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to be upset with CM and worried about what to do now.

(70 Posts)
IWorshipSatin Mon 31-Mar-14 20:04:37

DD2 is due to go to same CM as her older sister in a couple of weeks. DD2 is 'special needs' following a virus, but we are still waiting for official diagnosis and prognosis. She's not difficult in any way and is lovely and sweet-natured. I've moved her meds around so CM wouldn't have to give her any. She's no more demanding than any other baby and in fact is easier than her sister (non special needs) was!

Ages ago I arranged a couple of settling in half days next week but CM has now given me back word on this. It turns out that she has Ofsted visiting and doesn't feel she can give DD2 attention along with dealing with Ofsted although she is happy to still have DD1. When my DH picked DD1 up earlier he obviously must have shown he was unhappy, and CM has now sent ME a shitty text - it was only in this text that we found out about Ofsted - even though I wasn't there. I'm back to work in 2 weeks and I really wanted DD2 to have settling in sessions (as did the CM at the time) and now I feel I will have to drop her with a virtual stranger and go back to work. Apart from this I'm worried that CM wants to 'hide the disabled child away' or something (DH has put this idea in my head and this has really upset me).

I've no idea how to feel about any of this or what to do long term. DH is massively pissed off. I need to reply to the shitty text but no idea where to start as I don't do confrontation and feel I need to smooth things over between DH and CM but I feel quite wronged at the moment so not sure what to put.

Do the mn collective think the Ofsted excuse is viable and should I just say I understand (which is what I would do in my non-confrontational keeping the peace type way) or is CM being unreasonable and should I send an equally shitty text back which would potentially escalate things with the person who looks after our oldest most precious thing and will soon look after our youngest most precious thing?

Topaz25 Mon 31-Mar-14 20:10:24

Her communication certainly sounds off, since she has upset your DH and sent you a shitty text. I don't know if her intention was to 'hide the disabled child away' but she's certainly given the wrong impression! How bad was the text? Was it abrupt but professional or rude and unprofessional?

IWorshipSatin Mon 31-Mar-14 20:15:44

She's generally pretty unprofessional with communication if I'm honest - lots of 'Huns' and kisses. I don't particularly like it but I've put up with it because she's so good in other areas. This text was, I would say, abrupt with an 'off' tone like I had massively offended her which I'm certain I haven't. No Huns or kisses which says it all really doesn't it!

StrawberryMojito Mon 31-Mar-14 20:18:21

Childminder is definitely being unreasonable but shitty texts aren't the way to go.

What did she actually text you? Word for word (names excluded)?

You need to have a proper conversation re both of your concerns. If you are still not happy, time for a new childminder.

longtallsally2 Mon 31-Mar-14 20:18:22

Is she quite new as a CM? Some people do find inspections like Ofsted create a lot of anxiety and she may be reacting out of character if she is worried about them coming.

Do you get on with her normally? Has she been OK with dd1?

Personally, I would try to take the bigger picture - if your dd1 is happy there, be pleased that they will be together. It's a pain, not getting settling in days (could your dh book a half day holiday/leave work a little early on those two days to give her a shorter settling in day?) but your dd2 won't know if you are waiting at home, or being at work whilst she is at the CM. Hopefully she will settle in quickly and this will all be soon behind you.

If she is prone to being a bit shitty, or dd1 is not really happy, then perhaps this flags up a need to start looking elsewhere.

MamaPain Mon 31-Mar-14 20:19:59

Its unprofessional for her to send you a shitty text (although as we don't know the content its a bit hard to judge) however you don't know how your DH came across to her.

Unless, it said so in her text, I don't think she's done anything to even imply she wants to 'hide the disabled child'. What would be her reasoning for that anyway, it doesn't make sense. Its more likely that she's just being honest with you in the sense that she's probably got loads going on and feels under lots of pressure from Ofsted.

MamaPain Mon 31-Mar-14 20:20:18

Its unprofessional for her to send you a shitty text (although as we don't know the content its a bit hard to judge) however you don't know how your DH came across to her.

