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Niggling worries and doubts about CM- What do you think??

(10 Posts)
cheekymonk Fri 12-Oct-12 23:06:41

My DD aged 19 mths started at cm on 1st October, just 2 days a week, other 3 days at nursery. She is there school hours and my son who is 7 goes there every day for morning school run. I saw 8 and was relieved when i found her as I liked her warmth and laid back style.
HOWEVER, I have had doubts since. My DS says she is mean with her own children (she has a 9mth old dd, 5 year old ds and 8 year old dd) and I have noticed she is strict with them. He also said that the other day she didn't look after my dd and that he was doing it because she wasn't !!! On her first day dd had choc spread sandwich and crisps for lunch!!! Cm said she didn't like fruit but now, she does eat fruit and that is ok. The one day she had no sleep there and dd fell asleep on my shoulder. Now she does have naps but she is laid out on settee when i have said she always has daytime naps in cot at home. However, I am just glad that she is getting some sleep. She also said she toook dd to shop and that dd chucked choc etc on floor. CM told dd not to and dd chucked herself on floor! well wasn't that kind of predictable??!
i am not sure how much they go out, her dd was ill some days so they went to docs. One day they were getting her dd weighed, it always seems to be about her dd. I feel she has perhaps taken on too much. when i said I wanted her as cm she didn't seem that bothered. i still haven't had welcome pack.
Saying all this, dd always come back content and is nowhere near as tired as she is from nursery. she is speaking a bit more and I would say she is coming on since going there. Its hard to know what to think!! Any thoughts?

LingDiLong Fri 12-Oct-12 23:25:39

Ok, I would take your DS's comments with a pinch of salt. I wouldn't entirely disregard them but either comment could be easily explained away - I'm a CM and I AM stricter with my own kids and, yep, sometimes less patient. A 7 year old might interpret this as 'mean'. Also, him 'looking after' his sibling could just be the CM's way of involving him with the younger ones i.e. 'can you get your sister's shoes/wipes/coat for me?'.

Choc spread sandwich not great but ok if it's a one off?

The sleep thing would bother me if she wasn't sleeping well on the sofa or was in danger or falling off and hurting herself.

Shop anecdote, not sure what bothers you about that really?! Was she just telling you about her day with your DD or making a point about her behaviour?

Why aren't you sure how much they go out? Your CM should be clearly communicating with you about what they've been up to. Doesn't she do some kind of daily diary sheet?

The docs thing I think is a bit harsh, if her DD is ill then she needs to be seen. What would you prefer, that she doesn't have your child everytime she needs to go? Wouldn't that be massively inconvenient?

Welcome pack also not great, you should have full contracts and copies of all her policies. Have you had all that?

LingDiLong Fri 12-Oct-12 23:29:59

Sorry, should also have said you DO need to address any niggling worries and doubts. You should feel happy and confident in the care your DD is getting but from what you've written nothing screams 'change childminder' to me, just 'speak to your childminder' iyswim.

cheekymonk Sat 13-Oct-12 08:15:14

Thanks lingdilong, just needed some perspective really as I know i can be fussy! Yes I see what you mean about ds's interpretation of mean. My ds has said how quickly dd has joined in and she has settled very quickly. she seems content to go there and when i pick her up which is the most important thing.
No, don't have daily record sheet which annoys me! I do want to know length of sleep, what she's eaten etc but as pick up is at the school playground it can be rushed and each time cm gives me less detail. I don't know if choc sandwich is one off or not. I have no idea whether they go out or not apart from the comments of going to docs/health clinic etc today. She said they went to groups during 1st meeting but no evidence of it so far. Of course she must take her dd to docs if unwell but i guess I just want to know that the whole day has also some focus for my dd too.
She slept for 1 hour and a half the other day so it 'works' I guess but I'm not over the moon about it really!
As for the shop, i just wouldn't take dd into sweet shop on her feet at her age personally but that may well be my problem. i know, how else does she learn how to behave?
Have signed an ncma contract as i pushed for it but it is nondescript and just lists times of arrival, pick up, nothing about policies although I know her policy on behaviour because I asked.
She hasn't been ofsted inspected yet and clearly had disdain for them, saying she would rather child choose activity they wish to do than plan activity she is not bothered about which i liked. i saw cms who were very paperwork but not that care orientated IYKWIM.
Glad that there are no real alarm bells. thank you...

