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Childminder Issues

(50 Posts)
ZL1986 Fri 22-Sep-17 18:50:23

Hi, I'm kind of at tethers end, so I thought I'd come here for advice dealing with an unreasonable childminder and what my options are moving forward.

Circumstance is this, myself and my ex separated from each other 2 years ago, we both made pickups and dropoffs to our Childminder we selected because of her "exceptional" status prior to our breakup. We have two boys; 5 and 2.

Since the breakup, I've been trying to have more involvement with my kids in respects to their education and their everyday activities. The childminder in question has flatly refused to give me any feedback with the kids; stating she has no time to provide feedback, doesn't want me collecting from her setting because my ex partner is paying for childcare, she doesn't need to include me in any reports or give any information as to the children's progress education wise. Basically, been removed as a "father" full stop after making suggestions to provide reports, or just a phone call to tell me how the lads are progressing education wise.

There are no court orders in place and I haven't been anything other than a father wanting to play an active role in being an inclusive parent in their upbringing. It left me with no choice but to contact OFSTED as she is a registered childminder and they informed me that as a parent of equal PR I was not in the wrong for wanting to play an active role and she is wrong to not include me in any of my children's progression; either by self advice or by request of my ex partner. Needless to say I received a very aggressive phone call from herself and she finally made the assurities to myself that I would receive a monthly report as the my son's progress.

This has happened ONCE a few months ago and when I received the report it was poor to say the least; with numerous spelling mistakes and when I asked another childminder to look at it, they saw a complete lack of understanding of the EYFS and my children's observations when compared.

I have raised the issue with my ex partner and she doesn't seem to bothered to say the least; until I brought criticism and OFSTED into the mix, then she says our Childminder is not in the wrong.

Am I being unreasonable for wanting to play a more included role in being a father considering the circumstances? I have informed OFSTED of the updated issues revolving around failed promises and a complete lack of empathy in understanding that I do have rights as a father.

Am I wrong? Where do I go from here?

BackforGood Fri 22-Sep-17 23:19:57

YANBU to want to be involved in your boys' lives however
YABVVVU to use the CM to play 'piggy in the middle'.

CMs do not 'provide reports'.

YABU to involve OFSTED when there is no question over her care and provision for the dc she is minding.

YABVVVVU to criticise her literacy skills.

Sort out your contact time with your ex partner and then you will see how your boys are doing.

BackieJerkhart Fri 22-Sep-17 23:28:41

YABU to involve OFSTED when there is no question over her care and provision for the dc she is minding.

Umm, the childminder refused to allow a parent to collect their own child. Bloody sure you involve OFSTED for that!! I'd have called the police. She has no right to refuse to hand over a child to anyone with PR!!

Personally OP if possible I would sack this childminder on your contact days and find someone else who actually knows the law!

RandomMess Fri 22-Sep-17 23:33:17

What do you mean by "exceptional status"

llangennith Fri 22-Sep-17 23:53:13

Whatever your issue with your ex or the CM please put the needs of your children first. The CM's job is to look after the children in her care and see to their needs. She is probably providing much needed stability in their lives at a time they clearly need it.
Do the decent thing and sort out any problems about daily feedback etc with your ex, and don't involve the CM. Your children will not benefit from any of your current actions.

Snap8TheCat Sat 23-Sep-17 07:10:36

Where does it say she refused to hand over the children? It doesn't, just that she doesn't want him to collect. Probably due to his aggressiveness towards. Understandable really as a lone worker in her own home.

I think he probably meant graded outstanding not exceptional status.

Caulkheadupnorf Sat 23-Sep-17 07:23:01

Does the CM use tapestry or a similar programme to show photos and report how your children are meeting EYFS? Maybe ask if she can? I don't know loads about it but many round here use it.

Issummeroveryet Sat 23-Sep-17 08:06:41

On days you collect its not unreasonable to expect a 'handover' and a quick run down of what your children have been doing during the day. For anything more in-depth you should ask to see your child's learning journey, it will have observations of things they've been doing and also next steps to bring your child on. You probably only need to see this a couple of times a year, maybe termly at a push. She cannot deny you access to it. I've had experience with a childminder unwilling to share information (exdp) it became apparent why when the child left and they were asked for the learning journey, there were around 5 pages in 2 years of being there. Its NU to want to know how your children are progressing.

NapQueen Sat 23-Sep-17 08:11:50

Childminders dont provide reports. Nor do they do regular phone calls to update parents on progress. A short c9nversation about the day at pick up time is sufficient. And if you arent the one doing pick up then that isnt the cms concern.

