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older children

(25 Posts)
Mum2Luke Tue 07-Jun-11 12:59:45

I am a childminder and I mind a 9 year old and my own 9 year old, am I allowed to let them play at the park nearby on their own, feel tight not letting them and they were bored playing inside.

They are also getting too old for me standing watching them while they play. The minded child is allowed at home to go to local shopping centre by himself.

Would my NCMA insurance cover me for this?

pollywollyhadadollycalledmolly Tue 07-Jun-11 13:05:39

I have an 11 y/o mindee and his mum asked me to let him out to play with his friends, they live only a few streets away so all his frineds are near me. I asked my SCMA about it and thye said as long as parent gave permission it was fine. If in doubt contact NCMA and of course you will need to find out fromt he parent if they want their child out playing without you.

reallytired Tue 07-Jun-11 13:12:21

Surely you are being paid to look after the child. If the parents didn't want him supervised then they would not send him to a child minder. It is irrelevent what he does at home. I would be horrified if my nine year old was playing unsupervised while I was paying for care.

Poor little Sara Payne was only eight years olds when she was aducted, raped and murdered by Roy Whiting. She was playing unsupervised in exactly the same way as you propose for your mindee.

What is stopping you from going to the park with the nine year olds? Do you have any kind of garden? Do you have younger children?

thebody Tue 07-Jun-11 13:42:15

what you do with your own dcs is irrelevant. i wouldnt contemplate letting a 9 year old mindee out of my sight even with parent parmission,

i let my 12 year old dd out with her friends under certain circumstances but shes mine and i know shes very sensible, answers phone etc and i can trust her...

personally i would play safe whatever mum says and go with them to the park/play area but not be on their case or hover iycwim..

looneytune Tue 07-Jun-11 13:49:56

If it was ME I wouldn't do this even with permission tbh. My own 8 year old is allowed to walk home from the park if wants to go back home ONLY IF dh is home and waiting on the drive (I call from my mobile) and it's just round the corner with no road to cross or anything. I personally wouldn't feel comfortable with letting a mindee around this age go, regardless of what they are allowed to do at home. We all go to the park or they go in the garden, even though I can see the park from ds1's bedroom window, I just wouldn't feel right doing this. But sounds like 'officially' you could with permission.

harrietthespook Tue 07-Jun-11 13:51:14

I wouldn't risk it even if the mum encouraged you to do this. There are a range of things that could happen before we get to the sara payne stage which might expose you as a cm to criticism or worse since you're supposed to be supervising them during this time. I just don't think it's worth the risk.

Danthe4th Tue 07-Jun-11 14:23:06

They are not too old to have you standing watching them thats what you are being paid for!!
What you do with your own child is up to you, but you are being paid to look after the other child whatever the age.
I live in a rural area and the park is very safe but if my children have playdates etc I still go and watch, just take a book or something. Yes I let my own children go on there own but never other peoples.

Flyonthewindscreen Tue 07-Jun-11 14:35:43

I'm not a CM but as a parent of a 9yo, I would not be happy if I had paid a CM to look after my DS and he was off playing out on his own (even though he does at home but I/DH is there to decide where/what is appropriate). I would take the boys to the park and then keep a low profile, reading a book or whatever but still on hand for any incident.

HSMM Tue 07-Jun-11 16:36:14

I wouldn't do it, even with parents permission. I worry far more about other people's children than my own.

5318008 Tue 07-Jun-11 19:19:36

No I wouldn't let any of the minded children out of my care

Even if the parent gave permission/insurance said yes


Mum2Luke Mon 13-Jun-11 19:20:17

The parent has said she doesn't mind them playing out with the children on the estate as long as they stay there, the council have removed the slide, swings etc because older kids were hanging around and drinking late and we have a small garden but my DH doesn't want them playing football after the minded child trampled over his veg the other day.

The nearest park is 2 miles away, there is no direct bus service to it and I have no car during the day. It cost me a fortune to get there in the holidays.

I suppose most live in quiet villages and have massive gardens, we do not! If the park on the estate had some seats, I could sit and read a book but there is nothing, the kids have been banned from playing football now too, no wonder kids are overweight when they can't do things they enjoy! I had an au pair when I was younger while my Mum was working, I spend nearly everyday on my bike as I was taught: how to ride on the road, not to speak to strangers and to let the au pair know where I was going and when I'd be back. She didn't have insurance either as we didn't have childminders when I was a kid and all this worry.

I have written a policy about this and the parent has signed it, she said he knows to stay within boundaries and not to wander off because if he did they both would be banned. We have to make the most of the nice weather in Manchester. I did cycle around with them today but they don't want me there when they are playing with their friends because they feel they are 'spied on'.

MUM2BLESS Mon 13-Jun-11 21:22:28

I would not let the childminded child go to the park with your own. If anything happens you will be responsible.

Mum2Luke Mon 13-Jun-11 22:34:09

What!!!What is the minded child (who is friends with my child) supposed to do then? I told the parent that the children would not be allowed to go to the park on their own, she thinks its ridiculous that she has given me signed permission to let them play with their friends who are in the same football team as they are the same age group. I've now got 2 9 year old lads moaning because they can't go out with their friends - fantastic!

It looks like they are going to be driving people on our cul de sac mad with playing football instead and I will be on pins making sure they don't break any windows or scratching/denting cars. Boys of 9 don't like painting and sticking anymore, they like playing on their bikes and playing football. I've no little ones to have an excuse to go on a bus to a park miles away as I work as a dinner lady at lunch times.

