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Would you give notice?

(7 Posts)
fivesacrowd Tue 29-Jan-13 09:16:36

Have looked after mindee for 18 months. He's a sweet little soul, but he's always ill (just getting over chest/ear inf or just about to go down with one). I've spoken to parents countless times about him not having appropriate clothes for being out and about - last week in snow he'd really thin jacket and no hat or gloves, not even wearing a vest. I've had to dress him in ds clothes a few times. Can't even put on his spare clothes as the same ones have been in his bag since he started so obv don't fit him anymore. He hardly ever smiles, rarely joins in with others and just generally looks a bit miserable all the time no matter what I do to try an cheer him up. I've told parents all of this, but tbh they're not ever that upbeat so he might just take after them. I'm sure there are no child protection issues, just think he doesn't like coming here and seeing him so unhappy makes me a bit miserable too! WWYD?

fivesacrowd Tue 29-Jan-13 12:32:56

Sorry read this over and I sound like a heartless cow. I'm just not sure wether he would be happier in a different Childcare setting as he doesn't seem very happy here and maybe if he was with someone who wasn't always out and about doing school runs etc it might not matter so much that he's not wrapped up.

minderjinx Tue 29-Jan-13 13:25:47

I think there are a number of quite separate issues all muddled together here!

Firstly, being cold doesn't make you ill - germs do. People who are out and about in all weathers are gernerally the healthiest.

However, being inadequately dressed is almost sure to be uncomfortable and quite likely affecting his mood and disposition. I think I would raise the need for suitable outdoor clothing verbally, in writing in his daily diary so you have a physical record, and if there was no result from that I would probably tell a bit of a white lie and say that his unsuitable clothing had been commented on by a member of staff at the children's centre, health visitor, other parents or whoever I thought they might take notice of... Ultimately failing to meet his basic needs is neglect and I would therefore disagree that there is no child protection issue here. I would personally give notice to parents who I felt neglected their child and ignored my requests to sort this out.

Children are of course all different, and I think you are right that if his parents are a bit dour he may not be the cheeriest. I used to look after a little one whose parents were excessively cautious about just about everything and he just did not know how to loosen up and enjoy himself - afraid of everything, hated getting hands wet or dirty, terrified to sleep etc etc and generally hard work to amuse all day long, every smile or laugh really hard won, and there were certainly times when I thought this is supposed to be more fun than this and should he go elsewhere, but he did eventually turn the corner.

That said if looking after your little one is seriously getting you down and you can't see any light at the end of the tunnel, I don't think anyone should blame you for calling it a day. And it could be that the little one is actually detecting your own mood and that a change might be for the best all round.

fivesacrowd Tue 29-Jan-13 14:02:23

Have tried writing in his diary, reissuing bad weather policy, writing newsletters stating why they need to be wrapped up and speaking to both parents and mindees gran when she dropped him off - the just don't seem to take any if it on board. He does smile and laugh very occasionally and it's lovely to see, I am really fond of him, and the usual madness and laughter carries on around him, he just doesn't want to join in. I just feel for him, sometimes I think he's playing happily and then realise that he's sitting with tears streaming down his face for no reason I can see - I'll be in the playroom with all mindees, they can all be playing independently and it's not like he's been picked on or involved in a barny or anything. I always put it down to him feeling poorly and he'll let me cuddle and comfort him and he does seem to like me. I get around the inappropriate clothes by wrapping him up in the spare clothes I have around, it's more the fact he seems so unhappy that worries me.

calmlychaotic Wed 30-Jan-13 20:11:35

how old is he? i know how you feel about suitable outdoor clothes, have done newsletters, policies etc and have given up in certain cases raided dc's old clothes and found snowsuits etc and keep them for these mindees. I dont undestand why you would send your child out in the snow in sandals but it happens and i am alsmost past stressing about it i just change them when they arrive, shouldnt have to though. Finding your mindee crying their eyes out when you are not expecting it sounds worrying, you have had him 18 months you have given it a good shot it may well be he is happier elsewhere, although could it be issues at home affecting him? i would maybe make a note of incidents where he is upset or just notes and observations to cover yourself in case there is something going on. If it i upsetting you, him, your mindees maybe it is time for a move.

Karoleann Thu 31-Jan-13 22:02:29

Poor little one, you can't give notice just cos he's not very smiley.
Give the bag of too small clothes back to one of the parents (not grandma) and ask for some warmer and bigger ones, the point if a childminder is it's meant to be more personal. They probably just haven't realised they are too small.
Neither of my older children were particularly happy at nursery, ds 2 doesn't much like school either. Some children are just home birds.

fivesacrowd Thu 31-Jan-13 22:42:04

Turned a corner This week. Think he's just been feeling rubbish since Christmas. Wasn't giving notice cos he's not smiley, was worried he was unhappy. They know the clothes are too small. Anyway we've had a fun couple of days and he's been much more engaged. Also been to training this week on health & well being which covered depression in children and I've some coping strategies in reserve should he seem sad again. Just want what's best for him - hopefully that's being here with me.

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