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CM has just bought a puppy WWYD?

(75 Posts)
LucyLastik Sat 24-Sep-11 16:31:22

We have been using a CM since DS was 6 months old. At the time he started going, there were no dogs involved.

DD2 started to go too this year. She is 16 months atm. This week, our lovely CM has bought a puppy. I'm really uncomfortable about it tbh. If she had had the puppy when we were looking for childcare, no way would I have considered using her. The trouble is, we have become great friends over the last 3 years and DH and I consider her a part of our family. There was very little notice of the puppy. A friendly, yet pushy phonecall on one day and then the dog was there the next, with no time to really think about it or to discuss with DH.

I'm really upset about it. So far, CM seems unbothered that we may remove our children (they make up 50% of her business).


UsingPredominantlyTeaspoons Sat 24-Sep-11 16:36:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LucyLastik Sat 24-Sep-11 16:42:03

I've obviously had lengthy conversations with DH since it came about and no matter what "measures" are put in place, I'm still unhappy tbh. The puppy could be locked away in another room, but how would I know that that is where it has stayed all day? How is that fair on the puppy? What would be the point of the puppy if it's spending all day everyday locked in a room? I can't come to a sensible or suitable conclusion and it's really stressing me out.

RitaMorgan Sat 24-Sep-11 16:42:39

Well, I'd want to know exactly how she plans to manage the puppy and minding children - what systems will she have in place to keep them separate? Will the puppy impact on outings/not being able to go out? Will she be able to meet the needs of the minded children and the dog?

If she has good answers and has obviously thought of these eventualities I would see how it goes. If not, start looking around for someone else.

looneytune Sat 24-Sep-11 16:46:49

I'm a childminder and would LOVE a puppy but my business takes priority tbh. If I personally was truly thinking of getting one, I would speak to all families and see how they felt before I went ahead with it as I wouldn't want to loose my families (and I'd also be aware of the impact on my business in the future). When our dcat passed away, we were so upset and after a while really wanted to give another rescue cat a home. I still checked how parents felt before going ahead as of course this was a new cat so we weren't sure how they'd be with the children. All were fine and it was the best thing as this cat loves children and is no problem at all. But I wouldn't have gone ahead without checking. I did the same when taking dh on as an assistant and made sure I answered any concerns about extra children etc. before I went ahead. That's just me though. I did, however, think we had to inform Ofsted of something like a new dog but I may be wrong?

If she's not bothered about loosing the business maybe she's decided she wants to put her own family's needs first now and isn't too bothered if this eventually means no more childminding? Having said that, the last minuteness of it all means of course you may want to remove your children immediately but you probably have a notice period in your contract? If it was me I'd honour an immediate termination in this situation but I'm not sure of the legalities?

I do understand your concerns. Have you spoken with her about her pet policy? She should put one together which details exactly she is managing the children/puppy.

looneytune Sat 24-Sep-11 16:48:51

x'd posts. As you feel so strongly I would speak to her about leaving with immediate effect and ask that you shouldn't have to provide the usual notice period? Does anyone know whether or not you HAVE to pay the notice period in this situation? Seems unfair to have to but I don't quite know whether or not this comes under breach of contract?

LucyLastik Sat 24-Sep-11 17:14:05

The last contract I signed with her was when DS' days changed and DD2 started going. Nowhere in the contract does it say about dogs, therefore, to my mind, the contract isn't worth the paper it is written on, but that could just be because I feel so let down by the whole situation.

I appreciate that she has been minding for a long time, and if she wants to totally concentrate on her family, that is absolutely fine with me. I just wish I didn't feel forced into a situation whereby I either remove my children immediately and have problems finding an immediate solution, or continue sending them there for the duration of the notice period whilst DH and I make enquiries into an alternative.

In addition to business aspect of this situation, like I said in the OP, our families have been very close up until now. I really do not want to lose their friendship over this, but I fear that it is inevitable now, especially as it can go 2 ways: either we remove our children or she removes the dog, which I doubt very much she would be willing to do. There will be resentment and animosity whatever happens, and that saddens me more than anything else.

Thanks for taking the time to reply.

squiby2004 Sat 24-Sep-11 17:20:52

I have quit cm now ( nothing to do with my dog) but I got a puppy whilst cming. I have a gate across my kitchen and a dog door into a sectioned off bit of garden. 1 parent didn't like it (shrug they left and got reached in less than a week) and it never stopped parents using me. I didn't have a single issue with having a dog. Being a cm should not stop her having a pet and if you don't like it find another one. Sorry but she is entitled to have a dog if she wants one.

squiby2004 Sat 24-Sep-11 17:21:44

Sorry that should have said replaced ( damn iPhone autocorrect!!)

