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Childminder - AIBU?

(78 Posts)
HugeLaurie Tue 11-Jun-13 13:01:00

My childminder is also a friend of some 20+ years so advice would be appreciated.

She looks after my 8yo DS before and after school, inset days and some school holidays.

So here goes:-

1. More or less every night, when I collect my son, there are the childminder's friends at her house having coffee and a chat. This would be ok if the children were in the same room but they are often in the garden or another downstairs room, unsupervised. More often than not my son, who is the eldest, is reading to the little ones or playing with them in the back garden. This has become more frequent in recent weeks. My previous childcare was a day nursery so I don't know other childminders operate. Is this normal?

2. My ex usually picks our son up from school on a preset day during the week. Last week he contacted the cm directly to say he wouldn't be picking our ds up and could she collect him from school. Neither of them told me until half past five that the arrangements had changed. I had to cancel what I was doing (work related) to collect my son. I told both of them that I was not very happy about the lack of communication.

3. Yesterday one of the other parents shouted at my son and was quite nasty to him. I was there when this happened. I did tell my childminder that I did not expect other parents to shout at my child. Discipline is one thing, shouting is another. I am reasonably strict as a parent and my son does get told off when he does something wrong. But I would expect the childminder and not another parent to hand out any discipline if it is required.

All of these things are reasonably minor in the scheme of things and seem a bit trivial when I have typed them out. But I am feeling a bit annoyed and I wonder if IBU to feel like this.

HugeLaurie Tue 11-Jun-13 13:32:12

The children vary in age from just over one year old (walking) to my son who is the eldest. The others are 3, 5, 6 and 7. I have no problem with her having a coffee with friends. My only issue is that the little ones are being supervised by the older ones.

bedmonster Tue 11-Jun-13 13:33:19

No1 - I think this is one of the reasons why I would prefer a home based setting rather than a nursery one. Not that your son should be left in charge of others, or be reading them a story every day, but definitely a more relaxed place than a nursery. I feel they should have a homely atmosphere which is why if I were forced to put my DS into childcare now, I would be looking for a CM. Having said that, I don't think she should be having friends round more or less every night for a cup of tea or whatever, as it's her place of work and she should be primarily focussed on her job. If she worked in an office, her friends wouldn't be dropping by for a chat. It is one of the perks of working from home, sure, but not quite that regularly and I probably would say something.

No2 - This was a misunderstanding your CM wasn't responsible for. Your ex seems a bit unreliable.

No3 - I don't think I've understood if it was another parent at the CMs picking up their charge or one of her mates telling your DS off. How come you didn't tell him off yourself? And what did you say to her when she told your DS off?

How does your DS feel about the CM? Is he generally happy there?
Do you see your CM out of her role as she is a friend of yours?
How many other children does she look after?
Have you been happy with the level of care your DS has received from her?

HugeLaurie Tue 11-Jun-13 13:37:40

The other parent is a friend of the childminder and also a parent of two of the children that my friend looks after.

From what I have been able to work out (from the CM) her eldest was trying to hit my son on the head with a toy truck. My son was trying to take the truck off her DS. She shouted at my DS because she walked in before I did and only saw my son trying to take the truck off her DS and not what lead up to it. She shouted at my son for taking something off her DS. It wasn't what she said, it was her tone and how she said it.

FunnysInLaJardin Tue 11-Jun-13 13:37:52

Huge that's sort of how it works though with children. The 1 year old would need a good level of supervision, but all the others look out for each other IMO

JenaiMorris Tue 11-Jun-13 13:39:50

1. This is the kind of thing people choose CMs over nurseries or after school clubs for isn’t it? Particularly the last bit; “More often than not my son, who is the eldest, is reading to the little ones or playing with them in the back garden.” confused

2. You need to apologise to your CM. The issue here was your and your child’s father’s lack of communication with each other (or to give you the benefit of the doubt, your ex’s lack of comms to you). You were wrong to tell her off (which is how you are coming across).

3. You are right to talk to the CM about this – and for her to address the matter, assuming you are not overreacting that is. It takes a village and all that. What did the other parent say? What was your son doing? What was the CM doing?

bedmonster Tue 11-Jun-13 13:42:49

Okay, so the other woman had gone there to pick up her 2 children and stopped for a cup of tea and a chat and told your son off?

I think I've followed!

HugeLaurie Tue 11-Jun-13 13:42:54

Yes I have generally been very happy. My son has known her since he was born. She is one of my closest friends, which makes any "work" related problems more tricky to speak to her about. When she first started having my DS I made a point of saying that this had to be separate from our friendship and a business relationship.

All of these things have happened in the last few weeks. She has always had friends over for a coffee/tea but it seems to be every day at the moment. Again, this is not a particular problem, and I appreciate that this is her home but the older children seem to be looking after the younger children while this is happening.

HugeLaurie Tue 11-Jun-13 13:45:28

Jenai - My ex has our son on the same night every week. Has done for seven years. I don't communicate with him about it as it is regular as clockwork normally. He is crap with telling me about anything. Again, I didn't tell her off, I just asked her to tell me if my ex didn't collect my son. She tells me when my ex picks him up.

moogy1a Tue 11-Jun-13 13:47:35

"I told both of them that I was not very happy about the lack of communication."
sounds like a telling off to me.

