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BigTent Forum Guidelines

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The most popular and widely used resource for GGMG members is our discussion forum hosted by BigTent. These forums are meant to create a sense of community amongst our members and provide a safe and supportive environment to learn and share.

The guidelines are intended to protect and serve GGMG membership. They are subject to change at any time.

GGMG members are free to post anonymously whenever they feel the need to do so. Please be assured that all anonymous posts are truly anonymous – your identity is unknown to the Web Team and other GGMG volunteers and we are unable to notify members if their anonymous posts are rejected. All anonymous posts are held for moderation and may not appear in the forums for 24 hours, although the response time is usually much quicker.

GGMG Forums:

  • The Early Years: for all pregnancy-related and parenting (up to pre-K) discussions, including questions about how you interact with your caregivers
  • The Elementary Years: for all parenting, 5 (kinder) to 11 (5th grade) discussions, including questions about how you interact with your caregivers
  • Careers: for job postings, discussions related to work, careers, and professional development.  Please click here for more detail.
  • Miscellaneous Questions: for all questions not related to parenting, such as ISO housekeeper, home renovations, travel advice or general inquiries.
  • Caregiver Search: used to recommend or search for a nanny, au pair, day care, share care, babysitter/babysitting swaps between members, mother's helper, doula, etc. You should only recommend a caregiver that you have used personally and you must use the Caregiver Recommendation Template. Please click here for more detail.
  • GGMG Events and Announcements: used by GGMG volunteers to announce upcoming events and volunteer openings. Only volunteers are allowed to post to this forum.
  • Classifieds: used to post items for sale, for free or "wish to buy", garage sales, tickets, discount referrals and coupon codes, real estate/rental listings, job openings, and advertising and self promotion. Please click here for more detail.


To Access the Forums
To view or participate in the forums, login to BigTent, go to 'my groups' then choose 'Golden Gate Mothers Group'. Click on the 'forums' tab to view recent discussions or search for historical threads.

To Change your Email Preferences
To change the frequency of email notifications you receive, login to BigTent, go to 'my bigtent' then choose 'email settings'. Put a check mark in the box to the left of the forum(s) you wish to change. Scroll to the bottom of the page and use the 'Change notification to' drop-down box to select one of the following:

  • Email daily message digest (topics only) – will send an email message for every 25 new topics that are posted; you may receive more than one email per day. This option will send the least number of email messages per day.

  • Email daily message digest (topics and comments) – will send an email message for every 25 new topics or comments that are posted; you may receive more than one email per day.

  • Web Only – will not send any email digests but you can access content online at any time


The Parenting and Miscellaneous forums are not monitored, meaning that GGMG volunteers do not consistently read or respond to posts made on this forum. If you have a question for the directors or a specific committee, please send us an email instead of posting on the forums. Click here for a list of direct email addresses.

DO NOT SHARE your BigTent Username and Password
Our online community in BigTent is meant for members only. Do not share your login credentials (username and password) with non-members such as your spouse or partner, your caregiver or your friends.

Search the archives
Always search the archives before asking a question. Chances are someone else has asked the same question and there are valuable answers already available. To perform a search:

  • Log in to BigTent with your BigTent ID and Password
  • From the top-level navigation, click "my groups", and then choose "Golden Gate Mothers Group"
  • Click on the "forums" tab
  • In the box labeled "Search" type in a simple description of your search. Use general wording, if possible, and if one description isn't adequate, try using similar wording. For example, if you are looking for information on sleep training, search for "sleep learning" or "CIO".
  • Click on the magnifying glass to run the search. The results will be displayed below the search box. Click "Next" to page through the results.

Limit the number of times you post the same message
You may only post the same message once per week. Duplicate postings within the same week will be deleted and you will not be notified.


Forum guidelines are in place to help maintain a safe and supportive discussion environment. These guidelines outline what is allowed in the forums and what will be removed:

Forum Etiquette
To encourage a supportive sharing of resources in the forums, members are expected to be considerate of all members when communicating. Please make sure you can objectively answer NO to these three questions in regards to your post:

  • Is it destructive rather than constructive?
    Any communication in the forums, even those expressing disagreement or negative experiences/opinions must be delivered in a manner that is respectful and serves a purpose (to ask for support, answer a question, further the discussion, etc).
  • Is it malicious?
    Regardless of intent, posts/comments that contain any mean-spirited or harmful content may be removed.
  • Is it inflammatory?
    Regardless of intent, posts/comments that contain any hint of agitation or provocation may be removed.
If you answered yes to one or more, the post is not appropriate for the GGMG forums and should not be posted.

