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Having a CM crisis!

(22 Posts)
Chopsypie Thu 28-Aug-14 13:23:20

I really could use some perspective on what to do about my CM. Kids have been with her for 2 years, since DD was 4 months and I went back to work FT. They adore her.
Recently she has been having some personal problems and it's affecting the service she provides. She's given notice to a lot of kids and now only has mine. She tends not to do anything with them like days out/crafting, just staying home and playing.

I was happy to give her room to sort herself out but she's being very cagey when confirming agreements for the new school year and won't give me an updated contract. We were hoping for her to do wrap around for DS everyday.

I've found another local CM with space and her son is in DS class.

But I feel like I'm kicking my original CM when she is down. In 2 years she has never let me down and has always been flexible and everything else I would want. I'm just not convinced she's giving it 100% anymore. I'm also worried about making such a big change to add to existing stresses over new teacher/moving to FT school.

Sorry that's an essay! What on earth do I do?

Granville72 Thu 28-Aug-14 13:34:55

Maybe she has money troubles and can't afford to take the kids out? Saying that, going for a walk or to the park doesn't cost anything, and you can do lots of learning when out and about.

Has she told you what her personal problems are at all?

At the end of the day, she has a duty of care and is required under her registration with Ofsted to be providing the EYFS for under 5's.

Maybe have an honest talk with her, ask her for a proper sit down meeting to review your contract and the level of care the children are receiving. If she's defensive about doing this, then she's leaving your with little option really.

Granville (also a childminder)

Chopsypie Thu 28-Aug-14 13:40:14

She is having a problems with her her ex husband with maintenance and her son is a typical 18 yr old!

She is having money troubles, but I have offered to give her money to take the kids out if she wants.
I've told her I would like her to do more but she always seems to make the right noises and nothing really changes!
The lack of contract is really worrying me to.

Lifeisadancefloor Thu 28-Aug-14 13:44:40

I think it depends on your work situation really as well as your DC ability to settle. Do you have a job that will be happy for you to take extra time off at short notice or leave early if your CM let you down?

This happened when DS1 was 4 and DS2 was 8 months - our CM had undefinable problems (including illness) which were understandable but tried to keep it together as much as she could.....but she couldn't - started cancelling by text late at night and that sort of thing.

My job was not very understanding and the stress was really difficult - trying to juggle everything. So in the end even though she had been an amazing CM for 3 years we had to change them to a nursery just for stability.

Think about what your priorities are and then that should provide you with your solution!

ACM88 Thu 28-Aug-14 13:49:13

She sounds in a bit of a rut, when I lost my dad, I also temporary lost my marbles, and I found it exceptionally hard to get out and do stuff. Once you start staying indoors, it takes a heck of a lot of effort to get back into it. Thankfully I sought help before it became a huge huge problem.

That being said, it isn't really your problem. How is your relationship with her? Would you feel comfortable having a tough conversation, saying how much you appreciate her but need things to start happening, otherwise you will seek childcare elsewhere.

Ultimately you have to put your families needs first. It may be hard for your CM, and I can see why you would feel torn by that, but you have to think that her life difficulties shouldn't start affecting your lives.

Talk to her, she what she says. Good luck!
(I'm also a CM)

Chopsypie Thu 28-Aug-14 13:52:49

I can't take time off at the moment, I'm relatively new and also doing two jobs at once! Family would be able to help short term, but live a 20 min drive away so I am reluctant to ask them to do it everyday.

Nursery isn't an option as the only one that drops off at DS school is horrific.

Think DD would settle quickly, DS will take longer but he already knows her son so that would help.

I feel like I'm repaying her good work with awfulness. Even though I shouldn't feel like I owe her anything, I've always paid accurately and on time, always dropped off and picked up on time, kids are always correctly outfitted and have all necessary 'kit' so I think I've fulfilled my side!

Granville72 Thu 28-Aug-14 14:01:23

It doesn't sound like she wants to commit to you and give you a new contract.

I'm sure her life is very difficult and stressful, but you need to have a serious sit down talk with her.

I know it's hard (and sounds hard hearted), but you owe her nothing. You pay her to deliver a service to your children, she is a business and not a friend. It may just be the kick up the bum she needs to get her mind focused and out of the rut

Karoleann Thu 28-Aug-14 18:50:22

Maybe she's worried about letting you down, she may not be that keen on doing the job any more, but if you've been a really good client she may feel she can't easily say no.

I'd ask her again about the contract for your DS, if she's a bit cagey mention you'd love her to carry on, but you could probably find someone else to cover if she's not sure she can.

