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In a mess(17 Posts)
Hey, please help sort my head out, little girl has been with a cm since she was 13m, is now 18m goes 2 days a week, at first I was so happy but as time has gone on I'm getting a gut feeling nothing major but enough to make me want to look about, things like there is more kids there than I though there wud be but in the legal amount, quite different in age and although my baby gets taken out every time I think it's not age related to her, there hasn't been any sort of indoor activities I'm aware off, I can imagine it better/easier to take kids out. And good for them but sometime I wish she was able to stay in have a nap and do a activity. In some of the pictures I'm sent she doesn't really look happy tho I know a picture doesn't capture the day, picked up once with a dirty nappy, I put alway put 6 nappies in, tho normally there's 4 still there! It's a full day! The cm appears lovely and well known where I live, but maybe I'm just being precious I don't know, but it's giving me a headache. I'm wanting her to go to preschool when she's old enough, shall I just stay where I am or shud I find someone else, I do actually know someone, I'm not sure, ugh! I just seem to worry all the time about this.
I think if you're feeling worried all the time, you should try to find another setting for her.
I have friends and family who have had great childminders, but it's not something I could consider - I've seen too many CMs at our local groups / activities ignoring the kids in their care and just not providing a stimulating, age appropriate level of provision.
Have you looked at local nurseries etc?
I have to start with the fact that i have never used a child minder but i do know a couple very well. You will always get a mix of ages at child minders, they are a business and will work to their allowed capacity, this becomes more evident during school holidays. As for activities which are age related, i have the same problem with my dc who are 10, 5 and 3. Sometimes the 10 year old has to suck it up at softplay/sing and sign and other times the 3 year old has to suck it up at the skate park, there are relatively few activities that are not age related and your child does not top trump another child. I know you are paying for a service but so is everybody else, that said if you are unhappy, look around and change provider, im sure ther are some that will specialise in younger children.
To echo a pp - when you say you've been feeling unsure for a while, if you think about it does that mean 'since the start of the school holidays'? I think a childminder is always going to be nicer for a little one when they have quiet time during the day while the big ones are at school. Also, is she happy all day every day while at home? DS definitely has grumpy days at the childminder, and you can see it in the photos, but he has them with us too!
That said, some of the things you say (like the nappies) really aren't great, and if you're not feeling happy then it's just going to niggle at you, so you might be happier elsewhere - but just think hard about what you want and where might best do that. It actually sounds like a nursery - where they won't go out much, everything will be aimed at her age group, and they tend to keep much tighter logs of their day - will be more suited to what you want so I'd at least look at that rather than just changing childminders.
To be fair the nappies thing is about how often I changed mine at home. Unless they'd pooed they don't need new ones constantly.
The activities might just be due to the school holidays.
If you're not happy, look elsewhere.
These things would not really concern me. It is fairly normal for a childminder. I agree that you might be happier with a nursery setting.
The lack of baby focused trips and life revolving around the older ones was what I liked about a childminder when DS1 went. I don't think babies really benefit from lots of baby-specific things - I think they thrive much better when they are being part and parcel of life e.g. with older children, adults etc. A lot of toys and activities specificially aimed at babies I feel can be quite artificial and of limited value. At 18 months is she walking? I would have thought being outdoors would be brilliant, I would not necessarily want her to be stuck indoors all day and this would be a plus for me, over a nursery particularly where they tend to be in the same building/garden area all day every day except for occasional trips. Probably as the weather gets colder over the autumn and winter they will do more indoor things. Have you talked to the childminder about her nap routine and not always looking happy in pictures?
How often are you expecting nappies to be changed? I would not usually expect to use 6 nappies for my 1yo from the time they wake up to the time they go to sleep, she has probably assumed you have packed plenty in case of extras needed. Usually my DS has a change first thing in the morning, mid-morning, mid-afternoon and then when he goes to bed. If he poos shortly after being changed then obviously I would change him again, but if he poos at about 9am for example, then that would count as his mid morning change so he wouldn't need another change until after lunch really. Therefore except for the first thing in the morning and last thing at night (which I assume you do at home) I would find it quite normal to only use two nappies within that time period, maybe up to 4/5 if there were numerous, inconveniently-timed poos (which does happen some days). Disposable nappies are fine to be left for 4-5 hours without a change if only wet, I would find it wasteful to be changing them every couple of hours. It's not good that you once picked her up with a dirty nappy, but perhaps she had only just pooed and the childminder hadn't realised? Hopefully she would have let you change her before leaving anyway.
