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I don't like my childminder.

(54 Posts)
mamansnet Tue 19-Mar-19 18:36:39

But DS does. Especially her little Yorkshire Terrier

Her contract is 8.30 to 6, and that's what we pay for, even though I drop DD off at 8.15 and collect him at 6.30. She negotiated it all with DH. If we paid for the true hours, she would get stung for higher tax rates or something, so she's happy to do 45mins a day "free".

However, I feel she's starting to take the piss. When we signed, I thought drop off was 8.15, but now she says it's between 8 and 8.15. If I get there at 8.17, she tells me off for making her late for the kids' activities, even though she'd stand there yakking and ignoring the kids until 9am if I let her.

I could try to get there earlier but I begrudge getting up at 6.45 just to suit her, then be twiddling my thumbs for an hour before I have to leave for work.

Today DH and I are both off sick. I got there this evening at 6.15pm, and she 'asked' (told) me to pick up DS at 6.00 if I'm not in work, because that's what she's actually being paid for. Then told me to be on time tomorrow morning.

In the 2 months since we've been with her, I've had to leave work early 3 or 4 times so she can go to "doctor's appointments" and so on. I'm an intern, so no paid leave and very dependent on a good reference at the end. Two weeks ago she had a day's training, paid (for which I've not seen any written documentation) so DH took a day off, then she announces there'll be a second training day sometime in May. Last week she took another day off because her daughter in law was giving birth. I imagine she'll still bill us for the day, given our unusual arrangement.

I get that she's working 45mins a day free, so 4 hours a week, but she's taking the piss, right? Or AIBU because I just don't like her?

Every time I drop DS off, she's got the TV on with cartoons blaring. 2 or 3 very small kids plonked in high chairs doing nothing. Sometimes she'll start talking at me, and unfortunately having no friends here I get chatting for 15-20 minutes. Meanwhile, the kids in high chairs are completely ignored.

Luckily my DS is a bit older, he's 2, he just runs in and plays or stares at the sodding TV. We limit it at home but I've no idea how much she leaves it on. His last cm said the local council doesn't allow them to have ANY TV or films on with the kids present. I desperately wanted DS to stay with her but she had no availability after Christmas.

There are not many CMs available where we live but I've seen one advertising and I'm sorely tempted to call, even though we've signed a contract until sep 2020.

Not sure if I'm BU or if I'm being taken for a ride. Don't know if I can make DS change to a third childminder in as many months.

Can't just do the hours we pay for as she wants us there early and I can't pick up before 6.30.

AIBU to want to change?

Thehop Tue 19-Mar-19 18:39:18



Look at nurseries and other cm.

Shitonthebloodything Tue 19-Mar-19 18:45:20

I think the timings thing is a separate issue to the fact that you just aren't comfortable with her and aren't confident in her ability to do her job well.
I'd move him, you need to trust your childminder completely and you don't.

user1493413286 Tue 19-Mar-19 18:53:25

I think the timing thing could be put up with if she was an amazing childminder but she sounds a bit crap. Also they’re only supposed to have 3 under 5.
Our childminder doesn’t charge if she’s not available to work so we pay if we take DD out as her place is still available but if she’s away or on training we don’t pay.

GeorgieTheGorgeousGoat Tue 19-Mar-19 18:57:30

The whole thing sounds really odd. Both of you.

Hunter037 Tue 19-Mar-19 18:58:27

Presumably the contract has an "out" if you give a certain amount of notice. An 18 month contract is very long otherwise!

You should definitely contact the other CM if you're not happy. Your son may like it there but he is only 2 so would probably like it anywhere and if she just puts them in front of the TV he probably thinks its great (my DD would love that!).

5 days off / early finishes in 2 months is too much and would be a deal breaker for me. One positive of a nursery is you don't have to cover staff sickness, training etc.

Reters Tue 19-Mar-19 19:00:02

Change asap.

What a bloody headache.

Barrenfieldoffucks Tue 19-Mar-19 19:00:31

The high chair/TV thing would do it for me. If I wanted to lazy parent I would do it myself, not pay someone else to.

BunsOfAnarchy Tue 19-Mar-19 19:01:28

You shouldn't be paying her for time she has off for her own personal reasons.

I'd look elsewhere.

