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Is 6 years later too late to complain about this childminder

(25 Posts)
Notalone Mon 27-Dec-10 12:27:01

Please don't flame me - I know this seems quite irrational now but after reading a few threads on experiences with bad childminders I have been thinking about this a lot.

DS is now 9 but when he was 3 he went to a childminder who had fantastic reviews, kids in her care seemed happy, house was clean etc. At the time we lived in a very small village where everyone knew each other and this woman had come highly recommended. However she didn't take to DS at all and after a while it became apparent to me that she didn't like me or him at all. I was going through a period of depression at the time and was having a really shitty time at work too so chalked it down to my mental health rather than her. Some examples of what she did were.

Told DS that his clothes were horrible (they weren't) and wasn't his mummy awful for not always ironing all his clothes. She took particular exception to a lovely coat he had from pumpkin patch which he looked gorgeous in and would try to put him in another coat she had from Next whenever she had him.

One of my friends at the time had a mother in law who was also a childminder. When she was round at her MIL's this woman was there completely slating one of her mindees parents for not always ironing clothes. The MIL shrugged and asked why she was so bothered. However she used DS's name so it was obvious she was talking about me which my friend told me about afterwards.

On one occasion she was going straight out and put DS straight into her car rather than him going into her house first. The handle of my bag snapped so I kissed Ds goodbye and was busy picking up all my stuff. When I stood up she was about to drive off but DS's door was ajar. I had to stop her so I could shut it and she said it was my fault and that I should have checked even though she was the one who had put him in the car.

And finally.... the two serious ones.

Ds started getting upset about going there and said she had been smacking his hand when he was naughty. She denied it but he still talks even now about the horrible woman who used to smack him sad

And she had a son who was 18 and lived with her who had aspergers. I don't know the full extent of his aspergers but he wasn't able to live independently but did have a CRB. Ds came home and asked me what a dip shit was. He then told me the childminders son had been picking him up and throwing him onto the furniture calling him a dip shit and a stupid fucker. I was livid and told the childminder that thhis was completely unacceptable. Her answer was. "What do you expect, its not his fault. He has aspergers"

I took him out of there that day.

However I am ashamed to say I was not strong enough to complain about her then. She had such amazing references both on paper and from other mindees who were there. She was great with other kids, she just didn't seem to like my DS sad She was also very popular in the village whereas I was a newcomer, and with my situation at work it was all I could do to get through the day. I simply could not take on anything else. However now I am much stronger and regret not complaining at the time. Is it too late now? I would hate to think of her doing this to another child.

Please be gentle with me smile

molemesses Mon 27-Dec-10 12:30:26

I would try to make a complaint but stress that it was along time ago. Something may still be done but at least it's on record.

mamatomany Mon 27-Dec-10 12:32:29

6 months later is too late, my DD's were kicked and we tried to complain or at least have it put on record but 6 months is the police's deadline for certain crimes assault being one of them and ofsted won't make a note of it without police involvement.

All you can do is tell everyone you meet what happened.

monkeyflippers Mon 27-Dec-10 12:33:34

I don't know what the time scale is for complaining about child minders but I'd try it anyway. Phone OFSTED and see what they say. The woman sounds awful!

pranma Mon 27-Dec-10 12:33:39

Is she still minding?

Notalone Mon 27-Dec-10 12:34:26

shock - by a cm Mama? Thats awful. I was thinking more of Ofsted though rather than the police. Is that who you were referring to Mole?

oldandgreynow Mon 27-Dec-10 12:38:34

tbh i think they would be wondering why you had left it 6 years

nannynick Mon 27-Dec-10 12:40:00

The regulator would only really be interested in two of the things you mention:

The car incident and the smacking.

Those are covered under the childcare regulations, thus why the regulator would be most interested in those.

Other things could fall under emotional abuse, which is would be tricky to prove, especially after this amount of time.

The regulator will always be interested in having information on file. They may not do anything about it though - given it was some time ago. However it may prompt an earlier inspection date than would have been planned, plus it may prompt the inspector to check on certain things like arrangements for trips in the car, disciplinary methods used.

You don't say where you live so I can't tell you who the regulator is in your area, though I expect you are able to Google that information if you don't already know who regulates childcare in your country (Ofsted, Care Commission, CSSIW etc).

Notalone Mon 27-Dec-10 12:40:57

I don't live in that village anymore and I don't know how I would find out. I have had a quick look online and can't find her but then she was hard to find before too and came recommended by word of mouth rather than from another source. She was ofsted registered though.

