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Concerned about childminder - are these things normal?

(44 Posts)
Roeslein Wed 30-Jan-19 09:20:41

DS is 4.5 months old and will be starting at a childminder's in the next few weeks, first for 20 hours a week (while I am in training) and then full time when I start a new job in April. Unfortunately we didn't actually choose the childminder - she was the only one in the area with a place and the hours we needed. (I do know there are fantastic CMs out there and given the choice, we might not have chosen her.)

She is older with 4 grown children and always came across as a bit old-school. However, during our last meeting (after we signed the contract), she talked about a baby she used to leave alone behind a closed door for hours because she would not stop crying and "there was nothing she could do". She also mentioned occasionally leaving children with her son or daughter-in-law (who live in the same building) while she ran errands. As far as I know these people have not been vetted. This is only information she volunteered, so I can only imagine what she is not telling us.

We recently relocated due to my husband's job and have no family or friends nearby. We looked into other options (other CMs, nanny, nursery) but none of these were feasible for various reasons. I can't bear imagining DS being left alone in a room crying and I am very worried about an accident happening, but I feel my hands are tied. What can I do? I have thought of showing up unexpectedly to pick up DS to ensure everything looks ok but sadly this is likely not feasible with our jobs. Even if I were to report her - so what? We will still need childcare. Do you have any advice?

OP’s posts: |
StealthPolarBear Wed 30-Jan-19 09:21:54

No no no!!

Auntiepatricia Wed 30-Jan-19 09:22:36

Sorry but there HAS to be some other option. Even if it costs more.

StealthPolarBear Wed 30-Jan-19 09:22:37

Sorry I realise it's hard but you need another solution

WhoTFIsAlanBrazil Wed 30-Jan-19 09:22:40

This would make me very uneasy OP.

Is there any local playgroup or similar where you could ask other parents for recommendations?

StealthPolarBear Wed 30-Jan-19 09:23:45

Our old cm, who I actually had quite a few issues with, did used to leave my DD with her DH and occasionally her cm friend. But she rang me in advance every time (until her DH was formally registered as her assistant)

guineapig1 Wed 30-Jan-19 09:24:31

There’s no way I would leave my DC with this woman. Did you ask for references? I would seriously be revisiting other options in your position. Can you defer your return to work?

Tensixtysix Wed 30-Jan-19 09:26:23

Is she OFSTED registered?

Tensixtysix Wed 30-Jan-19 09:27:29

Have a look on www.childcare.co.uk

StrongTea Wed 30-Jan-19 09:28:52

Sounds too casual, childminding is her job, she is responsible not her family.

flojo73 Wed 30-Jan-19 09:29:45

She sounds totally unsuitable. Dont leave your baby with her, you obviously have huge reservations so why would you even start leaving your child with her?
My son went to a childminder who used to sit him in a closed hallway whilst he cried. I so regret leaving him there(he didnt stay after I realised what she was doing-there were other issues that also came to light).
My son is 10 now, and I still feel awful that I left him with such an unsuitable CM.

LordPickle Wed 30-Jan-19 09:29:52

Do not leave your child with her. There is a childminder exactly like her that goes to our playgroup and she is awful. She leaves the babies in a pushchair in the hallway the entire 2 hours whether they're sleeping, crying or just sitting there etc and the older toddlers always have snot all over their faces and she is so strict with them. She yells at them and talks to them horribly. I can't imagine what type of parent would leave their child with such a woman.

Your child is your most precious treasure. You must leave her with someone you trust and know she is safe and well cared for.

flojo73 Wed 30-Jan-19 09:30:59

My son was a year old when he was with the CM

LordPickle Wed 30-Jan-19 09:31:06

Sorry, him not her!

Do you have a village fb page? Post on there and ask for recommendations.

Tensixtysix Wed 30-Jan-19 09:31:30

OP. Seriously, DO NOT go with this so called CM. I used to be one years ago and already alarm bells are ringing!

Gottalovesummer Wed 30-Jan-19 09:32:11

I'm a cm and would strongly advise you to find alternative care.

No baby/child should be left alone to cry. She should be holding baby/comforting/singing/soothing. That's what childminders do, we do not leave babies behind closed doors for hours. What the hell is she thinking?

And we don't/can't leave minded children with random people, family or not.

She needs reporting.

Please find someone else for your baby x

woolduvet Wed 30-Jan-19 09:32:21

Your contract should have an immediate out clause within the first month

Iloveyoubaby26 Wed 30-Jan-19 09:33:42

Oh no she sounds awful. No way I'd leave my baby with her.

bobstersmum Wed 30-Jan-19 09:35:55

Your hands are not tied. Just tell her what you've told her, that you won't be sending him, and if she has a problem you will explain to ofsted your reasons.

bobstersmum Wed 30-Jan-19 09:41:59

I have to add that I see many childminders at dc school. A worrying amount of them drag the children along and have no sort of interaction with them, and are using their phones instead of talking to the children. It really does seem like just a job to the majority of the ones around here, and they all seem to look miserable! Obviously I know that there are amazing childminders around but I honestly think they are few and far between.
At the end of the day your child's life is in their hands, it's so important to make sure they will be safe and happy!

RicStar Wed 30-Jan-19 09:48:36

Not normal or ok OP. I am afraid you need to start thinking about what you would do if this option was not available (as effectively it is not). Nursery near your dp work? Delay the training / new job.

MaverickSnoopy Wed 30-Jan-19 09:48:36

As a PP says, is she Ofsted registered? Also, does she have a current DBS? If she leaves children with family members they should also have a DBS. In fact any person over 18 living with her should have a valid DBS. I've done all the childminder training (not yet registered - new baby and it's next on my list) and let me tell you it sounds like she falls short of meeting safeguarding requirements if she's leaving children with people with no DBS and certainly lacking in safeguarding of their emotional needs if she's leaving them crying in another room.

I've been in your shoes - only one available childminder - thankfully she was a godsend. However had she not been there is no way in hell I would have used her. I would have found another form of childcare and if there really was nothing, then another job with different hours with compatible childcare.

If you can't find something can you continue with mat leave until you can?

Roeslein Wed 30-Jan-19 09:54:11

Thanks everyone for commenting. It's helpful to have an outside perspective. I find it scary that she just told us about these as if they were completely normal things to do. It really makes me wonder what is she is not saying.

To clarify, we have been looking for alternatives. We found a place at a great day nursery, but it's only from September. I'm starting a new role (we have recently moved for his job) so I don't have any flexibility re: hours etc. but my husband is looking to take leave from work for two months over the summer. So that would leave about three months to cover. We can't afford a nanny and the other CMs in the areas don't offer full-time care.

OP’s posts: |
Roeslein Wed 30-Jan-19 10:00:32

And yes she is registered / certified. She has been a CM for 30 years apparently., which is why I wasn't sure if I was right to be concerned.

OP’s posts: |
scrawnybutscrumptious Wed 30-Jan-19 10:15:13

I would not leave my child with this person. She had a complete lack of professionalism, is not nurturing (leaving baby to cry) and is not prioritising child's safety and care. You can't just leave children with others who aren't registered.

I sympathise with your lack of options, but I would try everything to find an alternative. Perhaps a temporary nanny for those three months before nursery place opens, or contact local council offices for numbers. Even going out with the area for an free months. Don't worry about having signed a contract. Explain that for the reasons you've told us, you've decided to withdraw agreement and look elsewhere. If she gives you a hard time then Ofsted should be informed.

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