Checking up on your child minder

By admin
11 May 2014

One of the most difficult moments of motherhood is that first day you have to leave your child in the care of another person. Usually a stranger, a child minder is the person who’ll spend the most time with your baby and it’s important to be able to trust them. We give some expert advice on this scary step.

One of the most difficult moments of motherhood is that first day you have to leave your child in the care of another person. Usually a stranger, a child minder is the person who’ll spend the most time with your baby and it’s important to be able to trust them. Desiree Pather, managing director of Handy Helpers, a nanny agency, says thorough background checks are the first and most important steps.

However, once you’ve already employed the person, there are options that will help you keep an eye on your baby and their new caretaker. Pather says nanny cams are legal and can be used to ensure your baby’s safety but there are some things to keep in mind.

Important things to keep in mind:

  • It’s only fair to inform all the people you interview it’s your intention to have nanny cams installed. If the candidate has anything to hide they won’t take the job.
  • It’s illegal to record in a room where a person may hold an “expectancy of privacy”. This includes the bathroom or their bedroom where the child minder could be recorded in partial or full nudity.
  • Secret filming obtained illegally won’t stand up in a court of law and could result in criminal charges against you, the employer.
  • Suggest the candidate’s consent to working in your home with a nanny cam be included in the employment contract. It’s important this contract is then signed by the candidate and witnessed.

So how do you choose the right nanny cam?

  • It’s best to look at two or three companies that specialise in CCTV cameras. Ask them why their product is a better option.
  • Note that most nanny cams offer only visual footage without audio.
  • Cover the most important rooms in the house.
  • Find out if you’re able to view the footage in real time at work.

If you don’t feel right about using a nanny cam, you could:

  • Stop by during your lunch hour if you’re able to.
  • Ask a neighbour or friend living close by to also stop by whenever they can to ensure all’s well at home.
  • Calling your nanny on the landline is a good idea. You’d then know they’re at home. You’d also be able to hear your child in the background and whether they’re crying.
  • Ensure you have a good written routine for the nanny to follow in terms of stimulation and play. A bored nanny is in no way productive.

-Shandukani Mulaudzi 

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