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Need some advice, re childminder.

(24 Posts)
dillite Mon 08-Apr-13 21:34:30

Hi! I have a 3 year old girl who goes to a childminder 4 days a week. I am currently using a temporary childminder, whilst my regular childminder is abroad sorting out her late mothers estate (probably not relevant, but thought I'd mention it anyway) and should be back in 3-4 weeks. Before she left she made sure that all her charged were provided with alternative cm's, all from her childminding group to make sure that the kids knew the people/ were happy. She recommended me a lady, and was of very high praise of her regarding her abilities/ experience etc. Which was fine, I did not have a problem with it, especially as my lil' one knew the temp cm well. It all started off well, she was quite happy at first- probably even a lot happier than I had expected her to be when it came to being with a different adult. But then there started to show up all these different remarks/ comments from my daughter regarding the temp cm- at first she just started hiding in the morning before being picked up/ saying that she doesn't want to go. I just put it all down to her being silly, as she's always very happy when she's dropped off in the evenings. The she started saying that she doesn't like the cm, as she's mean/ being horrible. Again, I took a mental note of it, but thought nothing much as kids do say things at that age, especially having learned new words, but not their exact meaning. Well, in the last 2 weeks my dd has been saying more and more how she doesn't like the cm, how she doesn't like her house, that cm is mean to her/ cm is hurting her feet/ ear/ leg, and this morning she actually cried because she did not want to go with the cm. All these remarks are actually making me quite concerned now, but I am not quite sure as to what to do. When I have asked my cm about these comments she just put them down to the kids playing/ doing pretend play and using their imagination. So now, I am not really quite sure as to how to be/ what to do next. My gut is telling me that I am being fobbed off, but then my mind is telling me that someone this highly recommended, with 10 years experience surely would not be actually hurting my child. So, I would really appreciate some advice on this one.

Crutchlow35 Mon 08-Apr-13 22:00:24

i would post this in chat

Runoutofideas Mon 08-Apr-13 22:11:39

You know your own child. Does she make up stories and over dramatise things, or not usually? The fact that it is on-going would concern me. A child making stuff up tends to do it as more of a one off rather than repeatedly saying the same things. It may be that she just doesn't like this childminder as much as the other one though.

Sometimes children do cry when they are left. I had one this morning, but it was just because she's been at home with mum for the holidays and the first day back was a bit of a shock for her. She went home all smiles though and I'm pretty sure doesn't tell her mum that I'm nasty or hurt her in any way!

Do you know any other parents with children there to see if their children are saying similar things?
I think if your gut reaction is that something is not right, I would move her out of there, regardless of any "proof" especially as it is only supposed to be for a short time anyway. Do you have another option you could use?

PinkCanary Mon 08-Apr-13 22:23:28

As a childminder I'm very reluctant to recommend others as you never know what goes on behind closed doors. It would be nice to think that everyone worked to the same standards but like every industry, there are good and bad. Hopefully, your regular minder will be back soon.

However, could your daughter be confused about your usual minder and be worried that this will be a permenant arrangement? Perhaps she thinks if she makes a fuss she'll be sent back quicker to the first.

I'd casually mention your child's concerns to the temp minder. If they're false it will be obvious in her reaction. If not... There are very strict guidelines regarding the way we interact with children (physically and verbally) and A phone call to Ofsted would be in order.

MUM2BLESS Mon 08-Apr-13 22:35:22

Some really good advice given.

If you have any concerns I would talk to the temp cm. This needs to be dealt with with wisdom.

All the best with this one. smile

dillite Mon 08-Apr-13 22:35:57

How would I post this in chat? Just repeat the same post?

Runoutofideas My dd doesn't ever make up stories, like literally even when she's playing she will be talking about actual things happening (bunny jumping up, when throwing bunny up in the air, etc.), so her making it up would be highly unlikely, especially at that age too. Personally I am not overly keen on this childminder either, but that's just me finding her personality very annoying. And some other little things, like her doing her food shop during her working hours which means that my daughter is dragged all around town for a day, as on that day it's just her and cm's child; dd picking up a bit of slang in her language- most certainly not something we use at home, as I don't even know some of the words; them watching baby tv every single day (again, not something I allow at home, and have mentioned this repeatedly to her). Anyway.

The biggest thing with crying is that it has never happened before. She has cried because she didn't want to come home, but never the other way round.