NamedyChangedy Sat 23-Sep-17 08:20:27

The CM probably feels like you're harassing her and wants as little to do with you as possible. Using her as a crutch for your lack of communication with your ex-partner is very unfair. There's no reason why OFSTED should be involved in this, and her ability to spell is completely irrelevant. I'd suggest you focus on your priority here (your boys) and stop taking your issues out on innocent third-parties.

Snap8TheCat Sat 23-Sep-17 09:07:26

It's not a statutory requirement to produce a written learning journey. Many do because it's a nice thing to have and evidence to show OFSTED but by no means is it a must.

Hissy Sat 23-Sep-17 09:15:57

Ironic OP that you question her literacy when your’s ain’t that much either.

I suggest your issue is with your ex wife

She must have given instructions to the CM. I suggest that you get legal advice to work out where the lines are drawn over your PR and the CM responsibility to the parent who pays her.

Perhaps if you agree to split cm fees and you BOTH pay her, perhaps then she will honour her responsibilities to her clients

However, as she’s got poor grasp of the EYS structure, perhaps it’s time to source another cm. a calm solicitor letter explaining your legal standpoint, the right to information and collection of your child and appropriate involvement in the care of your dc might focus the minds of your ex and this cm.

Maryann1975 Sat 23-Sep-17 20:50:03

Hmm, Childminder's are meant to work in partnership with parents. This cm is not doing this at the moment. Ofsted were really hot on how I do this when I was inspected last year so I think the cm needs to up her game. Is there any more back story with your relationship with the cm?
I think you might need a proper agreement with your ex in regard to where you both stand, she could maybe be providing you with copies of any paperwork she gets from the cm (like 2 year check) or passing on the learning journal when she gets it so you can see what's going on (although really the cm should be doing this with you herself). I think schools send copies of school reports to both parents if they have split up and the non resident parent requests it- at least our school does.

Tanith Sun 24-Sep-17 11:56:38

I've had this situation with separated parents and I can tell you it can be an absolute nightmare for the childminder. Luckily, most are reasonable and manage to keep their differences at home. A few cannot.

This is your children's childminder. She is not your ex-partner or your ex-partner's solicitor and she's not a mediator between you. She works alone - have you been trying to bully her or been hostile to her?
It can be very, very intimidating having an aggressive parent at the house when you have children to protect.

I took advice from the legal team at the NCMA (now Pacey) about one particularly unpleasant parent and got through to a lovely, but very blunt lawyer who had some scathing remarks about parents who try to involve their childninder in their relationship issues.
I'll repeat his advice here:
"Tell them to sort themselves out, get their contact arrangements properly decided and then tell you in writing what's going on!"

Based on my previous experiences, I can tell you that you are being aggressive and unreasonable if you are doing any of the following:
Turning up to collect your children when you please and not at the arranged time. Of course I don't mean running late, or finishing work early; I mean repeated attempts to control and establish your authority.
Demanding access to your children and your childminder's home when it suits you (as above).
Threatening or taking court action to get what you want.
Threatening or reporting to Ofsted to get what you want. Ofsted will soon get very tired of being used in this way, I can assure you. They're not your mediators either.

Needless to say (and I would hope it's unnecessary for me to remind you), any display of violence, be it verbal or physical, is completely unacceptable.

Sit down with your ex and sort this out between you, with solicitors or mediators if you need them, then your ex can clearly explain it to your childminder, preferably in writing.
Making demands and threatening your childminder when you don't get what you want won't help. She's trying to protect the children, herself and her business.
You need to start reassuring her you're not a threat if you want any kind of working relationship with her.

jannier Sun 24-Sep-17 20:09:55

This is only one side of a story so we should bear that in mind.

Do you feel that the handover or feedback have changed from what they were prior to your relationship breaking up? If for example handover has always been the time for updating progress and now you don't get that on your days....or was it done by a book or online method not seen by you? You could ask that this method is now extended to you by leaving the book in the bag or adding you to contacts like a Whatsapp group or login for online info.....if she never did this before you cant now insist she changes. How interested where you before or is it now only of interest now you are trying to have involvement that you never bothered to have before? I read it that you left it to your other half before and now feel the need to finally step up (sorry if that's wrong) but if so the cm has not changed you have is this to avoid talking to your ex?

HSMMaCM Mon 25-Sep-17 13:49:36

This is a difficult one. She has a contract with your Ex and is being paid by your Ex. Your Ex should be letting her know who is dropping off and picking up. She should also be sharing any assessments with you, if she has them. CMs must know where their mindees are in the EYFS, but this does not need to be a written record. Most do have a written record, because it's easier to demonstrate to parents and Ofsted. There will be a formal assessment of some kind at around age 2.

