Would you ever use a “nanny cam”?

by cv harquail on April 26, 2009

A reader suggested that we talk about nanny cams. (She suggested the topic using the Skribit widget on the sidebar… hint hint).

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Personally, I think nanny cams are kindof creepy, in general. And, if I were ever tempted to use one myself, it would be a sign to me that my relationship with my au pair was already over…and just awaiting the formalities.

Still, I can understand wanting to know what’s "really going on" at home, especially if your children are too young to tell you about it. I’m sure that, years ago, our first au pair Margit continued to rock my baby to sleep for her nap, rather than putting the baby into the crib as I asked her to. Of course, I knew that was happening because one I afternoon I came home early, and both Margit and the baby were asleep in the glide rocker, lullabies playing in the background. It was so sweet I started to cry. But I digress…

It just never got that bad, even with our 2 ‘bad’ au pairs, that I felt I needed to spy on them. If I ever felt that covert monitoring was necessary, it had more to do with concerns about driving the car to Canada or leaving curling irons plugged in overnight. But how about for you?

[Note: After reading the first few comments, I’ve added to the first poll a disctinction between using a nanny cam with or without your AP knowing…]

Have you ever used a Nanny Cam or similar covert monitoring device?

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Would you ever use a Nanny Cam to check on your au pair & kids?

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{ 43 comments }

Franzi April 26, 2009 at 2:01 pm

VERY interesting topic. there are many many (future) APs wondering if they are being monitored and i have had more than one “cam search” with my AP friends in their homes. ;-)

i can understand that parents would have a cam when their child is too small to tell them what was going on. and especially first-time parents are very protective and new to the AP thing…i get it.

from the AP point of view, i would feel disappointed that i am not being trusted by the host parents. and the fact that it is being done secretive adds another factor of “betrayal”.

why not be open with the AP and say, we use a nanny cam (or we have used a nanny cam). if your child is well being taken care of w/o knowledge of the camera, this will certainly not change when AP knows there is a camera and you could tune in anytime.

did you parents ever think about letting your AP know that there is a nanny cam watching?

CV April 26, 2009 at 5:35 pm

Franzi, it will be interesting to get a sense of how many Host Parents have actually used nanny cams, and then compare that to the number of AuPairs who worry/ suspect that their families use them….
I adjusted the poll so the we can get a sense of whether nanny cams are used more in secret or with the APs knowledge.

Ann April 26, 2009 at 6:29 pm

I’ve never used a nanny cam. But I’ve had more reason to feel comfortable with my aupairs: I pre-matched with them; had relatives interview them in their home country; speak the same language; and I work from home for part of every work week so can keep an indirect eye on their AP style though that’s not the motivation for my working from home on those days. I was doing that before I used this method of childcare. When my daugher was an infant I did not have an AP.

But remembering how protective I felt for my daughter when she was a new born, I can understand that desire to use a nannycam for childcare providers especially for children at that age. But I think it would be easier to be open about it, if a hidden camera were ever discovered by an AP then I don’t think the working relationship would work anymore.

Darthastewart April 27, 2009 at 7:47 am

We’ve never used one. I agree that if I ever thought I needed one, it’s time to find another au-pair. We DO stop by unannounced during the day, and other things like that.

I think that a nanny-cam is really MOST effective as a deterrent- I.E. tell the au-pair or nanny that they’re being watched, rather than trying to catch poor behavior. (Or you can present it as trying to keep up with your child’s day.)

Dawn April 27, 2009 at 4:50 pm

I’ve also never used a nanny cam, and agree that if I feel “suspicious” enough to want to spy on my AP, that probably means it’s time for rematch anyway. For me, one of the advantages of having an AP who lives with, and is a member of, the family, is that we have the opportunity to observe her with the children and vice-versa, during her “off-time.” Even when the kids are too young to actually TELL you if something is wrong, I think that I would be able to tell by my child’s reaction to the AP, and/or the AP’s “manner” with the child, if she was not appropriately loving, nurturing, etc. (This is in contrast to a live-out nanny or a daycare center, where the caregiver’s only interaction with the child is when you are NOT there.)

We also do occasionally stop by unannounced during the day, and I guess we probably do that a bit more frequently at the beginning of an AP’s stay when we are still getting to know and trust her. But that feels different from a nanny cam because it’s not “covert.”