Unfortunately I am not familiar with any other parents that use her, I know that there are other kids there, but no idea whom they belong to. My dd is picked up and dropped off every morning/ evening, so I never actually go to her house ( I have been there once before we started, but that's it). I am also stuck with her until my regular lady returns due to my hours/ needs for pick ups/ drop offs, there being no-one else available for another 6 months/ not having any family/ friends that could help out.

Blondeshavemorefun Mon 08-Apr-13 23:57:46

3yrs can lie/bend the truth. They also can take a dislike to someone new (hear of it happening when a child starts with a new cm/nanny etc)

But I would also trust your gut instinct

The slang is annoying - rem a charge of mine coming home after a play date saying ta and wa'er instead of thank you and water

The food shopping wouldn't bother me - think its good for children to go food shopping and can be a fun educational trip with talking about colours and collecting say 5 apples etc

You say you never pick up/drop off - can you arrange to do that one day without mentioning to cm And see what her body language etc is like face to face

Can you or your partner take unpaid leave /holiday / use granny/ friends or get a temp nanny in?

leeloo1 Tue 09-Apr-13 12:10:31

Can you say you want to drop off and collect her from now on? Or drop in unexpectedly to pick up your child one day? Then you could get a feel for what is going on.

Children do change their behaviour and cry at drop offs sometimes. Some of my mindees do sometimes and it usually lasts a few seconds - as soon as they can't see their parents they are back to smiles and busy playing. Children do also make things up sometimes - especially if they find they get a reaction to what they've said.

I would be concerned if your dd is saying she is being hurt though. Are you keeping a record of what she says? Or asking her more details - so if dd says 'cm hurt my legs' do you ask (in a neutral way) 'how did that happen?' so you can gauge if there's any substance to it? It could be something innocent - like the cm made her walk further than usual?

MrsClown1 Tue 09-Apr-13 12:27:14

I know I am going to get flamed here. My DH, now 27, went to childminders. From memory over the years I had 6 altogether. Of those, only 3 turned out to be absolutely brilliant. I used one particular lady who it turned out was going to her neighbours for coffee and leaving the children (my daughter was 5 at the time) in the house alone. I didnt find out about it until a friend went to pick my daughter up a little earlier than usual and found the children in the house alone. The CM son told my friend that she was next door having coffee. Obviously, I stopped using the CM immediately and reported her to Social Services. I had another child minder who locked my son out of the house for having an argument with her son! My DS was 6 at the time and was in an area he didnt know that well. We found him hiding behind a wheelie bin! From that time, I never used another CM and used day nurseries instead.

Please do not think that just because someone is a reg CM they are doing a good job. There are good ones and bad ones out there. Take your child out of her care if she is not happy. Can you find another temp CM? Dont worry too much about upsetting others - this is your child.

mamamaisie Tue 09-Apr-13 13:12:03

As you have some concerns, I think you should definitely start dropping off and collecting your dd, at least for a few days. As others have said this should give you a much better idea of what is actually going on. Make sure you go inside when you collect, preferable into the play area and don't let the childminder just hand over at the door. Have a look to see if there is a good range of toys/activities out and if the children are happily playing or just sitting in front of the TV.

The slang thing is annoying but I wouldn't worry too much as your normal childminder will be back soon. The TV is also not ideal, but again, it is only for a few more weeks so not the end of the world in my opinion. The hurting would abviuosly be a concern ans you need to talk to the childminder again if she has fobbed you off. If none of it is true she should be utterly mortified.

ReetPetit Tue 09-Apr-13 20:32:39

Op, could your dd be picking up on your negativity around this cm? It is clear just from reading this thread that you dislike the woman. Some children tell lies at this age pparticularly if they think its what you want to hear.
You come across as quite snobbish op, what do you mean by 'slang' exactly?

ReetPetit Tue 09-Apr-13 20:38:07

Mrs Clown, you say your dc is 27 now . A lot has changed since then where childminders are concerned. We are much better regulated and monitored now and that has helped weed out a lot of the bad ones.
Of course there are still good and bad, same as schools and nurseries. But having had 20 yrs experience working in nurseries and now as a cm i still believe a good cm beats a nursery any day for very young children.

MaryPoppinsBag Wed 10-Apr-13 15:21:48

You need to speak with the CM. Either arrange a meeting or take time off work and a drop by unexpectedly or with little warning.

