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Im regretting becoming a CM

(14 Posts)
totallyregrettable Fri 14-Feb-14 13:30:11

I think Im doing it wrong.
I dont think id pass inspection

the children are happy with me, and the parents are happy with me,

BUT im bored

I set up activies that the kids dont bother with. i do a lot of child led activities.
I thought that i would have a lot of pre-schoolers interested in learning things, but i have babies and toddlers, none of them are full time.

I dont feel that there is anyone i can ask for help without admitting that im a bit rubbish

It just feels like groundhog day.

What should i do?

ListenToTheLady Fri 14-Feb-14 13:34:10

Take them out as much as possible? (To parks, playgrounds etc)

Gradually try to phase out the babies and take on more older ones, if that suits you.

Or with your experience as a CM, longer-term look for a job in a nursery or as a teaching assistant at primary level.

starlight1234 Fri 14-Feb-14 13:35:18

How long have you been doing it? Maybe more free play and talking to parents to find what they are interested in..Are you getting out to Toddler groups or meeting up with other childminders..It is important part of scoialisation..

Are you expecting too much consentration from their age?

totallyregrettable Fri 14-Feb-14 13:36:55

the problem is, that when i started i hated it when they slept

now i cant wait for them to be asleep so i can get on with things.

How will being out and about help?

I have loads of spaces, i'm really cheap and yet im still not full.
It MUST be because im rubbish sad

totallyregrettable Fri 14-Feb-14 13:41:54

well the timetable has slipped so that before i would decide on a subject for the day.... say a chinese restaurant for chinese new year,

so id set up a kitchen with menus with chinese food on it, we'd have plates of ingredients (like wool for noodles), then i'd phone the children (on a play phone) and they would prepare my order.

but now its slipped so i put out the kitchen and the bowls, but the kids dont want to play like that, it seems too complicated for them. they just throw stuff on the floor a

Yesterday i baked with one of the little ones, but he can barely stand, so his imput was to empty the cups of ingredients into the big bowl, then mixed it a little, i did the rest, he helped fill the baking tray, but i put the jam on. he loved the interation and the one to one attention, but he didnt seem interested in the activity iyswim.

totallyregrettable Fri 14-Feb-14 13:42:21

ive been doing it for two years

ChildrenAtHeart Fri 14-Feb-14 14:05:45

It sounds like you are over-planning for the age group you have. You can't plan child initiated play, it's not child initiated then. If you mainly have babies and toddlers you need to re-think what you are offering them and just go with the flow, follow their lead. Instead of baking give them assorted bowls, jugs & spoons & a tray of dried rice or pasta or water or gloop or slime. Try playdough but not necessarily with rollers or cutters. Lots of open-ended activities & loose parts opportunities. Try to go outside as much as possible and offer muddy, messy play, sand, construction etc. What about toddler groups or childminder drop-ins - may help if you are feeling isolated? Look on the internet & join CM forums for advice & ideas - good ones on Facebook, plus parent/carer blogs like 'Let the Children Play', 'The Imagination Tree' & 'Red Ted Art'. We all have down patches and i'm sure you aren't rubbish, just maybe needing to adjust your expectations a little

totallyregrettable Fri 14-Feb-14 14:35:23

how do you get them to sit still for story time, i only have one that is intereted in listening to stories?

Tanith Fri 14-Feb-14 16:21:05

You can't. Sitting still is very difficult for this age group - it's not even desirable. It makes me cringe when parents tell me their nursery school has complained that their 2 year old doesn't sit still for storytime.

I also agree that your planning is more suited to preschool aged children. Themes don't really mean very much to babies and toddlers and you can't direct their play like this.

Observation is your key. This is the age of schemas, exploration and repetitive play. What interests them? Is it carrying (and dropping!)? Provide bags and baskets. Is it rolling cars? What else could you provide that they can roll and move? Treasure baskets, containers to open and shake, textures to explore - all good for the younger ones. Oh, and give them time to explore. Take a step back and let them go at their own pace.
You look at what interests them and then plan how to extend it.

It may be that you do prefer the older age group, but the younger ones are lots of fun, too, if you accept the stage they're at.

totallyregrettable Fri 14-Feb-14 16:30:47

tanith i do most of what you mention and i think its the time aspect that im finding difficult to maintain.

at first, i didnt mind if it took us an hour to walk to the post box 200 m away. we would inspect every creature and every leaf.

but now im finding that i just want them to go a bit faster.
Maybe i need to have a word with myself!

CheesyBadger Fri 14-Feb-14 16:33:17

My Ofsted inspector once said to me that in younger children she likes to see themes brought down to the age group eg. festival of light, explore candles by doing wax paintings or just feeling their texture. Have you looked on I found them really helpful and there are loads of activities you can print off and follow.

I had a lot of babies and I though the older ones would be easier, but it's not always the case.

My care of the children centred around the following:

Routine - get them involved in routine and teach them hand washing, make snack and meal times exciting

Free play, following the child's lead and being imaginative when you recognise what the child is interested in that day. You need to have lots of things up your sleeve. I found that over planning destroyed my soul. Much better to have a vague plan eg floor play, park play, food play, and let them decide what to do with the resources you provide

Have fun and try not to get bogged down in detail or wishing you were doing something else

Get out and about - I used to go out somewhere every day, some free and some paid for. I included them in my fees. I also went to the park and walked round the village

Monday - playgroup at village hall or gym drop in
Tuesday - Library story time
Wednesday - soft play in hall and then church group
Thursday - Music
Friday - Stay and play at children's centre

This is a lot and it doesn't suit everyone but the children loved it. I think you need to do some observations and see what personalities these children have.

Please feel free to pm me if you want to chat. I don't childmind anymore as I found it too intrusive in my own home, so even doing all I did, I didn't enjoy it in the end. I did get a good grading though and was successful in what I did.

NannyK7H Fri 14-Feb-14 19:27:52

Don't be so hard on yourself! How are you in yourself, has anything dramatically changed in the last 2 years? If you're feeling down it can reflect in your work no matter what your job.
It may be that childminding isn't challenging in the right way for you, and that's okay! Are there any parts on CMing that you love? Maybe you could work out what you enjoy doing most and make time every day for those things.

bellabells1 Mon 17-Feb-14 21:11:49

defo being too hard on yourself!
chill out you know the kids you look after so find activities they enjoy and set them out, whether its repeated or not, i look after two girls 3 and 5 and the end of the day is always them coloring or Lego this is everyday, just need to chill, if you were rubbish you wouldn't have any kids but you have.

HSMMaCM Mon 17-Feb-14 22:02:55

Let them have free choice and sit back and observe them. My mindees played with a duplo set most of the day today. They made symmetrical tracks, built trains, had an airport station and raced a Ferrari along the track. I could not have planned much of this for them. In between, they were doing random things like running traces, singing songs, meeting for water, etc.

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