I'm due later this year and after I return to work from maternity leave I will get a nanny.

I'd like to watch nanny and baby while at work.

I shall certainly tell the nanny before hire that she and the baby are being watched, but I am puzzled about whether the camera should be in plain site, or if it should be hidden.

If the camera is in plain site isn't it possible for nanny to be hiding something away from the camera?

And I would like to know the best places to keep this camera.

I suddenly became a single mother. This is my first child, so all this is new to me.

The only moral support I have is my elderly father who I live with and my aunt who lives in a different state but has a busy family of her own, and of course the Hand of God.


2 Answers 2


The main issue here is one of trust.

  • If you can trust the nanny, the camera is a tool for you and for her. It allows you to still be in contact and be reassured, and it gives her a way to contact you and keep you up to date throughout the day. It's basically a hi-tech version of the "photo diaries" our childminder keeps. Note that if she doesn't feel comfortable with a camera, even with this explanation, you cannot use it. I'm not sure if it's actually a criminal offence to video someone when they've specifically said no, but it's at the very least incredibly unethical.

  • If you can't trust the nanny, either don't tell her about the camera, or don't use the camera. As you've said, a monitoring device is of no use if you know exactly where it is. All it will tell you is if she's struggling. I'd say "don't leave your child with her", but you have to leave your kids with someone, so I'd suggest just monitoring how happy they are, what information they bring home etc. (UK law requires that any childminder now produce weekly reports on what your kids did and have specific policies on stuff like food, trips, bullying, etc; but even a couple of digital photos a month of your child playing go a long way to reassuring you)

Informing someone you're expecting to give your child their full attention that they're being covertly watched at all times is counter-productive. Rather than focusing on what your child needs, they'll focus on what you'll think of what you're seeing, which is not the same thing.

Here's the truth: What they do with your child while you are not there is not in your control. As an example, if your child falls over and scrapes their knee, that is a thing that happens. Having them immediately panic about whether the camera picked it up and how you reacted rather than taking care of the boo-boo is counter-productive. What you can control is whether your child is in their care, and what you can check is how your child is around the nanny, and whether both the child and the nanny are content or not when you come home (stressed nanny is as much a warning sign as stressed baby, if not more). That's the most important thing, and it's far more useful to observe that than using a webcam.

  • 1
    Spot on answer. The core issue is one of trust, not only your trust in the nannie, but also your trust in the camera. It is only tool that can provide limited information.
    – Shawn C
    Apr 4, 2014 at 16:40

If you want a camera, just be honest with the nanny, and put the camera wherever it seems appropriate. If you feel you can't trust the nanny with a visible camera, however, then think carefully about whether you're able to trust a nanny at all.

To help with your fears, get a qualified nanny that comes with some references (call them), a background check, and talk frankly and openly with them when you meet. It's a relationship, and an important one.

Also, I disagree with the commenter above when they say "If you can't trust the nanny, either don't tell her about the camera, or don't use the camera." It's common sense that if you can't trust the nanny, DO NOT hire them. Why would you hire someone you don't trust to care for your children?

  • I want to trust but verify .... yes I would like to have good relationship with nanny. When I want to take baby to Disney, I would like her to come along not just to help, but for cammradre .... after all my baby is spending good chunk of time with her
    – Glowie
    Apr 1, 2014 at 16:30

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