I’d certainly hate for my boss to have a hidden camera in my office — whether or not he/she told me about it. Not that I’m doing anything wrong, but there is something creepy and intrusive about knowing that someone is (or could be) watching your every move. I’d rather not be observed when I adjust my slip, put clear nailpolish on a run in my hose, etc.!

Ellen April 28, 2009 at 12:38 am

MY husband and I just discussed this morning the option of getting a “nanny cam.” Our AP watches our 2 children (1yr old and a 3 yr old). The 3 yr old “freaks out” when she sees the nanny come up the stairs to start her day. We work long hours so it could be seperation anxiety but I am a bit concerned.

CV April 28, 2009 at 2:36 am

Ellen,

I hadn’t even thought about this option when I started this post… but this may be the one situation where I’d even *suggest* a nanny cam…

If the host parents and au pair were working together to figure out how to respond to a difficult situation with a child, they could agree to set up a nanny cam so that they could (later) observe the child and au pair interacting.

Since we know people act differently when their parents are around, it can be hard even to see what’s going on between a child and caregiver. With a nanny cam, you could tape the interaction, then watch it with the au pair and together think about what else to try. So, instead of being a covert monitoring system, it could be a problem-solving and training tool. Interesting….Thanks for the idea!

Amy Mitchell April 28, 2009 at 10:08 am

This is a difficult question. You want to be able to trust your au pair. But if you begin to suspect her on something, I can understand why a parent would use this method. I agree though, that if you get to this point, it’s probably time to find a new au pair or nanny. Your best “barometer” is your child. If your child is well taken care of and only cries right when you leave, that’s normal. But if you call 15 minutes later and the child is still screaming, or if the child is screaming most of the time you are away, there is probably something very wrong. If your au pair or nanny doesn’t answer the phone when you call so you can hear what’s going on with your child, that’s a red flag.

Jillian April 29, 2009 at 2:33 am

I’m so glad you put polls up so we can see how many people have voted for each option. I haven’t used a nanny cam just because I feel a little weird about them. There are plenty of things that people do when think no one is watching that would be so embarrassing for someone to see. I definitely wouldn’t enjoy if I found out my boss had seen me adjusting undergarments, biting my nails, or fanning myself after the brisk walk from the bus stop.

I agree that the best barometer is your child(ren) and that the benefit of an au pair is that since they live with you, you get a much better insight into who they are as opposed to a nanny or babysitter.

Daniela April 29, 2009 at 8:25 am

I totally agree with Dawn’s first paragraph.
And with “Personally, I think nanny cams are kind of creepy, in general. And, if I were ever tempted to use one myself, it would be a sign to me that my relationship with my au pair was already over…and just awaiting the formalities.”.

At my orientation, one of the instructors told us, that she thinks it’s absolutely normal for her to look at the ‘history’ on her au pair’s computer to see which homepages she visits. I have to say, I was shocked. If you have an au pair, you have to trust her/him! Of course, there are situations where a nanny cam or looking at the history in her pc is ok and legitible, but you never should see this as a normality.

I think if you have a nanny cam it’s good to tell your AP about it. But actually, if I knew about a nanny cam in the house, I would feel observed and behave completely different than usual with the kids.

Miranda April 29, 2009 at 7:06 pm

I’m a nanny (but will soon be moving in order to be an au pair) and would personally feel like my privacy was being invaded if my employers used a nanny cam, especially if I found it on my own without being told that they used one. This is mostly because of the previously mentioned embarrassing things that you don’t want any employer to see you doing. Also, since I am more strict with the kids than their parents are (they can get away with murder if their parents are around), it might be a little weird for them to be watching me put their child in time out for rude behavior that the parents might put up with.

Also, in response to Ellen’s comment, the 3-year-old that I babysit (for 40-50 hours per week, for the past 8 months) freaks out and is normally very rude to me when I arrive at the house in the morning. It’s improved in the last month or so, but I completely attribute it to separation anxiety, because as soon as her parents leave she acts completely different, telling me that she loves me all the time, hugging me, and telling me that “I’m the best”. I wouldn’t worry about it too much unless your child is upset or crying when you come home at the end of the day or something. I’m sure it’s just really hard for a 3-year-old to see their parents leave every morning, and he or she probably associates the nanny with your disappearance. However, if you are really worried about it, CV’s idea seems like a good idea. If the nanny knows about the camera and is reviewing the footage with you, it’s not an invasion of privacy like a hidden nanny cam would be.

