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CM looking after own children

(21 Posts)
blushingmare Tue 16-Apr-13 20:02:26

Can I just ask, is it normal practice for a CM to have their own children as their mindees? I met with a CM today and her 8 month old son is one of her mindees and I instinctively felt kind of uncomfortable about it. I work in a school and if we have parents helping out on school trips it's policy not to have them working with a group their child is in, the reason being that if there was an emergency a parent would naturally protect their own child first. Similarly I think if you have two babies crying in a room and one of them is your own, you'll see to your's first?

I get it when a CM has school age children that are there out of school hours, but to have such a young baby as one of their charges just didn't seem like a great model of care to me, or am I being too precious?

FoofFighter Tue 16-Apr-13 20:03:28

precious yes. sorry! completely normal practise ime.

VivaLeBeaver Tue 16-Apr-13 20:05:20

It's very normal. Never occurred to me it might be a problem.

grabaspoon Tue 16-Apr-13 20:07:20

Generally most childminders start childminding after having their own children smile

FuckOffMrBloom Tue 16-Apr-13 20:10:52

WTF? You can't be serious?

If you are then OF COURSE you are being precious. I'm a CM and most of the CMs I know have their own young DC. It's the whole reason many start, really, to stay at home with their own babies and look after others.

I can assure you that any CM worth their salt will treat all the children in their care completely equally.

I'm a bit sad that someone feels like this tbh.

sad

5318008 Tue 16-Apr-13 20:17:19

She will only be allowed to have one baby under 12 months anyway, which will be hers.

And yes perfectly normal

My own children, when here (sch age now) did and do come v far down the pecking order iyswim, and other CMs on this board will agree that theirs do, too

fedupofnamechanging Tue 16-Apr-13 20:19:38

I can see why you feel a bit funny about it - she will care for your child but she will love hers and you fear that your child will feel not equal to the other child within that environment.

If it helps, when I was a cm, I treated the minders in exactly the same way as my own dc. Of course I felt differently about them, but I was scrupulously fair, because that is what I would have wanted for my own dc had they been with a cm themselves.

The thing is, cm is not particularly well paid, for the level if work and responsibility it involves. The only reason most people do it is so they can care for their own dc, too. I think you might be better off with a nanny.

wannaBe Tue 16-Apr-13 20:20:18

of course you're being precious!

mindingalongtime Tue 16-Apr-13 20:28:14

I think you may have misunderstood slightly what a childminder does. They look after children in their own home, and that may or may not include children of their own - see registration certificate for exact details.

I do not have small children of my own, mine have grown wings and flown the nest, many years ago, some people like that some want childminders to have a baby of a similar age to their own, that is why childminding is unique and you find what suits you.

Look for an older childminder, with grown up children, but she may also have a baby in her care of a similar age to yours anyway!

blushingmare Tue 16-Apr-13 20:30:14

Alright MrBloom - no need to be nasty! I wasn't criticising you personally, just seeking clarification. I've not used a cm before and the others I've met with had older children, so it's the first time I've come across it and as I say, we guard against any conflict of interests at my work, so I was just a bit surprised that's all.

Thanks all - it seems I'm being precious! Well, if you can't be precious with your own children, when can you be!

looneytune Tue 16-Apr-13 20:31:41

OMG but sorry yes, you are being precious. Your choice to use a CM with her own little one(s) at home or not but TOTALLY normal. I've just finished childminding to have my third, started when ds1 was 2. He always came last in the pecking order which made me sad but that's how a lot of us CM work. Ds2 came along when ds1 was 5 so I still only had 1 young one at home but I started back minding when he was 10 weeks old and had 3 others to look after who were aged 8 months, 17 months and 18 months, all at the same time and they all got treated as fairly as each other, if anything it was my ds2 who had to wait for feeds if I was busy sorting something. 2 of the mindees had been with me since 8 weeks old and the other since 9 months so strong bonds were formed and they loved my ds2 dearly. In fact they are all still very close and were still in my care until I went on maternity leave (they are now almost 5, 5 and 2 x 6 years old). Not once would the parents say I favoured my own children whilst caring for all the others.