Sontagsleere Tue 19-Mar-19 19:47:23

Her getting stung for higher tax rates is her problem not yours. The set up sounds miserable for all- , for you, your son and husband. Your lack of quality of family life pains me. Perhaps you have no other option, perhaps this is a wake up call. Perhaps you can intern in a year or your husband can take a step back in his job. What utter hassle you endure just to exist. I feel for you if you truly have no other options.

looselegs Tue 19-Mar-19 19:56:03

I'm a childminder.
The thing about higher taxes is rubbish. She's self employed so it's up to her to sort her accounts and expenditure out.
Double check your contract to see if there's a notice period on either side.She has to offer one. I can't see how she can tie you into a contract for that amount of time! Anything can change during that period.Childminders can have the TV on despite what you've been told- Ofsted inspect them and set the rules not the local council and Ofsted don't say anything about TV time- used correctly it can be a good thing. Sticking children in high chairs in front of it is not good! I do know that a lot of training takes place during the day- I don't do as much training as I used to because of it and I lose too much money- but if she's not avs3 you shouldn't really pay.
She may have something in the contract stating payment if she's not working but what she's doing isn't right. Find someone else and give her notice.

mamansnet Tue 19-Mar-19 19:56:31

Local crèche has no room. The cm we have now is the only one who had any availability when we found her (wonder why!).

Have just found out who the cm advertising is. I'm not 100% but I suspect she's the one our our old cm told us to avoid. Great.

I think our contract says 2 weeks' notice but the real problem is going to be finding someone else.

Happy to be told if I'm BU but what makes us odd, @GeorgieTheGorgeousGoat? Genuinely interested!

Stompythedinosaur Tue 19-Mar-19 19:56:48

I'm normally of the opinion that I will put up with a lot of inconvenience to maintain a good relationship with a good childminder, but she sounds a bit crap.

SparklyShoesandTutus Tue 19-Mar-19 19:57:46

I would seriously have another look around. I have a great relationship with our child minder but things can still get a bit tense around certain discussions primarily changes to contracted hours holiday etc. This would be 10 times harder if there was already some conflict. The lack of activity and engagement would also concern me. Our CM does 2 groups and soft play each week minimum. They do watch some TV on occasions bit this is limited and there is still interaction. Does your contract have a clause around notice. To sign up until 2020 is a long time what would happen if you stop work or once your child becomes entitled to funded hours?

AhNowTed Tue 19-Mar-19 20:01:49

She doesn't sound great, but I also think that you're being unreasonable not collecting your child till after 6 when you and your DH are both at home. That would really piss me off.

The flexibility on time is all in your favour and the least you could have done was pick your child up early for once when you had the opportunity. So she's digging in her heels.

Gottalovesummer Tue 19-Mar-19 20:02:52

I'm a cm.

If this woman was my cm I'd finding another one quickly!

yaqub Tue 19-Mar-19 20:03:47

I'm a childminder too, and you and the childminder should have a 4 week notice period for who ever wants to leave, so not sure about this contract that's been signed until September next year.

outforawalkbitch2018 Tue 19-Mar-19 20:05:54

I think you have my old CM! Find a new one quickly, my DC and I are much happier since we left, it's like night and day

LL83 Tue 19-Mar-19 20:06:35

Having the children in front of TV so she can get those arriving settled, (handover from parents, any issues, take shoes and jacket off) does not mean thet are in front of TV all day.

My childminder is amazing but the TV is on at times. (And I dont mins some chill out time).

She is being flexible and allowing you to start early but what is the point in her being ready and you not turning up till after 8.15 if that suits. And yes if she works for 45 free every week when you can pick up early you should.

Not being reliable is an issue though. I would look elsewhere for that reason.

Weebitawks Tue 19-Mar-19 20:07:12

If you're unhappy, can you put your name down on some waiting lists and stick it out?

slipperywhensparticus Tue 19-Mar-19 20:07:59

Cant you find one by work? Or do you work local

Deadringer Tue 19-Mar-19 20:08:44

She does sound a bit crap. Is there a decent nursery where you live. My personal preference is for a childminder usually when they are small but your little boy sounds very sociable so a good nursery might suit him.

Justheretogiveaviewfrommyworld Tue 19-Mar-19 20:14:08

I'm shock re the YT on top of everything else tbh. A mall dog with relatively unknown kids seems like begging for trouble with a bowl out to me. Also sounds a dodgy set up, I'd be worried aboutt any visitors during the day too. If your gut is twitchy, there's a reason I think.

Justheretogiveaviewfrommyworld Tue 19-Mar-19 20:14:19

small dog

daisyflowerinspring Tue 19-Mar-19 20:19:35

I use a nursery for this reason.