Unless, it said so in her text, I don't think she's done anything to even imply she wants to 'hide the disabled child'. What would be her reasoning for that anyway, it doesn't make sense. Its more likely that she's just being honest with you in the sense that she's probably got loads going on and feels under lots of pressure from Ofsted.

happydazed Mon 31-Mar-14 20:23:33

I would accept the ofsted excuse is viable, ofsted visits are terrifying, well I thought so I'm a cm. A child settling in will take all your time and attention so it wouldn't be ideal, if one child is unsettled it can unsettle the rest and you want to be all calm and in control. ofsted are only there a couple of hours though can't the settling in be done at another time. Having said that in fairness it should be business as usual when ofsted visit and she shouldn't let you down when you already booked.

The text doesn't sound very reasonable, was your husband very off with her and she is retaliating? she could be stressed about her inspection but still doesn't sound ideal and I think you'll need to speak to her and get it sorted.

TheScience Mon 31-Mar-14 20:24:16

Her communication sounds poor but the "excuse" seems reasonable - a newly settling in baby will need a lot of attention, being carried around etc and it would be hard to do this and deal with Ofsted. In the absence of any other information I wouldn't assume she wants to "hide the disabled child".

Ofsted will only be with her one day - is there really no other opportunity in the next 2 weeks to do some settling in days?

MiscellaneousAssortment Mon 31-Mar-14 20:27:26

I think the ofsted excuse sounds plausible but the rude text is a bit worrying.

How rude was it? Could it be sorted out? Or read two ways?

I'd be much more worried about that than the settling in days / ofsted visit. You need to have a good and stable working relationship not one where things escalate.

Would a calm straight forward conversation help? Texts are much easier but not great at sorting things out...

IWorshipSatin Mon 31-Mar-14 20:28:54

DH says he wasn't rude, just not as banterish as normal. Obviously I don't know as I wasn't there. He intended to say x,y and z to her but I talked him out of it, so he could've been worse.

In itself the content of the text is not nasty or anything, but it's certainly not friendly and she is not happy that DH was unhappy with her. To me this is between the two of them - he has a relationship with her too and it's not up to me to manage that. It seems the easy option to text me and tell me she's not happy, knowing I'm the soft touch. It also seems very unfair to me, I have enough to worry about. The rest of the text is just about Ofsted and how she can't give both them and DD attention. DH says what if DD was already a charge there - would CM just refuse to have her during Ofsted visits as it's all too difficult.

I know Ofsted is a pressure but it seems a bit mad to let down your customer in order to get a good rating for future customers which is effectively how we feel.

I'm probably being paranoid and over sensitive about the disability issue I admit.

Mimishimi Mon 31-Mar-14 20:31:11

YABU. How do know that was her intention? It's probably got more to do with the fact that new babies take some time to settle in and she doesn't want the stress of having Ofsted visits with a screaming baby in the background. What sort of disability does your daughter have? Is it one which will require a lot more of the CM's attention as the baby gets older, even if she doesn't have to administer medication? I can see why she might be reluctant to take on a charge with that kind of responsibility too.

thebody Mon 31-Mar-14 20:31:49

I was a cm and didn't send shitty texts even to the mum who owed me money, constantly.

now op you need to honestly think.

could your dh have offended the cm in any way that you are unaware of? is the cm normally good( discounting the hunny crap which I wouldn't do but it's not a red flag)

is dd 1 happy with her.

Ofsted inspections are very stressful. your cm obviously wants to shine and maybe she thinks having a very new mindee might be difficult regardless of your dds special needs.

Ofsted are only there for a few hours so it would only be one day.

I absolutly can't see her wanting to hide away the disabled child on the contrary it shows her inclusivity and skills to deal with all the children's needs.

just one thought. is she over minding? I had 4 a day with 2 under 1 but they was with special
approval and sibling variation.

has she gone over her numbers and can't tell you? if she has you need to know as her insurance won't be valid.

NorthernLassie724 Mon 31-Mar-14 20:32:11

Do OFSTED give as much notice as she's got? In a school we get a phone call at lunchtime to say they're coming the next day. Would a childminder know this far in advance or do they schedule visits for CMs?

Probably stupid questions I know, sorry blush

FunkyBoldRibena Mon 31-Mar-14 20:33:04

I assume she just didn't want a new charge whilst they were there.

thebody Mon 31-Mar-14 20:35:29

to add I have to say that it can be quite intimidating as a gems he cm to have a dad seem angry with you or abrupt.

