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Am I being unreasonable with my childminder

(113 Posts)
mimosa Wed 22-Dec-10 00:38:24

Today I discovered that my childminder had taken my 2 children (3 and 5) with her to do her christmas food shopping at Tescos. This was a 34 mile round trip in the snow and ice - very dangerous driving conditions. My 3 year old didnt even get out of her car - she feel asleep for the inward journey, which meant she would have been sat in her carseat for a minimum of 2 hours - so cross about that. (this then resulted in her not settling tonight - didnt get down until 9.30 which meant my night was gone) Which is why I am still up at 12.45 am
I feel that there was no education value, or fun value for my chilren and if she had asked me if it was ok for her to do this, I would have said no. Mainly on the grounds that if she had had a driving accident and hurt my children - I would have killed her with my bare hands! But also on the grounds that I am paying her (£90) a for her to look after my children - not drag them around the shops - their least favourite activity
I am so mad at her - and so is my husband - Also the children tell me another adult was in the car with them?? Who is this adult ? Have they been CRB checked.? Not happy but obviously I am a protective mum and so another perspective might help me sort my feelings out. Because at the moment I am seriously considering giving her notice. I have some other issues with her, but this could be the straw that broke the camels back - so to speak. What do other mums and childminders think?

Ooosha Wed 22-Dec-10 00:44:46

I would be livid to form what you have said, was your 3 year old in the car on her own for 2 hours?!

ILoveItWhenYouCallMeBoo Wed 22-Dec-10 00:50:04

she left your DD asleep in teh car while she shopped????

mimosa Wed 22-Dec-10 00:56:06

My 3 year old was in the car with childminder husband!
She must have been so bored. My childminder could have sent her husband to do the shopping and she could have stayed at home and done the job I am paying her to do - ie look after the children. Do you think I am overreacting? Also is £90 steep for 2 kids - bearing in mind I have to provide all food for the day from 8 am - 6 pm??
I know I have a tendancy to overreact - so I am trying really hard to be rational. In my childminders defence, she said she thought it might snow tomorrow and so didnt want to get snowed in with no food (however my reaction to that was - not my problem - just send your hubby)
Think I need to chill out with some wine.......

ILoveItWhenYouCallMeBoo Wed 22-Dec-10 01:00:57

£90 for one day???

yes that is steep tbh.

my CM charged £30 for a full day for my younger son and £20 for 12noon-5.30pm all snacks and petrol costs included.

yes i think, if her husband is able to drive, she should have just sent him and stayed at home, why risk all of them getting stuck in teh snow when she could have been safe at home with your dc.

EWeatherwax Wed 22-Dec-10 01:02:14

Depends what the other issues are - the snow thing is quite legitimate and I generally hate anyone shopping for me and would have a bit of a panic attack at DH shopping for me as I would need a second mortgage and while would have 12 different types of olives would not have 1 meal the kids would eat.

ILoveItWhenYouCallMeBoo Wed 22-Dec-10 01:03:34

sorry that should be all FOOD and petrol costs included.

BelleDeChocChipCookieMonster Wed 22-Dec-10 01:05:59

She shouldn't take your children to the supermarket, this isn't what you are paying her for. She knew that she was busy, she could have sent her husband or ordered online.

BoysAreLikeDogs Wed 22-Dec-10 01:11:09

I disagree with the blanket statement she shouldn't take your children to the supermarket; there are lots of learning opportunities to be had there

She most certainly should not have left a minded child with her DH unless he is a registered CM too

And driving in dangerous conditions isn't a smart idea

£4.50 per hour isn't an outrageous amount

On balance, YANBU

ILoveItWhenYouCallMeBoo Wed 22-Dec-10 01:13:31

£4.50 wouldn't be outrageous IMO if it included all meals.

i agree with BALD, the supermarket is a great learning excercie but this wasn't the case for the 3 year old today was it? and yes the risk of being stuck in teh snow or crashing far outweighed the need to take someone else's dcs who you are paid to care for to teh supermarket only for one of them to sit in teh car.

BelleDeChocChipCookieMonster Wed 22-Dec-10 01:14:28

There's no learning opportunities when doing the xmas shop, they are manic! Any other time then this is OK.

ToffeeChristmascake Wed 22-Dec-10 01:15:08

I don't think you are being unreasonable at all. I think it's outrageous behaviour. She is being paid to look after your children, not to do her shopping. I was a childminder for two and a half years and would never have dreamed of doing such a thing. My priority when I was working was looking after the children and ensuring they had a happy, stimulating day and were kept safe. Frankly, I was too busy looking after them to do anything domestic.