Reporting A Questionable Childcare Situation
If you have observed a questionable situation involving the care or treatment of a child and would like to reach out to the parent, you may be post in the 'The Early Years or Elementary Years' forum; however, you must keep the tone neutral and use the template below. Posts concealing your identity or describing caregivers in a negative way will be removed.

Message Title: Questionable Caregiver Situation at <blank>

Message: I witnessed a questionable caregiver situation with a child today. Here is a description of the parties involved. Please contact me if you think this could be your child.

Unsolicited Opinions (Positive or Negative)
New topics containing opinions, reviews or recommendations of a business, service, school, caregiver or product are permitted in the Parenting Questions or Miscellaneous Questions forums provided they are first-hand accounts of your experience, follow forum etiquette and guidelines, and are not posted more than once.

No Anonymous Evaluations
Posts sharing a positive or negative experience with a specific, named vendor or person should not be posted anonymously.

Advertising and Self Promotion
You may not post a new topic to advertise a business, service, website or blog that you own or have a financial or other interest in. However, you can post a response to another member's current forum post. For example, you may not start a thread suggesting members visit the restaurant you just opened. However, if a member asks for caterer recommendations, you can comment on their post with detailed info regarding your catering business. You must disclose your affiliation (for example: you are the owner, employee or receive any sort of payment or commission) in your response and your response must be relevant to the conversation. Owners or employees may not comment on a competitor's business. 

Promotional messages from outside (non-member) businesses are not permitted in the forums and may not be posted by a member on behalf of the business.

Unsolicited advertising and self promotion is allowed in the Classifieds. In the Classifieds, please post to the 'Services Offered' category. EXCEPTION: Caregivers may not promote themselves.

Affiliate links
Affiliate links and other links that provide direct monetary or other benefit to an individual, school or other party, are permitted provided that you disclose who benefits from the clicks and/or purchases made through the link.

Event Postings
No posts for events, talks, open houses, etc unless it is:

  • Sponsored by GGMG (post to GGMG Events & Announcements forum) or
  • Sponsored by the city or
  • A fundraiser or open house benefitting a school, library, park or similar child-related non-profit organization or
  • Free and open to the public
If the event meets the above criteria and does not violate the 'Advertising and Self-Promotion' criteria above, please post it to either the 'The Early Years' or 'Elementary Years' or 'Miscellaneous Questions.

The Classifieds Section
Please note that the following items or topics should be posted in the Classifieds section, not in the forums. To access the Classifieds, click on the 'classifieds' tab in BigTent.

  • Items for sale or "wish to buy"
  • ISO Members to meet class or workshop attendance minimum
  • Discount referrals or coupon codes
  • Real estate or rental listings
  • Housekeeper Recommendations
  • Job openings or seeking employment
  • Advertising and self promotion
  • Surveys, interviews, or focus groups
Please see the guidelines specific to the Classifieds section for more information.

No Solicitations
No solicitations for religious or political campaigns, any type of "Vote for X" messages, chain letters, or requests for monetary donations. Requests for the donation of items such as clothes, diapers, carseats, etc will be allowed.

Political Discussions
Discussions of political topics are permitted as long as members remain civil and refrain from “calls to action” such as recruiting members to contact political representatives for a specific cause, signing petitions or contributing to a campaign.

No Solitary Links
Forum posts that contain a link to an article or website with no explanation or context provided may be removed. Excerpts of the article that are more than a short paragraph may be removed.

Potentially Disturbing News Stories
Forum posts that link to, or discuss, disturbing or graphic news stories (i.e. child abuse or violence) must be posted with the following subject line: “Warning: disturbing content”. Details should not be included in the subject line.

No Inflammatory Language
Posts that include inflammatory language such as profanity, sarcasm or personal attacks will be removed from the forums.

Hate Speech
Posting negative stereotypes or denigrating comments about any race, religion, national origin, ancestry, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, socioeconomic status, or disability is not permitted. Posts that contain any form of hate speech will be immediately removed.

Member Privacy
GGMG takes the privacy of its members very seriously. GGMG posts, comments and digests are private and restricted to GGMG members only. They are not to be shared with or forwarded to any other person without the explicit permission of the original author of the post. Information posted on the GGMG forums including, but not limited to, an original forum post, a forum comment, member user names or any personal identifying information may not be shared on social media, including Facebook and Twitter or used in a blog without the explicit permission of the original poster or commenter. Failure to comply with these guidelines may result in the suspension or termination of GGMG membership.

GGMG cannot guarantee confidentiality. If the privacy of your post is important, please use caution and consider posting anonymously, changing identifying details or not including personal information.

