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Sour times with childminder

(37 Posts)
DecisionTime1 Thu 29-Oct-15 21:26:49

My two children have been with their childminder for a few years. She recently chose to tell me she thinks one of them is autistic and that I should "get him checked" (he isn't, by the way - he just didn't like her so wouldn't make eye contact!)

As a family we were so upset that an unqualified (as in, not a psychologist) person would even consider saying this, let alone be thinking it for over a year, that we terminated her contract, gave her four weeks notice, and have now found a new nanny.

In the meantime, she is now spreading rumours among mutual friends that only contain half the story - that I sacked her, that she lost her job for being honest etc...

But surely, a childminder can't say things like that and expect to keep her job??

lostscot Thu 29-Oct-15 21:34:10

Is the not making eye contact a one off or has he never liked her? If she's thought it for a year she surely saw more than just that. I actually feel sorry for the childminder....

PowerPantsRule Thu 29-Oct-15 21:38:30

It's very unprofessional to talk and spread rumours after a charge has left.

Threesoundslikealot Thu 29-Oct-15 21:39:49

You can, especially with lots of experience of children, recognise markers for ASD, and raising it with you as a possibility sounds like the right thing to do. Her version sounds quite accurate from what you say.

Saying that a child might be autistic isn't an insult.

DecisionTime1 Thu 29-Oct-15 21:40:41

He was fine with her, then she took maternity leave and they had a different childminder for a few months. But when they went back, he really wasn't happy about it, and it got worse over the year. He makes eye contact with everyone else, including her husband and children!

DecisionTime1 Thu 29-Oct-15 21:42:18

she doesn't have lots of experience. She has her own, looked after 2 before, and then had my 2.
It was more the way she brought the subject up, and rather than ask if he had issues with eye contact with others, just said to "get him checked". I found that offensive and insulting.

wakeupandsmellthecoffee Thu 29-Oct-15 21:46:49

Surely you don't think that someone who has spent a few years with your child would say something like this lightly.
She obviously believes what she is saying to you is the truth and that if you did ask a professional medical practitioner their opinion on wether your child had autism or not was a helpful suggestion.
Just because you don't like or agree with what someone says doesn't make it untrue .
Sometimes unqualified people spend alot of time with a child.They have years of child rearing and can compare development milestones.Just because she's unqualified doesn't make her stupid or horrible .
Personally I would have thought hey this woman knows my child I will have him checked out.
A to stop her worrying about him and B to prove to myself that she was wrong .

Jackie0 Thu 29-Oct-15 21:49:22

'Damned if you do, damned if you don't ' is the phrase I often think of in situations like these.
I've kept my suspicions to myself in the past and it has turned out there actually was cause for concern.
I'm doing this job a long time now and have more confidence in my own judgement and we do have a duty to discuss concerns such as these.
Your cm will not have said this on a whim .
It isn't something any parent wants to hear .

PowerPantsRule Thu 29-Oct-15 22:35:33

She should not be talking about you or your son after you have left. The fact that she is talking about her 'suspicions' and spreading rumours implies to me that she is not professional enough to spot ASD!

HSMMaCM Fri 30-Oct-15 08:01:15

She doesn't sound very experienced or professional, but was right to raise concerns.

I raised concerns with parents, with documented evidence of everything I'd seen. I didn't attempt a diagnosis and they were very upset. Their child is now statemented and still comes to me.

Talking about you after you left is definitely unprofessional. Children come and go for a variety of reasons. It's part of the job and a risk of being self employed.

Only1scoop Fri 30-Oct-15 08:08:52

'Been with the childminder for a few years'

You must have thought she was pretty good for a very long time then.

NuffSaidSam Fri 30-Oct-15 08:43:35

You have behaved badly.

Children who show signs of autism or any SN's are not first noticed by 'psychologists'. Do you know why? Because most people don't get their child routinely checked by psychologists. Concerns are raised by parents, teachers, childcarers etc, people who know the child and see the child on a daily basis. Then you go to someone qualified to investigate further and possibly be given a diagnosis. If only psychologists were allowed to raise the question no-one would be diagnosed, ever. Or we would all have to go for regular psychologist check-ups!

So in answer to your question 'But surely, a childminder can't say things like that and expect to keep her job??.....yes they can. It's part of their duty of care to raise any concerns they have. The same goes for teachers and other people involved in your child's care. Raising a concern of autism or SN's is not an insult. If you perceive it as an insult you need to have a look at your attitudes towards people with ASD or other SN's.

