Anonymous

Do I need to let my babysitter know that we have cameras installed to watch her?

Interviewing our babysitter candidates today. Do I need to let them know there will be a camera watching them? What if they ask me if we have a camera set up? Do I need to disclose that we do? They’re not going to be hidden anyway but we won’t have them set up until the day of when we first need them.

  • Olivia
    Mar 20

    I would personally be upfront about the cameras and say that we have security cameras in/around the house. Honesty breeds honesty. If the caregiver has nothing to hide, security shouldn't be an issue. If a caregiver has a big problem with a camera, I would find a new caregiver. We have cameras inside and outside, and don't run through footage looking for bad behavior. It's comforting to know footage is available if there is an accident, someone gets hurt, or your child says something that doesn't feel quite right. I don't believe that cameras change behavior. People act how they're going to act whether or not anyone is watching. This is only my opinion - I don't know about disclosure and legal rights. If asked directly, I say be truthful.

  • Anonymous
    Mar 20

    We have a security system that records video and audio outside the home. We have a video baby monitor that is in the children's rooms. We don't disclose this to visitors. There's no expectation of privacy where we have cameras. If we have a sitter, I let them use the camera viewer in the nursery for naptimes. If we installed cameras in the playroom or kitchen, we would need to disclose this as recorded conversations must be agreed by both parties. This law varies by state. It varies with streaming vs recording and audio or visual only.

  • Anonymous
    Mar 20

    Legally, you need to let people know they are being recorded. This isn’t limited to care-givers, but anyone who comes to your house. A way to cover your assets is to post a small sign by the front door (on the outside) that says cameras are in use - that way everyone was technically informed. It’s also polite to let people know.

  • Anonymous
    Mar 20

    Thank you for the responses!!! Good point that if a sitter has issues with being recorded that that’s a red flag.

  • Anonymous
    Mar 20

    I agree that it is polite to let people know they are being recorded. However, legally speaking, you have a right to protect your home and property. Using security cameras whether disclosed or not are completely legal. When someone is in your home/on your property they have no legal right to be notified that cameras/recording devices are in use. With all that said, I think if you are comfortable enough to trust someone to watch your child, you should be comfortable enough to tell them about the cameras- I think it just initiates a more honest relationship!

  • Amanda
    Mar 20

    I don't have camera in my house but I still always ask a potential sitter if they would be ok with it. If they are not we go our separate ways. If they wouldn't be ok with me checking in remotely I'm not ok with them watching my kiddo. That being said I would tell them there are cameras just not tell them where they are if you decide to put them out of sight

  • Katie
    Mar 20

    You legally have to inform an employee/sitter that they are being recorded both audio and video.

  • Jesse
    Mar 21

    I see a lot of people saying that they are legally required. Does anyone know the federal law that requires this? Though this is not my area of law my understanding is that it depends on 1) which state you live in; 2) if it is just video or audio as well; and 3) where in the home you are recording (e.g. you can’t record the bathroom).

  • Z
    Mar 21

    Legalities vary by state, so it’s best you check with a local attorney, and not with random people on the internet. And, there is plenty of evidence which suggests humans DO act differently when they’re aware someone is watching them. *I* wouldn’t be comfortable being recorded day-to-day, but would be fine in the context of childcare. And, frankly, forget legality, and just inform a potential caregiver out of simple courtesy and respect.

  • Anonymous
    Mar 21

    I used to have a pet sitting business. A few times, I found a camera had been recording me without my knowledge, and felt a little violated by it— not that I was doing anything wrong, but I worried that I might have done something *embarrassing*, like adjusting my tights, or things like that people do in private but not in public. I appreciated the people who were open about having cameras and letting me know which rooms they were in.

  • Brittany
    Mar 21

    As a former nanny, I specifically brought cameras up. I stated I didn’t mind being recorded, but that I felt I had the basic human right to know. I spent the majority of my waking hours in that home. I breastfed my daughter who came to work with me, and while I fed in public I was much more free about it in private. I often took the kids out walking, to the park, and to the pool. I changed clothing in the living room plenty of times. Things like that, but also general privacy. Does your boss watch you through holes in the wall? No. They come over in person, they sit in the open. Same concept. You want to be there with me, great, but I should know. My state says audio requires consent but video does not. If I had learned I was being recorded without being told I would have walked.