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To not know whether to approach childminder about smoking?

(23 Posts)
witsender Wed 18-May-16 08:37:58

Our home educated 6 year old goes to a childminder one long morning a week while we work. Her CM is lovely, and they get on really well. Lots of walks, and baking, and our usually very shy/anxious child enjoys her company and skips into her house happily.

However the other day she came home and said that CM had been smoking in the kitchen while they were playing on the patio. Described the cigarette accurately (Brown and white, not a vape), said she didn't see her light it as she did it in the pantry.

Now, neither of us are viciously anti smoking as ex smokers in our 20ies, but obviously we don't want the kids being smoked around...and she also looks after a couple of younger ones.

I'm torn...if I ask/say something it makes it awkward and our daughter loves it there with her...but we can't not say something surely?

Oysterbabe Wed 18-May-16 08:39:16

I would definitely ask her about it.
If true I'd be looking for another CM.

OliveBranchCollins Wed 18-May-16 08:41:26

Has she given you a copy of her non smoking policy which is part of her contractual agreement with you and a requirement for her registration?

ScarletForYa Wed 18-May-16 08:41:37

I have an e-cig that looks exactly like a cigarette. Brown and white.

Possibly that, does she smell of cigs at all?

witsender Wed 18-May-16 08:48:17

I have never noticed the smell of smoke around her or the house, so maybe that's it Scarlet!

MrsJayy Wed 18-May-16 08:51:20

You get e cigs that look real i had 1 you would smell real smoke in the house

witsender Wed 18-May-16 09:17:58

If it is a fake/vape, do we mention it? I can't decide if that is an issue?

FuzzyOwl Wed 18-May-16 09:19:31

Just ask her so you know.

MrsJayy Wed 18-May-16 09:20:16

Yeah just ask her

SouthDownsSunshine Wed 18-May-16 09:30:42

I'd have to ask, this would be a non-negotiable issue for me.

MarkRuffaloCrumble Wed 18-May-16 09:45:58

I don't like people vaping in front of DCs either - it looks like smoking and it normalises the idea of adults puffing away blowing smoke rings etc.

My BIL does this - he would never have dreamed of smoking real cigarettes in front of the DCs but we'll be out at dinner and he'll start vaping at the table. Turns my stomach and my kids just look completely baffled and mesmerised as they've not really been up close to smokers before!

However, this said, it sounds like the CM was having a crafty one when she thought the DCs weren't looking and they weren't in the room. It may be that she'd had some bad news or a particularly stressful morning. I'd let it go this once, but perhaps keep an ear out in case it becomes a regular occurence.

SpringerS Wed 18-May-16 09:55:32

I'm a bit wary of vaping as there are no conclusive studies about them yet. However I have a relative who vapes and have noticed that when he does, he takes one or two puffs then puts it away. It's not like smoking where he'd be smoking away for 5 minutes. So I don't think that being in the vicinity of someone have a couple of vaping puffs everyso often is a health risk.

ILostItInTheEarlyNineties Wed 18-May-16 10:04:36

I'm a childminder and I smoke but when I'm working I use a plastic e cig which looks identical to a cigarette and glows red at the tip. I would never do it in front of the children because they are quite impressionable and curious.
The 'smoke' from e cigs is harmless water vapour.

If she did smoke, especially in the house, I think you would smell it a mile off.

I suspect this is what your CM has been using, although it is worth asking her in a non accusatory way. You have every right to be concerned.

To be honest, I'm surprised your dd didn't ask her CM at the time. I seem to get a constant barrage of questions from the children I look after. They always want to know what I'm doing!

quantende Wed 18-May-16 10:48:45

I would not be happy with this and would ask her about it.
Even if it is 'just' vaping I would not want my child around it, aside from the normalisation of smoking behaviours that others mentioned there are there are too just many unknowns, eg,

madparent1 Wed 18-May-16 10:59:00

I would expect any smoker (e-cig or otherwise) to smoke well away from children at all times. Out of sight even, not just out of smoke/vape range. I would say something as they are your children and you have to protect them and their health.

brummiesue Wed 18-May-16 13:31:03

I would not expect a childminder to even smoke an e-cig around mu children. We have no idea about the long term effects of them plus children are impressionable, smoking is not the norm but their perceptions may change if they are seeing it every day

lavenderdoilly Wed 18-May-16 13:37:15

Tell her my chain smoking mum gave up for my dd's sake aged 79 by just stopping. She'd smoked since age 13. In her 80s now with lung cancer. E - cigs are money spinning bollocks and no substitute for courage and determination.

queenofthepirates Wed 18-May-16 13:52:29

If your child is happy and settled and your trust your CM, I would leave it. Trust in your childcare provider is important, they also need to know you have faith in them.

kawliga Thu 19-May-16 06:59:55

I really doubt a registered CM would be smoking in the house in full view of the dc. Why bother lighting it in the pantry if she's then going to smoke it in open sight? Also like pp said you'd smell it in her house. I wonder whether there might be some misunderstanding going on here.

FWIW I did have a CM who smoked, and also my dd had a key worker at nursery who smoked. They both did it after hours, in their own time, and not in the premises. Of course. I don't think a registered carer would risk their career for a smoke, and if they did there would be many other red flags I would suppose.

Hagrid3112 Thu 19-May-16 07:10:49

I'm a nanny. IIRC, to register with Ofsted, I had to tick a thing that said I would never smoke while working. I can't remember if it said anything about smoking replacements, though. I will try to find out. You should definitely bring it up.

Hagrid3112 Thu 19-May-16 07:23:50

Isn't illegal to smoke in a workplace now, anyway?

kawliga Thu 19-May-16 07:40:56

Before you bring it up, you should start looking for alternative childcare because if she hasn't been smoking at work she won't appreciate the accusation. Smoking at work while looking after young dc would be a seriously wrong thing for her to do, so approach it with that in mind. Also bear in mind that there might be some kind of mistake; my dd is 8 but I wouldn't approach her carers/teachers with a grave accusation based only on something she told me she saw (it could be a mistake).

Princesspinkgirl Thu 19-May-16 09:53:07

I would have a word with your cm it does sound like a e cig

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