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Having a few issues with my childminder

(23 Posts)
PrinceRogersNelson Fri 05-Oct-12 16:19:18

And I really don't know if she is in the wrong. I am upset, but maybe she has a point.

She has been looking after my DD (3.10) since I went back to work in January. She picks her up from nursery three days a week and has her until about 4:15.

When she first started she had another little girl about the same age and sometimes she would use a double buggy and sometimes a single and get them to swop, but slowly she was ecouraging my DD to walk more and by the end of last term my DD was walking back from nursery and then the school run there and back in the afternoon. I would say a total of about 1.5 - 2 miles.
She didn't go there over the summer holidays and now we are in a new term and it is all going horribly wrong.

Childminder now has 2 babies she is looking after and there is no chance of using the buggy for my DD.

My DD is apparently exhausted and is not managing the walk. This culminated in last week my DH having to leave work to pick DD up as childminder couldn't manage the school run with her.

We had a chat over the weekend and made some changes to make things better and got through this week although she is apparently still tired.

I have received a phone call from my childminder today to say that we (as in DH and me) are going to have to come up with a plan as to how to get my DD from nursery to the childminder as she doesn't think she can cope with the walk with my DD.

On one hand if my DD really cannot do the walk and childminder really can't cope then I guess she has not choice but to tell us.

One the other hand. WTF?
She has arranged it so my DD has no choice but to walk and now she is too much trouble for her and our childminder is letting us down and is unreliable.

nailak Fri 05-Oct-12 16:25:22

whats the point of a childminder, if she cant do the pick up for your dd?

I would change to a childminder who can.

HSMM Fri 05-Oct-12 16:26:52

She either can look after your child, or not. It's as simple as that. Has she looked at buggy boards, or triple buggies? She should have thought about this when taking on work.

HSMM Fri 05-Oct-12 16:27:40

Is your DD unusually tired for some reason?

ChildrenAtHeart Fri 05-Oct-12 16:30:18

As a childminder I would have assessed the needs of all the children and then looked at the following options:
not taken on the extra child
bought or borrowed a triple buggy
bought or borrowed a buggy board
given you notice

I certainly wouldn't have dealt with it in the way she has - I would feel that was not at all professional.
It is likely that as your DD was managing the walk before that the cm felt able to take on the babies and didn't consider that your DD might need to use the buggy sometimes. I think you all need to sit down together and discuss the options available and then decide how far you are willing to each compromise or give notice

LesbianMummy1 Fri 05-Oct-12 16:35:01

Could dd manage a scooter instead? Buggy board? I can see your point how long is dd with childminder each day? My ds used to walk that distance quite easily by that age but my dd would pretend she could not and even now at age 10 would avoid walking if she could. I only use a pushchair at the moment for under two's unless they are sleeping. Obviously if a child has mobility issues or other needs I change this.

LingDiLong Fri 05-Oct-12 16:35:53

Ok, well in fairness to your childminder your DD WAS managing it last time she had her, so I can see why she took on 2 babies with the assumption that your DD would be ok to walk the school run.

I'm not sure she's handling the situation very well though putting the onus entirely on you to sort it out. If I were her I'd be trying a sling for one of the babies/buggy board. And if that was too much for me long term then I'd probably offer you the option of arranging some way to get her to me from nursery before we got to the giving notice stage. Is she not prepared to try a sling/buggy board?

PrinceRogersNelson Fri 05-Oct-12 16:39:24

My DD has had some changes recently. Started a new nursery and we have moved house, so she does seem more tired. I don't really doubt what the childminder is saying. My DD is hypermobile and she does find walking hard. She is prone to falling over and the childminder is struggling with this.

But she knew all this. She has known since the beginning.

She does seem to want to push kids to walk and doesn't think children should use buggies. We make our DD walk (as it is good for her hypermobility, but we take it slowly and hold her hand which steadies her.

I think the issue I have is that she needs to sort this problem out. Not ask me to sort it out. It is not my fault my DD is tired and can't walk as far as the childminder wants.

PrinceRogersNelson Fri 05-Oct-12 16:41:59

She won't try a buggy board. She has a double buggy and says she wouldn't manage my DD on a buggy board as well. Which to be fair is true.

Maybe it is just time to find someone else and accept that it is not working anymore.

Blondeshavemorefun Fri 05-Oct-12 18:09:01

As your dd was managing the walk in July - I assume this is why she took on 2 babies and a double buggy as in a years time your dd will be at full time school

Sounds to me that dd had just got a bit lazy - assume she wasn't walking 2miles a day with you over summer hols

Don't understand why cm won't use a sling or a buggy board

You certainly shouldn't be taking dd to nursery or what the point of you using her services

Have you spoken to your dd - can she maybe walk there but buggy it back and if need be cm swap babies round

Buggy boards hurt your back as push at a weird angle and I always wallop my shin on them so not a fan of them tbh

minderjinx Fri 05-Oct-12 18:13:43

I don't know a lot about your daughter's condition, but as you say she was managing the walk okay, and now for some reason she isn't. I imagine your childminder is fairly perplexed about this. I also understand that we have a similar length journey to school/nursery and I find most three year olds can manage it quite easily; in fact the two year olds quite often walk when we are less pressed for time, often with a stop off at the park using even more energy. I honestly think the fresh air and exercise is good for them (and tbh that pushing children in a buggy when they are big enough to walk is not good for me). I would not be happy with a parent telling me my physical capabilities - for example that I should be carrying a large baby in a sling or an older. heavier child on a buggy board.