Please note that the GGMG PR Committee does maintain a GGMG Facebook page which may discuss general topics that are “trending” in the forums. However, no identifying member information or direct quotes from GGMG members’ forum posts or comments will be included.

GGMG exists to help nurture moms during the early years of parenting and the intent of the privacy guidelines is not to stop the flow of useful information on parenting topics and community resources. GGMG does recognize there is a difference between supportive sharing vs. sharing with “malicious intent". The intent of the privacy guideline is to ensure that members' personal comments shared in confidence are kept private and that no identifiable information about that member is exposed outside of the GGMG community.

No Bullying or Harassment
Members should be polite, courteous and respectful at all times when posting in the forums, especially when debating sensitive topics such as sleep training and vaccination choices. Any form of bullying or harassment will not be tolerated. Please help keep threads open for discussion by refraining from back and forth debates or personal attacks. Remember to be respectful in your responses and only comment if you have something new to add to the original poster's question.

No Illegal Posts
Forum posts that are found to be in violation of Federal or California State Law will be deleted.

Prescription Medication
Due to regulatory and safety concerns, posts that offer to sell or donate (or seek to obtain) prescription medication are not permitted.

Member email addresses and other contact information are confidential and for the personal use of members only. Do not share member information or your BigTent login credentials with non-members.

False Identity
GGMG members must be mothers, living in San Francisco, with a child under the age of six. If it is found that you did not meet these criteria when you joined or renewed your membership (for example: you are a nanny trying to find a job or you are a vendor trying to promote your own business), your membership privileges will be revoked.


GGMG prides itself on providing a safe and reliable community for our members. The Caregiver Search forum is meant to help you find a variety of caregiver solutions including a nanny, babysitter, au pair, mother's helper, doula, day care, share care, etc. Please note that preschools do not fall under this category, however, preschool/daycare teachers seeking employment as an individual caregiver may be recommended provided your relationship with the teacher is clearly stated.

In an effort to maintain the integrity of this forum and protect our members, the following guidelines are in place:

Caregiver Recommendation Template

All caregiver recommendations in the Caregiver Search forum must follow the template below, except those looking for a share care partner (defined as an arrangement where two or more children from different families are cared for by a nanny at the same time) or members looking to swap babysitting duties. Please note that you may not recommend yourself as a caregiver. Both first and last names of the recommender and the caregiver are required.
  • My full name is:
  • My phone number is:
  • My email address is:
  • My caregiver's full name is:
  • My caregiver's contact information is:
  • She/he is looking for: <type of job>, <location>, <dates>, <etc.>
  • I employed this caregiver from <start date> to <end date>
  • I highly recommend her/him because:


  • Your child's age:
  • Does the caregiver drive (yes/no):
  • Any certifications (eg. CPR, etc.):
  • Recent Immunizations:
  • TB Test (yes/no):

Full Moderation

The Caregiver Search forum is fully moderated. This means that all posts must be approved by a member of the Web Team before they will be displayed in BigTent. Posts are typically reviewed within 24 hours of being submitted. If you do not see your post within that time frame, send an email to to see if your post was rejected for being in violation of forum guidelines.

Recommending Your Caregiver in Response to Posts

Members who wish to recommend their caregiver in response to a member’s post for nanny recommendations must also use the Caregiver Recommendation Template or include a link to their original moderator-approved BigTent post. Please note that the template is not required in response to a post looking for daycare recommendations.

No Anonymous Caregiver Recommendations

Anonymous recommendations for caregivers, nannies, babysitters, au pairs, mother's helpers, doulas, etc will be rejected.

No "Posting for a Friend"

All recommendations made in this forum must be written by you, for a caregiver that you have used personally. Please do not post for a friend that is in search of a caregiver.

Allow Interested Parties to Contact You Directly

In your recommendation, you may encourage members to contact your caregiver for additional information however you should also be available to discuss your experience with the caregiver you're recommending with interested parties.

Do Not Post in the Classifieds

All searches or recommendations for caregivers in the Classifieds section will be deleted.

Suspicious Activity

If you experience unusual or suspicious activity when exploring the referrals provided in the Caregiver Search forum, please alert the Web Team by sending an email to We will investigate the situation and take appropriate action.

Verifying Recommendations

GGMG volunteers will randomly verify recommendations made in this forum. Your GGMG membership will be terminated or your recommendation removed if it is suspected that you have made a false representation of yourself or your caregiver. Future recommendations on behalf of a fraudulent caregiver will not be approved.

Disclaimer: GGMG cannot verify all information provided by members and therefore does not endorse the recommendations made in our online forums. Members are encouraged to perform proper due diligence when interviewing and hiring caregivers based on these recommendations.


