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CM Club - where do you all stand with bikes/scooters?

(26 Posts)
Saltire Thu 03-Oct-13 10:07:06

2 of the children I CM after school (I only have theses 2 - 3 afternoons a week) turned up at school this morning on their bikes. The 8 year old was on his, the 4 year old on hers (It has stabilisers). Neither had a helmet on.
Their parent was carrying all their bags - for info the school doesnt let the children keep anything at school overnight so all pe bags etc have to be carried back and forth every day. So their parent was carrying , 2 lunchboxes, 2 pe bags, 2 bookbags and a medicine bag for younger child.

None of this has been mentioned to me, so come home time I am going to have 3 mindees walking carrying all their bags, 2 on bikes and a whole load of bags
it is due to chuck it down here at school run time and the 4 year old doesn't exactly go fast on a bike with stabilisers.

What are your thoughts/policies etc on bikes on teh school run

This is not something I have ever encountered before

OutragedFromLeeds Thu 03-Oct-13 10:19:18

I would say scooters are fine, but I guess it depends on the children and the route you take etc. No bikes though and they need to be able to carry their own stuff. Suggest she gets them a back pack each to put all the other bags in.

Saltire Thu 03-Oct-13 10:41:53

The other mindees have occasionally been on their scooters, but we walk every day and it is a busy footpath alongside a busy road. The footpath is extra wide but still involves going round other people etc.

I am stressing a bit already over the school run, it is going to be chaos, the 4 year old is a very stubborn independent minded child and won't hold hands, needs to be told over and over again how to do, what to do etc, and if she wants to go slow on the bike then she will and nothing will make her change her mind. It normally takes us 20-25 minutes to get to my house, when these other 2 join us it can take 45 mintues, due to the 4 year old.

Maybe I need to write a "bikes and scooters" policy

Maryann1975 Thu 03-Oct-13 12:31:29

I wouldn't allow bikes or scooters on the school run. I Have to cross and walk down quite busy roads and the children (especially the four year old) would be walking by me the whole time. My own children are also not allowed their scooters or bikes, and I have numerous arguments with them about it, but the sAme rule applies.
If I were to allow bikes I would insist on helmets though. I would explain to parents this wasn't appreciated and in future the bikes will have to be left At school for parents to collect later.

MUM2BLESS Thu 03-Oct-13 12:53:43

I am a cm. I do not really have any policies on scooters and bikes. I personally would not encourage children to come to me with them. It is harder to keep an eye on a child who decides they want to ride a head of you. For safety reason I would not go in this direction.

I would really expect the parents to check with me first, as I have to take care of all the children in my care. However if the bikes where needed for a bike course being run I would have to have a plan of action and let the parent know, what I am doing.

At the end of the day parents can do whatever they like, to some extent, with their kids, but when with us our level of care has to be much higher with other peoples children. For example my son once had his scooter during childminding hours, whilst outside. He fell off it and hurt himself, I dealt with it, but did not have any form etc etc to do.

You have to know what your comfortable with. Don't start anything that may be hard to deal with later. Be clear from day one. .

HSMMaCM Thu 03-Oct-13 13:03:57

I would make them walk, pushing their bicycles, with their bags on their backs. This is not safe when you have other children to care for.

OutragedFromLeeds Thu 03-Oct-13 13:10:15

You'd make a 4 year old walk a 20-25 minute walk (probably in the rain), pushing a bike and carrying a PE bag, a medicine bag, a lunch box and a book bag?

That sounds a great idea.

LingDiLong Thu 03-Oct-13 13:52:20

I don't have a policy and wouldn't have thought you'd need one - really, where is the parents common sense?? How can it not have occurred to them to check with you before sending them in with bikes. Could you try contacting the parents and school to see if they can be left somewhere safe over night for the parents to pick up in the morning?

I'm afraid I'm with HSMM, I'd get the kids to walk and either help with bags or bikes or whatever I could manage. I wouldn't feel safe at all with a big gang of kids on a busy footpath by a busy road, some of whom are on bikes. I'd rather a tired, crying child who has been forced to walk than a dead or injured one.

None of the kids I mind (including my own) are allowed bikes/scooters on the school run. The pavements round here simply aren't suitable, they're narrow and we walk along very busy roads.

HSMMaCM Thu 03-Oct-13 14:03:53

Outraged, there is no way I would let the 4 yr old cycle. If rather he was tired, grumpy and wet than dead. I'm sure if he is the smallest there would be some assistance from older children with the bike or bags, but he would certainly start the journey with everything. And absolutely no way would I allow bikes or scooters again, I would say if they are at school, then they will be left outside school for parents to collect (if they have not been stolen). Children's safety is more important than bikes and scooters.

