018

Although totally understandable, it IS a creepy feeling to know you are being watched. Even creepier to think about what might be done with those recordings, who in the parents' office is watching with them on their iPhone joking about watching the nanny, etc. If some of the families I've worked for recorded me in the bathroom, they would have seen me use half of a container of disinfectant wipes on their toilet and sink. LOL That was meant to be funny, not insulting! I am a germaphobe!

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Julie in Tucson, AZ
Jan. 6, 2019

I turned down a job because I counted seven nanny cams on my first day of orientation with the parent. Granted, this was a special-needs child, but the majority of my job was transporting the child and being present during other therapies or when one of the parents would be at home. The cams weren't the issue - it was that the mom casually mentioned they'd been through several nannies in several months, once because the nanny was on her iPhone while the child was playing quietly, and once because the nanny didn't want to be paid via ACH direct deposit from them to her bank account. These were all red flags for me. If I could SEE that many cams, how many couldn't I see? If I did not want to give them my personal bank information, have days of unpaid "orientation" and also not be trusted with other people also in the home, and if I could not check email or answer an emergency phone call, those parents were going to have a very stressed out nanny and hence a very stressed out child. Particularly when much of my day was going to be spent cleaning house without the child being present. Then the mom tried to tell me that the cams were only on if I could see the lights on them, which: hi. No. Most cams do not have "hi, I'm watching you" lights. I really liked the family and loved the child on sight, and they did ask me to reconsider, but given that they'd already undercut me on pay, lived in a very gated, exterior-camera'd community, and expected me to be watched while I vacuummed, even though I had already requested that their master bedroom be kept shut and out of my business? I felt that any minor perceived violation - I didn't dust right, the therapists were late, my phone rang, whatever - could be cause for immediate termination. They clearly had a right to rig up the house, and I always behave as though I am being watched in any event. But in this case I had the right to refuse, and I did. Twelve bucks an hour to be on my own reality show after giving them a long list of outstanding references, CPR, a nursing license, and 27 years of experience? No thanks.

User in Beaverton, OR
Dec. 10, 2017

I agree, good call/good for You!!

Thank you for actually answering my question and giving your own experience!!!

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It is their right to have any cameras in spaces that aren't in the bathroom, but it is your right to decline the job as well. My opinion is that I am okay with a baby camera by the crib and camera near the door to watch the comings and goings at their house or if someone breaks in. I think if the baby is having trouble sleeping at night then the parent can relax knowing if their child is taking appropriate length naps in the day by checking the camera. But If there are cameras all over the house, that is just creepy. It is very awkward to have cameras where one eats, for example. Or one where it sees how many times you go to the bathroom or open the fridge. You lose all sense of flow and natural ease working with the child second guessing yourself all day. It does not make for better care at all. If it were me , I'd have one monitor at the crib and that's it. Better to be perceived as caring and not as paranoid or a micro-manager. That's not a boss anyone wants, period. And for goodness sake, would Lifetime please stop showing crazy nanny shows lol. I'm sure it does not help our cause either. My advice to nannies areto do also some research on the types of nanny/spy cams there are and what they look like so you don't get into a situation you'd rather not work at. If we vote with our no then it will not become the norm.

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I believe the presence of video camera's is in every one's best interests. You will come to depend on them for your protection. One day you may find it very helpful. I'm monitored on video and so are the other caregivers.  It makes me feel better to know I will not be blamed for something someone else has done.  If you feel like you are doing something wrong that your employer would not like, talk to them first. But if it feels wrong it probably is!  And perhaps this is not the field for you.  Best of luck!

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User in Rockford, IL
Jan. 6, 2019

I always told parents that I understood they had a right to record in their own home, but that I had the right to know that I was being recorded and where the cameras were. I always saw recording as a way of micro managing both the caregiver and the child. However, if you're a new parent who only spends a couple waking hours a day with your child then you want to be able to see part of their day. It depends more on the people using the cameras than the cameras themselves.

User in Richmond, CA
June 25, 2017

I totally agree!

