To think that if you become a childminder you should not just take 'easy' children

(467 Posts)
Introvertedbuthappy Thu 03-Nov-16 09:26:29

I go back to work in December and decided on a childminder to look after my baby for the three days a week I'll be working. As I started looking in September I was asked to pay £150 a month until then to hold the place (1 day a week's fees) and as part of that could obviously use that day as childcare (as it was already being paid for). All fine.
Since then he has been there 3.5 days (CM wanted to cut one day short to go on holiday at a day's notice). On Tuesday she called to say that she will no longer look after my 6.5 month old as he is 'a difficult baby', 'cries a lot' and 'needs a lot of attention'. She also described an incident where her 3 year old got so frustrated with my son's crying her child 'screamed in his face, which was distressing not only for yoyr son, but myself and my daughter'. She has 'never seen a baby like it' (not in a positive way).
I am both devastated and angry. He is generally a happy chap, does like a lot of stimulation, but is happy to roll around/jump in his jumparoo/chase a pack of wipes round, but does obviously need to be picked up sometimes (ie like a typical baby). He doesn't sleep much but is generally not grumpy with it.
I'm upset about a number of things - the screaming incident, the language used about my son to turn down the contract and the fact I've pissed £150 down the drain to hold a place I can't take up.
So, AIBU or should she have attempted to settle him better before branding him a 'difficult' baby?

DearMrDilkington Thu 03-Nov-16 09:29:28

That's pretty bad. Although I'd be glad she admitted she can't handle ds instead of pretending she can and not meeting his needs.

How strange! I'd want the £150 back though.

Whatever the rights and wrongs of the situation, the relationship has broken down. I doubt you would want to leave your DS in her care now.
Perhaps, it is for the best that you have found out that she isn't the right CM for you so early on.

It must be frustrating though.

Bobochic Thu 03-Nov-16 09:31:21

You and this CM are not a match. That's OK. Be grateful she was honest with you.

Introvertedbuthappy Thu 03-Nov-16 09:32:01

I am not getting back my £150 as I 'used the service' - despite the fact I wouldn't have bothered had it not been a pre cursor to a place.
She has also left all his clothes/bottle/spare nappies/wrong wipes on my doorstep - she knocked and ran. How odd! confused

MuseumOfCurry Thu 03-Nov-16 09:32:11

She's not been terribly diplomatic, but she's free to take who she wishes. Maybe she finds the age too difficult and time-consuming and therefore, not profitable.

Arfarfanarf Thu 03-Nov-16 09:32:14

She's self employed and it's entirely up to her who she takes.

But she should give you your money back.

Otherwise that's just a scam, isnt it?

Give me a fee - now i won't take your child - im keeping the money.

MumOnTheRunCatchingUp Thu 03-Nov-16 09:32:43

Ugh! You dodged a bullet with that one

I'd also ask for the money back

ComputerDog Thu 03-Nov-16 09:33:46

Wow she sounds awful. What was she expecting do you think? I am always fascinated by this because there seems to be such a wide range of what people regard as "normal" baby behaviour.

Anyway, as others have said there's no way you'd want to leave your DS with her so I guess at least it's better to know now. Sorry you've had to waste time and money though.

Are there any nurseries nearby? Just wondering if they might be a better option as they're likely to have dealt with a wider range of kids and different behaviours.

OllyBJolly Thu 03-Nov-16 09:34:44

I think CMs should be able to choose who they look after - just as a business will choose their customer segment. You should negotiate with her regarding some repayment of the retention fee.

Agree with PPs. She has done the right thing in calling it off early. It wasn't going to work and it would have been much worse had she lied and said everything was fine.

RentANDBills Thu 03-Nov-16 09:35:00

You should get your £150 back and I don't think she handled it well but she's well within her rights to pick and choose her clients.
Doesn't seem like great business practice to me at all, but she needs to be happy and comfortable in her workplace and she has the luxury of being in control of that by being self employed.

FWIW its really unprofessional of her.

Also, you need to remember that you will have somewhat rose tinted glasses when it comes to your own children. A baby that does like a lot of stimulation in his mother's eyes is a demanding, fussy baby in someone else's.

