Think Before you Buy: Are Nanny Cams Legal?


In about 46% of households in America, both parents work full-time. This often means children are enrolled in daycare or a caregiver is hired to work in the home. 

It’s common for many parents to use camera systems to boost security in the home. Cameras can also enhance your comfort level when someone else is taking care of your child. It’s a newer method of parental control that gives you peace of mind. 

Yet, many parents wonder, are nanny cameras legal? There’s much to know before you commit to installing hidden cameras in your home.  

Read on to learn more about the legal and ethical considerations of using nanny cams. 

The Perks of Using a Nanny Cam

Going back to work after having a child can be an uneasy and stressful time for a parent. Even stay at home parents have trouble leaving their child in the care of a babysitter for the night. 

Nanny cams offer many parents a sense of security and comfort when hiring a new caregiver. A background check only goes so far in determining if a person is the right fit for your family.

Cameras show if a nanny is respecting your home, your privacy, and your childcare requests. You get to see how they handle your child. This includes dealing with a colicky infant or toddler meltdown.  

Cameras show how well a nanny watches your child. It offers a way to catch the caregiver doing something that you don’t agree with.

You’ll be able to see if a nanny spends all their time on their phone. Recording your nanny will also alert you if they invite any unapproved guests over to the house.

Yet, this technology is not only used for catching a caregiver in the act of something bad. Nanny cams can also give you better peace of mind and reduce stress. You may find out that the nanny is doing a great job watching your child while you’re away.  

Wi-Fi technology even connects video footage right to your mobile phone. This way you can watch the footage in real-time for a better sense of comfort. Higher-end models even offer picture-perfect resolution and night vision.  

So, Are Nanny Cameras Legal?

Hidden cameras seem like a great way to keep a careful eye on your child. Yet, there could be legal implications for filming your nanny while they watch your child. 

You do have the right to install a hidden camera in your home. This even allows you to film a caregiver without their knowledge. Yet, there are certain responsibilities you need to abide by to avoid breaking any nanny cam laws. 

First, it’s important to know that there is a big difference between recording video and audio. It is legal to record your nanny without any sound. But there are a few rules here that need to be followed to keep this legal, depending on the state you live in.   

In many states, it’s illegal to record audio on your hidden nanny cams. If you plan to use a nanny cam with sound, it’s smart to get consent first. 

With consent, you don’t have to stress over wondering are nanny cameras legal in your state. You’re free to buy and install the perfect nanny camera for your home to record full audio and video. 

Yet, other laws also work to protect from any filming happening in private areas. This includes the bathroom or a nanny’s bedroom if they live in your home. So, be sure to keep cameras in public areas only. 

Failing to follow these laws could result in legal action against you. Breaking these laws could also result in any video footage not being able to be used as evidence in court.  

Smart Tips for Installing Cameras in the Home 

Most parents choose to install nanny cameras in a discreet area of the home that sees a lot of traffic. Popular places include the living room, kitchen, playroom, and child’s nursery or bedroom.  

So, what do you tell the nanny? It’s up to you if you wish to alert the nanny that your home is under video surveillance. 

Keep in mind that not telling the nanny this information could result in them quitting if they find out. Yet, telling the nanny could also cause them to turn down the job. They may feel insulted or not be comfortable being videotaped in your home. 

Other caregivers have worked in a daycare environment and are used to being monitored. So, it all comes down to finding the right fit for your comfort and safety needs. 

Some parents choose to only operate the camera for a new hire. They use the system to help establish a sense of trust with the nanny. Then they turn the cameras off when they no longer feel they need to record their actions. 

Parents start using cameras again once children are old enough to babysit themselves. Experts agree that around age 10 your child should be able to start caring for themselves. Yet, this is best to only do for a short amount of time at first. 

Another thing you want to consider is that other people may also be recorded on camera. This could be a friend of your child’s, your nanny’s friend, or a repair person. You’ll need to make sure you’re respecting these people’s rights as well.  

A final tip is to always use proper privacy controls, including passwords. This helps to ensure your nanny camera system does not get hacked.   

Making the Choice to Use Nanny Cameras     

Installing hidden cameras in your home can help give you peace of mind and a sense of security. This technology works to show you if a caregiver is the right fit for your family. 

It always helps to first research are nanny cameras legal in the state you live in. Confirming these laws will protect you from any legal troubles when using nanny cams. 

Looking for more tips on raising a family? Check out the parenting section of my blog for all the latest advice. 

Jeff Campbell

Jeff Campbell is a husband, father, martial artist, budget-master, Disney-addict, musician, and recovering foodie having spent over 2 decades as a leader for Whole Foods Market. Click to learn more about me

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