If she is happy to carry on and only has your children, just offer to book her and your youngest into a couple of activities in the week. DD would love to do monkey music and there's a rest class on a Friday at 10 shall i book you into it??

BackforGood Thu 28-Aug-14 19:04:02

I think you have to put your self / your dc first too.
If she won't commit to the contract, and you have someone who will, then you have to go with someone who will. You can't arrange your childcare around feeling sorry for someone.

Chopsypie Thu 28-Aug-14 20:13:01

Backforgood that's summed it up exactly.
As as a previous poster said she is a business not a friend.

But I feel so bad!

Granville72 Thu 28-Aug-14 20:17:28

Don't feel bad. Do what is right for you and your children.

LatteLoverLovesLattes Thu 28-Aug-14 20:20:01

Do you know why she has given everyone else notice except for you?

If she suddenly seemed to perk up and also sorted the contract out would you want the kids to stay there or would the other CM seem more appealing now anyway?

Chopsypie Thu 28-Aug-14 20:25:42

I think because my kids are quite easy. She's had them for so long they are totally comfortable pottering about with minimal input.

I think the other CM is more appealing right now, I want better for my kids than sat about the house watching tv. We do enough of that on a Sunday!

LatteLoverLovesLattes Thu 28-Aug-14 20:54:46

I think the other CM is more appealing right now

Then I think you have your answer don't you.

It's a shame as she & your DC obviously have a bond and I think a home from home environment where they feel secure and loved is important and them pottering around playing would be fine with me.

But this isn't me, it's YOU and if it no longer feels right and you are on edge about her not committing then you have to do what you have to do, don't you.

So, you need to -

Ring the other CM & make sure she definitely meets your needs (times, activities, discipline, illness etc).

and if she does...

Check the places are still free and ask how long she would be prepared to hold them for.

Then give your current CM the minimum notice (in writing) that you need to according to your contract.

... and don't feel bad. She wouldn't commit to a contract and she hasn't taken on board your feelings about activities etc. It shouldn't come as a bolt out of the blue to her.

Chopsypie Thu 28-Aug-14 21:05:59

Latte lover I think that's why I'm so stuck. I went with a CM originally because I wanted that bond.
But I'm just so worried she is going to let me down. I feel like shit.

I think I've made my mind up then change it 5 minutes later!

lightningstrikes Fri 29-Aug-14 14:06:35

Honestly, it sounds like she is probably looking for another job and will give you notice when she gets one. She sounds burned out and I wouldn't want my kids with a burned out carer. Sad as it is, it sounds like you have tried to talk to her to no avail. I would take the other spaces with the other childminder. I say this as a childminder myself.

ACM88 Fri 29-Aug-14 14:16:07

Did you manage to speak to current childminder? I must admit I do feel for her, this is a hard enough job as it is, without struggling with personal issues too. Not that that's your problem!

Viviennemary Fri 29-Aug-14 14:20:39

I think that if she is unwilling to commit herself to a new contract then you are perfectly entitled and reasonable to look for another CM. I agree that she is probably looking for another job so doesn't want to give up this one yet but isn't saying that she will definitely carry on. In the end you have to do what's best for you and your DC's.

Chopsypie Fri 29-Aug-14 18:03:23

I've had a good chat with her today.
She was really apologetic and said she is looking forward to restarting with a new routine. She is sorting the contract this weekend for me to sign Monday.

I've asked her to start taking DD out at least once a week, to a baby gym class I will pay for.

I couldn't change to a new one, got to her house this morning and DD said 'yay I've missed CM Name'. I couldn't do it to them, they have such a strong bond.

Thank you for all the advice x

Granville72 Fri 29-Aug-14 18:13:01

Good luck, hope it all works out xx

LatteLoverLovesLattes Sat 30-Aug-14 00:39:54

Sorry I missed your message last night.

It's great they have such a good bond. I don't understand parents who choose a nursery specifically so that this doesn't happen. Children have so much love, plenty for everyone, I think it's lovely when they love & miss their CM or nanny... how lovely to feel so safe, loved and secure when your parents can't be there.

Hopefully it will all work out fine now, it's really stressful when your childcare is up in the air!

Chopsypie Sat 30-Aug-14 09:53:50

Latte lover that's precisely why I went with a CM in the first place for that bond.
MIL was a CM for 20 years and still gets random visits from the kids she has minded over the years. One of her first mindees brought her baby round a few weeks ago!

I just hope she manages to keep going and I'll try as hard as possible to make it easier for her

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