With regards to slang I'm not sure what you can do. Your DC might be picking it up from another mindee.
In fact my own children have picked up slang from my mindees and I correct them. In actual fact their mother who is a teacher uses it so I was fighting a losing battle! shock

There might be an innocent explanation to your daughter being hurt e.g. CM turning round and knocking her accidentally) but you need to ask.

dillite Sun 14-Apr-13 11:08:19

Thank you all for your advice it was very helpful. Here's a little update- I'm on my phone so it will be brief. Thankfully I was able to finish early on wednesday so I went to pick my daughter up from the setting unannaunced. When I got to the childminders house her front door was wide open-ok I guess if she was there and there weren't any kids- but there actually was a young child crawling around. Then I heard shouting directed at my daughter- she was referring to her by name and I will quote was was said " ...come here! Stop being a fucking retard and put your shoes on". At which point I actually stepped in and asked whether she thought that such language was acceptable- to be honest i felt like punching her, and it was very hard to keep composed- asked her what made her think that she could refer to my child in such way and informed her that her services are no longer required and that I will complain. Funny enough the minder said nothing just stood there still. She just threw my daughters lunchbag at me in the end. I can't remember the last time I'd been this mad.

I have written an official letter of complaint to her and once I've received a response I will be filing a complaint with ofsted.

And now I jyst feel like a goddamn idiot for not trusting my own child and my own gut.

looneytune Sun 14-Apr-13 11:23:11

OMG what a vile woman! Front door being wide open is a massive security breach and as for the way she spoke to your dd, sad and shock - I'm so pleased you've done a written complaint, Ofsted need to know too, she shouldn't be working with children!! Keep us posted and in the meantime, don't beat yourself up about it but make sure your normal childminder knows exactly what this awful woman is like!

HSMMaCM Sun 14-Apr-13 11:30:30

That is awful! Lucky for you the front door was open, so you could see what she was really like. Good luck with your future arrangements and be assured that most people who choose to work with children do it because we want the very best for them.

Blondeshavemorefun Sun 14-Apr-13 12:05:38

Sadly seems your instincts were right sad

Luckily for you the door was open and you saw and heard

Complain to Ofsted. And tell your cm what happened so that she doesn't recommend her anymore tho tbh she will prob (hopefully) be struck off

Least your cm will be home soon

ReetPetit Sun 14-Apr-13 13:06:37

Omg how awful,sorry this has happened to you and your dd.

Don't wait for a response to your letter, go straightto Ofsted and please make sure you tell your cm so that she can spread she word!

calmlychaotic Sun 14-Apr-13 16:44:21

I'm so sorry this has happened, awful that there are people like this giving childminders a bad name. Hope your usual cm is back soon.

minderjinx Sun 14-Apr-13 18:07:05

That is appalling. I am sure your regular CM will be shocked and mortified.

MaryPoppinsBag Sun 14-Apr-13 19:01:20

I am so sorry. But so glad that you have caught her in the act.
I hope you manage to find alternative care.

Some people do not deserve to work with children.

dillite Sun 14-Apr-13 21:45:22

Thank you. I will be calling OFSTED first thing tomorrow morning and reporting her to them. People like her should not be allowed to "care". Hopefully it won't be reduced down to "he said, she said". 10 years of loving and caring environment my a**.

I keep going over and over in my mind over how she spoke and her whole tone and just can't understand how anyone can talk like that to a young child that isn't their own (not saying that it's OK to talk like that to your own children). I actually dread to think what her kids get to hear. I guess at least now I have an explanation as to why my child started calling me "stupid" when she would get frustrated with me. And obviously I now have all these scenarios playing out in my head of when my DD complained of being hurt by the childminder, how much of it was true? Was there more going on?

I was very fortunate to have my boss offer to share her nanny for the remaining 2 weeks after I explained to her what had happened and that I would need a few days off because of it until I sorted the situation out. Which is great really, as my child won't be that far away from me, and I will be able to check up on her throughout the day.

cjel Sun 14-Apr-13 22:02:00

Great your boss was understanding. I must admit my reaction to your OP was to get the child out. So glad it happened as it did before she can cause more damage to children. Hope dd doesn't have any more trouble.xx

Exhaustipated Sun 14-Apr-13 22:16:07

That is really shocking, poor you and your DD. I really hope your complaint is taken very seriously by oftsed and she is prevented from treating any other children this way.

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