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Poor Judgement?

(16 Posts)
Josoaps78 Mon 24-Mar-14 12:32:07

I arrived at my childminders this morning to find 2 eleven years old's strapping a shouting 1 year old into his buggy on the childminders driveway (no gate, opening onto the pavement of quite a busy side road) The girl of eleven had no shoes on. An 8 year old girl holding the hand of a 3 year old girl and walking her out of the gate and on to the pavement and waiting there. There was also 4 other children between the ages of 6 and 10 running around the driveway playing tag. A 4 year old boy was stood in the hallway of the house trying to put his shoes on. My childminder was not visible. I waited with my 4 and 5 year old, watching the other children for around 5 minutes, when the childminder came down the stairs and, obviously surprised that I was there, said in a jolly voice 'oh you should have shouted to me, silly!'

Any and All opinions welcome. I felt very strongly that this was exceptionally poor judgement on her behalf just after I witnessed it, but the longer I think about it the more excuses I find to rationalise the situation. And I would hate to take a rushed or over-critical approach to dealing with it.

Am I over reacting?

3catsnokids Mon 24-Mar-14 12:35:51

So the childminder had 12 kids altogether, including yours?

whitepuddingsupper Mon 24-Mar-14 12:36:16

I don't think you are overreacting about the 11 year olds and the buggy or the 8 year old in charge of the 3 year old, in either of those cases the younger child could easily have got out of the grip of the older one and injured themselves. How come the CM has so many mindees, isn't she over her ratios?

Josoaps78 Mon 24-Mar-14 12:51:57

The CM has a different number of children each day/evening, but yes, sometimes as many as that. I'm never sure of the ratios, I have read today that she shouldn't have more than 4 under 5 is it? and today it would have been 4, but I'm not sure about numbers apart from that because it depends on age and the amount of hours she has them doesn't it?

I thought the same thing about the 1 year old in the buggy, I know him and he's a very lively little boy, and I also thought if this is a regular occurrence, any body watching her routine could have had one of the younger children away in a car very easily. I have to admit that I've been quite tearful today, I have had some issues in the past with childcare and now feel panicky at the thought of dropping them off/letting them be picked up by her again. Luckily the next time she is due to have them is Wednesday after school, so I have some breathing time to come to a rational decision.

wonderingsoul Mon 24-Mar-14 13:07:25

personally i would find a different one... thats really not on.. maybe itd be different if it was in a back garden or even a garden with a gate that was locked..

i wouldnt be happy.

KatnipEvergreen Mon 24-Mar-14 13:16:01

Regardless of what the rules on ratios are, the childminder should always be asking herself if she can cope with the children she looks after.

charliefoxtrot Mon 24-Mar-14 13:26:27

There are many rules and regulations for childminders, and I haven't a clue whether she's broken any of them, but I do know that I wouldn't leave my child with her. You should go with your instincts.

Josoaps78 Mon 24-Mar-14 13:39:07

Thank you all for your feedback. I did kind of think it would be the response I would get, but really appreciate the sanity check xx

DoJo Mon 24-Mar-14 14:01:49

Here is the info about ratios so you can work out whether she is breaking the law or just mismanaging her charges. Either way, it's not great although it might be worth having a chat to her and explaining your misgivings in case there is an explanation (not sure what that would be?!) or other mitigating circumstances.

stripeytiger Mon 24-Mar-14 14:05:45

I agree with others, I would go with your instincts and find another childminder. It sounds like this lady is overwhelmed and using the older children as unpaid assistants. I know many children love to help out with little ones but even so, this sounds too much to me.

Boggler Mon 24-Mar-14 14:13:32

I've never used a cm, but to me this sounds chaotic and she doesn't appear to be supervising very young children appropriately. I'd find another one.

PourquoiPas Mon 24-Mar-14 14:14:24

Well, to me it doesn't matter whether she is officially within ratio or not, she clearly is not able to look after the children safely so I would not be happy leaving my child with her.

Anything could have happened.

tiggytape Mon 24-Mar-14 14:36:05

It doesn't really matter whether she's complying with the ratios or not because any ratio assumes close adult supervision especially when outside. A ratio is only of use if the adult is actually present.

A baby and young children were on the driveway near a busy road for 5 minutes without an adult anywhere nearby. YANBU to think that is very poor judgement. I would personally not feel happy sending my children there again although it depends whether you feel able to tell her your children must not be near the road without her supervising them and whether you think she would do as you ask.

NeedsAsockamnesty Mon 24-Mar-14 15:48:54

Poor judgement and I would not have left my child there

any one of them could have ran into the road. If they were there for 5 mins unsupervised then no I would not be leaving my most precious people in her care.

3catsnokids Mon 24-Mar-14 16:25:42

Although some people might be able to manage 12 children with no bother, they would have to be very organised. She should have strict routines and rules in place such as the front door not being opened until everyone is lined up in the hallway with their shoes on.

It doesn't sound like she is that organised so I wouldn't be happy about leaving my kids in her care. I think it's quite sweet that the older ones were helping with the little ones, but she should be there supervising. Not out of sight for 5 minutes or more while all the children were near a road.

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