Very true, i'm more understanding with first time parents

Sara in Tucson, AZ
July 13, 2017

100% support this response! I say something similar, you have the right to record except in the bathroom, but I have a right to know where the cameras are.

Except you don't have a right to know legally. As long as the camera isn't recording audio and it isn't in a room where there is a reasonable expectation of privacy i.e. the bathroom no one is legally required to tell you if they have cameras in their home.

User in Rockford, IL
Aug. 10, 2017

There is a difference between legal and basic rights.

and being told there are cameras in someones home is neither of those

User in Rockford, IL
Oct. 30, 2017

Someone just upped my response and I saw the last comment. Allow me to clarify. I am a human being. I care for children. If you appreciate my work and feel that I would be the best care provider for your children, wonderful. You want to watch me? Great. But as a human being, I get to know if you are watching me. If I find out you did so (legally or not) without my consent, you may find another provider. This is my understanding of basic privacy. We reach a mutual agreement. You want to watch me at all times, I get to know. I don't care if you have the legal right. I won't try to sue you, I simply won't work for you. Providers and parents require respect, communication, and trust. Above all else.

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I just assume I am being recorded and treat the child like my own.  I turned down a job because the client kept complaining about the nanny she had, some of the stuff was legit, other things she said was just nitpicking.  I didn't want to be the next to go for nitpicking.

Of course I'd treat the child like my own as well but nitpicking and micro-managing just ruins it all. There's no space to do what you have to do if you work for a controlling family.

User in Lacey, WA
July 29, 2017

Agree with that!! I will know better next time! Controlling issues parents have.

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User in Richmond, CA
Jan. 6, 2019

I feel torn by this and agree that you are in their home. I think I would rather not know, as it can add an uncomfortable and distrusting feeling to me, but I would not mind being recorded. I once knew a woman who got fired because the parents wrongfully accused her of hurting the child, they even went ask far as calling her references and telling them, one of her references went to see this so called footage and said she was absolutely nothing wrong at a all and that the child was never harmed in the film they showed, and she believed they took it out of context because they had had a previous disagreement of severance pay and they wanted to get out of it, and the only way they could was by firing her for doing something wrong which violated her contract. She never heard from them again  and still had great relationships with her previous references and currently still works for one of them. In the end, it can totally depend on your comfort level and if that is not the job for you, then another one that is the right job will come your way. Best of luck!

Maria

For sure it was improper to show the tapes to another family! It gives me the creeps anyhow. I'm not afraid of being monitored, but I detest being lied to about this issue and will not go back if I've been told no and I find a camera - this has happened three times so far.

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I think that, as a caregiver, you should never do anything you wouldn't want the parents or guardians seeing. Use your best judgement as a caregiver and do exactly what you would if you were not being watched. 

Cathy in Hanford, CA
July 19, 2017

Absolutley!

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I think communication is paramount.  Sharing your concerns with the families and understanding their need to use cameras.  Explain your feelings towards them.  Realizing each parties needs, expectations, do's/don'ts might aid in the situation.

Good luck

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Unfortunately, we live in a voyeuristic world for safety reasons first and foremost. And you'll need to just ensure you have privacy when in the bathroom. If you're uncomfortable being taped, discuss the boundaries and what the family is comfortable with re: discipline per their instructions, breaks to make a personal call or check your phone and what areas are off limits. If you're not comfortable with being videotaped, you're not alone, but maybe you're in the wrong field. I don't think it's going to change. Just make sure you're aware you're being taped and just focus on your duties. You can't pick your own nose in privacy. Cameras are everywhere. Ha! Ha! Best!

Your comment is a LOL . I wonder what would have happened if Mary Poppins was put on nanny-cam? The kids always love it when you do or let them do something unorthodox once in a while . I 've found even with the cameras rolling childish mischief always finds a way .

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Kim in Clinton, NC
Jan. 6, 2019

I agree as long as there are no cameras in the bathroom I wouldn't see a problem.

