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Unsure About Childminder For 2.5 Y/O DS(19 Posts)
Hi. Sorry for the long post!
Just looking for some opinions re: childcare for our 2.5 y/o DS, who is our first and only child.
He’s been with a childminder since April, staying with her three hours, twice a week. We began with a settling in period and slowly increased to where we are now. She has 2 other children with her when our DS is there, one of them being older and one younger. It’s worth pointing out that we didn’t place him with a childminder due to work, but rather because back in April, he was very anxious around anyone other than his parents and grandparents, so we thought that some time with a childminder would increase his confidence around others.
Well, four months on and he is much, much more confident around other people, in fact, he is even an extrovert nowadays - talking to everyone on the bus, engaging with total strangers everywhere he goes and totally unphased by social gatherings.
The problem is that his childminder has told us that he is very anxious with her and that he needs a lot of her attention, which is difficult because she has to devote time to the other children. She has told us that he wants to stay very close to her all the time and that this has gotten worse since he missed a week with her due to our holiday a couple of months ago.
She is concerned that she has a new baby joining the group in September and this will greatly reduce the time she can spend with our DS.
She has asked what he is like at home and we’ve told her that he is happy and confident and she has asked if she can come to our home and observe us with him. This request has surprised us and I’m not sure it’s even worth it, as the dynamic will totally change with her here anyway. I suspect that she thinks we over-indulge him, but we don’t - we ensure that he has time to play independently every day, and he does this for around 30 minutes at a time.
So, as it seems that he is only having problems with the childminder, and at home we are very happy with his development, we’re wondering if we should call an end to the childminding and take stock for a while.
She has told us that she would like to increase his hours with her to help settle him, but if he is not happy there, I am not keen on this.
Probably worth mentioning that the past month or so, he has stopped doing poos with the childminder and apparently can become quite upset if she changes his nappy. She has told us that it's actually quite normal for children to withhold poos with a childminder, though. He is pooing fine at home.
Any opinions very much appreciated. Thank you.
Before I got to the bit where you said she suggested increasing his hours, I was going to suggest the same. Three hours x twice a week isn't really that long a session for him to get used to it and to relax.
However, you said you started him going because he was anxious around others - it doesn't seem as if it's being with the CM that is creating the anxiety, but that she has noticed what you'd already noticed ?
What is his speech like, and his understanding of language ?
Hi. thanks for your reply. His speech and understanding was assessed as being is slightly advanced for his age.
Hi there, I find myself agreeing with the previous poster.
Twice a week for 3 hours is a very small amount of time for a toddler- it is so little of their day to day life. It's quite possible that he just isn't getting enough time with her in order to feel comfortable.
If this is the case then leaving your CM may only exaggerate any issues your son has with strangers. It is one thing to be confident and happy when mum's there- but ideally your DS could build up a few other relationships with people who have not always been in his life e.g. the childminder. There really isn't a better way to help your child adjust to other things in life e.g. starting school and having to build a relationship with his teacher.
Best of luck
Agree with the previous posters. Two year olds find it very difficult to understand the concept of time and twice a week for a couple of hours is just not regular enough for him to be really settled in a routine there. I think the childminder is right that you could increase his hours. IMO, the reason that he is now outgoing with you is just that - because he has learned from the childminders that other people are not necessarily terrifying but it is easy for him to be sociable with them when he is WITH you. At the childminders he needs her support in order to feel as confident as he does with you. Also if he has only been going since April, building up to only 6 hours a week, and you have had a week's holiday, it's barely enough time for him to have settled in at all.
I agree 3 hrs twice isn't very long. In that time he is just playing really and I assume isn't learning to nap, eat, be comforted etc by others.
I would see if you can change his hours to one full day maybe. 9-5pm one day. Means he gets town to be taken on day trips in the summer, and to have a full day with others
However, counteracting that, my eldest didn't ever go to any childcare, did stay with grandparents sometimes ( once a month), and settled in fine at school at 4 1/2 years old and is now 6 and perfectly happy and confident with others. At 2 1/2 he wouldn't have been either. If he doesn't need childcare, I would also suggest taking him out, and starting again next summer when he's that bit older.
Agree 3hrs twice a week isn't enough
Tho I do worry at her remark that she may not have enough time for him when a new baby comes
A good cm should be able to look after the needs of all her children - so if she has your ds at 2.5 and another younger one - yet alone a baby then do you think she will be able to cope? Plus the older one which I assume will be at school or she will have 4 under 5
I assume that the older one will be at school from september, yes.
Bit concerned about something the CM said to my partner yesterday on collecting him - that last Friday she was almost crying because she found it so hard to deal with his anxiety. I'm just surprised by this. Also, she clarified that she would like to observe him at home with us for two hours, so that she can try to learn how we encourage him to play by himself.
I hear what you're saying - that 2 x 3 hours isn't very much - but I can't help but think that if the only time he is anxious is with the CM, then why are we sending him there? What is he getting out of it? He is very confident when with us, and maybe that's enough to expect of a child under three? I'm pretty confused about what's best for him right now to be honest. We just want to do what's best for him.
If the reason you sent him to a cm was to help with his anxiousness around adults and to play with other children
Then I would send him to nursery /pre school and be in the same age group as others
Tho again really needs to be more then 2 X 3hrs
Sounds like you have lost faith in your cm
I've just remembered that the CM actually said that she was almost crying because she felt that she had let DS down, which is sweet, but doesn't help me to feel confident about her relationship with him.
Thanks for all your replies - it's very helpful to read your thoughts, to try and think about this more objectively (if that's even possible when thinking about our kids)
I'm not surprised you are losing confidence in the cm. I would be as well after the crying comments.
But it does sound as if she's trying.
How does she say his anxiousness manifests itself when he's there?
She says he won't try new activities and wants to asks to sit on her lap a lot.
It's not unusual for young children to act very differently when away from their parents than they do at home.
As others have said you need to send him for more hours as with those hours it may be that he isn't yet properly settled with the childminder. Also, maybe a busier setting like preschool as Blondes suggested could be useful
I think the CM is trying to tell you gently that it's not working for her
I think you need to try a nursery
I think you need a nursery too. And he needs to go for more hours.
I think children settle better when they get used to a setting for a longer period of time. Quite a few nurseries wont accept children for fewer than two days a week because its too hard for them to settle in otherwise.
Not a good handover this morning - DS was cheerful and immediately walked up to the CM to start a conversation but she looked completely grumpy, no smile and he understandably responded by backing away, looking worried and asked me to pick him up.
Re: the CM trying to gently tell us that it's not working, we actually asked her last week if she thought it was a good idea to take a break from childcare until he's a bit older, if it isn't working for her and she said that she doesn't want to. It's all getting a bit confusing. If she's happy to have him why tell us that she's been close to tears, feels that she's failing him and being so grumpy?
I'd move on from her. Life is difficult enough without having to second guess and be stressed about how your childminder is feeling!
Are there any good nurseries near you?
Move on. Maybe preschool/nursery 3x a week from September?
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