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Dodgy childminders?

(6 Posts)
Mom2Monkeys Fri 11-Nov-16 17:16:35

I realise I'm risking getting criticised by childminders here, and I know there are lots of decent ones around. However, when I'm out and about at Toddler groups with my own children, I often see behaviour that looks quite dodgy by childminders - considering they are responsible for someone else's kids. I find it uncomfortable as I sometimes know the children they are caring for as I'm friend's with their mothers.

Sometimes I will mention to a friend that I saw their DD/DS out at the Toddler group with their childminder, and they sometimes ask whether they looked OK and how they were being looked after. I lie and say everything looked great, then say: "What do you think about the childminder?", to see if they express any concerns to me.

However, one friend's childminder speaks to the kids like sh*t. She literally barks at them. I would not be happy if my child was being spoken to like that. Also, the children are invariably not being watched.

The worse case of not watching happens when I've seen a group of childminders meeting up together at a particular group and literally sitting around in a circle chatting, with their backs to the children playing. Some are on their phones. They have no idea where the children are, so that my friend's child (aged 18 months) was actually playing in the baby-changing toilet (he'd wandered in). By the time I noticed, he'd obviously been in there some time as he'd taken several toys in.

I know that childminder's are really hard to come by, and it's so hard finding childcare that fits around work, etc (they are like gold-dust around here). I also don't want my friend to worry about her child or feel guilty about leaving them. I feel it's mean to tell her, so I just pretend I didn't see anything. Am I over-reacting? What do you think about this?

HSMMaCM Fri 11-Nov-16 21:25:48

I absolutely think you should tell your friends the truth. I have no time for CMs who don't treat their mindees well.

Maryann1975 Fri 11-Nov-16 22:22:30

I'm a cm. I absolutely think you should tell the parents if you have concerns over their childcare choice. Would you want them to tell you if the situation were reversed. I hate seeing bad practise in the early years sector, it gives us all a bad name.
(Although don't think because we are on phones we aren't doing childminder stuff, we often share ideas, photos of what we have done, emails about courses, interesting articles etc and know if we don't do it there and then, we will forget later. Absolutely no excuse for general phone use/fb-ing/mn-ing type stuff though).
The cm hadn't noticed her child had left the room so obviously wasn't paying any attention. That is such a basic requirement of childminding and she shouldn't be doing the job if she doesn't get that.

NuffSaidSam Fri 11-Nov-16 22:33:46

You should be honest with them.

Just make sure that you are clear on what you've witnessed. That you're judging fairly. That you relay what happened accurately with no embellishment or assumptions.

For example:

'They have no idea where the children are, so that my friend's child (aged 18 months) was actually playing in the baby-changing toilet (he'd wandered in). By the time I noticed, he'd obviously been in there some time as he'd taken several toys in.'

You don't actually know how long he was in there. Or that he took the toys in. Or that she didn't know where he was. He could well have seen the toys in there (taken in by another child) and just wandered in to retrieve them. She could have seen him go in and know that he likes a particular toy and had probably gone to retrieve it. Maybe not, but you don't know. That kind of assumption/embellishment of facts is unhelpful.

Tell your friend only what you actually know/saw.

yoowhoo Sat 12-Nov-16 19:20:39

I would definitely tell them myself. I'm also wondering if you are in the same area as me as there is a playgroup where I go and there is a childminder there who I feel lacks supervision with her mindees. They are a nightmare! Can you say the first letter of the city you live? I've seen her mindees in the toilets many times and if I don't go to retrieve them, she will never know! I don't know her name or the children otherwise I would tell a parent!

JeanGenie23 Sun 13-Nov-16 07:51:28

Cm here and I would tell your friend.

Me and my cm friends work really hard to be good childminders, when we get together yes we chat (like moms do) and I would say 90% of the time we are chatting about Ofsted, or activity ideas, something work related. It's a good way to improve your own practice.

But you never forget about your mindees, I am always on alert, counting my children and making sure I know exactly where they are and what they are doing.

As for talking to children badly, there is no excuse for that. I hate to hear children being barked at it's cruel and completely pointless

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