What does your childminder 'do' with your toddler?

(34 Posts)
Millie3030 Sat 07-Mar-15 22:25:06

Hi, my DS is 22 months old and has a childminder 2 days a week. He seems to enjoy going there, and she writes a little note in a contact book that they went to a toddler group or to the park, or walk the school run. She has a 7yr old DS she walks to school. But she doesn't include photographs or really seem to read books with him or teach him anything. I know she isn't a teacher, but I do wonder what he does all day really apart from a 1-2 hr toddler group.

The few minutes I pick him up and have a brief conversation with her while other parents are doing pick ups etc is sometimes a bit busy and I feel I'm being rude saying do you have any photos as she obviously doesn't or she would show them surely? Also sometimes I pick him up and she will say he hasn't slept today, or only slept half an hour, which is strange as he sleeps 2 hrs usually at home. I feel maybe she is out and about and his sleep isn't her first priority, she also childminds a 3 yr old and maybe she comes first as she is older.

Am I being a bit precious and should just be happy that he is happy to go there? Or should I say something? Or change childminders? Any childminders out there that could give any insight?

WastingMyYoungYears Sat 07-Mar-15 22:28:32

Hmm, I don't know about the doing things question - I have the feeling that DS's old CM didn't 'do' that much with him, e.g. I don't think she regularly read books to him. DS has a new CM, and I'll definitely be asking about this to make sure that I'm happy with how he's being looked after.

WastingMyYoungYears Sat 07-Mar-15 22:30:08

Oh, I really meant to reply about the nap thing - we were really strict about DS's nap routine when he was younger, and we made sure that the CM was happy to accommodate that. I'd be cross if I felt he wasn't getting the nap that we knew he needed.

KeturahLee Sat 07-Mar-15 22:33:49

It's two days a week, you have 5 other days to teach him stuff and read books!

If the CM has other children to look after then one child's naps aren't going to take priority.

My 1yo goes to a childminder - they usually go to a toddler group in the mornings, have lunch, play at home or in the garden, have a nap, do the school run. Just what you'd do at home.

BertieBotts Sat 07-Mar-15 22:36:52

I don't think CMs would tend to show you photos every day, that would take a long time and extend handovers. IME they tend to save them up and put them into a scrapbook which they give you when it's full or when you leave.

DS used to come home with drawings and stuff he'd "made". And sometimes when I turned up they would be in the garden or doing a jigsaw or playing or whatever. Sometimes with the TV on (I know some CMs don't use TV at all, but I didn't mind because ours was great and did lots of other stuff too.)

I wouldn't expect a childminder to be teaching - just normal at home fun activities really. Hard for them to read to children individually when they have a few, as well. As DS got older he'd tell me that they'd been to the farm park or the soft play centre or various things like that.

Naps might be shorter because there are things going on with other children and he's too interested in what's happening to sleep.

gallicgirl Sat 07-Mar-15 22:37:28

My DD went to a child minder last year after a couple of years in nursery and it did take me a while to get my mind around the change. However I did provide feedback when I felt she wasn't doing much and the situation improved.

Anyway, activities include:
Toddler group
storytime at library
walking dog in park
soft play
play in garden in summer
gardening
messy play
occasional trips out eg to zoo
Fetching older children from school
craft and painting activities
Grocery shopping for the kids' food eg greengrocer
cooking

IncaAztec Sat 07-Mar-15 22:39:33

My DC is at a CM. Surely they should be recording exactly what they are doing for EYFS/learning journey/ofsted. Ask her for the paperwork. Mine sends me photos/daily diary electronically. This means that she can do it when she gets a minute rather than pick up which is rushed. Maybe ask yours to do the same?

gallicgirl Sat 07-Mar-15 22:40:39

Oh, and she reports back with a website called Baby's Days.
There's a report on daily activities, photos, food eaten and goalposts reached. She also uses it for invoices, policies, permissions, reports and messages.

Heels99 Sat 07-Mar-15 22:42:21

If she isn't doing much with him that's a shame as they do so much in nursery and ours took pics every week and filled two massive files that we still have its lovely looking at them. Or maybe she is doing plenty but you just don't have visibility of it as you would in a nursery?
In the toddler room mine used to do lots of craft and making things, painting, sticking, puzzles, dressing up, singing, playing outside with sand water etc, dancing, forest school, listening to stories, playing on the computer, role playing, people used to bring in animals or they would have musicians visit, messy play, planting things and watching them grow and eating them, music and so in. There is a nursery near me that takes them swimming! And there is one that has child height kitchens for them to cook in.
Have a look at some other options maybe?

KeturahLee Sat 07-Mar-15 22:42:26

I don't think there's a requirement for CMs to keep diaries or learning journals, or to take photos - in fact they are supposed to register with some information office and pay a fee if they are going to take photos.

BertieBotts Sun 08-Mar-15 06:59:54

That level of detail in an update would make me a bit suspicious TBH. Unless they have a particular interest in child development (and hence love stuff like that) I don't want them to spend masses of time on paperwork. I'd rather they do things with the DC and rest at other times!

squizita Sun 08-Mar-15 13:17:25

Yup as PP said they need extra permission to even take photos! It's not expected or needed. Notes/records are more reliable otherwise you get more time recording the moment for every mum than actually living it/helping the kids.

Littlef00t Sun 08-Mar-15 14:27:44

My lovely cm takes photos and shares via some cloud thingy monthly. She updates her records weekly during a particularly quiet time she has.

I get photos to my phone when she's done something different or exciting.

I doubt she has much time to read etc with your LO, as she has others, but if reading is a priority for you, just mention how you'd appreciate her reading to the children or anything else.