RedHelenB Tue 11-Jun-13 13:47:55

Bottom line - is he happy there & do you feel he is safe there? If no to either question start looking elsewhere for childcare.

Dorange Tue 11-Jun-13 13:51:45

the older children looking after the younger: are they changing nappys, toilet training, feeding, etc
or just playing?
my daughter is 6 and don't have much patience for younger children
I would be delighted to see her looking after playing with small children and even READ books to them.
all she does is boss them around
can I have your CM contact details please?

MrsOakenshield Tue 11-Jun-13 13:57:15

I don't think I would have a problem with an 8-year-old playing with and reading to younger ones if he's happy to do so. What I would have a problem with is, if I was the mother of the one-year-old, having my baby left in the charge of an 8-year-old, rather than a responsible adult but I've only got the one and am probably a bit pfb about this.

I don't think any of this sounds major, and you're erpahsp being a bit harsh on the CM. Points 2 and 3 are not really her concern.

To me only the first would be a possible issue.

Even then i think it would be down to the individual to decided if they were happy with it.

I wouldn't have an issue, its good for the older children and probably helps to calm them down. Plus its what I've always done at home.

KellyElly Tue 11-Jun-13 14:06:31

AIBU - possibly yes. No I'm not because x,y and z. One of those threads grin

MrsOakenshield Tue 11-Jun-13 14:07:58

erpahsp?? WTF??? perhaps!

carabossse Tue 11-Jun-13 14:08:46

Surely points 1&3 are linked? If the childminder was fully engaged with the children then the hitting situation would have been dealt with promptly, no need for the other parent to intervene?

Fwiw I wouldn't be happy with the setup. It sounds less like paid childcare and more like your friend watches your son after school, but he pulls his weight by helping with the younger children, more of a friendly favour.

Have you considered after school clubs or other options that would be more interesting for your son?

jacks365 Tue 11-Jun-13 14:21:36

From what you've added 1& 3 are linked and are showing a general lack of supervision, 2 is a difficult one but since you'd already agreed that she'd let you know herself then yes she let you down.

To me this sounds like she's behaving like a playdate not a cm and I'd be looking for a new place to suit my child better.

anewyear Tue 11-Jun-13 14:29:44

Ive just looked in my visitors book, Ive only had 2 vistors during working hours in the last 35mths, and they were, My college tutor/assessor, and an Ofsted inspector..

And my house isnt dirty either thank you very much, do you have OCD frissonpink?
How rude..

As to number 1. Childminding is/can be a lonely job. Been there, got the sweatshirt, and of course open to any sort of malicious allegations etc.
Saying that, Im not sure I personally would like to see other adults there every single day, especially if I didnt know them?
I would like to think they were other Minders and CRB checked..but then thats me..

MrsMelons Tue 11-Jun-13 14:30:09

This does not sound like the set up of any CM I know, the children are not left to look after the younger ones and they rarely have friends round unless they are all doing something together. The CMs I know are brilliant and do lots with their mindees, they treat it as they should - their job.

A CM is paid to look after your child and I don't consider it is like a home environment, it is maybe somewhere between that and nursery, although should be closer to nursery.

If I am looking after the DCs I would expect to be able to do chores and stick them in front of the tv or playing on their own upstairs or outside, if I was looking after other peoples DCs paid or unpaid I would not be leaving them alone.

I personally would prefer an 8 YO to be in after school care as I think it is better socially than them looking after younger children, although that said, the CMs I know who look after older children ensure they are getting the care etc they should.

HugeLaurie Tue 11-Jun-13 14:35:24

Just to make it clear. I am asking all of you before I think about speaking to her. I haven't said anything to anyone in RL. I am quite prepared to be told IBU which is why I am asking for impartial advice. All I said about last week was that if it happened again could she send me a text or preferably call me at work. This was to prevent my DS not being picked up by either parent and leaving her in a situation where she would have had my DS until at least 7.00pm. I haven't shouted at her. I shouted at my ex.

anewyear Tue 11-Jun-13 14:37:01

No 2, personally I dont think its down to your childminder to ring you up with re to change of plans.

No3, If you were just arriving as your child was being shouted at, was it possible your childminder didnt have time to say anything to her friend?

HappyAsEyeAm Tue 11-Jun-13 14:41:48

OP, I think you would be better off posting in the Childminders, nannies etc topic about this. You might get a better balanace of people who are childminders and who use childminders there.

HugeLaurie Tue 11-Jun-13 14:45:41

I appreciate that it isn't her job to let me know about the change in plans. I was just surprised that she didn't send me a text bearing in mind that a) She is my friend as well as a childminder, b) she knew that he hadn't let me know and c) that potentially she would end up having my DS until I realised his dad hadn't got him. It's absolutely not her job to tell me but it's just a bit strange, based on previous form of her telling me when he DOES collect him from either school or her house, that she didn't let me know that he wasn't collecting him. I just thought it was a bit odd.

anewyear Tue 11-Jun-13 14:48:03

Mrs Melons - surely that is why people send their children to a childminder, because it is more like their home enviroment?

And also our village school doesnt have after school care, it has various clubs that run till approx 4-4.30, and I would have thought some/most parents work till 5pmish.
1 of my parents commutes to london every day and doesnt get here till 6.15 occasionaly later if trains are not running for some reason or another..

HugeLaurie Tue 11-Jun-13 14:52:33

Happy - How do I ask for the thread to be moved?

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