Quick, help - ethical ? about seeking childcare!!! - Mothering Forums

View Poll Results: To tell or not to tell the DCP that it's a 6 month only job
Yes, come clean. It's the right thing to do. 20 83.33%
No, don't tell - your options will be too limited. 3 12.50%
Other (please explain!) 1 4.17%
Voters: 24. You may not vote on this poll

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#1 of 12 Old 04-14-2004, 12:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have just had an opportunity come up to go back to work for 6 months part-time (3 days a week) starting in May. I'll be subbing in for a woman who's going on maternity leave and will definitely be coming back, so I know for a fact this is a 6 month only gig. I'm frantically looking for good childcare for my 20 month old ds. I'm looking at big daycare centers, home daycares, and nannies. I really want someone AP oriented and the best situation for ds.

I'm about to place an ad in our local weekly paper for a nanny. Do I mention in the ad that it's only for 6 months? Do I let other providers know it's only for 6 months? I don't want to narrow the pool to the point that I don't have good options, but is it unethical not to tell someone upfront that this job will be over in 6 months?

WWYD??

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#2 of 12 Old 04-14-2004, 02:53 PM
 
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What about finding a college kid. We live near a town with three (or is it four) colleges. Or, find a homeschooling family. I know lots of people who do that. There are plenty of other kids around, the mom is usually happy for the money.
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#3 of 12 Old 04-14-2004, 02:56 PM
 
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Be up front with a nanny, don't bother with a daycare centre, unless they can only do it for that length of time, and home daycare, I'd be wishy washy.
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#4 of 12 Old 04-14-2004, 02:59 PM
 
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maybe you could time-share a nanny with another mom?

I voted to be honest.
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#5 of 12 Old 04-14-2004, 03:08 PM
 
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I'd be up front, I don't think it's clearly a down side, there may be people who wouldn't apply because they know they wouldn't be long-term, and this way you can find someone who is a good fit. (I didn't apply for child care positions when I was saving to go to Europe, though those positions would have been my first choice.)

Also, once you have the connection, you might well use someone from time to time after that (it's so nice to have a good sitter who your child has bonded with!)---and that might be nice for the sitter, too.

Good luck!
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#6 of 12 Old 04-14-2004, 04:06 PM
 
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I'd be honest...you never know, there might be someone out there who wants a short-term commitment and would be happy to apply. Even if not, I think it's only right to be honest. What if that person turned down a more permanent opportunity to be with you, not knowing?

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#7 of 12 Old 04-14-2004, 09:35 PM
 
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I voted to definitely be honest. I did the same thing - not knowing whether I would be returning to work at all or whether I would just need a nanny to get us through the hump of twins infancy. I was totally honest about that possibility, and it all worked out.

The process of phone screening then background checking than in-home interviewing nannies is a PIA - and a full-time job in and of itself for a few days - and the LAST thing you want is to be wasting your time on people who would never be able to work for you anyway b/c they're looking for full-time or for a permanent position. Plus, it would royally suck to find the nanny of your dreams only to have her balk at the 6 months aspect and walk out your door in a huff!

I would, however, be careful how you say it.... because you never KNOW what will happen in the future but also because you don't want to spin it as a negative thing. Something along the lines of...

"... seeking loving, attentive nanny to care for our adorable 20 month old boy in our home for 3 x-hour days/week for at least six months..."

See this way, you don't sound negative about it, and when you finally get down to the point of interviewing in person, you can talk about how this is your current plan and you will keep lines of communication open with her as to your plans, so she will have plenty of time to find a new position.

Because you're only looking for 3 days to begin with, you're already going to have self-selected out of the nanny pool looking for full-time or live-in positions. So the people looking for part-time work are likely to be more receptive to a shorter-term arrangement.

p.s., I'd love to help you word your ad or figure out interview questions if needed! Having gone through that all myself, it's not fun, but sooo worth it in the long run. Of the 80+ people who responded to my ad, I did a detailed phone screen on about 30, then did around 10 in-person interviews, and of those 10, found 4 or 5 that I loved.

Think positive!
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#8 of 12 Old 04-15-2004, 03:08 AM
 
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I voted other, with the thought that in that situation I would be up front and honest from the get-go, but if I found myself spending more and more time seaching and getting no replies, because i can't find anyone interseted in a temp job, I might start saying things like "I"m going back to work, and the first 6 months will be a trial basis....." (a kind of half lie). Then of course, I would feel incredibly guilty and wouldn't be able to sleep at night.....

I suppose I would only not be up front if it was getting closer and closer to start date and I was getting frantic and desperate.
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#9 of 12 Old 04-15-2004, 05:42 PM
 
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Definitely. It's only fair, and it could also net you a really great person, maybe someone looking to take a semester off of college who's studying education or midwifery or something.
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#10 of 12 Old 04-15-2004, 06:37 PM
 
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Speaking from 12 years as a nanny, I say be honest. You might get less responses, but you'll have a better chance of finding one who's in sync with you. A lot of nannies who've come out of a long term family want a short term gig, before getting into another long term commitment. Most families want a several year commitment and nannies are often pressured to know where they'll be in the future.
The college student is another great option. There may be a student willing to take a term plus summer out of classes, or taking night classes, who wouldn't respond if they thought it was indefinitly.
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#11 of 12 Old 04-15-2004, 11:37 PM
 
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I definitly think a persn needs to know that their job is only for 6 months. I've had that haappen to me before and it was a big slap in the face to find out I wasn't going to have a job in 2 weeks. I actually left a job for that one. Some people like short term assignments.
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#12 of 12 Old 04-16-2004, 12:39 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all the responses! You'll be happy to know I did the right thing and put in the 6 month part in the ad. OTOH, I am now almost positive I want to put ds in an in-home daycare, so he'll have other kids to play with and distract him rather than be one on one with a nanny...so I'm thinking about calling the paper and cancelling the ad if possible.

Thanks again!

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