I take and bring them back from school, they are safe there as there is a high security gate, how are children supposed to learn about stranger danger if they are not allowed out to play? My daughter at 11 (now nearly 18) was taking 2 buses to school, not school buses but normal ones the general public use, she now uses buses everywhere around Manchester and yes there are weirdos on them. She texts me when she goes to friends to let her know she is there safely.

5318008 Mon 13-Jun-11 22:38:25


okay, let's rewind a bit

what facilities do you have at your setting? a garden, a patio, a smallish/biggish lawn, seperate dining room, a wii/DVD player

how long are we talking for the afterschool period, and for how many days per week? I mean, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3.15 to 5pm, that kind of thing

We can surely suggest something, some activities, because letting a minded child out to play unsupervised is really really scary

5318008 Mon 13-Jun-11 22:51:29

Actually, scrub that

Ring your insurance provider for guidance

anewyear Tue 14-Jun-11 10:31:44

It would seem you've made up your mind your going to let them play out,
Why get a little up tight when people tell you what they think, when you asked for theyre opinions and get them.

As 5318008 said get in touch with your insurance people,
Have a word with the ofsted/NCMA if your with them, get their take on it.

imho its potentially, an accident waiting to happen, sorry if you dont like that.. just a few thoughts

Mum2Luke Sun 19-Jun-11 22:18:33

I do have a Wii and a small garden but they want to play football and being 9 year olds frequently kick it at the fence which of course drive the neighbours mad.

I prefer them to be outside on nice days, not glued to the tv. The minded child hates anything that involves doing painting/sticking 'its for babies' apparently. He doesn't like going to school most days so I've not got a chance in getting him to do a project or anything.

I just think at 9 yrs they don't want an adult following them about. I have done a policy where the minded child's Mum has to sign that she is allowing her 9 year old out to play with the other boys on the estate but is to go no further than the park (all of 100 metres away). They are not allowed to play football on the piece of grass due to residents complaining and I would not want them either as sometimes there is dog dirt, undesirable objects and glass about left in the bushes sometimes from adults who pass through late at night.

I do take them out when I can, can't afford to go out all the time though, minding doesn't pay enough to go on buses everyday. I take them to training every Tuesday. My husband has finally agreed that I need my own car and we are looking at buying one so I at last can go out!! Woohoo!

redglow Sun 19-Jun-11 22:44:38

I think its up to the parent, just get written permission. Where I live lots of nine year olds play out.

gardenpixies32 Mon 20-Jun-11 19:14:36

I was told by an Ofted inspector (who also happens to be a personal friend of mine) that even if a parent signs a permission form that child is still your responsibilty and you shouldnt let them go off alone. Even in secondary school (in a playground of children ages 11-18), staff are still on duty during lunchtime and children are never left unsupervised.

MUM2BLESS Mon 20-Jun-11 21:47:51

If mum is ok with them going then thats okay.

I have a mixture of ages that I childmind for. 1 x 19 mths,,1 x 3 yrs,2 x 7rs, 2 x 10 years.

You seem surpirise at my previous comment. I am more relaxed with my own kids as I know them. I think each child is different thefefore you have to deal with each situation differently. If mums ok and your relaxed then thats okay.

I would want to know what they were doing at all times. Sometimes it not the child you do not trust its other people who viist parks.

redglow Mon 20-Jun-11 21:53:11

I think you should fit in with mum, and I am sure you know this child which makes you more relaxed.

thebody Mon 20-Jun-11 22:07:40

have to say I wouldnt dream of it.. i understand all the issues you raised but at the end of the day its a minded child....if the child is run over for example your insurance company wouldnt pay a penny... mum may sign a form to say its ok but she could just as easily take you to court...your arse wouild be on the line here...

lots of things seem stupid i grant you, risk assessments for trips with teachers for example but its to protect the adult in charge.. i.e YOU...

Blondeshavemorefun Mon 20-Jun-11 22:36:46

i wouldnt let a child i was paid to look after wander about the streets/playground etc alone

why not take a fold up chair to park

my friend in her ex job, was told by her mb to allow the 9yr to walk home alone from school -was maybe 1/ a mile - i told her there was no way i would agree to this whether mb wanted it or not - as it would be on my friends head IF anything happened to her dc

Mum2Luke Wed 22-Jun-11 10:17:29

WOOHOO! We finally found a bought a car for me!! We'll be able to go out to the parks now and not get soaking wet waiting for buses which don't turn up. Have limited the boys to playing in our cul de sac now, other kids keep asking them to go on the park but I don't let them now even with parent's permission.

ayla99 Wed 22-Jun-11 14:54:36

Ofsted expect minded children to be within sight or sound of the childminder at all times. I go to the park and allow the older ones to play separately with their friends - clearly within view and earshot. They understand that they have to arrange their play dates around the village or in each others houses on the days they are not booked with me.

There is, I think, room for a different type of service for OLDER children .... I mean responsible Yr 6 and over perhaps .... where the parent books a safe haven instead of one-to-one minding for their teen to go to for evening meal/if they're hurt and to check in at agreed times etc but ultimately the parent would retain legal responsibility. Over 8s don't need a registered carer, but registered carers do have to follow the rules even if they didn't need to if they weren't registered.

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