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To stop cooking dinner when childminding

(145 Posts)
Littlepurpleprincess Thu 16-Jun-11 17:55:38

I have been a registered childminder for about 2 years now and I've always offered a cooked meal at the end of the day (5pm). DH, DS, me and the mindees all sit together at the table. I do a meal plan for the month so parents know what I'm cooking and a have a healthy eating policy.

It's usually along the lines of spag bol, macaroni cheese, stews, casseroles, sausage and mash.....basically it's your typical home cooking.

However, I have several children who refuse to eat their dinner, or have awful table manners, or prefer to graze (ie eat what they want, when they want). I feel the parents aren't really on my side, and aren't that bothered about getting their kids to sit at the table and eat a proper meal each day.

Everyday I talk to the parents and I'm always honest about how the children have behaved at meal time and how much they've eaten but I know that the parents then go and feed them junk food and treats straight after picking them up. confused

Would I be being unreasonable to say I am no longer offering a cooked dinner due to lack of demand?

As a parent would it put you off a childminder if they didn't offer Dinner?

I will provide a healthy snack for children after school, and I will continue to offer breakfast and lunch, and healthy snacks throughout the day for the little ones.

Dinner time atm is really stressful. DH and I are tired of it and DS is beginning to copy some of the unwanted behaviour. I feel its important for families to sit together and eat at the end of each day but right now we are missing out on that. Is it selfish to want it to be just family at dinner time?

Tee2072 Thu 16-Jun-11 17:59:05

So you'd change the hours your kindred would be there, saying they had to be gone at 5? That's not going to work for parents who work until 5.

Littlepurpleprincess Thu 16-Jun-11 18:00:41

No, they are all picked by 5:30, I just won't be offering dinner, so we will eat at 6 ish.

Tee2072 Thu 16-Jun-11 18:04:16

Oh I see. Provided you haven't been charging extra for this or adjust your fees accordingly I personally wouldn't have a problem with it as I deliberately pick my son up from nursery on the days I work in time for us to have a family dinner.

BluddyMoFo Thu 16-Jun-11 18:06:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Littlepurpleprincess Thu 16-Jun-11 18:07:00

I don't charge extra for meals so I think they are getting a pretty good deal as it is. Its a shame they don't appriciate it.

Tee2072 Thu 16-Jun-11 18:09:49

It really is a shame. You sound like a lovely CM.

TheCrackFox Thu 16-Jun-11 18:12:51

Stop it as you aren't making any money from it and it doesn't sound at all appreciated.

TBH it would be much nicer for you, after a busy day CMing, to sit down with your own family and have dinner.

Littlepurpleprincess Thu 16-Jun-11 18:14:04

Thankyou. I don't want to come across as being judgy about the parents because they are all lovely, I just can't bear seeing children allowed to learn habits that will damage their health. It stresses me out every night. It breaks my heart to be honest because they are just babies, they can't teach themselves. But I'm sick of parents passing the buck, and I need to put my DS first.

sparkle12mar08 Thu 16-Jun-11 18:16:15

From your side I'm totally with you - stop providing it. From my own point of view my working hours meant that a non-providing cm was a deal breaker.

Insomnia11 Thu 16-Jun-11 18:18:11

My current CM doesn't do meals because her kids are grown up and they eat later - she'd end up cooking twice in the evening.

I send them with their lunch and dinner as they are at the childminders until 6.30pm. Dinner is usually what DH and I have had the night before. It would be brilliant if she did do meals, our first CM did and it was more convenient. But she is a great CM and totally understand her reasons for not doing so.

I think maybe if you are not doing dinners any more perhaps you could reduce your fees slightly?

What I would say also with us, we only really get to sit down altogether as a family to eat at the weekends and having a strict CM who got them to sit at the table with other children and eat up their meals for 3 days a week really helped!

CallMeBubblesEverybodyDoes Thu 16-Jun-11 18:22:05

Someone I know recently did a similar thing with her mindees; she was getting fed up with cooking meals only for mindees to not like the meal, or to say they weren't hungry.

So now she provides a snack after school, such as toast, or flapjacks and fruit.

Littlepurpleprincess Thu 16-Jun-11 18:27:14

I can't reduce my fees. I only charge £10 for after school care, that's 2-3 hours care and a cooked meal (for now). I am due to put them up so I'll stop offering dinner, but also, not put my fees up for after schoolies. Sound fair?

having a strict CM who got them to sit at the table with other children and eat up their meals for 3 days a week really helped

This is what I was aiming for, but the parents keep undermining me so it's never going to happen. I doesn't matter how strict I am, if they know they will get ice cream from mummy, they will hold out for it, and I can't force feed them.

veritythebrave Thu 16-Jun-11 18:28:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

veritythebrave Thu 16-Jun-11 18:30:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Littlepurpleprincess Thu 16-Jun-11 18:31:24

That's what I thought Veritythebrave. It's not what I would want as a parent but they just don't seem to be on the same page as me. Parents who care about such things as feeding their kids properly and getting them to bed on time are getting rarer apparently sad angry

ashamedandconfused Thu 16-Jun-11 18:31:34

wow, you sound great, but at the end of the day if YOU are paying for food that is being wasted and it is passing on bad habits to your DC and disrupting your family meal, no, don't do it

i have 4 friends who are CMs, NONE of them cook for the DC, the mindees all bring their meals with them

Littlepurpleprincess Thu 16-Jun-11 18:32:40

Oh and I haven't mentioned the child who turns up at 7:30 am with either a packet of cheese and onion crisps or an ice cream in hand....

BranchingOut Thu 16-Jun-11 18:33:14

I think it is ok, given that you finish at 5.30. But maybe you should say that if parents want to send a meal that you will heat it up?

Be prepared for some parents to be annoyed as they will think you are taking something away from the service.

Littlepurpleprincess Thu 16-Jun-11 18:35:59

I'm not really prepared to be heating up food because I believe there will still be a battle of wether they actually eat it, and in the past when I have had a similiar agreement (with lunches) the parents have sent crap, that goes against my healthy eating policy and the EYFS requirements.

veritythebrave Thu 16-Jun-11 18:38:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BranchingOut Thu 16-Jun-11 18:40:16

Fair enough, I have seen that situation of parents sending in unhealthy food criticised by Ofsted on a childminder's report.

Littlepurpleprincess Thu 16-Jun-11 18:41:12

The worlds gone mad hasn't it?

The same child runs to the door shouting "I wan I ream!!!! (I want ice cream)" when her mum arrives to pick her up and the mum says YES!!!! WTF??????!!!!!!!

My DS would get a stern talking to about manners if he spoke to me like that!

pigletmania Thu 16-Jun-11 19:02:38

You sound like a wonderful CM, as long as you let the parents know in good time sounds ok. However I feel that you are being a wee bit judgey and rigid. My dd 4 who has ASD and speech and lang dev delay still can't sit at the table for more than 5 mins without getting up and running about. The children that you mind sound like they are only little (preschoolers) so they would not be as good at sitting still for a long time like the school age children. I do eat tea with dd (dh still at work) and have done since she was little so that she can learn from example but she still gets up and gets hysterical if i put her back onto the table. I home cook most of our meals, and dd loves fresh fish (that she will sit down for longer periods) But I guess my situation is a bit different as dd has SNs

WhoAteMySnickers Thu 16-Jun-11 19:10:00

You'll probably find that the only parents that would mind about you not providing an evening meal are the ones that would want their children to sit at the table, with nice manners, and eat good homecooked food.

Doesn't sound like that's the type of parents you have currently so I'm sure they won't be bothered.

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