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Help!! My CM lost my LO for half an hour, what would you do??

(84 Posts)
Loukev08 Wed 04-Feb-15 12:21:49

Hi all

I'm currently so upset at the minute. Yesterday I had a message from my cm asking me to call her when I was at work. I knew it must have been important as she never does this.

Anyway basically she had collected lo from school (he's 4 and immature for his age) and apparently lost him after crossing the busy main road outside school. She took the other kids back to school and got the teachers and older kids looking for him. He was finally found scared and crying for mummy walking alongside the main road by a lady and some senior school children. She told me he had run off and hidden behind the nearby bus shelter and she hadn't thought to look there even tho she said the older children she collects regularly run there. I was lost for words and in shock but when I finally got home my husband and I were so angry that we pay this CM to protect and keep our lo safe and she didn't. When I walked him this morning I viewed this bus shelter and because of its design you can see all the way round it as it's clear glass and if lo went behind it he would have been easily seen! I sat lo down last night and chatted to him and he was really upset and asked me not to leave him again. He also said she shouted at him and told him he was very naughty, I have since discovered from the teachers and headmaster today that when CM collects the children she never holds their hands or gets them to hold each other's hands and they are always running about everywhere, to me this is NOT acceptable for 4yr olds when you on main roads.

When I spoke to her about it she got very upset and when I asked why she stated "people will talk about me behind my back and the teachers will bad mouth me to parents" hmmm excuse me but no mention of losing a little boy just her own selfishness.

I have totally terminated my contract with her with immediate effect and she now wants 4wks pay as per the contract but I am not paying her as I feel she was in breach of her contract by not protecting my baby.

I just wondered what other ppl thought please and Tia xxx

InfinitySeven Wed 04-Feb-15 12:26:59

Most childminder contracts have a clause that essentially means that you don't pay notice if the childminder significantly breaches her contract, usually by putting children in danger or failing to meet their needs. Check yours carefully.

If she has a lot of four year olds, is she definitely within her ratios? It's been a while since I looked at them but they used to be quite low, certainly not enough that you should lose control.

rumbleinthrjungle Wed 04-Feb-15 12:37:00

You need to let Ofsted know. She may already have done this as a serious incident. This happens to good parents and toddlers like to hide,but of course you are very upset. I would not pay the notice period either. Does she have a complaints policy you can follow?

SunnyBaudelaire Wed 04-Feb-15 12:40:14

"I have totally terminated my contract with her with immediate effect and she now wants 4wks pay as per the contract but I am not paying her as I feel she was in breach of her contract by not protecting my baby."

Do not pay her and if she starts huffing and puffing about the 'contract' tell her to bring it on! She won't of course, she wouldn't want this dragged through the courts.

Saltire Wed 04-Feb-15 12:44:04

definitely let OFSTED know, and check your contract, there should be a complaints procedure. She needs to write out a new risk assesment to cover this, even if you choose to remove your child from her setting she still needs to make sure this doesn't happen again.

As for paying notice, if she has breached any part of the contract - specifically under the Keeping your child safe (or words to that effect) part then you shouldn't have to pay her

Only1scoop Wed 04-Feb-15 12:45:00

I literally felt sick when I read the 'lost for half an hour'. Your dc is 4 this is outrageous.

Please contact Ofsted and protect others using this 'childminder'

Loukev08 Wed 04-Feb-15 12:54:12

How do I find out if she has reported this incident to Ofsted?? Since I terminated my contract I haven't heard a word from her but dreading bumping into her at school later. I feel so let down, I know 4yo are mischievous but it's her job and he should have been in her sights constantly. That is my opinion, would be great to hear a CM's professional opinion.

Only1scoop Wed 04-Feb-15 12:56:31

Regardless of her following correct procedure or not....I would waste no time in reporting....

SunnyBaudelaire Wed 04-Feb-15 12:56:33

I would phone OFSTED and find out if it were me Louke.
and yes she should have been watching him and had systems in place.
but she did not. therefore she has failed as a childminder really.

