Keeping A Hidden Eye On Nanny

Nannies are drawing a lot of flack these days as media reports about abuse fuel rising anxiety over child care. In response, some entrepreneurs have emerged to capitalize on the growing concern.

Kimmons Investigative Services, Inc., a Houston-based investigations and security firm, now offers nanny background checks to confirm previous employment, civil litigation history and driving records. The background checks also confirm the validity of a person’s Social Security number.

But that’s not all. If a parent suspects that a child isn’t being properly treated by hired help, the firm also offers a hidden surveillance monitoring system. Surveillance cameras located inside a functioning clock radio sends a signal to a VCR placed in another part of the house. The remote surveillance cameras can be used from room to room while the VCR tapes all day, says Kimmons Investigative Services, Inc. President Rob Kimmons, a former Houston police officer.

Kimmons says nanny watching is definitely in vogue these days. “The surveillance video monitoring is becoming increasingly popular with parents,” He says. “They can watch how nannies handle children in a particular room, or videotape their cars to make sure they’re not leaving the house.”

But yuppie espionage doesn’t come cheap. According to Kimmons, the surveillance equipment costs about $150 to install and test, plus $150 a week for rental.

Houston Business Journal, July 5-11,1996

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