Gina in Santee, CA
July 3, 2017

LOL..I should hope not, that would be creepy!! Especially if you have a #2

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Savanah in Chico, CA
Jan. 6, 2019

I understand the fear of micromanaging. But as a parent that fear for your child's safety is real. I have 3 kids under 4 years old and one has autism. That means only 1 of the 3 kids can properly communicate if something is wrong. And she's only 3 so "properly communicate" is a stretch. Children with special needs are over 3 times more likely to be abused. Overall 1 out of 3 girls and 1 out of 5 boys will be sexually abused before they reach age 18. You can bet I would look into using cameras if someone new was going to be watching my children. And I don't blame any other parent who feels the same.

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Nicole in Venice, CA
Jan. 6, 2019

i understand your frustration but i feel like in this day in age everything is filmed so if you aren't doing anything wrong whats the problem?

I believe it's not us with the problem is the clients .Who knows what happened to these people  in their lives to not trust others.Iam glad I let go of that job it was making sick internally and mentally.Best of luck always listen to your intuition....

Micro-managing is the issue

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I think it's anyone's right to have cameras in their own home. You never know who you're hiring. But, I would rather not know so that I could do my job without over thinking it. I've met some preschool teachers that really should never had been hired as a teacher and with out cameras, no one would ever have known since they were such nice people. I can see both sides. But truthfully, if you have a problem with being on camera, there's just too many questions that would arise for a parent to feel comfortable afterwards anyway, even if you have valid reasons. My professional advice, Be it a home that has cameras or not, carry yourself as if it does. You're job is the same reguardless of who's watching.

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Dana in Irvine, CA
Jan. 6, 2019

Usually almost all of my families have had a camera or hidden nanny camera, and I do not mind at all because there's nothing I have to hide. Honestly none of them have told me that they had one, until I noticed it personally. That is their choice, and you really shouldn't mind if you are providing good child care. I would advise probably not checking emails or texts, just stay off of your phone while nannying because the children are first priority.

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I dont do childcare, but do nursing tech/CNA/CMA  working in hospitals, long termcare and private duty nursing in home and in facilities. I also have been care taker for my elderly family memebers who we had others taking care of them. I dont mind a family of a privated duty in home job having video,  or a facility have video- it protects ME  and the patients! Nor do I have a problem with cameras going with elderly/disabled family members in home when there are other paid caretakers taking care of them, and cant be there- It protects our/their loved ones.! Unfortunalty, child abuse and elder/disabled abuse is more commen than we think.

I was going to comment in terms of elder care. It was discovered that the care taker watching over my Grandmother was treating her poorly. She was being so verbally abusive to her. If not for the camera my aunt would have never known this!! She of course has been let go and my grandmother has a new care taker who treats her well and has her spirits up again. I'm all for the cameras! You would want to have piece of mind knowing that your child/parent was in good hands as well.

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I understand the need for nanny cameras, by the parents. I give the same professional service, whether they use them or not. They are a tool for parents and care providers, that add an extra layer of verification. 
Recently, I agreed to babysit for an out of town couple at a well known hotel, near me. They had a 4 year old girl and a two year old boy. After the events of that night, I hoped they were video taping it. I needed proof regarding their daughter's terrible behavior. 
It was a rainy afternoon and evening. The kids were a bit overtired, and were overly energized and excited by the hotel surroundings. 
The two year old boy was a sweet heart, and wasn't a problem to deal with at all. His sister was another story, she refused to listen to anything I had to say, regarding her safety.  They were both jumping on the bed, which I felt could cause an injury, so I asked them to stop. The little girl refused, she wanted to go outside and tried to open the door. 
I brought some books and toys, so I suggested we play with the toys and read the books. When I began reading a book, the boy sat on my lap, the girl didn't want to sit and read, so she threw a tantrum & crawled into the closet. There wasn't anything in there to harm her, and she left it open where I could see her.  I told her that she could join us, or stay where she was since I felt she wasn't in any danger. She stayed in the closet a few minutes,  I wasn't giving in to her tantrum, she joined our story time. 
Her bad behavior continued through bed time. I put her brother to bed without a problem. She refused to get ready for bed, and then screamed that she was going to tell her parents that I hit her and her brother. This was an absolute lie! This little girl was trying to manipulate the entire situation.  This child was now threatening me with a false accusation; I was afraid for my reputation.   I remained calm, gave her my "mom look," told her  to go to bed, and she finally did. 

