The Nanny Cam Debate

The Nanny Cam Debate

by Martha Scully

If you mention the words "Nanny Cams", you're likely to get some interesting reactions. The use of nanny cams is a very sensitive topic in the nanny/caregiver world. We often get questions from families asking us if they should use a nanny cam in their home. Personally, I think you should discuss it with your nanny.

How Do Parents Feel?

We opened this conversation up on Twitter and Facebook and got a variety of responses. Some people are very in favour of them, thinking families have a right to use them in their home, whereas others felt that it would be a replacement to communication between family and nanny. Some who are nannies felt that it would feel as though the family didn't trust them, or violated their privacy.

What Do Nannies Think About Nanny Cams?

​If you are planning on installing a nanny cam in your home, you should be upfront about it with your nanny, and inform her right away. As with any relationship, building trust at the beginning is very important. Surprisingly, studies have shown that nannies and other caregivers may not be against being taped, but they'd like to know about it. In fact, it may offer the nanny support for issues and incidents that arise during the day. What nannies and caregivers don't like is being taped secretly. If you are being deceptive and untrusting like this, you are sending a very negative message to a person who is caring for your loved ones.

If this is the route you're going to take, review the laws in your province/territory to determine if its legal to tape someone with consent. For your extra protection, we also recommend that you include use of a nanny cam in the employment contract with the nanny. Families should avoid using the footage as an opportunity to nit-pick over things they see, like housecleaning, etc.

Alternatives to Nanny Cams

We understand the desire of using a nanny cam, as it gives families a way to ensure their loved ones are receiving proper care while they are not there. However, there are other ways to achieve the same objectives:

  • drop in during the day unexpectedly
  • ask lots of questions to your provider and your children
  • ask a trusted neighbour to keep an eye on your home
  • leave things for the nanny and children to do outside of the home as well as inside the home


Ultimately, your best indication of the quality of care your children are receiving is to observe their behaviour. If they are pleased to see the nanny at the beginning of the day and are in high spirits and stimulated when you get home, you've picked the right person!

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About the Author
Martha Scully
Martha is the founder of Martha has been featured as a Child Care Expert in hundreds of publications across Canada including The Globe and Mail, CBC, Today's Parent and The National Post, She lives in British Columbia with her husband and two daughters.