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What kind of settling in process with CMs?(12 Posts)
I am considering using a cm for dcs when I go back in Apr, having used two nurseries previously for DD.
I have found a CM I like. One thing that makes me a little uncomfortable is that they don't like parents to stay at all during settling in process - I am used to staying for shorter and shorter periods over a week or so with nurseries. I guess it is much harder in a smaller setting but it really helped my confidence being able to see dd happy at nursery and know how it all worked there. Just wanted to ask cms/those who use cms if this is standard practice and experience of what has worked best for settling in? Thanks
I don't let parents stay either I'm afraid. For a start, no crb check which would mean you'd have to follow me around the house, I couldn't go to the toilet etc. I have other parents to consider and mindees.
Secondly it wouldn't be a true represention of our day. We are out and about each morning, would you attend groups and follow in your own car? Would you bring your own lunch and sit with us? It's all going to affect the other mindees behaviour too either being much shyer or showing off and cause trouble.
Why do you need to stay for a week?
I offer to let parents stay, but I discourage it for all tthe reasons nicknacks said and because a child doesn't really settle with their parent there. If the parent stays it is for their benefit, not the child's and unsettles the other children.
Why not visit the toddler groups, parks, etc your CM goes to regularly.
Little ones don't really settle until the parents leave them to do so. Some parents do want to linger, but it doesn't help their children. I try to help parents' worries by taking lots of photos of the child playing, eating, sleeping etc. Sometimes little ones will pick up on parents' insecurity and make a big fuss on arrival, but they are very quickly distracted and happy once that front door shuts - as many parents have witnessed by pretending to leave and then lurking and listening!
Agree with others. Although I don't say no, I really don't like parents staying as it doesn't help the settling in ime. I offer 3 x 2 hour settling in sessions at no charge and had 4 of my 5 new children last month all take me up on using those. Luckily only 1 of them had parents stay and that is the only child who's been having trouble settling in. On the 2nd session the mum (and older brother) stayed and unfortunately I spent that 2 hour session stopping the older brother (who isn't with me) from pushing their lo one over and trying to engage with the new mindee but they kept running to mummy and clinging for cuddles. When we'd been on our own for the 2 hours of the 1st session, they were fine once mum had gone so I felt nothing was being achieved at all from this 2nd visit. Luckily the (lovely) mum left me to it on the 3rd visit and I could start to try and form a bond. More recently mum has been dropping off more quickly, saying a proper goodbye and explaining that they'd be back soon but then gone and I feel this has helped a LOT as lo is a lot better at settling in now they can't sense mum's worries. And I send photos to show they are fine
I agree with the others and in addition to the points they've made remember, your lo has no idea it's a settling in session and that you have in your mind that you are going to stay less each time or that you are going to go at x time. As far as they are concerned if you stay you are there for the duration and they then may get more distressed when you go
Thanks so much, this is really helpful. That is a really good last point that I hadn't considered. Also hadnt realised about crb problem. I think it just took a little getting my head around as I am used to being able to stay whenever I want at nursery. I do know it is more for my benefit than DD's. I like the idea of lots of photos in first few days; that would give me same kind of reassurance and will ask if they do that.
Also I have to remember that Dd will be 2.10 by then so able to tell me how her day jas been etc. which I haven't really had up til now.
Anyway thanks again for all responses :-)
TBH I had a very different settling in experience than described ^^ with both my CMs. My DS started with his first CM at 5mo. For the last 6 weeks of my maternity leave CM encouraged us go round to play at hers for 30-60mins at a time as often as we liked/ could and also to attend some of the groups that she went to with her. I think my DS had probably been around her on 20 occasions by the time he started!
First CM had to retire quite suddenly due to her mother becoming ill so we joined a second CM at much shorter notice when DS was 14mo. With her, at her suggestion, we did a week of daily 'playdates' and then a week of leaving him for increasing periods working up from 30mins to the full 5hrs.
I think there is a distinction between initial meetings and full settling in sessions. I encourage parents to come a couple of times for coffee and chat so we can all get to know each other and feel comfortable in my house. All very relaxed. Then to come, tell child they are going to do x (get petrol, buy apples, etc) and will be back very soon, give them a kiss and go, returning in about half an hour to an hour. Depending on the time available between signing contracts and the start of care we will do this a few time but up to 2-3 hours. Sometimes the parent will stay at the end for a chat or coffee but never at the beginning for the reasons mentioned above. We also discuss at the outset that if parent is here with her child she is in charge of her child but it's my setting/my rules and that I will intervene if necessary. This has method seems to work well for me.
I work with parents to plan the settling in process which they think will work best for their child. At this point I don't know their child at all so they are the experts. It is also very important that the parents feel happy to leave the child in my care because, if they are reluctant to go, the child will soon pick up on it.
I have had parents who think it is best to do one visit with their child and are then happy to leave them. I've had others who feel it is important that their child knows me really well before they are left with me. Both views are valid and I am willing to work with either.
Parents are welcome to attend toddler groups with me but I try to arrange timings so that they don't coincide with lunches or nap times if possible.
The only time I have not agreed was when a parent wanted to leave a toddler with my full time with no settling in period at all.
I, also, set out ground rules before settling in starts so the parent and child know exactly where they stand with regard to rules and expectations. This really helps with the future handover times too as boundaries can be quite blurred then.
I don't leave mindees alone with parents during settling in or any other times but this also applies to my friends who bring their children to play with mindees so it's not a big issue.
Once the parent is leaving the child I email photos throughout the day so they can see that the child is happy and engaged for at least some of the time. I am honest about whether the child was upset and will always call them if I think they need to pick up early. The photos also give them a chance to talk through the day with the child later and discuss their next visit with visual prompts.
That's interesting EBD - that sounds much more like what I was hoping for so interesting to know it does happen. Also coming for a couple of visits before leaving like CAH describes sounds good.
I am really struggling even to settle on whether I think CM/nursery/nanny is the way forward at the moment and completely stalling on a decision.
This has all given me though a lot of good ideas so I can work out what I would like from settling in wherever and can try to agree that with whoever we go with.
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