My point is that in this case, the cameras supported the care that I provided. I have never abused a child, or been accused of such action, until this 4 year old threatened me with a false accusation. This little girl has much bigger problems than they realize. 
 

Thank you for sharing. There are a lot of lessons here.

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Cathy in Hanford, CA
Jan. 6, 2019

I have worked many times as a preschool teacher where their were cameras. Also, with infants. At first, it was uncomfortable, because I was not sure ... However , as time went on it did not bother me anymore. If you looked at this at a different perspective you might see this benefits you too. Example: You have a small child with behavioral issues, it will be recorded how you handle certain situations , also, if a child who is special needs and is not getting professional services that is a valuable tool , so their is "proof" , try not to see it as a reflection upon you or your skills. As long as your confident and know your giving the best care possible to kids, and not trying to slide by, then all will be good. Look at it from a parents point of view.

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User in Palo Alto, CA
Aug. 30, 2018

It sounds like your major concern centers not so much on being watched as on the possibility of your behavior being maliciously misrepresented in order to accuse you of wrongdoing. Firstly, there is no reason you should be working for a family who you think might be trying to frame you. Trust is extremely important, and it goes both ways. Why would you work for a family you don't trust?

Secondly, it sounds like you can allay any concerns with a family you *do* trust by discussing guidelines with them in an initial interview. Bring up anything that you feel concerned about, and establish a pattern of open communication with the family. So, for instance, clarify whether you can check your email while the kids are watching a movie, and then encourage the parents to speak directly to you, respectfully, if they ever feel that you're having a misunderstanding about, say, your use of electronics.

It's your right to feel uncomfortable about cameras, but there's no reason you should live or work in fear of being framed because of them.

Hey Nora ! Thanks for your insight and for addressing my concerns. I feel like many are skipping over my explanation and just see "no to nanny cams!" You are very right, trust is both ways and I'm def. working on my communication with families who give me a red flag.

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Chelsea in Clayton, NC
Sept. 10, 2018

Laws vary from state to state, but generally you are allowed to have hidden cameras in your own home. The line gets crossed in most states with audio recordings, which are often illegal.

I agree, when set up solely for oversight rather than safety, nanny cams can be a problem, but you'll notice red flags from those over involved parents before you ever watch their kids. Be aware that "private areas" such as the bathroom and nanny's bedroom can't be recorded for privacy.

As part of a security system, I think cameras are a great idea, so long as people inside the home are aware they're being recorded. Some states have laws preventing hidden cameras, and a few even require consent to be filmed in public areas (like Maryland) so a camera facing the street in the front yard might be illegal.

Just remember that providing in-home care puts you with a family's possessions as well as their children. While the majority of us would never dare harm a child, some people are more likely to commit nonviolent crime like theft in an unmonitored home.

If you are concerned to the point of not being able to work for a family with nanny cams, either choose families who don't, or provide care in your own home.

User in Beaverton, OR
Dec. 10, 2017

In a home where there was a Nanny Cam Vs no Camera I felt less trusted, and more on edge-for example when the Mother spoke to us in the home through the Nanny Cam from work. It made me and her Daughter jump, and her daughter wanted to have a long conversation with her Mommy. The idea of having a picture taken of me such as when I was bending over kind of creeped me out if this was shown to the Father/Man of the House. I was told that there were No recordings of me/us, but I am pretty sure pictures could be taken, and I do not think she was able to quickly Zoom in to see things like the kid's Art Work.

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User in Menifee, CA
Nov. 5, 2018

I was like that at first. I didn't feel right on camera. But now I have changed my mind. I actually prefer it. If something happens, like a child falls down you should always tell the parents right away but its good to have that camera to keep you safe as well as the child. Pretty soon you'll forget they are even there. At least that is what happened in my case. If I act goofy and dance and sing i don't care if a family sees it. I am just me and it just does not bother me anymore. '

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Salena in Austin, TX
Aug. 30, 2018

Hi Mara,

I've met parents who micro-manage and have unreasonable request. I would not them or any other boss with those kinds of expectations to watch me 24/7. However, if they are unreasonable in that way having a nanny cam would quickly bring THEIR behavior to my attention and allow me to respectfully resign if a resolution could not be reached.