How long has he been attending? You could ask for a review?

Lovelydiscusfish Sun 08-Mar-15 14:40:16

I too would expect more detail. She must, in fact, be doing something to keep him occupied all day, so the issue is that you'd like to know a bit about what it is - not exactly what he's doing every minute of every day, but maybe a couple of main activities they've done that day would be reasonable.
And personally I would expect her to be reading to him at that age - in my dd's nursery the ratios of staff to children are almost certainly worse than your cm, but the staff still read individually to the dc on a regular basis.
I would speak to her - good luck!

DearGirl Sun 08-Mar-15 14:51:29

I am a nanny to a toddler..

We attend groups most mornings - music group, gym, rhyme time and a toddler session.

In the afternoon we cook, paint, play, read, go on country walks, go to the playground, run errands (supermarket etc) We also swim, go to soft play etc.

How do you know she doesn't read? I read about 50 books a day but don't really mention it.

I take billions of photos and WhatsApp, email them during the day or store them and pass them on once a month or so. I write a diary that says what we have been upto.

Millie3030 Sun 08-Mar-15 14:52:44

He has been going for about 6 months, I did mention to her a month or so ago about my friends childminder uses the baby days app thing and uploads photos, mentioned it in a very casual way as we do get on. But she hasn't since shown me any or got the app, but if she needs a separate licence that makes sense why she hasn't.

It is very different to nursery, he gets a progress folder, photos, brings home crafty bits he has made and a little end of term report which is lovely. Where as he may just watch television all day at the childminders, how would I know?

In some ways I think I'm being silly, just someone my DS feels comfortable with is enough, he is safe and happy. But it seems some of you have mentioned things to your childminder about how you feel and this has helped. Not sure how or what to bring up, without it seeming like I am complaining, which I hate doing with someone you have a personal relationship, it's different with a company on the phone.

MJP1 Sun 08-Mar-15 21:46:40

Speak to your childminder, she will want to listen to you and I'm sure she will be mortified if she knew you had been worrying and not saying anything to her.

She may not be confident using her mobile to take photos and she might be too busy playing with the children to be texting and taking picture.

Your child is still very young and is learning a priority at the moment surely him being happy and confident in her care is more than enough

Lovelydiscusfish Sun 08-Mar-15 22:08:35

Having a meeting with the staff at nursery (or one representative) can be pretty awful too - one tends to get to know them quite well (some more than others, if they babysit for you, or you meet them socially, for example).
But notwithstanding the awfulness and embarrassment, it is important,I think. At the very least, you can state what you feel is important for them to be doing in the time they have the care of your dc. They might say, no, this is not so thing we/I can offer. Then, you have decisions to make. But at least you are armed with the info to do so.
Good luck!

squizita Mon 09-Mar-15 07:36:38

I'm a little surprised that childminders are exempt from the guidelines about taking photos on a personal phone which most childcare workers have drummed into them. Phones are easily stolen and accessed and are seen as a personal device (as opposed to a work camera which comes out to record specific activities).

Are there different rules?

gallicgirl Mon 09-Mar-15 09:02:27

My CM uses a camera and then uploads to a secure site.
Data protection rules are the same but a CM may not have the guidance and support a nursery has.

I assume your CM is ofsted registered? They should be able to show a learning journey to ofsted at any point and also show that they have actively sought feedback from parents. I have always been asked for feedback every 6 months or so, regardless of the type of childcare setting my child is in.

Millie3030 Mon 09-Mar-15 21:32:15

Yes she is Ofsted registered, but has never asked for feedback. I don't really mind if she isn't reading to him or things like that, because I like doing it and as long as he is safe I'm sure I'm over thinking it, but sometimes I wish I was a 'fly on the wall' just to know what he does or if he is just watching television all day.

If you ladies have/had childminders what info did you get, did you get a contact book with info about their day?

KeturahLee Mon 09-Mar-15 21:37:11

Mine just tells me what they've done, I don't get anything it writing. Just a 5 minutes chat at pick up time.

KeturahLee Mon 09-Mar-15 21:37:34

But then nursery have never provided written feedback either.

AnythingNotEverything Mon 09-Mar-15 21:48:03

My 17 month old DD spends 2 days a week with a childminder. I can't imagine she'd be more stimulated in a nursery setting. There are always at least 2 other children - one 3yo and a different 2yo each day and more who come after school.

They do crafts, bake, play in the garden, go to toddler groups and soft play, go to story time at the library ... All sorts of stuff.

I get a brief written record every day (naps, nappies, what she's eaten, what they've done etc) and at the end of term I get a journal full of photos and her progress against OFSTED learning objectives.

It worries me that some of you talk about CMs like they're dog sitters. CMs are professionals (or should be) and if you're not happy you should move your child. You're paying a lot of money for a service, and it's an important one!

HSMMaCM Mon 09-Mar-15 22:19:19

Just ask for an update meeting.

She doesn't have to take photos, but might have collated some ready to use in a learning journey.

She doesn't have to do her own learning journey if dc spends more hours at nursery, but she should be contributing to the nuraery paperwork. If more hours with cm then the other way round.

Anything kept on a computer or phone needs data protection registration, so she may choose not to do that.

CMs can use phones for photos because it's the only camera in the setting, so different to nursery staff. Cameras can be stolen too.

When you ask for an update meeting, say you'd like to go through progress against EYFS and future plans. EYFS has a big section on literacy, which would be hard to cover without books. However ... If she's working closely with nursery, they may be doing literacy, while she does social and emotional skills. You don't know until you ask.

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