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To get rid of my childminder ASAP after this scary incident?

(60 Posts)
BeingHumum Sun 02-Oct-11 18:25:13

My DS started with a new childminder a few weeks ago when he started school. There have been a few small incidents which have made me worry. Then I picked him up one day last week to find him playing in a room with a high balcony unattended. The balcony is the type with gaps in railings and at bottom of railings, and had table and chairs on it (climbable!). The door to the room was shut, minder not there, door to balcony open, DS playing with a 5 year old girl. When we left the house I asked him if he'd been on the balcony without the minder; he said yes. I had noticed the balcony before he started but never in a million years thought a registered childminder would open it, let alone leave the room.

When DH and I complained, she said the children are sensible - at 4 and 5!!! She did close the door next time I went but the key is left in it at child accessible height. Also I have seen her leave a baby asleep in a car on the roadside while doing the school run - completely out of her view. Both of these are grounds for complaint to Ofsted.

This is a deal breaker for me, I now have serious doubts about her awareness of safety and lax attitude to safety. The problem is she is the ONLY minder in the village. I am looking into getting a part time nanny, which will cost more but let me sleep at night, but could leave me with problems if she leaves. The minder will be there for the next few years. She is well meaning, just very dizzy and old school (50s), probably thinks modern parents are too cautious. AIBU to not give her another chance? What would you do?

QBEE Sun 02-Oct-11 18:27:43

What has to happen before you decide to place your child with another minder?

She needs reporting for leaving the baby in the car!!

sparkle12mar08 Sun 02-Oct-11 18:28:57

Me? I'd report her without a second thought. As would any sane, rational person.

5BottlesOfShampoo Sun 02-Oct-11 18:29:22

If you do not feel comfortable with your DS being there, YWBU to keep sending him. At the end of the day, it's importnt that you are happy and confident with your childcare provider.

AngryBeaver Sun 02-Oct-11 18:30:04

Wow, report her, please!

5BottlesOfShampoo Sun 02-Oct-11 18:30:14

And yes, I'd report her too.

ILoatheMickeyMouseClubhouse Sun 02-Oct-11 18:30:35

I have reported a childminder in the past for far less than that. For your child's safety, remove him from her care and report her to OFSTED.

troisgarcons Sun 02-Oct-11 18:30:50

Also I have seen her leave a baby asleep in a car on the roadside while doing the school run

And you havent moved your child before this balcony incident?

naturalbaby Sun 02-Oct-11 18:31:10

I'm surprised she's passed an ofstead inspection with the balcony as it is!

report her and find a new one.

BeingHumum Sun 02-Oct-11 18:32:17

Thanks all, my DH and parents always accuse me of being an over-reacting flapper, it's good to know I'm quite sane

cheesesarnie Sun 02-Oct-11 18:34:59

you seriously need to ask whether to give her another chance?hmmyoud be a fool.
you'd send your dc to someone that sounds incompetant and dizzy in the most dangerous ways just because you need childcare?

jellybeans Sun 02-Oct-11 18:36:09

I would go with your gut feeling and get the nanny. I know alot of childminders and there are the ones who leave their mindees outside shops and chat rather than watch at toddler groups. Other ones are very good and wouldn't dream of leaving a child out of sight.

Things is, yes a 4 and 5 year old will probably be sensible, it depends on the child-accidents are unpredictable. If people thought a child may do something in advance it wouldn't have happened. You just never know. I personally would not leave even an older child near an open balcony. I am cautious even with open windows and my older children, they all open only so far (unless emergency).

In my experience quite a few people, parents and minders, leave babies in the car if they are asleep. I am not sure about this. It wouldn't be soemthing i would do but it is up to each parent and depends if they are out of sight. So if she hasn't asked the parent it is out of order and is taking a risk just to save time. I had 4 in 5 years and know what the school run is like. But I never left them on their own out of sight. You don't need to.

troisgarcons Sun 02-Oct-11 18:38:15

There is the reality factor - how many children decide to free fall from a balcony every year? the chances are minimal, children are not stupid and can calculate risk. However, If I were you, I'd not risk being that one in a million.