That is what I was thinking Oldandgrrey - I would rather not go into why I didn't with a stranger over the phone unless I really have to

nannynick Mon 27-Dec-10 12:41:39

Don't phone the regulator. Just write to them, with details of the childminder you used at the time. Then it's up to regulator if they add it to the file or not, given the amount of time since the incidents occurred.

mamatomany Mon 27-Dec-10 12:42:17

No it was a nanny who was ofsted registered, tbh when I read on mumsnet the hoops they make CM's jump through it completely conflicts with my experience of trying to get them to look into anything at all.
I suspect they are good at inspecting but not so good of actually using the results of those inspections to do anything about their findings.

nannynick Mon 27-Dec-10 12:42:56

>She was ofsted registered though.

Check your paperwork, if you still have it. A contract would most likely include Name, Address, Postcode and a registration number.

humanoctopus Mon 27-Dec-10 12:44:12

It is a pity that you weren't strong enough at the time to do something about the situation.

Put your thoughts on paper and send it off to the relevant authority. Maybe nothing will come of it, but you will have done something.

What a horrible experience for your child!

Notalone Mon 27-Dec-10 12:44:13

Thanks Nannynick - I have just searched on the ofsted website and no results are showing under her name but then there are no results for one of my friends either who is definitely still childminding so she could still be actively minding. How would I find out?

Notalone Mon 27-Dec-10 12:46:25

I know humanoctopus - I am ashamed that I didn't. She had a couple of girls who were siblings at the time and a baby boy - all of whom were really happy and settled there. I guess I convicned myself it was just DS but then it could quite easily have been another child after DS. Iy was truly an awful time in my life. I wouldn't hesitate now.

Sadly I don't have the papers from back then - wish I did

nannynick Mon 27-Dec-10 12:49:07

You don't need to find out if they are actively minding or not. You just need to give them the details that were correct at the time. They can then trace from there is they decide to take any action. It will help a lot if you can find some paperwork with the registration URN on, as even if a childminder moves home that number can remain the same. Think back 6 years... what might you have used that number for? Benefits claim, some kind of work childcare voucher scheme. Search through old e-mail, sometimes surprising what can be located.

Ofsted's website does not list people by name generally, just by URN. Local authority website may list by name but won't give the URN. You can't usually find out online the name of someone from a URN, or the URN of someone from the name.

Writing the letter may well result in nothing. However it will make you feel better smile

ManateeEquineOhara Mon 27-Dec-10 12:50:05

I agree with the others, yeah I would be best done at the time, but if she is still child minding you should let Ofsted know. If they can't do anything about it that will be a shame, but you will know you have done what you can. She sounds awful. I had a similar experience with a CM always criticising my kid's clothes, and my son's long hair. It was horrible to be undermined like that.

Notalone Mon 27-Dec-10 12:55:50

I would have used it to claim WTC I guess. Its a shame there is no way of linking the URN to name and vice versa. I guess I will call Ofsted first and see what they say and will follow this by a letter afterwards. Will I be named or will it all be anonymous?

She was awful Manatee - it really feels horrible when someone does this. Sorry it happenned to you too - they really have no right to do this. My CM used to involve my DS who would say things like "Mummy - X says you are mean for not ironing my clothes. Are you mean? I don't think you are" sad

nannynick Mon 27-Dec-10 12:55:55

Use Google street view and other mapping systems to see if they help you remember the address.

ManateeEquineOhara Mon 27-Dec-10 13:01:13

It is anonymous. My friend reported the CM I mentioned, because she also had too many under 3s.angry

nannynick Mon 27-Dec-10 13:01:47

I really would not bother calling given it is about something that happened 6 years ago. The call centre staff just won't be that interested.

Write instead. Think all correspondence is dealt with by Manchester these days.

If you don't put any contact details on the letter then it will be anonymous, however they then have no way of contacting you for further info.

Complaints Factsheet (PDF and DOC formats)

Notalone Mon 27-Dec-10 13:03:59

I remember the rough address and she does have quite an unusual surname so this might suffice then hopefully? I do hope it is anonymous because I don't live too far away now and although I am much much stronger, I would much rather my name was not mentioned

Notalone Mon 27-Dec-10 13:04:33

Thanks Nannynick - that is really useful smile

MumNWLondon Mon 27-Dec-10 14:20:18

I think 6 years is too long ago. These things have to be done at the time.

However, might be worth writing just to give you closure...

CheekyLittleStocking Tue 28-Dec-10 00:21:13

Let us know what they say if you do contact them sounds awful

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