Decormad38 Tue 19-Mar-19 20:26:45

Just move. Both you and her need to find alternative arrangements. If you have no choices then contact the council.

IckleWicklePumperNickle Tue 19-Mar-19 20:26:46

Nursery all the way for us. I like the stability of not having to worry about holidays and illnesses and everything else.

A co worker of mine works out her routine with her childminder weekly. That would drive me bonkers.

GuineaPiglet345 Tue 19-Mar-19 20:27:21

This is why I wouldn’t even consider a childminder, nursery is really professional, there’s no missed days for training and they’re never just plonked in front of the TV.

mamansnet Tue 19-Mar-19 20:40:45

@AhNowTed If DH is home (he sometimes finishes early) then he does go at 6. We couldn't today as I was at the doctor's with the car, but it was still earlier than if I'd been at work.

Thanks to everyone for the advice, especially the cms. I'm sure the TV probably does go off until pickup time, but it's odd that the other cm said it wasn't allowed at all (we're outside the UK, so the tax issue/4 kids max/ofsted doesn't apply) and yet it's on EVERY time I'm at the new one's house. And I'm really disturbed by the poor kids dumped in high chairs, waiting for everyone else to arrive before they get any attention. DH has already said if we ever have another DC, he doesn't want it going there for that reason.

The old cm also used to take the kids out walking, they'd go to see the ducks and the horses. DS loved it, but the new one says it's not allowed confused She's having her garden done at the moment so DS hardly goes outdoors at all in the week.

To the poster who asked if I could do my internship next year (on my phone sorry so can't remember who it was) - our finances are such that it's not an option, unfortunately.

I think I know what I want to do but DH is resisting a bit because he had such a difficult job finding this one.

Tobebythesea Tue 19-Mar-19 20:43:43

For us Nursery is more convenient.

Gottalovesummer Tue 19-Mar-19 20:44:58

Just want to add, that although I'm a cm, I think this cm sounds awful!

Most of us are completely professional. We do our training evenings/,weekends/online. I've never taken a day off to train and never would.

Most of us pride ourselves on being professional and flexible, this is our advantage over nurseries who cannot compete with us on that.

Got an early meeting and need to drop off before 7am? No prob. Train delayed so late pick up? No prob.

And most of us are out and about with the kids every day at playgroup/music group/library/park (so not stuck in front of the telly)

So yes, I think the cm in this post sounds awful, but am sure you can find a great one instead.

Good luck x

GeorgieTheGorgeousGoat Tue 19-Mar-19 20:47:28

The Op has stated she doesn’t live in the UK so rules etc differ.

Redland12 Tue 19-Mar-19 20:49:18

Guineapiglet345, I am a registered childminder and I assure you I am professional! And there are a lot of us, I put everything I have into my job and my little ones are very happy and well cared for, hence the waiting list I have, I do all my courses on an evening or a Saturday. And I never plonk them in front of the TV. It’s not just some childminders some parents are a pain too but we smile politely and try to reach a solution. I have a fantastic rapport with my parents and children and they never want to go home, I’m a bit miffed you have that impression of us.

housedoerupper Tue 19-Mar-19 20:52:44

You don’t sound odd op. The childminder doesn’t sound great. I hope you manage to find someone you are happier with.

Stompythedinosaur Tue 19-Mar-19 20:54:13

This is why I wouldn’t even consider a childminder, nursery is really professional, there’s no missed days for training and they’re never just plonked in front of the TV.

I don't think it's fair to lump all childninders in with this crap example. We have a wonderful childminder who provides a really great environment, nothing like is described here.

Also, it is hardly as though there has never been a nursery providing a poor standard of care.

I think you have to judge each childcare provider on their own merits.

mamansnet Tue 19-Mar-19 20:57:08

@slipperywhensparticus my internship is a 25 minute drive away, that's until July but I'll be commuting a minimum of 3 hours a day from September.

DH has just offered to start doing drop off because he knows she won't try to boss him about. She gets away with it with me because I struggle to be assertive in the local language. It's not ideal as he has a train to catch and I'm currently driving, but it might mean I can put up with her a bit longer. I'll just do pickup in the evenings/afternoonsangry

DH has also suggested we look for a nursery in September to get DS used to starting school next year. There's one nearby that claims to be bilingual in English even though none of the staff can actually speak any but they were full too when I called them recently. Might ask again about September...