RationalBrain Sat 13-Oct-12 08:21:39

There are no real alarm bells in terms of your child being at risk, but tbh she doesn't sound like a very good cm. If she is not interested in discussing or following your wishes re sleep, nutrition, the kind and frequency of feedback required to you, and the developmental activities she is doing with your child (ok, she's only a baby, but as she gets older she will be able to do more than spectate), then isn't she just a babysitter rather than a childminder? You need to find a cm who shares your parenting style and who you can work with to discuss problems. Don't ignore your niggles.

minderjinx Sat 13-Oct-12 09:41:32

Handover in a school playground is far from ideal. How on earth can you discuss any issues thoroughly and confidentially? Why not say to your CM that as a proper handover obviously isn't practicable, could you have either a written diary sheet or an email with the details of your DD's day - i.e what and when she's eaten, when she has napped, where she has been and her main activities. Most CMs I know do something like this, unless the parent prefers a verbal report in which case they need to collect from the CMs home and make sure they arrange a convenient pick uo time when there is time to do this. If you don't like what you are then reading, you can raise it with her, but again I would suggest a proper appointment to discuss properly, not snatching a few seconds to talk when she is busy and it is not private.

cheekymonk Sat 13-Oct-12 13:06:42

Thats interesting and helpful, thanks minderjinx. Now i have written it all down cm doesn't sound great really does she? Definitely need to sort these issues out.

SamSmalaidh Sat 13-Oct-12 13:18:47

If she is a new CM then maybe she is just finding her feet?

I would request a meeting with her just to discuss how things are going - plan it for a time when the children are not around. I think you would be quite reasonable to ask:
- for a copy of her menu/food policy
- what kind of activities/outings they have been doing
- if it is possible for your DD to sleep in a cot (it may not be possible of course - could you provide a travel cot?)
- to have a written day sheet with food, sleeps and activities on it handed over to you in the playground - or maybe a message book you can pass between you for you both to write notes in

LingDiLong Sat 13-Oct-12 20:48:13

Hm, no, she doesn't sound great to be honest. If handover is rushed then she definitely needs to provide you with some kind of daily record. I think Sam's idea of providing a travel cot is a great one. I'm in Wales so not Ofsted inspected but we HAVE to give parents copies of our policies and I'd be surprised if it's different in England. I'd get these three things sorted ASAP. Her response to you raising these issues will give you a big clue as to the kind of person/childminder she is; responsive and happy to make a bit of effort for you then great, defensive and not willing to provide you with this kind of information then I'd be starting to look elsewhere.

The fact that she 'clearly has disdain' for Ofsted when she is yet to be inspected sounds a bit rubbish too, what a negative approach at the start of her CM career. It is also perfectly possible to plan activities and let children choose what they want to do, I have a weekly planner and do planned activities every day. They are simple, they are based around the ages and likes of the children that I have that day and they are entirely optional. How can she learn which activities your child is 'bothered' about if she's not willing to try any? We do crafts, cooking, sensory activities, messy play, music and tons of playgroups and trips out. There is something to suit all kids in there.

cheekymonk Sun 14-Oct-12 15:33:34

She's been childminding about a year. used to be working parent, which again i liked as i felt she'd be more understanding of working parents. Thanks Sam, your comments are really helpful.
She does have a cot but it is her dd so yes offer of travel cot may be an idea but when we talked about it she didn't let on she wasn't going to use it. DD has been fighting sleep there and she has said that soon as my dd starts getting a bit 'ratty' as she phrased it she knows she is tired. she has been using sign language with dd as dd not speaking that much and I have noticed dd is talking a bit more. i think basically, she is not as professional as i would like really. she said she wouldn't mind if she got a satisfactory rating from ofsted which i did think was odd but she is always running down the local schools and just seems a bit ready for an argument generally where authority is concerned. She said she has got welcome pack ready but i do question it, 2 weeks into it!!!!
I may photocopy my dd's nursery homelink book as it has everything i want to know and barely takes 2 mins to complete as its tick box like. I do understand she is busy but don't want dd overlooked.
Will talk to her tomorrow...

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