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Sending food to childminders

(16 Posts)
LucyLou2003 Tue 02-Dec-14 16:22:02

My childminder is fantastic and my 2yr old DS loves going there and has done since he started there full time at 9 months.

When my DS (weaned early due to severe reflux) first started going the CM offered lunch and a hot dinner all included in the price.
About six months ago I noticed my DS seemed to be very hungry when I picked him up at 5.15 pm and would eat a full dinner when he got home.
After having a conversation with the CM (me thinking DS was being greedy) she said she had stopped doing a dinner and was now giving the children a hot meal at 11.30 and a 'light tea' (I assumed crumpets or beans on toast etc) at 4pm which I thought was fine but thought she should have informed us sooner.

Anyway the past couple of months DS has been extremely hungry when I collect him and cries and asks for food all the way home. Ive been asking the CM each day if he has been eating his 'light teas' as I wasn't sure whether I was overfeeding him when I got home and she says 'yes he ate both his breadsticks' or 'yes he ate his fruit' or 'yes he ate his half a scone'.
I have no problem at all with any of these as a snack but I don't really feel they're sufficient enough to be a 'light tea'.
I was thinking of asking her if it's possible for me to prepare a dinner and send it in with him to be warmed up for him.
Do you think this would be ok or would it be unfair on the other children who would only be receiving the 'light tea' at 4pm?
I have no problem with asking her but I just wanted to get some opinions on whether this is the best thing to do.

ThinkIveBeenHacked Tue 02-Dec-14 16:29:19

The best thing to do is query why she has decided to breach the contract! Id be really cross if Im paying X price which should include A,B & C and found out that she just wasnt doing C.

She 'forgot' to tell you!?

LucyLou2003 Tue 02-Dec-14 16:48:21

You're absolutely right Think and I'm ashamed of myself for not dealing with it that way six months ago when I found out (especially as I'm a solicitor blush)
If I'm honest think it was because we have become very (too) friendly with one another and I felt uncomfortable dealing with it that way.
I've just dug out the contract and it's very ambiguous really as it says 'will provide meals throughout the day' but doesn't specify what type of meal.

ThinkIveBeenHacked Tue 02-Dec-14 16:57:29

I would ask to have a chat with her next time and explain that (1) you werent happy at the dinner being changed to a light tea without advanced notice and (2) you have recently realised that what she describes as a light tea is actually only a light snack.

Id ask her to re-instate the meals or a reduction in the hourly rate tp reflect that you arent getting what wS agreed.

Id be fucking livid if my CM did this as we dont eat our tea til after dd goes to bed so she would be starvkng!!

HSMMaCM Tue 02-Dec-14 17:22:49

If you're happy to feed at home, then I'd do that. Does she not give you a note or something to say what he's eaten? Did she avoid a rate increase to accommodate reduction in meals or something?

LucyLou2003 Tue 02-Dec-14 18:08:31

Thank you Think I'm thinking that might be the reason HS as when we renewed the contract she didn't increase her fees but definitely didn't mention anything about the meals at that point.
I could feed him at home but at the moment I'm having to bring snacks for him to eat on the way home and once we arrive home at 5.45pm he's getting quite distressed whilst waiting for me to make his dinner as he's so hungry.
Either way I'm going to have to do some batch cooking on the weekends so I've got his dinners ready for the week but I just thought that as we don't get home until 5.45, if he ate his dinner at 4.30 whilst the other children eat then I'd get to enjoy spending the hour playing with him before he goes to bed at 7pm.

januarysnowdrop Tue 02-Dec-14 18:12:22

Just talk to her. 5.15 may be an earlier pick up time than other children have - isn't it possible that she feeds her other mindees again at 5.30? She may imagine that you're planning to feed him again at home anyway. I'd have thought she'd be horrified if she realised he was going home hungry (I know I would if I discovered something like this about one of my mindees!) - explain the issue to her and discuss with her what would be best.