MTR April 29, 2009 at 7:39 pm

We have had two nannies/babysitters and now two au pairs and are waiting for our third au pair to arrive. We have never had or used nanny cam.

When we got our first nanny, my husband and I talked briefly about getting a nanny cam and even talked to some of our friends who had nannies to see what they do. One of our friends told us that they actually bought the cam, but never got around to setting it up and ended up never using it. They did not have any reasons not to trust their nanny with their child. Our other friends actually had a nanny cam and ended up firing the first nanny due to something they saw on the cam. I am not sure what it was as we had that conversation about 4 years ago, and I just don’t remember. With their second nanny, they also used the cam and were able to see real-life footage over the internet with a private login. They monitored her for a while (may be 1-2 months) but then ended up logging in less and less and then just occasionally with the purpose of just to see their kid not to spy on the nanny.

I do agree with others, that if I have a need for a nanny cam, I probably need to be in rematch. Also, we have had 2 AP’s who did not work out for very different reasons. The second one especially was completely incompetent, but we never felt that kids were in any kids of danger.

Mom of 2 Girls April 29, 2009 at 11:27 pm

I agree that a nanny cam would feel like a big invasion of one’s privacy, and if I felt the need to use one, there would be such a lack of trust in my caregiver that I shouldn’t employ her anyway.
Daniela, I can see where you’re coming from regarding checking the internet history. I think it’s good that the orientation covered this issue, as it can be a problem. Most au pairs are probably not viewing offensive websites, but unless you have your own personal laptop that you use, just be aware that the computer is your host family’s property and they do have the right to monitor its use (they’re providing the access free, right?) and to set up guidelines for what they feel is appropriate. It’s not something I would regularly check, but after a teenage nephew visited and was on the computer until 2 or 3 a.m. every night, I was curious and shocked to see the porn sites he’d been viewing. What if my daughters had happened to accidentally click on a link? (not likely, since they’re pretty young, but with older kids, I’m sure they could easily manage) One of our previous au pairs was online often for six or more hours per day, which was a real issue for us when it was during of her on-duty time; she also uploaded a bunch of borderline photos on Facebook and onto our hard drive which I happened to see. She didn’t understand our point of view, but did cut back on her usage and hopefully learned that this is yet another privilege that one shouldn’t fee entitled to or become almost addicted to simply because it’s available.
Sorry to get off the topic there. It also worries me a bit that so many au pairs say they do or would act differently when they know the host parents are observing. I would hope that they could just be themselves and know that we support them in reasonable discipline (hopefully this is also discussed in advance of necessity) and love and encourage to see them dressing up, doing puppet shows and reading aloud using silly character voices with our kids, jumping on the trampoline or playing “Marco Polo” in the pool! Isn’t that what it’s supposed to be all about?

Franzi April 30, 2009 at 12:20 am

i am surprised to read that so few families seem to use nanny cams. i thought this would be more common. but it explains why i never found one – hehe.

i’m with MTR on the usage of the cam as when you start out, you do trust the AP, but you don’t know her that well yet. so it helps to have the option to observe her, i guess.

the fact that APs think they would behave differently knowing they are observed relates to the fact that many APs prefer a family where both parents work. i did too, and it was weird for me when my HM turned into a part-time SAHM. i think it’s because people feel intimidated/uncomfortable when someone is looking over their shoulder (even when it’s not observation to such an extend)
however, there are quite a few girls who do not mind that at all.

Jennifer April 30, 2009 at 12:54 am

We have had a “grandparent cam” ( 2 now) for a long while. It had nothing to do with having an AP. It came about for practicality purposes, not spying purposes.

Since all the grandparents live in another time zone , we tried setting up the classic webcam on the computer so they could all see baby develop. It was a disaster! With the time zone difference, my husband would have to leave work early to get home in time to get it set up. None of the grandparents could figure out how to connect on their end. The one time it did work we were trying to chase the baby around with the computer so she could be seen on camera. Not a good set up at all.

Then one day my husband set up a big camera (six inches tall by 4 inches wide) on top of the TV. Didn’t tell me, didn’t tell the AP. He had it all set up when I got home. All the grandparents need to do is log onto a website and they can control the camera AND get audio. Pretty amazing.

