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Childminder - AIBU?

(78 Posts)
HugeLaurie Tue 11-Jun-13 13:01:00

My childminder is also a friend of some 20+ years so advice would be appreciated.

She looks after my 8yo DS before and after school, inset days and some school holidays.

So here goes:-

1. More or less every night, when I collect my son, there are the childminder's friends at her house having coffee and a chat. This would be ok if the children were in the same room but they are often in the garden or another downstairs room, unsupervised. More often than not my son, who is the eldest, is reading to the little ones or playing with them in the back garden. This has become more frequent in recent weeks. My previous childcare was a day nursery so I don't know other childminders operate. Is this normal?

2. My ex usually picks our son up from school on a preset day during the week. Last week he contacted the cm directly to say he wouldn't be picking our ds up and could she collect him from school. Neither of them told me until half past five that the arrangements had changed. I had to cancel what I was doing (work related) to collect my son. I told both of them that I was not very happy about the lack of communication.

3. Yesterday one of the other parents shouted at my son and was quite nasty to him. I was there when this happened. I did tell my childminder that I did not expect other parents to shout at my child. Discipline is one thing, shouting is another. I am reasonably strict as a parent and my son does get told off when he does something wrong. But I would expect the childminder and not another parent to hand out any discipline if it is required.

All of these things are reasonably minor in the scheme of things and seem a bit trivial when I have typed them out. But I am feeling a bit annoyed and I wonder if IBU to feel like this.

moogy1a Wed 12-Jun-13 07:23:09

Visitors to the house don't need to be CRB'd.. Not even if they're staying over. Not even if they're staying for a few weeks! There is then a bit of a grey area as anyone staying "longterm" or living there permanently does have to be.
It would be a bit impractical otherwise as we could never allow family / friends/ gasman / mobile hairdresser/ tesco delivery man into our own homes!

Blondeshavemorefun Tue 11-Jun-13 22:13:24

i thought reg visitors to a cm house had to be?

MortifiedAdams Tue 11-Jun-13 21:47:38

Blondes why would visitors to a CMs home need to be Ofsted checked?

Blondeshavemorefun Tue 11-Jun-13 21:45:42

1) if reg visitors are they ofsted checked - as a mum of an 8yr it wouldn't bother me if read/played with youngster but as a mum of a 1yr I would be annoyed as expect cm to be with the young ones

2) ex fault not hers

3) I would have said something to the mum at The time

This is why I wouldn't work for family or friends - you feel awkward saying anything to her as she is one of your oldest friends

Ask your son if he is happy there and see what he says

malovitt Tue 11-Jun-13 21:23:10

Agree, with above, but as a childminder, I would also have sent you a quick text to let you know that your ex had told me that your child was not going to be picked up. It would have taken 30 seconds and would have been in the child's best interest.

carabossse Tue 11-Jun-13 20:53:01

^^ agree

PeedOffMinder Tue 11-Jun-13 20:35:08

I'm a cm and this person sounds really unprofessional.

How does she have time to sit around chatting with friends and drinking coffee. After school is my busiest time of day, dishing up tea and getting everybody ready for pickup barely leaves me time to pee! When I have had an older mindee in the past, he was sweet enough to read the little ones a story or play with them if I needed him to for a couple of minutes, but he much preferred chatting to me. I wouldn't be happy about leaving any mindee, regardless of age, unsupervised for more than a few minutes (I am paid to look after them and keep them safe). There have been times when I have had friends over and we have been drinking tea and chatting when parents have arrived to collect their children, but this has usually been during the school holidays and we have spent the day doing arts and crafts or have been out for the day. Not just cause my friends popped around for a cuppa, that is not acceptable as a regular thing, imo.

With regards to number 3; As a cm, I would have been mortified if anyone in my setting took it upon themselves to discipline a child in my care. I would have apologized to you and ensured that the other adult was made aware that it is not their place to discipline my mindees, and shouting is definitely not an appropriate way to reprimand anyone else's child (unless there was a risk of immediate danger). What did your cm say to you regarding this? Did she apologise?

I think the boundaries have been blurred and you should look for alternative care for your son. You are paying for a professional service that you are not receiving.

JenaiMorris Tue 11-Jun-13 16:56:15

OK, well reading on it sounds as if it's not working out and also as if she is indeed relying a bit on having an older pair of hands. Reading and playing with little ones is brilliant - my own ds enjoyed it at that age - but there's a limit. It sounds as if the CM is losing interest.

Have a look at afterschool clubs (ds went to one and it was fine). If you don't want to upset your friend, tell her your son is getting a bit big for being at a CM's (which might not be far from the truth tbh).

The AFC ds went to also ran holiday clubs, which were great.

HugeLaurie Tue 11-Jun-13 16:55:37

I don't know to be honest. She takes things to heart a lot and I don't want to upset her, but at the same time I'm a bit unhappy with some things that have been happening lately. Will probably give it a couple of weeks and see how we go.

frissonpink Tue 11-Jun-13 16:49:06

I didn't say your house was dirty - I said the CM's I had visited had dirty houses! grin

And yes, I probably do have OCD wink

MissStrawberry Tue 11-Jun-13 16:42:01

HughLaurie, what are you going to do?