I had to give one child notice as sithough the child was lovely and the mum fine I found dad both intimidating and arrogant to the point of aggressive.

I don't do aggressive men in my house.

obviously not saying your dh was but just a thought.

Viviennemary Mon 31-Mar-14 20:40:03

Sending shitty texts is of course absolutely unacceptable. But about the Ofsted thing. She may have been quite stressed about it and as she doesn't know your DD2 very well she might have thought that would come over in the Ofsted inspection. A new child usually would take a while to settle in and maybe in wasn't a good idea to have that happen while the inspector was there. I don't think I'd read too much into this. But if there are other issues you're not happy with that's different.

IWorshipSatin Mon 31-Mar-14 20:40:35

Mimi that's harsh - she hasn't previously ever said she was reluctant to take her on, so I'd have no reason to think she was. In fact she was very keen right from the start. It's only now, 2 weeks before I RTW, that I'm getting this feeling and tbf it's only due to this Ofsted thing. I've accepted I'm probably being paranoid about that.

May be other opportunities for settling in but it's very difficult due to lots of crammed in medical appointments before I RTW which I told her about when I booked the days.

Our concern is not so much the Ofsted issue - I'm sympathetic to the stress of it all, I've many teacher friends and I fully take on board all comments here - but more how she's dealt with it. The shitty text and also not letting us know what was happening and why - there was a lot of initial vagueness about giving us backword.

thebody Mon 31-Mar-14 20:40:46

Northern I got a weeks notice that Ofsted were coming but not told the day.

they have to tell you the inspectors name and a pass word as you are admitting a stranger into your house and are often alone unlike in a school

it is extremely intimidating because a bad report could effectively put your small business out of business that day.

I paid my mortgage and bills childminding. it's not pin money anymore it's serious money if you are full time and full minding. not sure that's fully appreciated.

CoffeeTea103 Mon 31-Mar-14 20:41:38

It seems as though your DH put that idea in your head and you've run with it. Also if he had the intention of speaking to her about x,y,z and with the 'hiding the child' idea I can easily see how he could have said something to offend her.

Besides her reason seems totally reasonable.

LittleprincessinGOLDrocks Mon 31-Mar-14 20:42:59

I think the Ofsted visit is a fair enough reason to delay her start to be honest. Maybe she was worried that your DD will be upset on her first settling in day, and wants to give her as much attention as she needs, the same as any new starter.
Ofsted visits can worry even the most experienced of teachers and nursery staff (you can tell when Ofsted are visiting at DC school as the staff look much more stressed out than usual) so CM will be dealing with that pressure on her own!
I think she is concerned not only for your child, but for the other children too. She may feel that it is too much for the other children to have Ofsted in and a new child joining them (if she has other children as well as your DD1). I doubt it is because of your DDs special needs, more the stress of any new starter co-insiding with an Ofsted visit not being ideal for anyone.
However all that said, I do think nasty texts are unprofessional.

MissDuke Mon 31-Mar-14 20:44:40

Op, if your dd was already there then there wouldn't be an issue - she just doesn't want a new child that day. which is perfectly reasonable. I don't really understand why you and dh would be so annoyed by that? I am concerned that if you are so quick to think the worst of her in terms of her motives, then perhaps you should look elsewhere for childcare.

thebody Mon 31-Mar-14 20:46:05

op phone her up and have a chat. it sounds like you are both stressed and maybe wires crossed.

if she's a good cm she will understand your feelings and communicate with you.

I sure this will blow over and if she didn't want your dd she would have said so in the beginning

I suggest it's just bloody Ofsted stress. it makes strong women cry honestly.

Retropear Mon 31-Mar-14 20:46:11

When Ofsted come they do sit down with a laptop and need you to sit down and answer questions for a while.I don't think an Ofsted inspection would be the best option for a settling in day for any child.

shewhowines Mon 31-Mar-14 20:47:03

Yes, I think your dd's special needs is irrelevant. She will be stressed by the thought of ofstead, and won't want any new child and the inevitable disruption to her normal routine.

Shitty text etc not good, but perhaps understandable when you realise she is stressed. Perhaps you can give her a bit of leeway this time. Keep an eye on things in the future.

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