At first the AP was upset because she thought we were spying on her. Once we explained the real purpose, she was fine with it. The camera is in no way concealed and it is obvious when someone is logged on. Even the baby can tell when someone is watching because the camera moves and makes an audible sound when it does. She usually points and waves.

We are currently without an AP but we have still have two cameras (one in the living room , one in the dining area) set up and operational at all times.
We know when someone is watching and we have fun waving. Only the grandparents have the logon and web addresses. Overall, we feel like the cams have brought us closer as an extended family.

Do I think having the cams were helpful with the AP? Not really. Having them did not reveal anything we didn’t already know. We did get status updates from grandparents. (DH and I never watched as neither of us have jobs conducive to watching a computer screen all day). Mostly it was about the baby and the fact that the APs cleaned up after themselves(or didn’t).

Bottom line is that it didn’t serve as a deterrent (AP still smoked, but not within cam’s view) nor did it capture other problematic behavior ( lots of cell phone talking while on duty).

For ethical reasons we would never place concealed cams, so maybe our experience has been different. Yet, I think people assume that APs would feel a breach of trust with a visible cam, but it wasn’t like that with us at all. All of our APs were technologically savvy. Two had webcams on their computers and had already broadcast our baby and entire house to friends d family ( and who knows else?).
It’s a digital world these days. All we need to do is develop teleportation technology and we would be just like Star Trek (“Beam me up, Scotty!”) Creepy or not, here we are….

Marguerite April 30, 2009 at 5:02 am

This thread makes me think of a website that someone once told me about called ” I saw your nanny ” . Every so often , I have a look see at the site. People take pictures on their cellphones of nannies they spot behaving inappropriately in the park or store and post it on this public website.
They describe the offensive behavior, the nanny and the child.
I would be interested to learn what the readers of aupairmom think about this sort of surveillance . Just type in I saw your nanny and check it out, if you are so inclined.
Like Franzi, I was really surprized to see how few host parents like the idea of a nanny cam

sue May 23, 2009 at 10:10 am

I am an au pair, and when I first started working with my current host family I WISH that they had a nanny cam. Their 2 and a half year old daughter absolutly hated me, and would cry whenever she was left with me because she wanted her mothers attention and just seperation anxiety I guess. But I always felt guilty, and worried that the parents would think that i wasn’t treating her well, when that definatly wasn’t the case, it was more the opposite, she would yell at me and hit me for reading a story to her of asking her if she would like to do a puzzle or something. And I would of liked the parents to have been able to check in on us so that they could see that I was being a kind, responsible au pair and that their child just was just spoiled.
p.s. we figured this out eventually but it took about 6 monthes

Secure Nanny Cam April 20, 2010 at 1:54 pm

I can certainly understand the hesitation and the feeling of lack of trust, and as biased as I might seem, I certainly do feel that parents should not make any excuse or feel bad for wanting to know what’s happening within their own home, and especially with their child(ren).

The way I see it, practically every place of employment uses video recording these days. Anything from restaurants to retail stores to corporate environments. Provided that proper privacy is respected, I don’t see any ethical issues with home monitoring.

Aupairgal July 29, 2010 at 3:36 pm

I am pretty sure places of businesses are required by law to inform their employees that they are being videoed. Every place I have ever worked has always told me there where cameras(not where specifically) and then I had to sign something saying I was aware of it.

My 2 cents July 29, 2010 at 6:30 pm

Really? Most places I’ve shopped or visited that I know must be videoing don’t have signs announcing it; why should it be different for an employee?

I think they are telling you and having you sign something as a motivator to keep you from doing anything you shouldn’t. Kind of like those signs in a changing room telling you all shoplifters will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Keeps you honest.

Anonymous April 20, 2010 at 6:48 pm

I do.

LM April 21, 2010 at 6:21 am

I never thought I would, but last week my 13 year old niece told me that the last au pair used to pluck the kids as a form of discipline. I knew she believed in spankings as physical punishment as we discussed it before. She said people in Brazil would spank and her mother used to spank or pluck her. Something inside me told me she was using some way physically to discipline them. They were two rumbunctious two year olds who pretty much obeyed her and it seemed like my daughter feared her. I wish I had listened to my instincts. My husband I discussed the nanny cam because we had asked her not to put the kids (and herself) down for a nap so early and I came home early and caught her napping. I just felt I was invading her privacy to the point I did not do it. I still feel very uncomfortable with the idea, but how else will I know what goes on when I am not looking? My daughter has nervous habits now and its one of those hindsights is 20/20.