OutragedFromLeeds Thu 03-Oct-13 14:09:25

You can make the situation safe without making the 4 year old push the bike and carry all the stuff. It's not dead child v really unhappy child, there is a middle ground where you can have them both safe and happy!

LingDiLong Thu 03-Oct-13 14:11:45

Obviously I don't know exactly where the OP lives Outraged, but I can tell you that it would be extremely hard to make any kind of cycling with small children on pavements safe around here. Genuinely.

OutragedFromLeeds Thu 03-Oct-13 14:13:59

I've not said she has to cycle long! I would expect the adult to help with bags or the bike though. Or leave the bike at school. It's at school now so they must have somewhere to leave it?

Saltire Thu 03-Oct-13 14:24:46

Outraged how would you handle the situation? Would you carry the bags and let the 2 on bikes cycle or would you leave the bkes at school?

OutragedFromLeeds Thu 03-Oct-13 14:43:59

I would try and get the bikes home. If it was safe I would let them cycle and carry the bags. For us, it would be safe to cycle 90% of the journey to/from school (also a 20 min walk), so I would let them cycle when safe and walk with bikes when not. If not safe, I would get them to push the bikes home if I thought they were able (I think this depends on the bike and the child). None of mine at age 4 would have been able to push their bikes for 20 minutes (apart from the balance bike as it has no pedals to trip them up!), for us this would not be an option.

If I could not get the bikes and the children home safely I would leave the bikes at school.

I would not make a 4 year old tired, grumpy and wet (unless absolutely unavoidable) because their parent made a bad decision.

From what you've said in your posts it doesn't sound like it would be dangerous for them to cycle, just slow and annoying for you because of all the bags (which is totally understandable).

HSMMaCM Thu 03-Oct-13 14:44:55

Best solution is to leave the bikes at school of they'll let you.

Saltire Thu 03-Oct-13 15:02:59

Haha, I can see a tantrum coming on if I suggest that grin.

The 4 year old had one on Tuesday in the playground. She took her coat off and stood holding it out at me saying "uh,uh,uh" in a childish voice. I ignored her, she did it again. I still ignored her, then her sibling piped up "x wants you to carry her coat". I said "well then she needs to ask better than that". She didn't, she threw the coat on the floor

MaryPoppinsBag Thu 03-Oct-13 16:44:14

How did you get on OP?

It was a hellish walk home for me with 6 kids in the rain. There's no way I could've coped with 2 of them on a bike and scooter!

Saltire Thu 03-Oct-13 16:56:07

It was a nightmare. The school wouldn't let us leave the bikes. They said they had no room to store them, and if they got left outside they couldn't take responsibility for them.
So we had to bring the bikes home - but the head wasn't going to let them leave on bikes as they had no helmets.

So the 3 walking weren't happy but they were really good, especiall seeing as the 4 year old decided she wasn't going to peddle and I ended up pushing her, whilst trying to manoevre her bags, which she wouldn't carry. We were all soaking and it took us 45 minutes to get home. Then I had to sit in wet trousers til one of the parents arrived so I could then get changed - I tried to pop up and get changed when all five were here but they started bickering the minute I left the room

LingDiLong Thu 03-Oct-13 17:51:44

God, you poor thing. How annoying to have the school run made so ridiculously hard because of the parents lack of foresight.

Runoutofideas Fri 04-Oct-13 07:59:54

Did you ask the parents not to send the bikes again? If they do, I'd be tempted to tell the parents the bikes will have to be left at school, outside if necessary and that you are not responsible for getting the bikes home.

I do a school run with 6 children, 4 walking and 2 in a buggy. There is no way I could carry all the bags, push the buggy and keep them all safe if they were on bikes or scooters. My 2 love scooting to school, but I only let them do it when I don't have mindees to care for too.

TeamSouthfields Fri 04-Oct-13 08:59:34

I don't let mine ride scooters or bikes, simple, the answer is no

minderjinx Fri 04-Oct-13 09:07:28

I am like you, Runoutofideas. I won't let my own children cycle if I have minded children on the school run, as it would not be fair to then say the other children could not cycle, but I simply could not care for them properly as well as carrying all the bags and perhaps pushing a buggy.

I think the parents in your case were very thoughtless, Saltire. I think if I knew the children had cycled to school, I would have phoned the parents to say I assumed they must be collecting the children, as I obviously couldn't supervise them cycling as well as taking good care of the other children. I would not let a four year old cycle unless I had no others and could walk right by them.

minderjinx Fri 04-Oct-13 09:09:49

...and they had a suitable cycle helmet.

TwoStepsBeyond Fri 04-Oct-13 09:42:50

Thanks for the heads-up, I'm going to include a cycle/scooter policy!

MousyMouse Fri 04-Oct-13 14:56:08

why do they not have backpacks that fit everything in and the dc can carry themselves, even on the bike?
tke it up with the parents.

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