Also, if I were you, I would be livid that my children had been taken on a potentially hazardous car journey in dangerous driving conditions.

You are also rightly concerned about the other adult in the car.

If I were you, I would not take my children back to this childminder and I would look for alternative care asap.

The National Childminding Association may be able to advise you further. I think I would also consider complaining to Ofsted.

mimosa Wed 22-Dec-10 01:16:07

I quite understand the thing about hubby doing the shopping - I have exactly the same problem! He generally buys random ingredients but never a whole meal! But anyway, childminder could have written a list for her hubby,

The other issues I have are.......One day I was 10 mins late (I know this is a cardinal sin - however every other week I am 20 mins early) And my childminder had my kids outside sat in their coats, in the cold with their bags by their feet, waiting for me (and looking very miserable) The following week she asked me to pick them up 10 mins early......

Other issue is - she drops my son off at school and then throughout the day I am paying her £2.50 and then full rate after school pick up time at 3 - 6. My daughter attends the local montessori, and whilst she is at the montessori, I am paying full rate of £4.50 an hour. Are all these charges normal???
Its really is true that its hardly worth going to work!

ILoveItWhenYouCallMeBoo Wed 22-Dec-10 01:16:10

veryu true belle.

ILoveItWhenYouCallMeBoo Wed 22-Dec-10 01:18:01

the charges should have been in your contract so it is up to you to read it before you sign it to make sure you knw what they are.

WRT having them ready to go, that is good practise. when you say in teh cold, do you mean outside? and were they alone outside?

singingcat Wed 22-Dec-10 01:18:55

I would be furious. Why couldn't she send her husbannd to tesco?

bunnymother Wed 22-Dec-10 01:19:42

I had a P/T nanny (1 afternoon a week) and found out she was taking DD shopping. I immediately stopped using her, and I would recommend you do the same in this situation.

mimosa Wed 22-Dec-10 01:32:13

Gosh, thanks so much for all the comments - its really helpful
My husband said the same as you ToffeeChristmascake, ie he wanted to complain the OFSTED. I didnt know you could do that sort of thing.
I did know about the charges Boo, but as its the first time I have needed to use a childminder - I dont know whats normal. Also about being sat outside - I dont have a problem with outside time - of course not - its just that the message I was getting from that was that - 6 pm is pick up time - money has run out ( If you know what I mean)

SuzieHomemaker Wed 22-Dec-10 01:33:05

When DD was minded (a long time ago now) the CM took her everywhere - dentist (CM's appointments), shopping, hairdresser etc, etc. All of the things I would have done if home with DD. I was glad for this. DD did not grow up thinking that life was one long experience centred on her. If I had my time again I would do the same again.

As for fees, check what others are charging in your neighbourhood.

BoysAreLikeDogs Wed 22-Dec-10 01:33:40

Chrtistmas shopping apart (when the supermarkets are heaving) what is the general objection to taking children to the supermarket, please?

In my practice we write/dictate lists, go to the supermarket, find items, classify them too sometimes, weigh, count, talk about country of origin, identify and distinguish between varieties of fruit/veg, handle money, bring the stuff home, cook/bake it

What is wrong with this?

I am genuinely interested

ILoveItWhenYouCallMeBoo Wed 22-Dec-10 01:35:59

well 6pm was pick-up time and she is running a business and is right to send you that message. 10 minutes late is 10 minutes into her family time that she is losing and not getting paid for.

BoysAreLikeDogs Wed 22-Dec-10 01:39:37

yy ILoveIt

And having the children ready to go straight away meant that you could get away without the usual ten minute faff of shoes on/coats on/where's the bag so that the children's evening wouldn't be more disrupted than need be

ILoveItWhenYouCallMeBoo Wed 22-Dec-10 01:42:09

oh yes, that too, I'm still learning blush

BoysAreLikeDogs Wed 22-Dec-10 01:43:08

hah hah

mimosa Wed 22-Dec-10 01:43:37

I truly know that my cm didnt do any of the fantastic stuff you just said BALD. What you have described is brilliant - but after talking to my son who went around the supermarket with her - I know that he didnt do any of that.
I dont object to a bit of shopping - especially if the children are involved in the process of list making etc, and the whole experience is educational. However - I know that the cm did hardcore xmas food shopping - you know whats its like at this time of year. My main objection was really the unnecessary risk she took by driving in dangerous conditions, and the fact my (very inquisitive and clever) daughter was left in the car. This is the same chilminder who 2 weeks ago was refusing the drive them to school in 1 cm of snow - however today in 5 cm of snow, she was quite happy to drive - in order to do her shopping.

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