However, I agree she should not be throwing this back at you to sort out - ideally you would be discussing possible solutions together. But ultimately if you cannot find a way forward that works for all of you, then you may have to find other care.

A final, possibly random, thought - is it that your daughter can't walk, or won't? I have had older children "play up" as a consequence of feelings of jealousy on a new baby starting, and needing lots of reassurance that they are still just as loved and special. Or perhaps your daughter wants out now her friend is no longer there and her CMs time is shared with these babies?

An0therName Fri 05-Oct-12 20:59:47

I agree most 3.10 could walk that distance and your DD was doing it fine in the summer- and my DS was with his CM doing it from about 2.7. Same thing she had younger children in the buggy. Could your DD use a scooter -thinking of the mini-micros-lots of children find that much more fun and easier than walking - or could she hold onto the buggy would that help? I do think though the CM isn't handleing it that well - how experienced is she with that age child

Dozer Sat 06-Oct-12 20:03:57

Do you pay the CM for the time your DD is at nursery? If not, and know this is cynical, it could be that because she gets paid less for your DD than the babies, your business is of lower priority.

She should be looking for solutions, eg buggyboard. I wouldn't be happy with my DC that age walking if tired or scooting.

In your shoes I would be looking for new childcare.

PrinceRogersNelson Sun 07-Oct-12 20:03:32

Thanks for your input everyone.
I now realise it doesn't really matter who is at fault or why this has happened, the fact is she is not able to provide the care for our DD that we need and therefore I will give her my 4 weeks notice tomorrow.

Even if my DD suddenly manages the walk with ease (which tbh thinking about it she wasn't doing reliably before, it was a bit hit and miss) what happens if she has a week when she is under the weather, my childminder is not going to be able to manage our DD again.

Worrying about an awkward conversation and trying to find some alternative care, but hopefully things will work out.

Thanks again.

HSMM Sun 07-Oct-12 20:31:04

Doesn't have to be awkward ... just say it is clear that your daughter is making the school/nursery run difficult for the CM, therefore you will find another one. I think that makes it clear she is not providing adequate care for your DD.

cory Sun 07-Oct-12 20:40:47

If your dd has hypermobility syndrome it makes perfect sense that she may not be able to walk so far at all times (particularly not if she has recently had a growth spurt). Pushing her to do more than she is capable of can backfire- our dd ended up in a wheelchair after years of that approach. Gently and with support is the way to go. I would definitely see about organising alternate childcare for her.

longjane Sun 07-Oct-12 21:17:51

I think the reason she asking for your help is that you dd is not up to coping with something she coping with before the summer
so you need to visit the drs and see what is going on .

And I agree it not working and you need to find a childminder who drives everywhere or lives very close to nursery and school.

LingDiLong Mon 08-Oct-12 20:27:14

OP, I think you're right. It really doesn't matter who's at fault (and I don't think anyone is really), it's just not the right setting for your DD at the moment. Don't feel awkward though, if your DD can't walk that kind of distance at the moment and the CM can't drive/put her in the pram then what can you do? I hope you find something suitable quickly.

thearistocat Tue 09-Oct-12 11:11:37

Sorry haven't read the whole thread but could you buy her a buggy board to use?

FWIW I don't think that is too long for an almost three year old to walk. She has probably just got out of the habit. I tend to break the walk up with a trip to the shops or a snack in the park (not play park as would be even more tiring!) but they feellike they've walked less far if broken up. Or a game for example "I spy" or similar to distract from the walk. Half a mile is no distance really if managed properly.

But buggy boards are fab! Or could she sling one of the babies..?

thearistocat Tue 09-Oct-12 11:17:46

I have now seen that she does have a condition which makes this hard for her. It sounds to me like CM thought htings would be fine because they were okay before the summer, and now she has discovered they are difficult, she would prefer to keep the two babies as they probably make her more money so is letting you know in a round aboutt and unproffessional manner that you need to look elsewhere.

I wouldn't owrry about the conversation being awkward, she'll probably be releived.

I would make sure that the next CM has an understanding of Hypermobility and is willing o agree that DD will always have the use of a buggy or buggyboard. I am a CM and I wouldn't consider that I should have a buggy space for a nursery age child.

aufaniae Tue 09-Oct-12 11:32:43

Might be worth having a look at we found both our lovely CMs there.

PrinceRogersNelson Tue 09-Oct-12 11:38:23

Thanks for your input everyone. I called her yesterday morning and she was neither surprised or bothered when I gave my notice and, as another poster thought, seemed relieved.

I haven't used a buggy with my DD for at least 9 months and I picked her up yesterday and she did seem tired but managed quite a lengthy walk with me.

I will never really get to the bottom of what happened, but do feel that it was no longer working for my childminder and that she gave me little choice but to terminate the arrangement.

I now need to find someone else which is always fun!

MummytoMog Tue 09-Oct-12 12:40:00

That's rubbish of your CM - good riddance to her. My DD is a bit younger at 3.1, but has no physical issues and absolutely wouldn't manage a walk every day like that. She wouldn't stay on a buggy board either. When we take her to nursery we have to hold her hand to get her to walk, and can't manage with a pushchair for DS, we carry him on our backs to keep our hands free. I really think she behaved badly taking on the other two babies and not giving you notice. Hope you find someone lovely to replace her!

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