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Childminder not encouraging development

(18 Posts)
Queazy Fri 23-Jan-15 05:02:34

My childminder for 17mo dd is lovely and dd is very happy. I'm worried that she only plays at home with toys though or takes trips to the park or supermarket. I asked if dd is using a spoon as I'm trying to encourage this at home and and said that she spoon feeds her purée because babies are messy at this age. I don't think they do any form of messier play at all. By the way, I'm not expecting nursery activities but she's there 4 days so I want her to be encouraged to do things herself. Surely at 17mo she needs to be allowed to just make a mess and play. I don't know how to approach this though, as I really value and appreciate our childminder - I don't want to come across as critical or unrealistic.

Itsgoingtoreindeer Fri 23-Jan-15 05:26:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Violettatrump Fri 23-Jan-15 05:28:23

Can you buy her a bit of plastic sheeting or suggest she buys plastic sheeting for the floor. I'd directly say that you want DD to feed her self and can she let you know how it goes.

Also if she's not doing messy play with the childminder she should be going it at a toddler group. Can you explain that you very much appreciate childminder but are worried she's not doing enough messy play

Violettatrump Fri 23-Jan-15 05:30:48

DS did baby led weaning. So lots of chucks of food. Spoon fed himself lumpy casserole/soup type meals too.

CheerfulYank Fri 23-Jan-15 05:30:59

Yes she should be self feeding at that age, for sure. I am a CM and it wouldn't occur to me to feed a 17 month old! (Though my DD is 20 months and I never spoon fed her at all.)

What kind of messy play would you like her to be doing? Finger painting and things like that?

youmakemydreams Fri 23-Jan-15 06:38:14

I'm not sure the messy play would have occurred to me really but the spoon feeding thing would.
Does your ds eat herself at home? By 17 months none of my 3 were on purée the all had proper food by then and all self fed some more successful than others. I really wouldn't be happy about that or the purée.

Iggly Fri 23-Jan-15 06:40:21

If you have doubts perhaps a change is needed?

Lovelydiscusfish Fri 23-Jan-15 06:55:17

Definitely speak to her about the spoon feeding - she should change this if you request it.
Re range of activities offered, did she mention any other activities, when you had initial meetings before starting with her, which haven't come to pass? If so, that is a good starting point for discussion!
Good luck.

DanaBarrett Fri 23-Jan-15 07:08:45

I think you do need to have a word really, she should be following the early years curriculum if she's ofstead registered, and four days a week of free play isn't ideal IMO. My childminder visits a 'CM group' with the DDs and they do all manner of sticky, painty, glittery rubbish!

She does take them shopping, but usually she'll also go to the pet shop to see the animals and a group while she's there. Yes, I chose a childminder for the more home-like environment but for me that includes groups etc., she always chooses the free/low cost groups and just bills us for them.

Queazy Fri 23-Jan-15 07:23:00

Thank you so much. I need to speak to her about the feeding - she honestly said to me that babies are a bit messy feeding themselves at that age. She did say they would go to groups but they don't. She's otherwise so caring and dd loves her. She said she'd give her a spoon while she feeds her. I was confused - she's been a nanny for years. I assumed she would develop them as they grew (alongside me of course). I'd hate to disrupt dd after only 5 months by moving her. I'll start with a discussion as you say. I'm really disappointed - I don't expect lots of arty stuff but even joining a children's centre messy play would be good. I'd pay the £2.50 happily.

Queazy Fri 23-Jan-15 07:29:28

p.s. I feel horribly disloyal writing this , which shows how much I do like and trust our childminder.

nagynolonger Fri 23-Jan-15 07:40:47

I would have a word about her being allowed to spoon feed herself.

Wouldn't necessarily expect a childminder to do finger painting and the very messy stuff with a 17m old. You don't say if she has other DC to mind. Glue and glitter is a bit tricky with a group of little ones and she's still young for cutting and sticking. It is something you could enjoy at home with her. My little twin GC are a similar age and I encourage them to 'colour' but nothing more messy yet. There is plenty of time for that. They do feed themselves now. It's a bit messy so I help out with the yogurt so I'm not plastered in it.

As others have said ask about her being taken along to group activities. They usually do some messy play.

Queazy Fri 23-Jan-15 07:52:44

My childminder doesn't seem keen on group activities as she now has three under 2yrs on some days. She had an extra child for just 2hrs the other day, which made me cross as she's not supposed to have 4 surely? Mmm I think I just need to raise the bit about the spoon etc, as it's making me question lots and prob starting to get hypercritical. I really appreciate all your comments. I give feedback readily at work but this feels far trickier!!

poocatcherchampion Fri 23-Jan-15 07:56:31

This is trickier as it is your precious children.

And she loves your baby.
But yes you do need to tackle it or move on

Iggly Fri 23-Jan-15 10:04:58

Of course you trust her etc otherwise you wouldn't have chosen her. But sometimes, you need to be more objective. Better to tackle this sooner.

CheerfulYank Fri 23-Jan-15 14:09:19

I have two who are young toddlers (my DD who is 20 months and a 19 month old boy) and we do some painting and sensory tubs (usually water with toys and scoopers etc.) I'd like to do more and will in the future but DD eats everything. We do stories and music too, but other than that it is just free play. (I have two five year olds too, and do more things with them while the little ones are napping, but they go to preschool three half days a week so do more of that kind of thing there.)

I don't honestly think very young children (under two and a half or three ish) really do need lots of groups and things like that. I think they need lots of play, cuddles, and time outside.

But yes the spoonfeeding is not on and I would expect her to do some art and things. The other day I knew I didn't have time to clean up the mess so I put snowflake shapes cut out of cardboard into clear plastic bags. The little ones helped me squirt in white and blue paint and shake in a little glitter, then I sealed them up and let them squish. They turned out quite pretty, there was no mess, and still a bit of sensory.

Does she take them out much? I'd think that playing with puddles and snow and rocks and sticks satisfies a lot of the need for tactile play at that age too.

Lovelydiscusfish Fri 23-Jan-15 20:54:34

She sounds lovely in many ways - it's great that your dd loves going there, and she is loving towards her, etc.
We went for a nursery setting, which I am really happy with over all, but still similar issues in terms of the activities they do with dd. For us, as dd is older, it's in terms of some of the staff (not all - some are brill!) not doing the stuff which dd clearly wants to do in terms of reading and a little bit of writing. And it's hard! We won't take her out of the setting, as it's one she feels safe in and seems to thrive in, but nonetheless dh and I struggle with the fact that the nursery don't always do the things which seem, to us, developmentally appropriate for dd.
I never thought I'd say this, but the days she is with her granny (my dmil) are easier, because it's much easier now to ask her to do the type of activity dd seems to want!
Good luck in having the conversation OP - hope it all works out.

Queazy Fri 23-Jan-15 21:11:56

Thanks so much. It's really helpful to hear it from the perspective of a lo in a nursery setting too. I really appreciate hearing your experience, as to be honest I was thinking of moving dd to a nursery for 2 days p/wk and can't think that this will be an automatic route to perfect activities.

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