OffToBedhampton Tue 19-Mar-19 20:58:32

I don't have an issue with her doing training days and giving you notice for.days off, as that would be expected as some specialised training is full days. (Btw if she isn't available for service you don't pay). However the rest sounds a bit crazy. As she's dictating. Fair enough if she's going out for morning and you turn up late preventing her from leaving with children for planned group, that's different . She doesn't sound great as you haven't said much positive. And DS would love anyone that gives him attention as he knows no different , hence why 2-4 year olds aren't allowed to enter into contracts or choose their childcare themselves. ("mum they have a red door, I like red.." is the level of decision making, I got from my DC at that age!)

Just look around & interview other childminders or nurserirs, and give her notice if you're happier with the other cm's style and conditions... Book them and leave this cm that is causing you angst.

No one can force you into /stick with a contract for that long til 2020 (!!), Contract must have a reasonable notice period to be a fair contract, which I'd expect to be about a month notice or less.

Poivrotte Tue 19-Mar-19 21:01:43

Is the cm French ?

Kitsandkids Tue 19-Mar-19 21:02:19

He doesn’t go out all week?! That sounds a bit crap. What do they do in the house? (Other than TV). Does she take photos? Does he come home with paintings etc?

I’m a foster carer but also now have my own nearly 2 year old. When I have training sessions I pay my friend (who is a registered childminder) to have her. Today she was there for about 3 and a half hours and made a rabbit craft with painted footprint, a Mother’s Day card with painted handprint, they did a singing session with musical instruments, and she played with lots of different toys. I’ve seen loads of photos of the day. My daughter cried when I put her coat on to bring her home as she was having so much fun!

I know you’re not in UK so there are different rules but I wouldn’t be happy with too many other children being there. One of the big reasons to choose a childminder over a nursery, in my opinion, is the small adult to child ratio. She can’t give them all proper attention if she has loads there.

If she couldn’t show me what was happening during the day and I also wasn’t impressed at drop off and pick up times I would definitely look elsewhere.

GuineaPiglet345 Tue 19-Mar-19 21:08:45

@Redland12 I’m sure most childminders are professional, but I’ve heard stories from colleagues who said the childminder was complaining that her child was too whingey when she was teething and another one that was always taking days off because she was sick so colleague had to keep taking days off work and other things that just don’t happen at a nursery, so I wouldn’t consider a childminder for those reasons.

mamansnet Tue 19-Mar-19 21:15:08

In theory I have no issue about the training days - I'm actually happy for her to learn how to deal with a choking child, even if I have to pay her for it. I just find it odd that she never showed us any paperwork confirming it, then the following day announced it was 'all theory, and there'll be a second day for practical training in 2 months' time'. Wtf?!

As for activities, thinking about it, that's another red flag. At her interview she claimed to send parents loads of photos but I've never had one in 2 months. She did give him a birthday present on his third day, but otherwise DS has never brought anything home. I have no idea what he does all day, but he seems happy enough. He used to cry at drop off with the old cm and yet he had his very own garden patch and two girlfriends. Now he's excited to see the dog every morning and sometimes I have to drag him out at pickup. So he's happy - just wish I was!!

nokidshere Tue 19-Mar-19 21:19:43

This is why I wouldn’t even consider a childminder, nursery is really professional, there’s no missed days for training and they’re never just plonked in front of the TV.

I've worked in plenty of nurseries where staff are short because of training days (or closed to have one) and plenty who use the tv during the day. Just because it's not on when you drop/collect doesn't mean it's not done.

Deadringer Tue 19-Mar-19 21:19:59

I think it's the dog he loves op, not the cm.

nokidshere Tue 19-Mar-19 21:25:38

The 8 yr old I mind is always watching tv when his mum arrives at 6pm. He's been at school all day, we have done activities after school, we have put the world to rights with chat and he loves helping me cook dinner and eating together. After a 10 hour day I don't think putting his feet up after dinner and watching tv is evil.

OP you need a new childminder. One that you are on the same page with regards to all the details.

GabsAlot Tue 19-Mar-19 21:31:40

sounds like he likes visiting the dog-what do they do all day if they dont go out anywhere

doesnt sound very productive

Chickychoccyegg Tue 19-Mar-19 21:36:17

im a childminder, you can leave whenever you want, giving the notice period thats on your contract, usually 4 weeks.
i dont put the t.v on during the day, occasionally if i only have older ones we'll watch a movie during the holidays.
the timeing thing is absolute rubbish, makes no difference to your tax, i dont understand that at all,you tell her what time you need care, she can either cover it or not, but she can't demand you come at other times that are not convenient , i would definitely be looking for alternative childcare in your position, there are great childminders out there, she doesn't sound like one of them!

makingmammaries Tue 19-Mar-19 21:52:06

Are you in France, OP? That long contract and you paying for her to train is reminding me why I never employ anyone here...

mamansnet Tue 19-Mar-19 22:17:38

@makingmammaries and @Poivrotte yes, was trying to go under the radar but don't suppose there's much chance of my cm being on here!