Very true, it would bring their behavior to light. Never thought of it like that! thanks for your insight! Communication is necessary.

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I whole heartedly agree with you Mara. This is so inappropriate and disgusting and I only agreed to a babysitting job today because I thought the mom wouldn’t be in the home during the day but she is, and that creeps me out. there’s no level of trust. do a background check. no need for cameras. that’s so f’en creepy i just cannot. woman today warned me about them and i will not be staying with this position.

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As a mother of an autistic child, I want my cameras on....it is perfectly normal for you to feel that way and your opinion should be respected. We have our right to have the video cameras on and you have every right to decline working for me or anyone who records the time that you are with their child. I have caught odd behavior from an employee before, finding out the next day that she was under the influence of drugs. My cameras stay on and I dont hire care takers from companies that dont do drug testing anymore, background checks are not enough.....one bad experience was enough.

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I do not have an issue with knowing or not knowing.  I want to make sure the family is confident and I want to be confident in knowing that I will not be accused of anything.  I had my daughter in a daycare where I was able to see her all day.  That was comforting to me to know I could.

Thank you for your opinion

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I currently am a caregiver for a family that utilizes cameras, but only in the childrens' bedrooms. I felt a little bit self conscious at first too, but it is their right to have it and with the internet, you still never really know a person. Even if their background check and all references are clean, a person can snap at any time and a parent has the right to check in on a caregiver and children at any point they feel fit. Once they build their trust in you they may even get rid of the cameras all together.

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I am caring for a baby and was asked if I was comfortable being on camera before they hired me. I know it's there but I ignore it completely. When my kids were young, had I had this technology available it would have saved me a lot of anxiety. They can check in on the baby when they get a break at work and gives them some comfort to see him happy and well cared for.

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I believe parents have a right to see what's going on but they also have responsibility of letting know about it. I think they should ask and sign a confidentiality contract

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It's half and half for me because even though I do agree with the fact of wanting to make sure your kids are okay especially with someone you just hired, it bothers me to a certain extent. If it's just in the child's room then I completely understand that but all over the house or in the main area is a bit weird to me. I feel more pressure as a sitter with my every move being watched and then feel I can't do my job as I should

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I understand why parents do recordings for the safety of the kiddos. But I would feel uncomfortable being watched. I would feel embarrassed "what if my boob had an itch" lol. They just seen grab my boon.... Anyhow hope it has worked out for you.😊😁

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Deborah in Vista, CA
Aug. 30, 2018

In these times where I read that 80% of caregivers and child care services have fraudulent and or misbehavior of people caring for this sector of employment, I believe it is important to have some accountability and if that is a camera then so be it. To me it doesn't matter because my job is to care for that person or child/children according to the contract signed by the family and myself. If I am doing what has be discussed and there is a open communication between myself and the family that has hired me then there should be no issues and I can do my job properly and professionally. Communication should be the bases for both sides employee and employer trying to find the right nanny /babysitter or caregiver for the job that is needed. If at anytime either party doesn't feel comfortable or free to do what is needed then they may not be a good fit. This is my opinion

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I am absolutely comfortable with cameras being in the home. I can understand why parents would want to watch what is going considering you are caring for their child and are surrounded by their belongings. Cameras in the bathrooms however, isn't really something  I feel comfortable with considering the privacy issue. 

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Let's not forget that these parents are probably working and more than likely won't view the entirety of the footage anyways unless there's some sort of incident that needs to be checked out.  Not everyone has remote access to their cameras, because that costs a lot more.  And even if they do, it's probably just an every now and again thing for them to check in and see what's actually going on.  I would have a hard time believing that there are many parents out there that leave footage up on their computer screens all 8 hours that they're at work.  At most, they might fast forward through footage at the end of the day, but even then, that's such a tedious thing, I don't think many people are going to go through that trouble every day.  I think someone uncomfortable with being recorded, might be over thinking it.  A micromanaging parent is going to find ways to micromanage with or without cameras.

