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Help! Just left my 5mo with CM and there was another new baby there

(52 Posts)
skidoodle Mon 01-Sep-08 13:10:57

I've been leaving DD with this woman since she was 3.5 months old. She has seemed very happy and settled there and gets lots of attention from the CM's daughters and the other children there.

CM seems to me to mind a lot of children but I don't really mind that as it's nice for DD to have other children around.

However during the summer CM took on another baby just 2 days a week. I wasn't pleased as she had originally told me that DD would be the only baby. This baby was 9 months old or so and it was supposed to be a temporary situation to help his mother out in an emergency. But when I asked a while later about this it seemed the arrangement had been made permanent.

I wasn't pleased, but felt that since the care was good and she seemed happy that I'd let it go for the 2 days per week this was happening. I really wish I hadn't now.

Today I arrived up to leave DD and there was another baby girl there! She is to be there mornings, which I assume means every morning. DD is there full time (9-4.30).

I'm angry really pissed off that she took on another baby without even talking to me about it. The main reason I'm using a CM rather than nursery is that I didn't like the idea of 3 babies to one carer. But that is what she's having now plus toddlers and a couple of school age kids shock. All in a normal family house.

So I rang the CM association to find out if this was normal and it turns out she shouldn't have more than 1 under 1 unless they are twins or relatives. Now I'm freaking out a little bit. She mustn't even be insured. The CM association recommended I ring the area social workers about it.

I'm in a panic. Should I leave work and leave DD in this situation? I thought this woman was nice and she seemed to care about DD but how could she have taken on so many babies against the guidelines if she was worried about her safety?

Sorry, I know I'm ranting a bit but what would you do? I know I have to find new childcare but I don't know whether I should steer clear of CMs (my preferred option originally) because of this. I hated the only nursery I visited, even though it seemed nice, because I just thought it would be so much nicer for her to be looked after by one minder in a home environment with older children.

KatyMac Mon 01-Sep-08 13:14:03

That's not true - you can have babies under one from different families - I do regularily

But you need a variation from OFSTED - lots of childminder have this variation tbh

How many children does she have at a time?

elkiedee Mon 01-Sep-08 13:14:40

I would be concerned too - she shouldn't have more than one under 1 or more than 3 under 5s is my understanding.

ellideb Mon 01-Sep-08 13:15:58

Excuse me but what exactly has it got to do with you? If she wants to take on another baby then by all accounts she can. You do not employ her. The rules actually state: No more than 2 children under the age of 18 months, no more than 3 under the age of 5 years. If a child is 4 years and in full time school then they count as a 5year old. I don't understand your panic at all.

KatyMac Mon 01-Sep-08 13:17:13

If she is in England the ratios are
1 under 1yo
a total of 3 under 5yo
a total of 6 under 8 yo

So she would need a variation for 2 under 1

elkiedee Mon 01-Sep-08 13:17:54

I wouldn't avoid CMs because of one bad experience.

I think a sole CM would normally be allowed 5 mindees including 2 over 5s without a variation.

spicemonster Mon 01-Sep-08 13:18:58

Oh dear - that's really awful

Hopefully a CM will be able to advise on your best course of action It's a bit odd that the other parents don't seem concerned about it either ...

Just wanted to say that from the perspective of a mum (ie a CM user rather than a CM), I don't think you should assume all CMs would do this - mine wouldn't dream of it.I moved my DS from a nursery to a CM because of the turnover in staff at nursery and he's so much happier, I wish I'd done it ages ago.

mosschops30 Mon 01-Sep-08 13:19:58

really my cm is having 4 under 5 after september, is this allowed.
Admittedly 3 of them will be 4 and starting nursery so not too concerned
sorry for hijack

elkiedee Mon 01-Sep-08 13:20:34

ellideb, the op is leaving a 5 month old with the CM, and it appears that at least two mornings a week the CM will have 3 under 1s, and a couple of toddlers as well. The OFSTED registration lays down how many kids a CM can mind, and she should be able to show parents a variation if that's what she has.

spicemonster Mon 01-Sep-08 13:20:44

ellideb - she pays the woman to look after her daughter. I think it's got everything to do with her!

And if she's got one baby 2 days, one mornings and one full time, then surely there's times when there are 3 babies?!