I think it can be tricky deciding what to feed when - my after school mindees are usually absolutely starving when they get home from school, so they stuff themselves with toast/bananas/scotch pancakes etc, and then on the days when I have to provide a hot meal at 5 (on 2 days a week I have mindees who are picked up at 5.30) I find they're not really hungry.
She may have issues like this to deal with, but you'll never find out until you ask her!

jendot2 Tue 02-Dec-14 18:15:16

Why not ask her to provide a more substantial tea, explain he is hungry and that it is too long a wait by the time you get home and then the time it takes to cook him dinner. Any decent childminder should be VERY concerned that one of their charges is going home hungry!
I can kind of see why she switched to a non cooked meal (but there is no excuse for not 1st discussing with you) as if you pick up at 5.15 getting in from school, cooking dinner and getting everyone fed and cleaned up would be a bit tricky to finish in my house by 5.15.... But it sounds like the meal s now a snack rather than a proper meal.
But leaving a child hungry and not discussing the changes with you 1st is very poor care and I would be seriously unhappy.

LucyLou2003 Tue 02-Dec-14 18:31:15

Thank you for your comments.
I know that she doesn't have any children after 5.15 atm so it's not that she's making dinner for the children later and he's missing it.
I've tried a few times to tell her how hungry he is when he gets home (although he tells me in front of her when I pick him up) and she just brushes it off.
When DS first started she gave us a daily diary each day but that stopped after a few months when she took on more children.
Tbh as she's now full I don't think she would have the time now to make them all a proper dinner so I wouldn't have a problem making food to send in and be reheated but I'm just not sure if it's a reasonable request.

HSMMaCM Tue 02-Dec-14 18:56:02

You can only find out by asking her. I wouldn't want a child to bring food in, as all the other children would immediately start declaring themselves starving. I give an afternoon snack and the children go home for tea. If a child seems particularly hungry at snack time, I make sure they have more. They all have milk with their snack too.

LucyLou2003 Tue 02-Dec-14 20:03:25

Thank you HS I think I'll speak to her about it again and ask if he can be given a bit more to eat in the afternoon. I sometimes find it very awkward to discuss things I'm concerned about because we've gotten so friendly but I'm sure she will be fine with me asking smile

busyDays Tue 02-Dec-14 20:32:01

I also do a cooked meal at lunch and only a snack in the afternoon. My own children have always eaten dinner well after 6pm and I make this clear to parents at the initial meeting. The snack is usually toast, yogurt and fruit or something similar. So a bit more substantial than a few breadsticks but nothing that takes much time to prepare as it gets very busy/hectic after school. I don't let children bring their own food as it does cause problems with the others then wanting the same. I'm sure if you have a friendly chat with her you can come to some sort of agreement. smile

kathryng90 Tue 02-Dec-14 20:53:19

I am happy to reheat food for tea for parents who require it. I give tea to those whose parents send it and snack to those who prefer to eat at home. Altogether at 4.15. Sometimes some comments from kids but I always say so and so mum/dad send tea and you will have yours at home. Never a real problem

PhoebeMcPeePee Tue 02-Dec-14 21:19:21

I never understand why people give lunch so early as of course your child is starving by mid afternoon - I'd be asking if she can push lunch a bit later (mid morning snack will sort earlier hunger) AND give a more substantial snack of fruit plus scone/cake/toast etc or reinstate his hot meal (or last resort heat one you send).

I don't blame her for stopping meals if your DC is the only one eating & she's not increased her prices BUT you can't just do it & not tell parents ffs!!!! Definitely needs a proper discussion

Starlightbright1 Tue 02-Dec-14 21:29:27

I would want a daily menu for a 2 year old. My mindees are a mix. the younger ones bring food in. I let all the parents know what food has been given and eaten.

The food she is giving is a snack not a light meal. where is the balance, no protein. Infact I have one who has tea at home so give her a snack at home while the others are eating tea which is similar to this.I would want a food diary . It sounds like she is cutting corners not providing enough to eat.

HSMMaCM Tue 02-Dec-14 22:16:54

She maybe does an early lunch to fit in with afternoon pre school, or naps before school runs, or something, but should not let small children go hungry.

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