Flisspaps Sat 24-Sep-11 17:21:44

Can I ask why you're so against your children being around the puppy?

I ask this as someone who is genuinely confused as to why people aren't happy to have their child in a house with a dog provided that appropriate safety measures are in place, and your CM will have had to write thorough risk assessments relating to the puppy (and I think she'll have had to notify Ofsted of the puppy's arrival)

I just don't see why it would cause animosity and resentment when the situation doesn't need to smile

However as a CM, I would expect the notice period to be paid - you are choosing to withdraw your children from her care despite her having made reasonable and appropriate actions regarding the safety of your children when the puppy is around.

HattiFattner Sat 24-Sep-11 17:22:08

We got a puppy when DS1 was 18mo. They grew up together and were frequently found curled up asleep in the dogs basket, or digging a hole in the garden together. DO not worry too much about pups and kids. That said, we were experienced dog people, puppy was being trained from day 1, was regularly wormed and exercised and de-flea'd. Puppy food was kept away from small child reach. Puppy pooh and wee cleared immediately.

If this is their first pup, I think you would be right to be concerned. And its not on that she has just gone out and got a puppy without consulting you all - what if one of the kids became allergic or is asthmatic?

Friend or not, I think you are within your rights to talk to your CM and express your feelings about this.

HereIGo Sat 24-Sep-11 17:23:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

looneytune Sat 24-Sep-11 17:38:48

Just wanted to add that I'm a massive dog fan and was bought up with 2 puppies then a litter of puppies and it was amazing BUT that doesn't mean other people won't feel uncomfortable and it's well out of order to just get one without consulting you. That's where I disagree with some of the other childminders and I would get advice on the payment side as it has changed the service she provides.

malovitt Sat 24-Sep-11 17:55:29

I would never have chosen a cm with a dog and if an animal was purchased subsequently I would be very unhappy, withdraw my children and refuse to pay notice.

NorthernerAtHeart Sat 24-Sep-11 18:10:13

I'm guessing that you are afraid of dogs yourself and are probably projecting your fears. This is perfectly understandable, but if all else is well with the CM I think you should give it a go.

Our childminder got a labrador puppy when DD1 was 3 and DD2 was 2. Both were wary of dogs at the time and my only concern was how happy or otherwise DD1 would be, not how the CM was going to manage things at all (I trust her completely).

I can say a year later that it has has done both kids no end of good. The puppy was crated in the kitchen, so the kids would eat/play/draw in the same room and could get used to the puppy and vice versa with no actual contact. The kitchen had a stair gate across so the puppy could be let out in the kitchen again with no contact. The puppy was only allowed in the rest of the house once the childminded kids went home. Ditto with the garden - dog or kids, not both. DD1 now loves the dog - she plays happily with it in the garden (she always asks to go in the garden with it) now she is older (always supervised) and sometimes stays on late so she can go with the CM to walk the dog.

Our 7 year old is dog-mad, so was very happy to play with the puppy in the garden and adores it - again with supervision and with me being very happy with this.

The CM still keeps the stairgate between all CM kids and the dog. They are never in the same room together, and if in the garden it is only the older kids and they are supervised (dog obviosuly less bouncy now) .

I feel very lucky that the kids have the opportunity to be around a dog so much, without us having to have the responsibility of living with one.

Unless there are obvious other problems, I would really suggest you just go with the flow.

DraculasMum Sat 24-Sep-11 18:11:20

shocked at some of the responses on here!

A standard contract is just that, if contracts had every single possible change in them they would be 100000's of pages long.

A CM has every right to extend their family as much as they dam well please..

It doesn't say in a contract about a childminder getting pregnant, would you remove without notice and payment if she told you that and you were not happy with it?!

Aslong as the CM trains the dog and continues with her duty of care towards her children that she minds then quite frankly its non of your business. It becomes your business when something goes wrong or you have a reason to say the puppy is no good, which has not happened as of yet.

HereIGo i take it from your post that you know the CM in question personally?

NorthernerAtHeart Sat 24-Sep-11 18:12:08

malovitt - I was of the opposite view when searching for our previous CM - 'wow, they have a dog, that will be fantastic for the kids'.

