Fadi Zaiter, an HR manager, checks a nanny-cam feed on his smartphone. The father of one has placed two cameras — one in the living room, which is his daughter’s regular play area, and one at the entrance of the house. Image Credit: Ahmed Kutty/Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: The trustworthiness of domestic workers and nannies remains an issue for families in the capital, regardless of whether they have children or not. Therefore, most parents stated that they recommend getting nanny-cams installed at home, especially for those with young children.

Individuals who have had these cameras installed however, told Gulf News that they had not caught their domestic workers making any major mistakes.

Hussain H., a communications executive and father of four said: “Even though my youngest child is 15 years old and therefore doesn’t need a nanny to take care of her, I have two maids and I have around six cameras installed at home. I feel like no matter how hard we try to integrate domestic workers into our families they will always remain and feel like strangers. They will therefore treat their sponsors with a certain amount of neglect and I don’t completely trust their work and the attention they pay to members of the household.”

Hussain revealed that he installed cameras in places most frequented by his two maids including the kitchen, laundry room, front yard and the living room.

“Admittedly I haven’t caught any of my two maids making a big mistake other than failing to wash the vegetables or dishes properly and disposing dust from the floor under the sofas instead of placing them outside. All footage from these cameras is accessible through my phone and the cameras begin operating once they detect that a person has entered a room. So these motion sensors send signals to my phone, which notifies me whenever any changes happen at home,” he said.

Other fathers like Khalid Al Hammadi who works in a semi-government company said that he decided to install nanny-cams after an extensive amount of videos about certain inappropriate behaviour committed by domestic workers circulated on social media.

“I decided to call a security company and install cameras in all the rooms of my house except the bedroom. We decided to tell our maid. At first, she became nervous and told us a story about how her son got sick and how she has to travel back to her country and take care of him. After a while, however, it seems that she forgot about it she stayed with us. My daughter is just over a year old and since the cameras were installed I’ve been feeling a lot safer. I haven’t caught the nanny doing anything except small cooking mistakes but nothing more severe than that.”

Meanwhile, Emirati mother Amani Al Shamsi, 44, highlighted the importance of leaving youngsters in daycare centres instead of relying on individuals who may or may not be fit for the job of taking care of children.

“I feel like many parents make the mistake of letting their maids take care of raising their children. I don’t have cameras installed at home because I have had my maids for eight years and I trust her. The only time I would install a camera is if I had no other means but to let my child be under the care of my maid. I feel like sometimes even mothers can’t handle the difficulty that arises with caring for a child, so why should a maid be held responsible for that?” she said.

Amani’s mother-in-law cares for her child when she is unable to, even though she has two maids.

“I strongly feel that if a company that especially caters to providing nannies for families in need. This way, families can be certain that they will receive qualified caretakers who have no criminal records, diseases and other dangers,” she added.