pigletmania Sun 02-Oct-11 18:38:27

I would use somebody else and report her to OFSTEAD. Leaving a baby in the car, and leaving a door open to a balcony where a child could fall and hurt themselves is unacceptable. Does not matter if they are 4-5 they are still young children and do not have the same safety awareness as a much older child or an adult would.

emsyj Sun 02-Oct-11 20:50:58

I just want to say that my childminder is in her 50s too, but I trust her 200% to keep DD safe. i wouldn't leave her there if I didn't. My mum is in her 70s but far more cautious than me! Aside from not believing in car seats... hmm

So it's not a generation gap. She is just negligent.

heggertyhaggerty Sun 02-Oct-11 20:56:23

Forgive me and not in any way defending the OP#s CM but what do people do when it's the school run and your younger child is asleep in the car?

I have been known to dash in leaving him asleep in the car for two minutes. Is that really awful? blush It's not a busy road btw and it's just parents' cars all along.

(sorry for hijack...OP, yanbu on the balcony issue at least)

gigglepigg Sun 02-Oct-11 20:57:56

i never understand why parents leave their kids with someone they arent completely familiar and satisfied with, or with someone they have niggling doubts about

they are supposed to be your most cherished "possession"

on the other hand, i suppose you never really know whats going on unless you look after your kids yourself

SexualHarrassmentPandaPop Sun 02-Oct-11 21:00:24

I would not under any circumstances leave my child in her care again.

Uppity Sun 02-Oct-11 21:03:21

YANBU at all to go with your gut feel. Don't let anyone talk you out fo it or make you feel embarrassed or doubtful about being over-reacting or hysterical or anything like that - you really aren't, this woman sounds bloody negligent.

emsyj Sun 02-Oct-11 21:03:58

I wouldn't leave my child in a car out of my sight and wouldn't expect anyone in charge of her care to do so either.

Fortunately my CM has quite a number of mindees and employs 2 helpers so she doesn't take the younger children on school runs, which avoids the issue. I guess if you have to take a young child on the school run you get them out of the car and carry them or put them in a buggy.

onepieceofcremeegg Sun 02-Oct-11 21:05:44

Is this really true, it actually happened, no exaggeration or embellishments?

"Then I picked him up one day last week to find him playing in a room with a high balcony unattended. The balcony is the type with gaps in railings and at bottom of railings, and had table and chairs on it (climbable!). The door to the room was shut, minder not there, door to balcony open, DS playing with a 5 year old girl. When we left the house I asked him if he'd been on the balcony without the minder; he said yes. I had noticed the balcony before he started but never in a million years thought a registered childminder would open it, let alone leave the room."

I am just really confused, this is such a serious risk - if it is true, then why on earth do you need to ask us?

It's like asking "my cm lets me dc play on the edge of a cliff, is this ok or am I being an over reacting flapper?"
Clearly if this (and other dangerous incidences) have occurred, you should immediately remove your child and inform the relevant agencies.

CaptainMartinCrieff Sun 02-Oct-11 21:07:33

Report to OFSTED immediately!

onepieceofcremeegg Sun 02-Oct-11 21:08:43

On a practical note you and/or your dh need to take emergency leave from work and sort out your childcare issue as a priority. This is an emergency situation, you cannot leave him with a dangerous carer.

You say in your op that she will be around as a cm for a few years whereas a nanny might leave.

If there is a grain of truth in the incidents you mention, then the cm should have her registration suspended from tomorrow.

heggertyhaggerty Sun 02-Oct-11 21:10:18

Thanks Emsy. I normally did carry him, even if he woke. When he got a bit older I would sometimes leave him for a few minutes to save waking him, as he generally sleeps deeply once he's gone off in the car seat.

I don't think I did it when he was very little, and when he was bigger I would dash back asap in a state, worrying...it's not something I enjoyed at least.

As you were...sorry

Was it Eric Clapton whose four year old died in a fall from a balcony?

That was a terrible accident, and it proves that no matter how used to the balcony a child is, or how sensible, accidents can still happen even with the most careful of parents or minders. Four is not old enough to be left alone near a balcony or high window if there is a risk of falling.

This woman is taking a massive risk.

I think leaving the baby in the car is wrong too.

You are not over-reacting, you should report her and remove your son from her care.

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