While I might agree with you in most parts of the country, unfortunately the areas around DC (including OP's Maryland) are full of people who CAN afford remote access security systems, and often do. In many cases, those same people don't just have a video stream available on their computers, but on their phones. In other cases, they remotely access the computer the cameras are tied into. I've actually worked for both. Remote access security is surprisingly affordable for families who easily clear over 6 figures from each parent. It's usually parents with a significantly higher income that tend not to trust "the help" and employ security systems to oversee things.

Agreed! Thanks for your point of view Jennifer. You're so right if they are already controlling/micro-managing parent will still find ways to do it. I think too many people on here are ignoring what my concern really is, glad you addressed it!!! Funny enough I worked with a family recently with cameras and I was right lolllll the mom would watch me from her room. So not slick about it. Another discussion question......

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Do you find that a lot of people want to have an in house camera?

No it was just a thought, I realized some families mentioned it in their job ad and I always avoided them.

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Lanie in Fresno, CA
Aug. 30, 2018

I agree with you on this. I worked for preschool where there were cameras in every classroom. The screens were available to the directors office, where she could blow the screen up larger to see you (in HD of course). PARENTS could also log into the app. LIVE and stream it from their phones, laptops, etc. This results in parents who do not work constantly viewing their children. But, there is no sound. For me this means anything can be taken out of context based on how it’s seen. Parents who are constantly live viewing misunderstand things and are protective of their children. I personally would never have a nanny. In a perfect world I would like to stay home the first couple years or have family. Then place the child in day care. I think that parents with in home cameras have problems with trust, because anything can go wrong. In the long run it is understandable. We are in their homes and their children are the most important things to them. But I would rather be trusted than not.

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Laura in Garner, NC
Aug. 30, 2018

Your role as care taker is to temporarily step into the role as parent. That's a big responsibility. Don't worry too much about a camera. It can work in your favor too. Kids don't always tell the truth. As long as you are doing everything the parents expect of you, it's going to be okay. Do you think most parents (if an issue has not been reported) have the time to sit though hours of tape? It's okay to hate technology and what comes along with it. As long as it's for sale, people are going to buy it and find some way to use it.

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Melody in Waco, TX
Aug. 30, 2018

Uncomfortable for some, a little unnerving perhaps, but the ultimate goal is the safety and well being of the child. That is the only reason for the employment. To bad there are creeps in the world, but who can fault parents for caution. Micromanaging is a different story. After coming to an understanding and taking direction from the family, there should be a trust of the Nanny as a professional. If that trust does not evolve, the relationship is not a good fit.

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Tena in Clayton, NJ
Sept. 13, 2018

Hi Mara! I totally understand what you're saying and it would make me super self conscious too. I just wouldn't work for a family that is that uptight. Yes, it's always about the children first and taking great care of the family but we always get to choose what's appropriate for us as caregivers. And if nanny cams creep you out, then don't accept the job.. Hopefully they're upfront about it in the first place so you can make an educated decision. Much love ❤️

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Valerie in Warwick, NY
Sept. 25, 2018

As a caregiver, I totally understand your discomfort. As a mother (of now older) children, I totally understand the parents' feelings and practice of using the cameras. If it was "a thing" when my kids were little, I would absolutely have done it. As a caregiver, I know I could do whatever I like in their home and with their children, including behaving badly, which I absolutely do not, but it makes me heartsick to think of what a person could get away with, so I actually encourage parents to use the cameras, because I have seen people behave very badly with children. And children are too precious and vulnerable. We have all seen the reports of babysitters and daycare centers being caught on camera being abusive. Obviously the bathroom is off the limits. But as far as the common rooms and children's room, I honestly think it is best for a child who is entrusted to someone else's care in the absence of their parent to have a "watchdog" on alert. I think the parents should be upfront and honest about the camera being there, to avoid embarrassment...and out of respect.  But I also know, that although I treat children lovingly and behave professionally, let's be real: if you are tempted to spend too much time on your phone or let the TV babysit the kids, you won't with the camera on you.  And you will remember to exercise extra patience and care. Having said that, I think the parents need to treat a caregiver with respect as a responsible adult who does not need to be told not to answer her phone or reply to a text, within reason.  Respect goes both ways.