Your feeling is the most important thing here so if you don't feel happy it's not unreasonable to move her.
If you’re not happy then change childcare provider. Not sure what else to say?
The lack of baby focused trips and life revolving around the older ones was what I liked about a childminder when DS1 went.
This is exactly how I feel too, but it must depend on your child a lot. I literally don't think you could take DS out too much, he loves the noise and bustle of the older ones, and we've never found a nap routine that isn't 'wait until he's absolutely knackered and then he'll fall asleep with 5 minutes of whinging rather than 20 of crying' so lots of on the go naps and going with the the flow a bit works better than a really strict routine. But I can see how it could be very different for a quieter, shyer baby/toddler who thrives with more of a routine.
In a nursery they (here) work on a 4 hour nappy change rota unless needed in between.
A one off mistake that she was picked up with a dirty nappy is ok. It's not ok if that happens a few times or she's not cleaned properly.
Childminders will work to maximum child number as they need to make a decent wage.
Your daughter will go to a mix of age appropriate and not activities to suit all.
That said if you're unhappy , you need to change provision. Feeling confident about her care is very important.
I agree the Cm sounds fine but obviously if you’re not happy you’re welcome to change providers.
Most people are out and about more in the summer holidays, it’s lovely to enjoy parks and picnics and trips or and whilst they aren’t baby specific, your little one will be getting a lot out of watching the others and enjoying nature and the fresh air. Plenty of time for indoor structured activities.
Thanks for replies and somethings I hadn't thought about,
I am on the waiting list for nursery as that would be ideal, but I was told I should of put her name down when pregnant! So doubt I'll get a place much before pre school, and the preschool is linked to the primary so needs to go to have a good chance of that school, im a bit of a remote so not that many options.
I've made these issues worse myself by not saying anything at the time and now it's all building up. Maybe I'll see how this week goes, and ask how she thinks she's doing, but after 5month I would think I would know how she was with them but I don't really, there not much chat at the door which I understand, just hard when I get a photo of her looking a bit sad and lonely with older children when I'm at work 😕
I would not expect chat at the door - children are tired and can play up around a transition like that and standing around chatting about how the day has been prolongs that for them and exacerbates issues, it's usually best to have a swift pick up where you essentially arrive, locate DC, have a quick look at the drawing they've been doing (etc) and leave ASAP. Imagine how long the afternoon would drag if every parent who turned up stayed for a little chat and a cup of tea, especially as pick ups tend to accumulate around dinner time. Perhaps ask her if you could book a time to have a sit down review meeting in a couple of weeks' time as your DD will have been there 6 months? Then you'd have a chance to air your concerns about nappies, outings, naps and activities and she will have a chance to update you about how she feels DD is settling in and getting on. I believe she should be doing EYFS assessments as well, so it would give you chance to go over this. After the six month one you might consider having meetings more like once a year instead.
If you're in England or Wales, use of a preschool does not have any bearing on primary school application, so you might have been misled there. I don't know how it works in Scotland/NI.
Oh yes I haven’t got time for chatting. It’s an incredibly busy time of day, children are fractious and I’m trying to get everyone tidied up, still supervise and get them ready for their parents.
Nappies as someone said I might change 2/3 times a day after morning wake up
Activities prob as holidays been out more
What age children does cm have the days your dd goes
Have you spoken to your childminder at all about your concerns? She can't address any of the issues if she doesn't know about them.
Surely there are only 3, possibly 4 little ones during the day? Or is the issue that there a older children in the school holidays?
Have you discussed sleeping arrangements with the CM, or asked about activities?
Follow your instincts. Mums usually have strong instincts about their children IMO.
Just to point out that not all childminders work to full capacity
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