However ... when I have dealt with divorced parents, I have taken the email addresses of both parents and sent any information to both of them. Try and work with your CM, via your Ex if necessary.

If the parent who did not sign the contract and pay started making demands on the doorstep, I would have to take steps to protect myself and the other children in my care.

Please do not make the CM the piggy in the middle of your relationship, because it won't end well for you, or your child.

FineAsWeAre Mon 25-Sep-17 15:40:00

It's a difficult one. I can understand your frustration at being told she had no time to give you feedback and that she didn't want you to collect. As someone who has PR, you should be treated equally and if you had followed the cm's complaints procedure and not been satisfied with the outcome then yes Ofsted would be your next port of call. As others have said, there is no obligation to provide updates by phone or in writing, many childcare settings only see one parent or carer on a regular basis and would not offer this.

Sootica12 Thu 28-Sep-17 03:01:17

My son just started going to a child minder. He goes 3 days a week and is 15month. With me he sleeps roughly 2.5hours in one morning and one afternoon with the childminder he is sleeping up to 3.5-5hrsaday. I knew that his structure might change a bit but for a child to sleep more than he is actually awake at that age is just seems weird. There is also no structure -sometimes he sleeps at 9.30-1pm or 10.45-12 and then 2-4.30 I don't understand why things are so different. Any thoughts?

existentialmoment Thu 28-Sep-17 03:17:29

CM has a client who is paying her to look after 2 children. She can provide to that client as agreed in her contract. You are not her client and she does not have to provide you with anything.
Neither does she have to let anyone other than the client collect the children unless client has authorised her to do so.

You seem to have no clue how the childcare/client relationship works. She owes you nothing and you need to back off.

jannier Thu 28-Sep-17 08:09:46


It doesn't say refused to hand over.
If someone is at your door being loud, shouting raised voices etc. the cm has a duty of care to all the children and is ell within their rights to request that this parent does not collect. As you only have one side of the story its hard to decide what could have happened but you can be reasonably sure that something did happen as the cm has no reason to just be nasty. Normally any aggression would be immediate termination but would it be fair to terminate a contract with mum because of dads behaviour? I asked if the service had changed since the separation or if now dad was trying to force changes where he had no interest before (as in the op it suggests this) but there has been no answer.

Why should anyone change and increase their workload at the request of a person not party to the contract specially if the service has been provided and all parties have been happy with it for some time previously.

Dad has now decided he wants to be a parent (great) but you cant expect others to up their work load and change their practices because you suddenly want to be interested you have to do the leg work and be polite and accommodating but the other side of me asks if this is more about control and making it difficult for mum to be at work

BackieJerkhart Thu 28-Sep-17 08:24:16

Neither does she have to let anyone other than the client collect the children unless client has authorised her to do so.

Incorrect. She must hand the child over to anyone with PR unless a court order exists preventing that. If the Dad has PR and turns up for the child she can't withhold the child. The same with schools. They can't prevent children going with a person with PR without a court order.

It doesn't say refused to hand over.

True. It does say she

doesn't want me collecting from her setting because my ex partner is paying for childcare

She can be unhappy about it but regardless of who is paying her, if he has PR, she has to hand the child over.

If someone is at your door being loud, shouting raised voices etc. the cm has a duty of care to all the children and is ell within their rights to request that this parent does not collect.

It doesn't say this is what is happening.

Not sure if the rest of your post is addressing me but I ever suggested the CMer should change their practices.

existentialmoment Thu 28-Sep-17 10:55:36

Actually she doesn't. She doesn't have to open her own door to anyone if she chooses not to, and she can refuse to care for children whose NRP attempts to take the children against the wishes of the other parent.

cafeaulaitpourvous Thu 28-Sep-17 11:02:01

I think you might be looking for a new cm OP

BackieJerkhart Thu 28-Sep-17 11:06:35

She can refuse to open her door and the parent would be entitled to call the police as she would be withholding the child from them. Are you seriously saying you think CMers can just refuse to open the door to parents if they don't want to? What if she decided to do it to the mother too so the child wasn't allowed to go with either parent?

and she can refuse to care for children whose NRP attempts to take the children against the wishes of the other parent.

Of course she can, she can refuse to look after any child for any reason. That is very different from refusing to hand over a child to a person who has PR for that child. Legally she cannot prevent that person taking their child. The police would not be on her side if they were called in this scenario.

existentialmoment Thu 28-Sep-17 11:09:32

Police would not be interested in getting involved in that scenario unless someone was causing trouble.

The child goes with the client who employs the childminder. The client says who can pick up child, if she says no-one else then no-one else will be allowed to collect. It is not up to a child minder to check the legal PR status of any person claiming to be a childs parent.

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