Options - do and say nothing and hope everything else works well from not on.
- do and say nothing and give notice.
- talk to her about your concerns, ask if she is okay as she doesn't seem as happy in her work as usual and then proceed depending on what she says.

The other parent was out of order and if it happens again you must tell her to back off.

ReetPetit Tue 11-Jun-13 16:32:37

3 is the only one which would concern me and had i been in your position i would have challenged the other parent at the time....

And frisson - what bad luck!! hmm you must live in a terrible area.... My home is veru clean (messy at pick up as children have been playing and having fun but never dirty) i have never seen a cm with a dirty home but hopefully your dds nursery will be lovely and squeaky clean wink

HugeLaurie Tue 11-Jun-13 16:10:21

MissStrawberry - this is what I am starting to suspect. I don't think that she wants to do it anymore, which is fair comment but things seem to be going downhill a little bit.

About six weeks ago the children were in the back garden because it was sunny etc. I had just arrived to pick my DS up and there was an almighty screaming. My son came in sobbing and said one of the younger children had hit him with a long piece of metal (think it was one of the legs of a child's table) on his head. At the time my childminder was in the house with two of her friends. Now I know that kids will be kids and this little lad was only about 3 years old but if the children are not supervised then surely this sort of thing will happen more often? I didn't say anything to her about this at the time as I put it down to one of those things. And at that stage her friends were not there that often.

HugeLaurie Tue 11-Jun-13 16:04:26

Yes she is definitely working. This isn't a meeting of other childminders, this is her friends coming round for coffee and them having a chat.

Badvoc - this was really my point. She wouldn't have been getting involved in any issues with me and my ex by texting me to let me know my son was at her house and not with his dad. It just seemed a bit strange that she lets me know every time my ex collects him but didn't let me know when he wasn't collecting him. And she had asked him twice, in two separate telephone conversations, whether he had told me and he said no. He wasn't going to tell me, for whatever reason, so I thought that she might have just sent me a quick text or whatever just so I knew where my son was. My ex got a huge bollocking by the way and I don't think he will do this again.

Sometimes my impression is that, with my son and because we are friends, she sometimes doesn't do things in the same way with me as she would with the other parents who she is not friends with.

MissStrawberry Tue 11-Jun-13 16:04:21

My feeling is that she maybe has had enough if lately she is just having people round to play and isn't giving the children the attention she normally would.

Have you asked why she didn't text to say your ex hadn't picked her son up bearing in mind she normally lets you know he has got him? Is it possible she was hoping for over time?

Ashoething Tue 11-Jun-13 15:53:02

With regards to point 1-the group of childminders who live near me seem to spend every day doing this! Honestly they are the talk of the local toddler group,soft play etc as they blatantly ignore their mindees who are running riot!

Point 2-your dp's fault.

Point 3-I would not be happy with a random stranger shouting at my child and they would know about it.

Badvoc Tue 11-Jun-13 15:52:42

1. She is working, yes? You are paying her to look after your son, yes? So Yanbu.
2. She should have phoned you, although I can see why she may have felt uncomfortable abut it, your sons welfare should come first. Yanbu.
3. That is totally out of order. Yanbu.
I would be looking or alternative care.

KateSMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 11-Jun-13 15:46:18

Hullo all,

We're going to move this to our childminding topic at the request of the OP.

HappyAsEyeAm Tue 11-Jun-13 15:19:30

OP, Click on Report on your OP (or any of your posts in this thread) and a window will open up in which you can write a message to MNHQ. Ask them if they would consider moving the thread.

HugeLaurie Tue 11-Jun-13 15:12:39

My childminder is regulated by OFSTED. She doesn't have any DC of her own and does this as her job. The other parents that she minds for are people who don't know her as a friend.

anewyear Tue 11-Jun-13 15:00:31

Wiil be back later Mrs M

MrsMelons Tue 11-Jun-13 15:00:15

It would only have been a matter of time anewyear . . .

anewyear Tue 11-Jun-13 14:59:12

Oh and before any one asks why Im on MN!!
I work in Pre School of a morning.. And I only have after schoolers in the afternoon smile
And its 3pm, So better go and pick them up.. dont want to be late grin

MrsMelons Tue 11-Jun-13 14:59:02

anewyear - sorry I didn't really explain it very well, yes it is more like a home environment but it is still a professional person looking after children, who is paid to do so. I would expect more than them just being at home TBH and I don't know any CMs who treat it like that fortunately but then they are all ofsted registered so maybe thats the difference?

I have used both and the pre-school was very homely also,I have no complaints with either, it really does depend on the person/setting.

It is difficult if there is no after school care, I thought all schools had to be able to access after care even if it was at a neighbouring school?

flowery Tue 11-Jun-13 14:54:54

I don't think it's on for older children to be looking after younger ones, and I also don't think someone being paid to provide childcare should be leaving small children to entertain themselves in another room without supervision while the CM chats with her mates.

I know people use childminders because they want a more homely environment, but I think you have to draw the line. If you're being paid to provide childcare you should be doing just that.

Having said that I chose a combination of nanny/nursery for my two so perhaps people who choose childminders would find that arrangement acceptable.

Is there a child protection issue if other adults are regularly there? I'm not suggesting there is any reason for concern at all, I just wondered whether non CRB checked adults are allowed to be regularly there - I have no idea.

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