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CMs - a quick question

(20 Posts)
HarrietTheSpy Tue 15-Jul-08 17:29:05

I am also looking into this option for the DCs when I go back to work...

Just spoke to one and we are going round. She wanted us to come on a Saturday. Said errr not really, would like to see the set up in action if you don't mind. she did agree to it. her objections were that she doesn't like to have time taken away from her mindees.

Fine, but it isn't unreasonable, is it, to want to see her in action so to speak? I found it a little weird to have Saturday suggested.

What do you think?

iMum Tue 15-Jul-08 17:32:09

I can see her point totally, Normally I arrange to see parents and new mindees when Ive no one else around so I can concentrate on them, then if they wanted to come back and see me in action that would be ok, but trying to go over contracts and so on with other mindees there is just not on really.

BoysAreLikeDogs Tue 15-Jul-08 17:33:17

There may well be lot of paperwork that she wants you to look at [understatement]at your first meeting.

I usually meet without any mindees at first then if things look good we progress to coming for coffee to observe how I interact with the children in my care, how I deal with things etc etc.

If she works Mon- Fri then Saturday would really be the only option she could offer

Apart from evenings, just thought of that blush


HarrietTheSpy Tue 15-Jul-08 17:34:39

+My point is after I've agreed I like the set up is the time to talk about contracts and formal arrangements, not before then. How am I supposed to know if I want to go ahead with it all if I've only seen her house in a child free situation?

iMum Tue 15-Jul-08 17:37:52

Because you base you descision on how cm interacts with your child, you look at evidence the cm provides as to what sorts of thing the cm does with the kids-you agree to a settleing in session and also a trial period.

BoysAreLikeDogs Tue 15-Jul-08 17:38:33

Quite right - No need to do contracts until you have seen her in action, she probably wants you to look at her 'portfolio' of work, certificates, policies, examples of the childrens' work, trying to impress you with a tidy house, too IYSWIM

HarrietTheSpy Tue 15-Jul-08 17:40:24

Sorry, not sure about your tone iMum. Those would obviously be a big part of my decision making process but it's one thing to say all of those things and look at paperwork and it's another to see her in action, in my opinion. So, I would definitely not proceed not having seen that, even on a trial period, given the complexities around finding childcare for two children if it doesn't work out.

iMum Tue 15-Jul-08 17:52:40

no tone implied, just typing quickly-niceities are getting lost!

You obviously dont do anything until you are happy with everything-just pointing out that it is somtimes normal to see the cm first when she isnt working.
Then of course, see her again when she is in action if that is what you decide you need to do, and the settleing in session and trial period is advisable even if you are happy with everything.

HarrietTheSpy Tue 15-Jul-08 17:53:04

I should also say to clarify that we've just had a lengthy (20+ min) phone conversation, so coming round would be the coffee that BoysAreLikeDogs suggests really. That's why I was a bit surprised not to be able to proceed with a bit of observation time.

HarrietTheSpy Tue 15-Jul-08 17:53:49

sorry iMum. I'm really being oversensitive. I am really stressed about it all, finances are also playing a factor in things, and I overreacted.

iMum Tue 15-Jul-08 17:56:23

No problemo!

Shoshe Tue 15-Jul-08 19:46:34

I had a lady come with her 20 week old last week, wanting a space for January.

New Mum with a PFB.

It was chaos here, I had 3 under 5, in, 4 schoolies I had just picked up from school, all hungry thirsty and dying to get into the garden to play.

I talked to her as I fed, watered, changed, and talked to the children.

Stopped squabbles, put the sand back into the sand tray after littlest one threw it everywhere and wiped up the juice the other one had split.

I did explain that 3.30 was the most hectic time, and most of the day was calmer.

I thought she would never come to me.

she emailed me that night saying, she thought my setting was great and just what she was looking for.

So in answer to your question, initial visits are always done with the mindee here grin

ThePrisoner Tue 15-Jul-08 20:03:29

I invite parents around during my least busy time for a first meeting, which is sometimes an evening or weekend, but preferably when I have the least number of mindees present. I make it very clear that what they will "see" on that day is not a true reflection of the sheer chaos amazing set-up that I offer. grin

Looking through paperwork is a necessary evil, and being able to chat without interruptions and without children who will almost certainly play up is best-suited to a quieter time.

I think it is important for parents to see the childminder interacting and dealing with other mindees, but it doesn't need to be for a first visit.

JenniPenni Thu 17-Jul-08 01:12:39

I agree... I see my parents on their own for the first time/with fewer kids... there are so many questions that need answering, I also ask so many myself!

Parents need to see certain docs (liability insurance, registration certificate etc.) too, there's no getting around this. Plus the portfolio, refs etc. NOT easy to do when you are feeding/changing nappies etc. The kids need your total attention.

I am a gut-feel kinda person, and would know, even with no kids present... what it would be like to work with this person - it is a partnership and you have to both get on well.

I have an Open Door Policy, where parents can phone, email me whenever they like. They can also drop in at any time.. and hopefully they'll catch me there, and I am not out with the kids in the common/park. They really appreciate this I think.

I have a settling in time with the other kids there... and parents stay with their child for the first few times then too.. so they see me in action. So maybe it is a good idea to see her sans kids at first, see if you like her, see all the paperwork etc.. and then see her again with the kids there if you like her.

Fadge Thu 17-Jul-08 13:56:07

I never invite a stranger into me home when I have children there, for safety. Think about it, would YOU like your child to be with a complete stranger to your CM?? I think not!

You will see how she is with children as your own ( I assume?) would be there too, and it is how she interacts with your child that is the important thing, not with different children.

HarrietTheSpy Thu 17-Jul-08 14:00:51

I take your point, but surely CMs are competing to some extent with nurseries, which allow parents to come see them during
working hours to see what the situation is like in practice. Because it's a business there will always be some element of this - a 'stranger' coming to the house when they are evaluating whether to use the service. I have never had a nursery say no, and would be concerned indeed if they insisted I come when there were no children there or activities to observe.

I do take the point that the CM may be too busy to focus properly on paperwork, etc though. But this wouldn't be the only time we could discuss that.

HarrietTheSpy Thu 17-Jul-08 14:02:01

And no, it's only only how she gets on with DD, it's how many children she has at one time and would have with DD there and how she copes.

HarrietTheSpy Thu 17-Jul-08 14:02:50

Sorry - it's 'not only' how she gets on...

Fadge Thu 17-Jul-08 14:08:24

Forgive me but it sounds as if you want to put this poor childminder though a test or something, obviously she can cope! She is a professional! She does it every day!

Sorry gone on a bit of a rant there! blush caught me on a bad minding day sad

I do indeed take your point about nurseries, but the key thing imo is that I am a woman alone in my house with children, and could be inviting whoever in - in a day nursery obviously there will be lots of other adults about, just in case. Also CCTV in a lot of them.

When I have met a parent for the first time, I by then have got their name, address, telephone number ( and I take car regs surruptitously too!) - so would feel more confident in having them there when I was minding.

Once, I read a post on a minding forum about a minder who invited a parent in and they were rather creepy around the minded kids and she felt very uncomfortable indeed. I would hate to be in that situation.

Anyway, this is just what I do

HarrietTheSpy Thu 17-Jul-08 14:12:36

Of course I'm not putting her through a 'test.' All I am asking is to come round and see the environment my daughter - in fact dds - would be cared for in, in a situation which approximates the actual reality of what would be going on. This is not too much to ask.

That said, I can understand your concerns, but as I said, parents do understand that you have to make a living and I wouldn't object at all if you had a spare place and needed to show someone round. That would be totally unreasonable.

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