AMommyMous April 21, 2010 at 1:40 pm

Sorry, but could you please clarify what “plucking” is? I’m guessing that it would be like pinching, but have only heard the term used to refer to removing feathers from poultry or as a way of playing string instruments – thanks!

Aupairgal July 29, 2010 at 3:33 pm

I think it is another work for flicking.

darthastewart July 29, 2010 at 9:42 pm

Pinching? Or maybe a flicking with the fingers?

Katie PAP April 21, 2010 at 9:05 am

I think if you use a nanny cam you should let your au pair know you are using one otherwise it might create trust issues with you and the au pair and strain your relationship if she found out otherwise.

HRHM April 21, 2010 at 11:21 am

Seems like that might sort of defeat the purpose. If you suspect your AP is up to something and then you tell her you’re going to start monitoring her, unless she’s a complete idiot, she would stop doing whatever it was she was previously doing, or at least do it where she knew she wasn’t being watched (bathrooms, car, etc). If you want to have proof that she is or isn’t doing something wrong, then an unannounced Nannycam or spot visits are the way to go. Having said that, I think if I felt that worried/suspicious about my APs behavior, I would just rematch. I can’t imagine letting someone I feel that way about take care of my kids even if I can’t prove they are doing something wrong.

Katie PAP April 21, 2010 at 8:11 pm

well if your au pair isnt doing anything wrong when you suspected her and if you just put a nanny cam in and she accidently finds it she is going to feel embarrassed and abit hurt.. I know you want someone who you feel comfortable looking after your children. However if you intution is telling you something and maybe you should get a rematch as obviously if you have to resort to a nanny cam you dont feel comfortable leaving your kids with the au pair.

My 2 cents April 22, 2010 at 9:28 am

You make a good point Katie. There’s a consequence if the parents are wrong and the AP finds the cam, and it’s a consequence you need to be ready to accept to the extreme . . . your wonderful AP leaves you in disgust and you now you have to bear rematch and likely bear the embarrassment over why.

On the flip side, as a parent, I’d rather take that risk and its consequence than not do the cam, not do drop-ins, and find out much too late, like LM, that my AP was abusing the kids and now they are emotionally injured and require lengthy repair. Maybe if you need the cam, it is a red flag for rematch, but if just don’t have a strong feeling, then brief use of a cam in the family room or kitchen is not horrible in my book.

au pair April 21, 2010 at 3:09 pm

I wouldhate it if my HF used nanny cams… it just seems really creepy. Granted, there are things I do when I’m alone with the kids that I might not do when the parents are around (play Kanye a little too loudly [hey, what can I say, they love him!], check my email on my phone a little too much, give them a bribery cookie here and there even when it’s not snack time) and there’s no way I could explain any of that away… but I sort of think that’s part of letting someone else take care of your kids; they make their own mistakes, just like parents.

And I definitely agree with HRHM- if it’s come to the point that you want to video survey your AP for trust reasons, you should prbably get a new AP!!

Anonymous For This April 22, 2010 at 8:41 am

I don’t like it, and haven’t resorted to it yet, but I understand it and don’t see it as wrong. Ideally, spot checking and dropping by unannounced is the best way to check up on your AP (and any employee, really), but for those of us with long commutes this isn’t feasible so a camera has to do.

I absolutely agree that gut instincts are critical in any situation involving your children whether it be an au pair, a teacher, a family friend, but don’t necessarily agree that if you use a camera it means you should rematch.

Hurt Parent June 6, 2010 at 11:38 am

My child was abused by our sweet appearing Nanny. Put a camera no matter how nice your nanny appears. You could save your child’s life.

Dorsi June 6, 2010 at 10:41 pm

You could also alienate your quality nanny, end up leaving your child in day care, have them contract Pertussis (because even your immunized child is still susceptible, and all those other parents didn;t immunize) and die. Not using a nanny-cam could save your child’s life.

Seriously, this is a tremendously unhelpful comment. If you would like to share your story about how using a nanny cam would have prevented serious harm from your child care provider, do tell. Otherwise, I think this is just fearmongering.