Nanny0gg Thu 03-Nov-16 09:35:46

What was her last OFsted report like?

To be fair, as a CM running her own business she can take who she likes, although to be honest, she doesn't sound like someone I'd want to use.

I think you're due a refund and then look for someone else.

Artandco Thu 03-Nov-16 09:36:23

Well they can choose. If she has other children already in her care, and takes on a child that takes up 90% of her attention then that isn't fair on the other children. If he was the only child there, then it would be different as no other child needs need to be accounted for

Maybe look for a childminder where he is the only child at home most of the day, and they have school age children before and after school

Otherwise this is what a nanny is for.

DoYouRememberJustinBobby Thu 03-Nov-16 09:36:52

I wonder how many other people she has done this to?

BillSykesDog Thu 03-Nov-16 09:37:35

She's dealt with it very, very badly and I can understand why you are upset. But I do think if it's a really bad fit it might be for the best, because do you really want DS somewhere where a toddler is screaming at him? She also sounds like she can't cope well with the job and is unreliable so from your point of view probably better too. I would ask for the £150 back too. But at the end of the day even if you have to write it off, she sounds dodgy and not the sort of person you'd want to leave your kids with. Did you sign a contract and did it have a notice period?

Did you follow up references before DS started there? Always worth doing and googling to check if legit.

gabsdot Thu 03-Nov-16 09:38:26

I think you've had a lucky escape.
She sounds like she would have been difficult.b

ScrubbedPine Thu 03-Nov-16 09:40:39

She can take who she likes, but this really isn't the issue here, is it? CMs are used to babies needing a bit of settling in time and extra attention when they do, and she definitely didn't give this baby any time at all to settle before deciding he was 'difficult'- she sounds deeply unprofessional to me, with the one day notice for a holiday, the lack of settling in time, the disparaging language used about your baby, the abandoning your nappies etc on the doorstep.

You're well rid, OP. Be more careful choosing a CM next time.

Smartleatherbag Thu 03-Nov-16 09:41:55

She sounds horrible!

BillSykesDog Thu 03-Nov-16 09:42:11

I don't think the baby's personality or need for stimulation is really relevant. I had an absolutely amazing childminder who was worth her weight in gold and very experienced. If she had a baby who was 'difficult' she knew how to cope and deal with it because she was good at her job. A good childminder should be able to do that. If they can't then they're bad at their job rather than it being the fault of the baby.

BaggyCheeks Thu 03-Nov-16 09:44:14

I'd be glad she's admitted she can't handle him, rather than pretending everything was peachy and your son was unhappy.

Re the £150. If you hadn't used her service, I'd see if she'd return it. But from a business perspective, she can charge a holding fee because otherwise she'd have months to wait where she can't take on a similar aged child full time due to ratios when your son started.

ZoeTurtle Thu 03-Nov-16 09:46:04

She sounds awful - unprofessional and rude at the least. Lucky escape for you and your boy.

I would fight for the £150 and make sure to tell my parent friends about this. Word of mouth is important for childminders.

mumtomaxwell Thu 03-Nov-16 09:46:05

As others have said, this was a bad fit. Childcare is such a personal thing and the relationship has to work for everyone. I met a few childminders when my children were young and didn't gel with many of them. I chose a nursery in the end because I felt so much more comfortable with the staff and setting.
Good luck finding a better match for your baby and you.

HyacinthFuckit Thu 03-Nov-16 09:46:28

She should give you the money back, and fwiw your story would put me off using her as she sounds rather crap. But no I don't think there's any 'should' about it. If she only wants to take kids who are a piece of piss to look after, that's her call and the market can decide. Which would include people hearing your account and deciding accordingly.

But tbh, it seems rather naive to expect a CM not to put the perceived interests of any child they have at home first.

JaneAustinAllegro Thu 03-Nov-16 09:47:18

I'd also be interested to find out how many other people she's' done this to. Did you find her from one of the local authority lists? What did the other parents you spoke to for references have to say?

AyeAmarok Thu 03-Nov-16 09:47:42

God, she really doesn't sound like she is cut out to be a childminder.

I suppose it's good you know now.

But bloody hell!

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