Roseformeplease Tue 16-Apr-13 20:32:48

Not even sure why you need to "guard against conflict of interest in up your work". We all have children round, alongside our own, and manage not to play favourites. I teach my son and will soon be teaching my daughter. My professionalism, along with a childminder's mean that this is not a problem.

lechatnoir Tue 16-Apr-13 20:33:28

I can only assume you've never been given the responsibility of looking after someone else's child (with or without having had your own) or you'd know that you are way more vigilant than with your own grin

And from a practical, everyday POV my minded children generally get far better attention (because I'm not doing chores when they're here) more varied & interesting activities (because they're planned activities following eyfs etc) no screen time (because someone's paying me to care for they're kids) less sweets & unhealthy snacks (because as a cm we must follow healthy eating guidelines) Etc etc. So yes previous & no, own children definitely don't get preferential treatment, minded children do & I think you'll struggle to find many cm without young children of their own.

Oh and in the event of a fire/emergency you wouldn't leave a total stranger's child behind let alone one you've come to know & care for so totally irrational & pointless IMO

Thurlow Tue 16-Apr-13 20:37:47

It is precious, but you're right. I didn't realise until after I had done it, but I was instinctively drawn towards CMs with slightly older children of their own than those with DC the same age as mine. She has 3 other mindees roughly the same age, who DD absolutely adores, but her own children are out at school now.

However this is my PFB, and I was making choices when I didn't have any experiences of nurseries, CMs etc. Now I've had experience with a CM, it wouldn't cross my mind not to choose one that had DC the same age as mine if I ever had to change - because now I really know what CMs do, if that makes any sense. Now I know it is about the right person to trust to look after your child, and other things are far less important.

But I can understand why you felt like that.

Thurlow Tue 16-Apr-13 20:49:43

Just to expand, when you don't have experience of CMs or nurseries you can initially make decisions on what can seem the oddest things. I know someone who rejected a CM because she thought her house was too small, which obviously doesn't matter. Another one rejected my own CM because English wasn't her first language hmm

HSMMaCM Tue 16-Apr-13 21:01:43

When my DD was little, I tried so hard to treat them all equally, she probably got left until last a lot. However ... hand on heart ... in an emergency situation, I would probably save her first.

blushingmare Tue 16-Apr-13 21:07:10

Thanks for the understanding Thurlow - yes I think it's probably my lack of experience of cm and childcare in general. Add to that the fact that I'm just having a bit of a wobble about going back to work in general - I go back next week and dd is having her induction at nursery atm, but I'm not sure if it's going to work out, hence starting to look for childminders. It's all making me feel a bit sad about going back to work at all and I'm finding it harder to cope with the thought of someone else looking after her than I thought I would.

blushingmare Tue 16-Apr-13 21:12:12

lechatnoir - extremely unlikely, yes, irrational and pointless, not entirely. Really, really, if there was a fire in your home and you could only jump out of the window with one baby, you would leave your own baby there?

OK I'm being ridiculous I know, but you get my point!

Thurlow Tue 16-Apr-13 21:13:20

It's such a big decision, it's only natural you are having a wobble. Do give the nursery a bit of time, though, it can take a little while for babies to settle in. But personally I'd go for a CM every time, mine is a lifesaver and I like the thought that DD might have one person looking after her for years.

doughnut44 Wed 17-Apr-13 21:17:27

In my experience it is much better to have a minder with a child of her own at home. She will want to do the best for her child and your child will reap the benefits.

LingDiLong Wed 17-Apr-13 22:28:54

Blushingmare, I think you need to look at the scenarios which are likely to happen rather than unlikely things such as jumping out of a window!!

I am a childminder with 3 of my own - 1 of whom is 2 so is still at home with me. There are pros and cons for the parents who use me, pros are: the kids who come to me are in a lovely, family environment and develop fantastic relationships with my kids, as a mother with young kids I am experienced in and understanding of various behavioural issues as I've 'been there, done that, worn the T-shirt'. Only cons really are that if my own kids are ill with something contagious then I have to shut down.

As others have pointed out, you really do end up putting your own kids last. I have to remind myself that my own kids are counted in my ratios and are therefore minded children deserving of my attention too!

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