I'll explain how we ended up in this contract.

Old CM lives a few doors away but could only take DS until Christmas. She had another spot from September 2019, so we said we'd find a new cm for those 9 months, then DS would go back to her in September. We found this new cm, signed a short contract, everything fine.

In mid January I texted the old cm to ask when could I sign on the dotted line for September. Unfortunately she'd been a bit naughty and already filled the spot without telling me. I was so gutted I cried.^^

We'd had such a hard time finding the replacement that we were afraid of not having anyone from September 2019. The new cm quite gleefully told us that we should sign with her immediately until September 2020, before someone else took that spot too. So that's why we're signed up for 18 months.

The original contract mentions a 2 week notice period, but the new one doesn't, and so I don't know if the notice period still stands.

Oct18mummy Tue 19-Mar-19 22:19:41

Go with your gut and change

mamansnet Tue 19-Mar-19 22:36:42

@Gottalovesummer and @Kitsandkids THANK YOU. I just mentioned the unknown activities and lack of photos to DH and he went very quiet. That has definitely hit home.

I reminded him that when I was a SAHM last year, i used to take DS to a playgroup that was about 25 cms and 3 sahms. So why is she not going out doing similar stuff?

He's off work all week but he's going to get up at 7 anyway to do the drop off and start sorting this out. He's going to remind her tomorrow that she claimed to send loads of photos to parents and yet neither of us has ever had a single one. Setting the wheels in motion for leaving, I think.

In the meantime I'm going to start looking around for other solutions. Just hope they exist!

Thanks everyone for your thoughts, really appreciate it thanks

HopeIsNotAStrategy Tue 19-Mar-19 22:41:17

She doesn't sound 100% ideal ( who is?), but to be honest you sound like hard work and bitchy.

If you don't like it, sort it, but don't mess the woman about - she's doing you some massive favours. And where do you two get off sending in "D"H instead of you to intimidate her/ so she won't mess you about?

You both sound charming if I'm honest.

mamansnet Wed 20-Mar-19 06:15:50

I suppose there’s always one isn’t there, this is AIBU after all.

I ‘get off’ sending DH (not ‘D’H, incidentally) because he’s the one who found her, negotiated this weird hours system with her, and signed the contract. HE is her employer, and she doesn’t boss him about the way she does me because he’d just tell her straight to fuck off. I’m much the same way when speaking in my own language, but not in hers.

Like many women on here, I have no choice but to pay for childcare for my DC. If not wanting to accept a substandard service for my DC makes me bitchy, then I’m an absolute raging, pre-menstrual bitch with cherries on top. Who doesn’t want their DC well looked after?!

I’m paying my entire income of £800 a month for these ‘favours’ as you call them. I’d have been quite happy to pay for the full hours, but she was the one who insisted on doing 45mins a day free. She’s playing the tax system and using those 45mins to claim flexitime from us that we can’t really accommodate. And that makes ME hard work?

Ok then.

Deadringer Wed 20-Mar-19 09:33:34

Op perhaps it's a language barrier but you are not coming across very well. Your dh is not her employer, she is self employed, and the fact that you don't like her is clearly colouring your judgement. Talking about telling her to fuck off because she is bossy is not very nice is it? However, she isn't suitable for your needs, you don't like her so you need to find a replacement asap. You have 3 choices, put up with her, make other arrangements, or leave your job. Bitching about her isn't going to help.

Iwrotethissongfor Wed 20-Mar-19 10:10:29

It all sounds very unsatisfactory. You don’t seem to have many (any?) options if there’s no other CMs and you’ve already searched. it seems as if your original CM wanted you off her books: she agreed a contract with you then says oh actually I won’t be free for 9 month period, you say ok no problem we’ll find someone else and come back but you, then when you ask she suddenly has it filled already. Is this a small area and you’ve committed some cultural faux pas? Are nurseries a thing where you are?

On a side note, If your child is normally in childcare long hours of 8.15-6.30 Monday to Friday and your DH is off work all week why is your son still going to CM and still apparently going usual hours (you say he’s getting up early to do drops offs?). Thought he’d be desperate to spend time with son and give him a break from CM particularly one you’re unhappy with.

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