Parent Talk: Are Paid Nanny Background Checks and Nanny Cams Necessary?

Every week, we will offer up a question for Prospect Heights parents (and other interested parties) to discuss.

There was an article in Carroll Gardens Patch about Nanny Track, , which begged the question: Is it worth it?

The service charges $555 for employees to scour public records from governmental agencies, county, state and federal courts, educational institutions, past employers, news sources, the sex-offender registry, credit check companies amongst other things to make sure there's nothing in their past parents might want to know about.

You tell us: would you pay $555 for a nanny background check? 

And, while we're on the topic, would you/do you use a nanny cam?

Let us know in the comments.

Melissa Clark February 16, 2011 at 09:27 PM
No I think that calling a reference or two is enough, that and also listening to your gut feeling about a person. Nanny cams are invasive and I wouldn't use one UNLESS I suspected a nanny or some kind of abuse....
jane February 16, 2011 at 10:23 PM
I would get all the references I could no matter what the cost and I install a nanny cam! I don't care how invasive a Nanny cam is if you are watching my child I want to know what you are doing all the time with my child I don't trust ANYONE and it is my job to be certain my child is safe! We are on camera almost anyplace we go now and isn't it more important to watch how someone is treating a child than watching people shop seems no one complains about store cameras.
Stephanie Keith February 17, 2011 at 12:45 AM
I think people should trust their instinct about finding the right person to care for their kids. Finding the right person is not a task to be taken lightly. Most of the babysitters or nannies I've employed have been either someone I already knew or was someone recommended by a friend. I see it as one of my Mother's tasks to be cultivating relationships with people I think would be a good match for my family. I've been lucky and found wonderful people who have become to feel like family. I would never betray their trust by putting a camera on them.
carla paul February 17, 2011 at 03:06 AM
I have been a nanny now for about 16 years. I dont care who place cameras in their home. But i dont think they should place it in the bathrooms. At least give us that privacy. If a parent is paranoid about leaving their children with a total stranger, i suggest that they stay at home and take care of their kids. An experience nanny will sense your uneasiness and that does not work well for a good relationship. Stay home and take care of your own children . Maybe when they go to the park and playground you may have to hire a private eye to follow them also.
Amy Sara Clark February 21, 2011 at 06:23 PM
Cissy, Thanks for your comments. I'd be interested how your services' prices compare with NannyTracks' $555 background check. I had been wondering if that was a good deal or not.
Cissy Prince February 21, 2011 at 08:03 PM
I currently work with Eagle Investigative Services www.eaglepiservices.com http://www.eaglepiservices.com and I have been reading the comments posted and I have to admit I agree with Jane. Your children are the most important part of you. Why in the world aren't they worth taking every precaution necessary? Carla, just because a person thinks that their children are worth taking any extra precautions doesn't mean they are paranoid. Think about it, we are all willing to pay car insurance as an extra precaution, why are we hesitant to take the extra precaution when it comes our children's safety? Let's play devil's advocate. Let's say you trust your gut, or a person's "references" check out, or maybe it's someone you already know and your child is sexually abused - then what? Your child will be scarred for life! It will be all because you didn't want to pay the extra money to secure the safety of child's life. I think you may be looking at this situation from the wrong angle. Stop looking at the cost and start seeing the value. We aren't the enemy, we only want to help prevent the preventable. Set up a free consultation and hear what we have to offer before prejudging the value of our services. :)
Karlene Rodney February 23, 2011 at 04:23 AM
I disagree with Carla Paul, sounds a little bit ignorant, remember we came from different cultures and what works for some people doesn't works for everyone, I totally agree with using full background checks and nanny cam. Some nannies who are illegal works under family names and family identification in order to get a job. Some of these same nannies believe in spare the rod and spoil the child and the child/children can sometimes get you on your last nerves and because you the nanny was scolded as a child, you may scold the kid/s you're babysitting. There's so much to consider when hiring a nanny. Not all families can stay home to watch their children and a one income family may not be enough, so therefore a nanny must be hired with full blown responsibility and understanding of raising any child. If the employers are lucky to find a wonderful nanny all praise be to that employer and always treat the nanny with the best care.
Nicole March 01, 2011 at 03:12 PM
If you can afford it's a great idea. Parents have a responsibilty to protect their children to the best of their abilty. There is nothing more precious than your children. Shop owners often install security cameras to protect their property. Of course we should do the best we can to protect our children. If you are a good and caring nanny you have nothing to hide and should welcome the chance to show the people you work for just how good you are with their children.
Stephanie Keith March 01, 2011 at 05:53 PM
Shop owners install cameras because they deal with strangers all day long that come in off the street. I would hope your home is more secure than that. We can protect our children by choosing trustworthy people to care for them not by micromanaging every second of their day.
Nicole March 03, 2011 at 02:59 PM
Most parents are not fortunate enough to have a familiar relationship with a prospective nanny before they hire one. So essentially they are hiring a "stranger" to watch the most valuable thing in their lives. Maybe after a relationship has been established and the parent feels comfortable, supervision is no longer necessary. But you sure don't want to be that parent who's goes by your "gut" and regrets it forever. There is simply too much at stake to go on blind trust.


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