SunnyBaudelaire Wed 04-Feb-15 12:57:18

most schools would not recommend childminders anyway but make sure the school knows about this too.

katymason01 Wed 04-Feb-15 13:03:23

I'm not a childminder but a parent of an almost 2 yr old, who runs off all the time, I don't know how childminders keep track but schools are manic at drop off/pick up times and if ur son ran off its not her fault, there could have been 30people in the way so she couldnt get to him before loosing site of him, does she have a pushchair and younger ones to walk/push along its very hard to get through a crowd of people to get to a child that runs off, she wouldn't be able to hold all the kids hands and push a buggy, most school age children know about dangers of running off and know not to. Would u like ur child put in a buggy or on reins, I think she did the right thing and followed procedure trying to find him. U should pay her its not her fault it's not like she left him somewhere hehe ran off. Also he did need to be told off so he knows not to do it again.

notonyourninny Wed 04-Feb-15 13:07:58

I can understand your upset but Im on the fence im afraid. Your child id is 4 and at school, he should know not to run off. No wonder she td him off.

Jinglebells99 Wed 04-Feb-15 13:13:03

Hmm I'm not sure about blaming the child minder for this either. Your child ran off and hid. She looked for him and got help in doing so. What else could she have done? At 4, he should know not to run off.

Fluffyemenent Wed 04-Feb-15 13:16:14

He is 4 and at school he is not a baby. He really should know better and I would go ballistic at my 4 year old for running off if this happened.

If he is incapable of complying with simple safety instructions you are going to need to pay a one to one nanny to pick him up.

PS I am not surprised she shouted at him it must have scarred the crap out of her.

Loukev08 Wed 04-Feb-15 13:18:20

She doesn't have any pushchairs and most of the kids are older, I'm sorry but i think small reception children should be made to hold hands when it's busy and especially over main roads. I know my lo and he would not just run off on his own unless he was following someone he has always done whatever his carers have told him to do. He may be 4 and he may be at school but I pay her to keep him safe and she should take reasonable steps to do this and I feel she did not.

LittleBairn Wed 04-Feb-15 13:19:40

You did the right thing in giving notice, I would also inform Ofstead.
But unless there is a clause like infinity says you are going to have to pay her unless you want to end up in the small claims court.
Be very careful what you say to others too because if you damage her business you may end up being sued for slander.

But you do need to accept some of the responsibility at 4 years old and at school your DS is old enough to know better than run off and not return when called. If he had behaved as he should have this incident wouldn't have happened.
The not holding hand thing, well that the problem with having a childminder your child won't get individual attention if she has other children.

Pico2 Wed 04-Feb-15 13:21:21

It is the adult's responsibility not to lose the child. While a 4 yo might play up a bit, the CM should have the skills to manage that.

Report to ofsted and get a new CM.

Don't play her anything for notice, losing a child for 30 min is breech of contract.

Only1scoop Wed 04-Feb-15 13:21:22

Of course they should be holding hands.... and if she has a few charges in her care identifiable by high viz surely?

Half an hour.... I lost my dd in ikea once for less than 5 mins felt like 3 hours.

Bluepants Wed 04-Feb-15 13:23:33

I'm not a CM but have occasionally picked up other people's 4yos. I have always held their hands and would never consider letting them out of my sight. I'd not pay her the 4wks.

SunnyBaudelaire Wed 04-Feb-15 13:23:40

not all CMs are kind to the children in their care, IME. does he run off with you OP?

HSMMaCM Wed 04-Feb-15 13:24:13

Whether she has reported it to Ofsted or not, you can. She shod absolutely know where the children are at all times and if a 4 year old is a runner, then holding her hand, rather than another child. Our local primary schools recommend me, because they know I am strict in safety. You should put your complaint to her in writing and check the small print in your contract.

Loukev08 Wed 04-Feb-15 13:28:19

He always holds my hand, if she couldn't hold his hand surely they should been holding each other's, they are all boys and only 4yo fgs, they are still babies!!!

adsy Wed 04-Feb-15 13:28:48

not all CMs are kind to the children in their care, IME
Nice sunny and not all parents are kind, but you'll find the vast vast majority of CM's rea kind otherwise they'd get a different job. Are you implying the CM is so horrible the child ran away from her, rather than he was being a naughty 4 yo?

SunnyBaudelaire Wed 04-Feb-15 13:30:06

it is possible yes. I know that parents are not always kind too btw.
I had to sack our childminder who was enabling me to work as she was so very unkind. Do you want details?

adsy Wed 04-Feb-15 13:30:48

You don't sack a CM. They are self employed

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