ElfOnTheTopShelf Mon 01-Sep-08 13:20:54

My CM has lots of children on her "books" so to speak. But they're all part time, so on a day to day basis she is never exceeding quota. For eg, she has a 3 year old that comes Mon-Wed, and a 3 year old that comes Thur-Fri.

I think you should have a word with your CM.

And I'm pretty sure that if you are claiming CTC, you supply the CM details & they are written to, so its unlikely she is uninsured?

KatyMac Mon 01-Sep-08 13:21:43

Probably - once a 4yo starts F/T school (in reception) they count as over 5's

4 under 5 is a very common variation that lots of childminders apply or & get granted

jojosmaman Mon 01-Sep-08 13:22:40

Elledeb- "What exactly has it got to do with you?"!!! Erm, her baby goes to the childminder in question?!! Of course it has something to do with her, if she has concerns about the care of her LO, its got everything to do with her!

KatyMac Mon 01-Sep-08 13:23:00

3 under 1 is very rare imo - do check her certificate

ElfOnTheTopShelf Mon 01-Sep-08 13:23:35

I always think it is odd that CM's are only allowed a certain number of certain ages but there are no quibbles about a mother looking after twins/triplets or more!

nappyaddict Mon 01-Sep-08 13:25:07

she might have a variation -ask to see it. if she can't show you one i would report her and find new childcare asap.

elkiedee Mon 01-Sep-08 13:25:12

I'm also posting as a parent of a CM-minded child by the way, and have looked at ratios as I'm expecting another and hope that dc2 will join big brother there. My ds is nearly 16 months, he started at 10 months, new dc will probably be about 9 months at which point ds1 will be 2.5 and another mindee will be, I'm guessing, around 3. The 3 other mindees are siblings and toddler's siblings will be about 9 and 5, CM's youngest own child 8 by then.

mawbroon Mon 01-Sep-08 13:25:26

I would ask her about it because unless she has a variation (which you should ask to see if she says she does) then she is going against the terms of her registration.

I had a variation a while back as I had my ds who was 11 months and a little boy who was a month younger. There were a total of five afternoons until my ds turned one and I got a letter confirming that it was ok for these 5 afternoons and it named the other wee boy IIRC.

You say she seems to mind a lot of children. Do you think she is regularly over her numbers? Is she actually registered??

KatyMac Mon 01-Sep-08 13:25:28

Me too

& I struggle with have DD counted in my numbers even if she is with her dad

ellideb Mon 01-Sep-08 13:26:25

From what I read it sounds to me like she doesn't have 3 babies all at the same time, just 2 at any one time, what is wrong with that? It has nothing to do with the other parents who the child minder decides to take on so long as she is doing things legally. I would never 'ask' other parents for their opinions or permission if I were about to take on another child. It is none of their business. It is my business.

ellideb Mon 01-Sep-08 13:27:50

Speak to your childminder about it. I'm sure she would be very concerned if you were upset about the current situation and would try to resolve it with you or explain it to you.

elkiedee Mon 01-Sep-08 13:29:26

ellideb, it is actually parents' business to feel that they're leaving dcs, especially babies, in safe hands. It's not a question of giving permission, this CM doesn't seem to be keeping to rules or being very honest about what's going on.

skidoodle Mon 01-Sep-08 13:33:51


It's very hard to know how many children she has at a time as there are different children different days iyswim.

From what I can gather this new baby means she will have 3 under 1 two mornings a week.

I'm calmed to hear about the variation. I was thrown for a bit of a loop when the CM association said to report her to the Social Workers shock.

She may well have a variation. I'm very unsettled though that she didn't mention this to me. She told me when we originally started with her that DD would be her only baby and she wouldn't take any more on. Obviously that wasn't a formal agreement, but I would have liked to have been told if she was planning to take on another baby.

spicemonster that's why I was so confused by it. I don't think I would have chosen to leave DD with a CM who already looked after another baby full time as well as a few toddlers and a second baby part time.

ellideb what's it got to do with me?
hmm really?

mawbroon Mon 01-Sep-08 13:35:54

She is obliged to keep a register of children attending. Ask to see it, in fact you should be signing the register every week for your dd

KatyMac Mon 01-Sep-08 13:36:16

Type her postcode in to the OFSTED website & you should be able to see her certificate

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