Melissa June 7, 2010 at 1:58 am

Absolutely agree with Dorsi. This could be a very valid point of view, but a thoughtful and detailed post would be much more helpful, vs. a ‘hit and run’ type comment.

some Au Pair June 7, 2010 at 12:42 am

I could kinda understand if my host parents want to have a nanny cam. I dont like, not at all. But I could (after cooling down) understand it. But please, TELL ME!!!

Just tell me: hey, you are a nice girl but thats our little child and we want to be as protective as possible because of that there are nanny cams in the play-, bed- and livingroom, in the kids bathroom and in the kitchen.

I would not like it, but I would understand it und would not feel betrayed.

If I would find a nanny cam by accident while playing with the kids… I would feel so humiliated that I would leave the family asap.

DarthaStewart June 7, 2010 at 10:06 am

IMO, the value of the nanny cam is as a preventative device- i.e. tell them that they’re being watched. But, if your mommy-dar is going off, and you have a ton of suspicions, chances are that something is up, and it’s time to move on, for all parties. No nanny cam necessary.
My experience also tells me that no nanny cam would have caught all of the issues with my last AP- or even very many of them. So, relying on it as the ultimate authority is possibly going to open you up for problems.
(I also think it’s a violation of privacy… What if your kid spills something all over her(Or spits up all over), and she takes off her shirt.. well, you’ve just gotten her shirtless…But she wouldn’t have removed the shirt had she known she was being watched.)

CS Nanny June 7, 2010 at 11:26 am

I also work for families with the assumption that they have a nanny cam. I completely understand why they would want to have one, and I don’t think it’s unreasonable. You are caring for their most precious possessions, and I don’t see a problem with using cams. If/when I have an AP, I will state upfront in the interview process that we have a nanny cam.

Host Mom in Virginia July 29, 2010 at 2:02 pm

If the host parent feels more comfortable with a Nanny cam (hidden), it is their prerogative. I see nothing wrong in it. I have a baby and a 3 year old and having a nanny cam provides us information about areas which can help everyone improve, but it also provides evidence if something terrible should happen to our young children. I am willing to take on the possibility that the au pair finds it.
** Others on this thread who are afraid to admit they have a nanny cam I am with you. I am sure I am going to be blasted for this decision.

aupair21 July 30, 2010 at 2:57 am

I actually think it makes a huge difference how LONG you use the cam.. If I found out for example that my family put up a cam just a few times when i first came to their house and they only had it there for a little while (before they got to know me) just to see a few times how i was with the children, that would not bother me. But if they felt like they needed to have the cam there ALWAYS even after theyve gotten to know me, that would make me feel very “not trusted” and sad and i dont think i would be okay with it.

same thing if you do suspect something or your gut tells you something is wrong, i see NOTHING wrong about putting up a cam to check. But if everything seems great and there is no “red flags”, i think the cam should be taken down! being filmed for a longer period of time without my knowledge would make me feel very disrespected..

AH November 4, 2010 at 5:49 pm

Readers- some strong language here…. I started to edit it, and then thought maybe I’d leave it so you can see the strength of this commenter’s upset-ness. cv

This is BS.

I am a parent with a full-time nanny. Let me tell you about my experience. We used a very reputable nanny placement agencies with a hefty placement fee. But it’s the best agency, so that’s what we went with. As part of that, the agency did a full background check. We also called each and every reference of both of our nannies. Both got glowing reviews. Both had wonderful personalities – came off as very nurturing and loving.

Now let me tell you our story.

First nanny:
Was just a wonderful nanny. AT FIRST. 4 months in, something started firing in my gut. But when I asked detailed questions about what she had done with our daughter that day, or even just chatted casually about anything, I got answers that sounded like Mary Poppins (oh we played with blocks! we worked on sounds! we sang! we cuddled! we laughed! and on and on). But something felt off to me, and our normally happy baby started to seem a bit detached. So we got a nanny cam. HOLY SHIT. That crazy (*&(*&(*&*(*&& who we were treating VERY WELL (LOTS of vacation, HIGH pay, bought all the food she specially requested, treated her as family, etc.), LEFT OUR BABY UNATTENDED AND ALONE IN HER DARK ROOM FOR SEVEN HOURS. At first, I thought I crazy. But we went back and watched the film – SEVEN HOURS. No bottle, no diaper change, no nothing. We fired her instantly.