The Classifieds section can be accessed by clicking on the 'classifieds' tab within BigTent. Its goal is to allow for the exchange of goods and services amongst our community.

Please note the following items that can and should be posted to the Classifieds section (not the forums):

Items for Sale, for Free or Wish to Buy

Items for sale, for free or 'wish to buy/borrow' should be posted in the Classifieds section. Please ensure you are satisfied with the condition of the item before you make a purchase, as GGMG cannot be held liable for these transactions.

ISO Members to meet class or workshop attendance minimum

If you are trying to find members to fill a class or workshop that is at risk of being canceled due to low attendance, you may post an ad in the Classifieds.

Discount Referrals and Coupon Codes

Discount referrals (for example: Groupon or Plum District) should be posted in the Classifieds section in the "Discounts & Coupons" category. If you are receiving any type of benefit from the promotion, it must be fully disclosed. Coupon codes for any sale event (for example: 40% off at the Gap or Friends & Family discount code for my company) should also be posted in the Classifieds section in the "Discounts & Coupons" category.

Real Estate or Rental Listings

All real estate or rental listings, "in search of" requests and invitations to open houses should be posted in the Classifieds section.

Job Openings and Seeking Employment

Job openings or job seeking requests may be posted in the Classifieds section under the 'career' categories. You may also try a Yahoo Group called 'Works for Me'. EXCEPTION: Please note that caregivers may NOT seek employment in the Classifieds section. This includes nannies, babysitters, au pairs, mother's helpers, doulas, and day cares. All caregivers must be recommended by a mother for whom they have worked previously. More information can be found in the 'Caregiver Search Forum' section.

Advertising and Self Promotion

Advertising for a business or a service is allowed in the 'Classifieds' section. This applies to any business, regardless of whether you are the owner, an employee or a customer. When posting an advertisement, please use the 'Services Offered' category. EXCEPTION: Please note that caregivers may NOT promote themselves in the Classifieds section. This includes nannies, babysitters, au pairs, mother's helpers, doulas, and day cares. All caregivers must be recommended by a mother for whom they have worked previously. More information can be found in the 'Caregiver Search Forum section.

Focus Groups, Interviews, Surveys and Other Research

Requests for member participation in focus groups, surveys, interviews, research studies, etc may be posted in the Classifieds section under the category "Focus Groups-Interviews-Surveys-etc". Only members may post to this section but may post on behalf of another party.

All job postings in the Careers Forum must follow the template below.

  • Job Position Title:
  • Full or Part Time (If Part Time, approximate number of hours & schedule.):
  • Job Type (Contract, Temp, One Off, Permanent,Temp-to- Hire, Remote):
  • Salary Range:
  • Job Location:
  • Hiring Contact Name/Title/Phone/Email:
  • Company Website:
  • Job Description or Link to Job Description:
  • How to Apply (Link or email or other contact information.):

Solicitations for work (ISO jobs) are not permitted in the Careers Forum. Affiliations with a business must be disclosed.


Please be aware, our forums are not fully moderated. Posts made by members who disclose their identity are displayed immediately after being submitted. Posts made anonymously are placed in a moderation queue and must be approved by the Web Team before they are displayed. The typical time for anonymous posts to be reviewed and displayed is within 24 hours. If you do not see your anonymous post displayed within that time frame, send an email to to see if your post was rejected for being in violation of forum guidelines.

Note: Anonymous posts are truly anonymous; moderators cannot see the original poster's name in the moderation queue.

Flagging Messages
The Web Team is responsible for moderating the forums. This committee is comprised solely of volunteers. Due to the volume of posts in the forums we rely on all GGMG members to notify us when they see a post that violates forum guidelines. This can be done by checking the 'flag' checkbox below the message.

When a message is flagged, a notice will appear in the moderation queue. A member of the Web Team will then review the message in question.

Constant Moderation
If a member violates our forum guidelines multiple times, that member may be placed on "constant moderation". This means that every message they post will need to be approved by the Web Team before it is displayed in the forums. The Web Team will notify the member when they are placed on constant moderation and when they are removed. The length of time a member is on constant moderation is up to the discretion of the Web Team but is typically three months. GGMG reserves the right to take appropriate action (for example: suspending or revoking membership) if a member continuously violates forum guidelines.

Moderating Discussions
If a discussion contains multiple comments that are in violation of forum guidelines, the Web Team will post a warning reminding members to be considerate when participating in the discussion. If the discussion continues in the same manner, the thread will be closed for further comment or removed from the forum.

If you have any questions, please send an email to