I do understand that she didn't express it well and would have been better and more professional to raise her concerns as a list of issues rather than suggesting autism. Badly communicated concerns are really not a reason to end a contract with a childminder who you have previously liked though. It's extremely harsh to end the relationship because a genuine concern was badly expressed, and that's all it was. She wasn't insulting you or your son, or having a go or anything, just raising a concern.

With regard to the rumours bit....I'm not sure that telling people factually what happened actually counts as 'rumours'. You say she's telling people 'that I sacked her, that she lost her job for being honest'. Maybe read your OP back because based on what you've said...'She recently chose to tell me she thinks one of them is autistic and that I should "get him checked" 'we were so upset that we terminated her contract' that seems to be exactly what happened?!

Spreading rumours is unacceptable. Telling your friends factually why your employment ended is fair enough.

Jackie0 Fri 30-Oct-15 09:29:37

Your son wouldn't make eye contact with her and it got worse over the year?
That is unusual you know and its certainly a situation that warrants some attention, were you not concerned ?
Even if it wasn't a marker for SN , which as others have pointed out is not an insult , it is likely to indicate that he was unhappy.
So she should have said nothing then. A more unprofessional CM would have said nothing and just took your money.
You have treated her badly OP but she is better off without you, so I guess its all for the best.

HSMMaCM Fri 30-Oct-15 13:58:07

If she said, "I have some concerns about your son" and then discussed them and said that they could be an indicator of something like autism, then that would be professional.

If she said, "I think you son has autism", then (unless she's a qualified person), this is pure speculation and unprofessional.

Either way, hopefully she was trying to help your family.

If she has told people when out and about that she has lost some income, due to a family giving notice, then this is simply the truth. If she has told people that she told you your son has autism and you refused to believe her and walked out, then she should not have done that.

AnyoneButAndre Fri 30-Oct-15 14:08:26

Surely you did sack her for being honest though? Rightly or wrongly she suspected ASD, she told you that and you sacked her. How is that not being sacked for being honest?

And yes, children only ever get ASD diagnoses because unqualified people with a bit of knowledge say "I think something's a bit unusual, maybe ASD? You should maybe talk to a professional." That's exactly how the system works.

lovelynannytobe Fri 30-Oct-15 17:17:40

You have been very unreasonable. Yes, a childminder can say things like that. Actually it's her duty to tell you if she has concerns. And actually I can tell you from my own experience that starting a conversation like that is not's easier not to say anything.
What she is telling her/your friends is not a rumor ... she's telling the truth. It's ok and vague enough as long as she doesn't go into details.

Bunnyhipsdontliegrl Sat 31-Oct-15 16:45:46

You sound like a horrid person!!!! She didn't do anything bad. I think she had a lucky escape.

ElleAndAitch Sat 31-Oct-15 16:56:45

What Nuffsaidsam said. OP what the devil were you playing at sacking your childminder of several years because she hit a raw nerve - and may possibly have been correct?

BishopBrennansArse Sat 31-Oct-15 17:00:24

Well... She was sacked for being honest, wasn't she?
No rumour there.

Devilishpyjamas Sat 31-Oct-15 17:17:24

It is (or was) her job to raise concerns.

NerrSnerr Sat 31-Oct-15 17:31:32

If my childminder thought my child had autism and didn't tell me I would be very angry. It's her job. She raised concerns.

BlackSwan Sat 31-Oct-15 21:40:24

Your son didn't like his childminder to the point he wouldn't make eye contact with her and you left her to care for him for 'years'. Poor child!
But if she told you to 'get him checked' - in those words, then I would have fired her too. Sounds like he's lucky she finally crossed you. Now he can perhaps be cared for by someone he has better rapport with.

yeOldeTrout Sat 31-Oct-15 21:54:22

She gave an honest opinion & you sacked her. How is her saying that false rumour?

Dinosaursdontgrowontrees Sat 31-Oct-15 22:04:18

Sorry op by yabvvvu. If your childminder was concerned about your child she was 100% right to say something to you. You have been very unfair.

Smartiepants79 Sat 31-Oct-15 22:10:14

She should not be discussing you with others.
However, if she has concerns about your childs behaviour then it is her duty to raise it with you. She may be wrong but she would be failing your son if she said nothing.
Your reaction seems rather extreme and defensive.

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