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childminder lunch breaks

(26 Posts)
calmlychaotic Sun 07-Apr-13 09:58:36

So childminders, guessing you all fell over laughing at the title of this thread! I have had raised eyebrows or shouldn't you be doing that in your own time comments several times when I have been 'caught' doing something not work related. Physio appointment, getting our evening meal ready, putting washing on etc. I work with an assistant and the way I see it we both get a 20 min ish lunch break, most children are sleeping at lunch time, if we have any awake they can do some drawing or reading or something or watch a dvd. If children are not settling for sleep or we have several a awake we simply don't get a break, and that's fine I'm not complaining.
I don't see the problem, I usually spend my break if I get one grabbing a sandwich and running round cleaning the house but just occasionally I do take and use my lunch break as break. The physio appointment took an hour. Am I being unreasonable here? I have just had someone on another thread say please don't tell me you are cleaning your house while you are being paid to look after children, said I should be doing this in my own time. When I mentioned to a parent I had my evening meal ready and I had prepared it in the slow cooker at lunchtime they said I had been skiving off, and they weren't joking!

NoHank Sun 07-Apr-13 10:09:01

My house is my work environment. If the children trash it tearing around and playing, pulling out all the toys, colouring, painting, throwing glitter everywhere then it I'm going to clean it up.

My mindees are all over 2, half the time I am chasing them trying to involve them in activities and they are running off to do their own thing and can get quite annoyed when I try and join in! So I have no problem at all letting them get on with it while I put the dishes away or hoover up said glitter.

My parents know that chores are done while the children are there. One actually asked if I could take her DD to more places like the local shops etc as she is a nightmare for her when she takes her and she likes the idea of her doing normal every day things. I am not a nursery. I provide a safe caring and stimulating HOME environment.

Anyone who works in an office or similar would be expected to keep their work area clean also wouldn't they?

NoHank Sun 07-Apr-13 10:12:07

Oh and re lunch breaks etc, I eat when they do. Sometimes I even check my e-mails shock

Do they never clean their home or prepare a meal if their children are present? Because obviously they can't be taking proper care of them if they are distracted by the ardous task of chopping a carrot.

Sorry, I think you've touched a nerve there smile

calmlychaotic Sun 07-Apr-13 10:13:44

I was thinking of putting this in aibu but too scared!

I thought people used childminders because it was like a home environment?
My childminder once guiltily confessed she'd taken DD into town to buy her (the CM) shoes. So DD had a short trip in the car, a walk into town and then a look round the shops, during which time no doubt the CM chatted to her about shoes and money etc. I didn't see the problem smile

I do eat with the children, partly to be sociable, modelling behaviour, but partly because otherwise I don't eat

Some cleaning needs to be done on the hoof, of course it does - sweeping up oats/glitter, potty accidents, heaps of snow plopping off outerwear (lots of this hur hur) dropped food from meals

If I had a slow cooker I bet I would be prepping a meal for supper that night in the day.

ByTheWay1 Sun 07-Apr-13 10:28:55

So it is ok to cook for the kids, but not yourself? Ok to clean a mess the kids made, but not to just hoover the carpet.... I think that it is daft to expect a childminder to not do anything personal during work hours - you are being paid to provide a normal/natural home type environment - stuff happens at home...

I would be happy for a childminder to do whatever I would do if I stayed home with the kids - go shopping, walk the dog in the park, hoover the carpet - give the kids a wet cloth and get them to wipe the skirting even - so long as they did all the other stuff too - the craft/painting/playing/words/counting whatever - just the stuff I would be doing...

Sometimes people baffle me - I would never have thought anyone would have had a problem with any of your examples, but there are some funny folk out there.....

patchesmcp Sun 07-Apr-13 11:47:03

I don't use a childminder but I wouldn't have any problem with you doing everyday stuff whilst looking after my DC, providing all the fun stuff was done with my child too.

In fact, my DS would love you to be making a meal with him "assisting" you!

Kids can't be entertained all of the time, and why shouldn't you sit down and have a sandwich and a break. It'll mean you're more refreshed to play with the kids after it anyway.

Tanith Sun 07-Apr-13 11:51:37

Do you know, I once had a parent who also objected to my toddler daughter sharing a meal with the minded children because "she wasn't paying to feed my kids"!!

She didn't last long with us grin

Delayingtactic Sun 07-Apr-13 12:04:47

Wow. I fully expect my CM to do normal day to day things, that's part of the reason I wanted a CM. I know my CM takes my DS to appointments, shopping etc and of course they'll be doing their own dinner etc. do people really expect a CMs home to be exactly like a nursery?!

Runoutofideas Sun 07-Apr-13 12:34:15

Tanith - how ridiculous of her! So your dd is supposed to not eat all day so that you are not wasting time preparing her food at the same time as looking after her children. Now I have heard it all! I feel very fortunate to look after children of very reasonable parents!

tvstand Sun 07-Apr-13 12:41:35

Ds has been to the bank, shoe shopping for cm dc, supermarket, he helps dig the veg patch, watches tv, plays out the front or out the back. In fact he sees and does anything that is involved being in another house with another family. It's why I chose a cm rather than a nursery.