Nanny #2:
Nanny #1 was very outgoing, so we thought, better stick with someone more, shall we say, subdued, this time around. Things were going great. But we still have a nannycam. And guess what – today I saw my nanny spend FOUR hours doing nothing but surfing the net on her computer while my daughter played in the background. NO INTERACTION WHATSOEVER. and then – here’s the kicker, my daughter was getting bored, so like all 1 year-olds do, decided to crawl over and try to play with the nanny and started touching her computer. Instead of realizing that she wasn’t doing her f*ing job and putting her computer away and playing with our daughter WHICH WE ARE PAYING HER TO DO, she SMACKED HER. I ran home LIVID (we DO NOT SMACK OUR CHILD) and you know what she told me? That they were having a great day playing games and having fun. Again – we worked on sounds! we played peek-a-boo! I’m teaching her to walk!

Funny thing is, we have a nannycam, but we completely stopped checking it with Nanny #2 because we totally trusted her. I just checked it on a whim today mostly because I wanted to see my daugther – goes to show that you really can never trust your nanny, no matter how awesome she makes herself seem to you.

So in short – * YOU NANNIES! YOU ARE THE BEST LIARS AND CHEATERS ON THE PLANET. DO YOUR * JOB. I HAVE A JOB THAT I GET PAID FOR, AND YOU KNOW WHAT? I ACTUALLY DO MY JOB.

ALL THIS BS ABOUT “RESPECT THE NANNY’S PRIVACY” – ARE YOU CRAZY???! IF WE WERE RESPECTING OUR NANNY’S PRIVACY, OUR CHILD WOULD EITHER BE SEVERELY NEGLECTED AT THE MOMENT OR WOULD BE SMACKED.

Parents – make no mistake about it. These ladies came off as GREAT people. GREAT backgrounds. GREAT resumes. GREAT personalities. They just got lazy. So when your nanny gets lazy, you have to ask yourself – do you trust a lazy and potentially dishonest person with your child? If not – do yourself a favor. Get a nannycam. They are legal (but check your state’s laws – video is ok, audio is most likely not).

AND NANNIES – YOU KNOW WHAT YOU CAN DO WITH YOUR CHERISHED PRIVACY? GO * YOURSELF.

Hula Gal March 24, 2011 at 10:30 am

The situations you witnessed with your nannies lack of care for your child just breaks my heart. If I ever were witness to my daughter being treated that way, especially when she was a helpless infant I would have felt rage for those nannies too and just sick to my stomach. There is always a certain amount of “leap of faith” when you hire an outsider to care for your child(ren). This is why the au pair program appeals to my husband and I because we get to know the person caring for our child because the au pair lives with us. We are also fortunate that my husband works from home. It is also why I prefer the au pairs that spend time with their host families outside of the work day. You can observe how they interact with the children. I truly hope your experiences with childcare have been positive since these incidents.

MS March 23, 2011 at 7:28 pm

Strong language – totally agree. So strong that my first thought was: “Why don’t you then stop hiring these f* nannies and start to care of your baby on your own?” I realize that at both cases the nannies were irresponsible, but still it doesn’t explain such language. What’s more, not all the nannies and au pairs are like that: “YOU NANNIES! YOU ARE THE BEST LIARS AND CHEATERS ON THE PLANET. DO YOUR * JOB.”
AH, I’m sorry for you having such bad experience; unfortunately, whenever you hire someone to take care of your child, it’s risky.

NB December 9, 2011 at 9:47 pm

I’m currently working as an AuPair, first time ever. I think nanny cams are creepy, if used secretly.
Since it’s my first time ever working with kids, I actually wouldn’t mind if the parents would set up a nanny cam. Just so they could tell me, if I am doing anything wrong. Plus, sometimes the kids act so differently around me (in the sense of meaner and less friendly) or tell me ‘but our mom let’s us’ even though I know she doesn’t and I would be interested to see what their parents would say about this sort of behaviour. On the other hand, I’m alone almost every morning and do some housework and I would definately not want them to watch me doing that. I am a bit clumsy, or sometimes like to listen to music and do the ‘crazy moping the floor dance’.

I would only support the use of a ‘secret’ nanny cam, if the parents have good reasons (like suspeciting abuse of some sort).

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