I do like dogs though (although don't want one myself).

coccyx Sat 24-Sep-11 18:14:47

Get a grip. sounds like the puppy would be good to have around the children. you sound paranoid

squiby2004 Sat 24-Sep-11 18:33:26

For those of you that think you can withdraw and not pay notice, you are wrong and you would end up with a CCJ for non payment of fees. Parents are the worst aspect of cming! Why on earth would YOUR children be more important than a cm's own family? Get a grip people - my husband slays referee to mindees as pound signs because after all why would you put up with ridiculous parents expectations if not for the money?

By the way I was OFSTED OUTSTANDING and damn good at my job before I get slated for expressing my opinions now I am out!

DraculasMum Sat 24-Sep-11 18:53:25

squiby well said

LucyLastik Sat 24-Sep-11 19:42:27

Wow, interesting responses.

As a child, I was chased by a dog so there is something to be said about me projecting my fears onto the DCs. However, I do not want my children to be afraid of them and it would seem that this situation would be the ideal one for that.

WRT contracts, I did say that my feelings were probably as a result of feeling let down. There is no way that I would not pay her for her service for however long she continues to mind my children. I don't think I've said that I was intending on not paying her, although I can see how my wording of it above could be interpreted.

Squiby, my children, to me, are far more important than anyone elses. I'm sorry if you disagree with that. Likewise, I appreciate that to my CM, her family are more important to her than mine. Of course they are. I didn't really need that pointing out but thanks anyway. I don't think my expectations are ridiculous at all actually. I expect my children to be looked after in a safe environment and I don't believe an environment such as they one they are being offered now is safe. Call that paranoid if you like, I don't really care. I would expect, that as a parent paying for a service, that the CM would have a face to face conversation with me, giving explicit details of what she intended to do and the safety measures intended for the house/children. I do not expect a drunken, pushy phonecall, giving me no option to discuss the issue with DH or even time to think about what they are asking of me.

I am the least demanding of parents, trust me. I don't demand any particular routine, any special perks or treatment. I trust her completely with my children, I wouldn't have sent them to her if I thought different. I am not comfortable with the thought of a puppy or dog around my children. Especially when, at only a few weeks old, there is no way of knowing how big it is going to get or what its temperament will be like. No safety measures have really been discussed, no plans have been discussed. I don't think it is unreasonable to at least hold the discussion. Not just bulldoze the way through, asking one night and it appearing the next day.

Coccyx, the puppy could be good to have around them, but its not a chance I'm willing to take. So shoot me.

mousymouse Sat 24-Sep-11 19:51:56

I'm with the op here. I would remove my children. imo children and dogs don't go well together. <prepares to be flamed>
as an aside I am allergic to dogs and would be miserable will the hair and dander on my dc's clothes.

squiby2004 Sat 24-Sep-11 20:06:01

Lucy I don't disagree with your position about how you view your children. No body would argue with that but my answer was about how your cm views your children in terms of her home and family, obviously they are not going to factor above her own family wishes and nor should they.

If you don't like the puppy find a new cm or alternatively if as you say your trust her, trust her to put measures in place to continue to provide and safe and secure environment for your children, it is perfectly possible, I did it with no issue at all.

If not then you pay your notice and withdraw if you feel that strongly or do your notice and move on. Its perfectly simple.

The fact you don't like the fact she made a decision without your permission is frankly ridiculous. You may feel you are a friend, I had a friendly relationship with my parents, but at the end of the day business is business and not to be confused with friendship!

malovitt Sat 24-Sep-11 21:54:53

Of course the cm is entitled to get a dog, but should have given parents enough notice of her intentions to enable them to serve out their notice period dog-free.
Giving a day or so notice is not on, especially as the op would not have chosen her in the first place if she had had a dog.
I'm a cm myself, and I know that all my parents would not like a dog in the house, no matter what safeguards I had in place.
If I should suddenly get one without informing them in plenty of time and they decided to take their children out immediately, I would not expect to be paid as I would consider that I had acted unreasonably.

woahthere Sat 24-Sep-11 23:03:30

Aw, i think your cm and her family just got extremely excited about getting a puppy, did think about you because they left a quick excited message, and then they went ahead and got it. I kind of understand your feeling because my partner isnt keen on dogs and I think if that happened to him he would be pissed off, however, I reckon, as long as puppy is well looked after and poop cleaned up etc, it could actually be quite good for your babe. Looking after pets, stroking them, seeing them be fed, even helping feed them is so good for children, I know you might be worried, but maybe try giving it a go and see how it goes, your fears may be completely resolved, after all, a puppy is hardly going to maul your child is it.

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