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childminder and TV

(6 Posts)
FloweryBoots Mon 18-Jul-11 11:52:23

I think really I'm jsut getting a bit nervous about my return to work (on Thursday) but our childminder, who I first thought was really lovely, is starting to annoy me a bit. The main thing that bugs me is that the TV seems to be ALWAYS on. When I did the first visit it wasn't, but at all the settling in sessions my DS has had it has been on when I've dropped him off and picked him up. He's gone today again and we were the first ones to arrive in the morning. For once the TV wasn't on and I though, oh good, it's not always on, it's just me getting worked up over nothing. Then she put it on for him. Un prompted she commented that 'they don't watch it all the time but it's on in the back ground'. Is this something I should worry about, or am I just being too precious?! Also I've noticed she gets very baby type toys out for him - rattles and soft toys, where as at home he's stacking cups, playing with shape sorters and pull along or wheely toys. He's younger then all the others she looks after so maybe she's just got it into her head he's a baby. Would you just leave her to realise when she's got to know him a bit more he's capable of much more at 11 months, or should I subtly try to tell her about what he enjoys doing at home? Also she seems to be trying to get him to have his nap in the main childminding room instead of somewhere quiet, and he's only ever had half an hour there (instead of usual 1 - 1 1/4hrs). Would you ask her to try him in a differnt room? I don't want to be a fussy parent, and like I say, I think most of this is me needing to adjust to leaving him and being back at work. Someone come and reasure me all will be well please!

Danthe4th Mon 18-Jul-11 12:22:12

Yes she does have to get to know your ds, what he likes and doesn't like but this is something you could share with her. Does he have a daily diary that you can write in. I used to ask parents to share anything that their children enjoyed, makes my job easier.
You should also ask where your ds has been during the day, toddler groups, children's centres, parks etc.

With regard to having the tv on at drop off and pick up this wouldn't concern me but I wouldn't want it on all day, you should ask.

Where are her toys kept, your ds should be able to choose what he wants, does she have any treasure baskets available, these are great, you should ask her.
With regard to the sleeping, if having the cot in the room with her is how she does it then that is fine, your ds is still having a nap and 45 minutes shouldn't make too much of a difference.

Danthe4th Mon 18-Jul-11 12:24:47

Just seen you said the tv is on in the background, yes that would concern me. Get her to explain what she means. I would also ask if she has a weekly routine of where she goes.

gardenpixies32 Mon 18-Jul-11 12:38:38

I think having a chat with her is the way forward. You could tell her what type of toys he plays with at home, that should give her ideas of what he enjoys.

Personally, I dont have the tv on all day. The tv goes on once a day around lunch time in order to give me time to sort out their lunch. I personally wouldnt like the tv on, even as background noise.

All of my children sleep upstairs, away from the activity and noise. Perhaps asking her if she has a travel cot away from the other children? If a parent asked me these things, I wouldnt think they were fussy and nor would I mind.

ChildrenAtHeart Mon 18-Jul-11 14:19:11

The childminder-parent relationship is supposed to be one of joint working & partnership & she has a duty to meet the needs of each individual child so she should be happy for you to discuss your concerns & you should be able to work out a solution together.
I use forms adapted from those issued by our local Early Years dept to gather initial information about a new child's current stage of development, likes, dislikes, interests & routines, as well as talking to the parent & observing the child (I then request a brief update on these every term). I try to match the childcare routine as closely as possible to the the home one (including sleep) where this is practical and make sure I have toys & resources that are suitable for the child's age & abilities that are easily accessible for a child to select from.
I also use a daily diary system as well as verbal feedback to tell the parents what their child has been up to when with me and encourage the parents to reciprocate.
Having the TV on in the background (or radio or CD for that matter) would concern me as research has shown that this kind of constant background noise can cause speech & communication difficulties & delay as the child is unable to distinguish individual speech sounds when spoken to from the background noise so they don't 'hear' the sounds clearly. I have the TV on first thing in the morning (well, my 8yo DD does) but it goes off by 8.30am & only occasionally comes on after lunch for older children who don't nap but need 'downtime'.
I would try to sit down with your CM & talk to her about your concerns. You could make some notes about your child's likes etc & approach it from the angle of 'I thought these might be useful for his folder (we call them Learning Journals locally) & to give you a few ideas of things to try with the way, about Tv... or something like that

HSMM Mon 18-Jul-11 15:07:37

I always ask parents to give me as much info as possible about their child. Information like
- enjoys stacking cups
- prefers to sleep somewhere quiet
etc, would really help me. Perhaps you could offer your CM a list of his likes and dislikes, to help him settle.

I would not really like the TV on all the time, but I have heard having the radio as background noise is not a bad thing for children. My main thing is that some of the children would just sit in front of the TV all day! It's worth asking why the TV is on all day ... you could say your child is a bit of a TV addict if you would find that less confrontational.

When it comes down to it, you can't tell her how to run her business (ie you can't say 'no TV' ... well you could try grin), but you have every right to question the care of your child.

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