Jiina Sun 07-Apr-13 15:38:38

I am confuse - surely the point of using a childminder is that we can and do do all the normal things that people do at home?

I do eat at the same time as the kids, mostly for teaching them table manners and being sociable, but I regularly do things like hoovering with the kids I look after: one of them loves to run about in front of me picking up the big bits off the floor and moving them out of the way, and another one likes to walk behind me holding the power cord, usually with a big smile because he's being helpful. I've never asked or taught either of them to do it, they just started doing it themselves one day.

We've been to the bank, the supermarket, different food shops, clothes shopping (I don't try stuff on when I have them with me though, I think that would be going too far!), the vets with the dog, the garden centre, a cafe for lunch or afternoon tea, and loads of other things like that. We also go to story time and playgroup, as well as a couple of play sessions a local children's centre does. Sometimes a couple on the same trip.

All their parents know we do this, and not one of them has ever had a problem with it, they've all said they think it's great. Is that unusual then?

HSMMaCM Sun 07-Apr-13 17:21:00

As long as when you went for your physio appointment, the children were legally cared for, staff were within ratios and parents were aware who was caring for their children, I can't see a problem with the rest of it. My mindees love helping with washing, cleaning, etc. It's part of home life. I don't get a lunch break, but do occasionally say "tea break" and watch the children play while I have a quiet cuppa.

HelenDaniels Sun 07-Apr-13 17:27:57

This is why I sent dd to a childminder and not a nursery (not that I think anything is wrong with nurseries , I just preferred something less structured). I think it's great for a child to have the home from home experience, and see the chiilminder cooking, cleaning, shopping, doing errands just like a mother would. Some of these complaints are bizarre, and probably from parents who would be a lot happier with a nursery.

OddBoots Sun 07-Apr-13 17:33:31

I'm not a child minder, I work in a pre-school but we clean and tidy there too and the children join in, it's all part of the day and absolutely essential to do well at the times of year when the germs are rife.

BackforGood Sun 07-Apr-13 17:38:21

Well, one of the advantages of a CM over a Nursery, IMO is that they do do all the normal 'looking after a house and family things' that I would be doing if I were a SAHP.
Not sure quite what you mean about an hour's physiotherapy appt ? - I suppose that depends on if your 'asst' is also a CM or if they are not supposed to have the children on their own or if it takes them over numbers or whatever, but I presume you have all that covered somehow or you wouldn't have mentioned it ?

5eggstremelychocaletymadeggs Sun 07-Apr-13 17:48:37

If I needed childcare for my preschool aged child I would choose a child minder precisely because its more of a home environment and they get to do everyday things as they would do with me.

I would assume a child minder would eat with the mindees, I know my friend who is a childminder does, but
Equally I would realize that sometimes you would be tidying up, doing bits and pieces whilst children eat, in the same way i do at home.

Tanith Sun 07-Apr-13 18:24:46

Runoutofideas: presumably! She didn't say and I was too busy trying not to laugh at her grin

It was an ongoing theme of moaning about anything I did for my family or myself during "her" time or with "her" money.

Like I said, she didn't last long wink

ChippingInIsEggceptional Sun 07-Apr-13 18:35:32

Oh for the love of playdoh.

If I couldn't afford a nanny, I'd choose a childminder and if I had either one I'd want them to do 'stuff' - my stuff/their stuff/kids stuff. Post office/doctors/shops/hoovering/cooking/whatever... I'd want my kids to have a 'normal' day. I hate all the focus on 'Early Years' and 'Risk Assessments' etc - parents don't do it and I wouldn't want my nanny/childminder doing it all like that either - bare minimum to shut ofsted up.

IF I wanted a completely child focussed, full on rah rah experience for my child I'd choose a nursery which was set up like that.

Frankly, I don't know how childminders cope with some parents.... or nosey 'others'.

Tanith Sun 07-Apr-13 19:16:05

Oh, for the love of playdoh

What a wonderful expression! Love it! grin

nailak Sun 07-Apr-13 19:38:47

i think there is a balance though some childminders (I am sure not many but I have seen one as I lived in a house as a lodger with a childminder) spend their whole day doing personal stuff and minimum time with kids. Maybe parents just need reassurance that is not the case. In a nursery you would be able to talk about any concerns with care and carers, it is the same surely?

calmlychaotic Sun 07-Apr-13 19:51:52

Glad everyone seems to agree its ok to have a little break! I stay within numbers and I have parents permission for my assistant to be in sole charge on occasion, sometimes you just need a bit of time to yourself, that's one of the benefits of employing an assistant I think.

ReetPetit Sun 07-Apr-13 20:49:15

How funny is this thread! Some parents amaze me they really do.

One of my current parents asked me if my day rate (which is well below local average) took into account my lunch hour! What lunch hour is that then? This particular mindee is under a year and has NO SLEEP so there is no such thing as a lunch break for me which can then be deducted off my (minimum) wage!!

calmlychaotic Sun 07-Apr-13 20:56:00

Lunch hour, ha ha how lovely a whole hour would be, I used to work in a city and and could go shopping in my lunch hour, or to the pub!

calmlychaotic Sun 07-Apr-13 20:56:39

I wasn't a childminder back then I should add!

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