The Nanny Cam Question: To Cam or Not to Cam?

It’s always a big question. Should we use a nanny cam or not? The answer can be different for different families.

In-home surveillance devices, often referred to as “Nanny Cams” or “Granny Cams” (for seniors being cared for) can be used as a valuable tool for BOTH family and caregiver.

The cameras can either be hidden or out in the open. Most hidden cams are wireless and can come in the form of anything from a clock radio to a stuffed animal or they can be small cameras hidden throughout the household. Prices range anywhere from about $50 for basic functionality to up to $500 for digital systems that offer live video feeds to your mobile device or computer.

So when presented with the nanny cam question, we always recommend that a family do what they are most comfortable doing, but always remind them that if having a nanny cam would make them more comfortable, then they should base their decision on THAT comfort level rather than any discomfort they may face when discussing the issue with potential (or existing) caregivers.

Here are a few things to consider when considering whether or not to use a nanny cam:

  • Age of the child/senior.  If a caregiver will be caring for someone who can not talk or reliably communicate such as very young children, special needs children, or in some cases very elderly seniors, nanny cams can offer valuable confirmation of quality caregiving, help identify any issues or concerns, or just help identify simple adjustments that you may prefer take place.
  • Make it a positive.  The use of a nanny cam can be a positive thing for all involved. Let your caregiver know you’d like to use it so you don’t miss precious milestones, allow the video feeds to be shared with distant grandparents, allow you to “be there” during the day when you can’t physically be there, or whatever scenario applies. You can even solicit the caregiver’s involvement by asking her to showcase milestones into “one of” the cameras in particular (without divulging the location –or existence– of any other cameras if they are hidden). Many caregivers embrace the use of a nanny cam so the family can see how well they do at their job!
  • The cam factor.  Keep in mind that one of the main benefits of having a nanny cam is that the caregiver knows about it. The presence of one adds extra incentive to give the best care possible. It’s presence also adds to the peace of mind of the family, knowing they have that extra pair of “eyes” constantly on duty.
  • Red flags.  If you plan to utilize a nanny cam, be sure to discuss this with potential candidates during the interview process (making sure to be clear that they are never placed in any private areas–e.g., bathrooms). Take note of candidates’ reactions. Discomfort from a candidate can be a red flag. Quality caregivers who have nothing to hide typically have no problems with nanny cams.
  • Legal?  It IS legal in all 50 United States to utilize hidden cameras (video) in the home, so long as they are not in private places [e.g., bathrooms, caregivers' private bedrooms (for live-in), etc.]  It is NOT, however, legal to record audio without a person’s consent in the following states: CA, CT, FL, IL, MD, MA, MT, NV, NH, OR, PA, and WA.  And regardless of the state, it is almost always illegal to record a conversation to which you are not a party, do not have consent to tape, and could not naturally overhear.  In general, we recommend consulting with an attorney before recording audio.
  • Other uses.  Nanny cams are also great for surveilling your home when you’re away on vacation, monitoring your home when it’s being cleaned or repaired, etc.

We’ve heard from many families who have chosen to utilize a cam and many who have not. In a nutshell, families should do what is right for their family and makes them most comfortable.

Do you use a nanny cam? What have you experienced? Share your thoughts! 

Schools Out–You’re Not. Benefits of Seasonal Nannies for Winter Break

With December upon us, things can start to get overwhelming –  holiday parties, Christmas shopping, holiday cooking, planning for special events, traveling and more. While children have the joy of looking forward to their winter break, working parents are faced with another task – finding seasonal childcare. To help kill two birds with one stone, savvy families are hiring full-time, seasonal Nannies.


Seasonal nannies are caregivers who take on short term positions for the holiday season. They can be college students or teachers who are looking to earn some money over their

winter break, or currently unemployed nannies that are happy to take on a short term assignment while they continue to look for something more long term. Either way, seasonal nannies can help alleviate many of the holiday stresses for parents. Not only do they offer a solution to childcare, but they can easily take on extra tasks like running errands, assisting with holiday shopping, helping prep or cook holiday meals, and more. Additionally, seasonal nannies often offer evening or off-hour babysitting, allowing parents to attend holiday parties, get some holiday shopping done, or just taking a much needed night off.

Post your Seasonal Nanny Job on
GoNannies has thousands of nannies from which to choose. To find a great nanny, be sure to post your job right away before the good nannies are all booked up. And remember, paid GoNannies members have free access to background checks and online references to help make your screening easier. Run a free SEARCH NOW to view the profiles of Nannies near you!

Do you have other great suggestions for families looking for temporary care? Please share 


Nanny Housekeepers – The Hybrid Nanny

It’s becoming increasingly popular to need more from a Nanny than just childcare. Although it’s common for a nanny to provide some light housekeeping, like tidying up and cleaning dishes after a meal or cleaning up after the children, when the housekeeping needs extend beyond cleaning up after themselves and the children or become more extensive and time consuming, it starts to become clear that a family needs to hire a Nanny Housekeeper.

It’s important for a family to be realistic and recognize there will be a little give and take when it comes to splitting a caregiver’s time between childcare and housekeeping. Since the caregiver’s priority is always the children, it’s important that a family doesn’t overload the person with more housekeeping duties than they may be realistically able to perform in order to provide quality childcare.

Finding a Nanny Housekeeper is becoming easier also. Since more and more caregivers are offering these combined services, there are more caregivers from which to choose.  We’ve found that many professional nannies may not be interested in the housekeeper portion of these positions. One recommendation we give to families searching for nannies willing to do EXTENSIVE housekeeping, is to seek out “Housekeepers/Maids” who also have childcare experience, as they may be more willing to take on childcare duties than a Nanny would be willing to take on extensive housekeeping duties.

To find the right balance between housekeeping and childcare, it’s important to look at your situation and your caregiver’s workload and schedule. For example, if your children are in school or napping for a significant portion of the day, then they can easily perform the extensive housekeeping duties during that down time, allowing them to focus on the children during childcare time. However, if the children are home all day, limit the housekeeping duties to light, manageable tasks such as laundry, vacuuming, making beds or changing bed linens, and loading and unloading the dishwasher, etc. as most can easily perform these duties while still providing quality care for the children.

In order to make a successful match when hiring a Nanny Housekeeper, it’s important to be extremely forthcoming and detailed about the position requirements and responsibilities from the start. Adding responsibilities after the Nanny Housekeeper has started is awkward, unfair and can cause resentment and a bad nanny-family match. To best communicate this information, families should create a Nanny Contract that thoroughly details all of the duties and responsibilities. The contract avoids any confusion and establishes a strong foundation based on communication.