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As long as you are doing your job to the best of your ability and you are taking care of those children; you should be okay. You should want to be videotaped. You never know what may happen. Haven’t you heard some children will make up stories and so forth and you have no proof. They may wake up one day and say anything out of order and you have no PROOF; because they are children. Who are the parents going to believe. Their children of course because it’s their children. Not saying these children will do that in your case; but it happens. Peace and blessings.

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User in Loveland, CO
Oct. 30, 2018

I hate the cameras. I've had cameras in all the jobs I worked. One particularly difficult family I worked for mentioned a few cameras but I eventually discovered more. They set traps like having money in the child's drawers so they could catch me doing something wrong or whatever. I discovered the money while dressing the child and then immediately found the camera. I felt like a terrible person with the way they treated me. The mother also worked from home and micromanaged plus interfered with every activity I had planned. I stayed there precisely 2 months. The cameras at other homes I just felt held to unrealistic standards as I was watching a 2 month old who slept half the day so I was watched on the camera, not the baby (the light would turn on at various times and then stay on until I left).

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User in Phoenix, AZ
July 13, 2018

Great discussion. I have a question on a nanny laying on the bed or floor (like with her feet up) while the baby plays. Is that normal?

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Michelle in Lehi, UT
Dec. 9, 2017

I see red flags here. If you do not want to be watched on camera what the hell are you hiding? are you a criminal? you are in THEIR HOME with THEIR loved ones so they are going to be cautious and they have the right to screen or video tape anything or anyone they want.

Yes, of course they can use the cameras if they feel the need to supervise the people (kids and/or caregivers) from somehwhere else. I resent it, though,if I ask at interview if they use nanny cams, and they say no, and then I see them after I start working-that's lying to me and I will not stay because I don't like being lied to. It has happened to me three times so far.

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Unfortunately in the world we live in, parents will feel the need to use cameras/monitors in their homes in order to make sure their child is safe and taken care of. Now, if the cameras are in the bathrooms, I wouldn't feel comfortable, but as long as you're not doing anything wrong such as stealing, mishandling discipline, etc,. it shouldn't bother you to be filmed. As a first-time parent, I would want to know what's going on with my child. Like I said, it's the world we live in today and all of these horror stories in the media and online of nanny nightmares. I've nannied for a family who used a baby monitor and would check in every so often to make sure her son was safe and taken care of. I also used to work in daycare centers that had cameras in their classrooms. Not to attack you point of view, but many parents use these monitoring devices for a piece of mind.

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I have been working with a family that has cameras and I did not care. As a matter of fact, I felt it would be safer for both myself and the child. But....then came the constant micro managing! And I do mean constant! It has become a bit irritating as well as uncomfortable For instance: the baby needs to rest( been playing for a good 4 hours, is getting grumpy) not a power nap but a rest, sit down in the rocking chair and sing/play...then my phone goes off telling me not to let him sleep. I know that and he is not sleeping and I am not trying to get him to sleep. This has happened not once...not twice...but over and over. I have been there for almost a year and they still do this!

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A. in Atlanta, GA
Nov. 17, 2018

I have 2 cameras in my house, but only due to the fact that I had a babysitter who was unconscious (drugs) when I came home one evening. After reviving her and trying to take her keys away from her, she grabbed them and ran out my front door. She was so drunk/high that she left her unlocked phone in my dining room under my wine cabinet, so I of course, I read her texts. I thought maybe she left my kids unattended that evening. Per her texts, she was snorting Xanax and stole beer, wine and liquor from my house! I did not pursue charges against her b/c of my personal relationship with her family. But after that I got cameras. I have an amazing sitter that I trust wholeheartedly, but I suspect that she may have noticed the cameras as she's been unavailable the last couple of times I've asked her to sit. I really don't even review the tapes, just have in the event I again came home to an extreme situation such as the one I experienced previously.......

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Yes, they probably feel comfortable in your home. As long as they are not on their phone or sleeping, just make sure they are doing their job.

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