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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?

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

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