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HOW DO YOU SETTLE A NEW MINDEE? ADVICE NEEDED ASAP PLEASE

(13 Posts)
chickenrice Fri 05-Sep-08 01:01:26

Hi

Just following this from my previous thread about settling in?

How do you settle a new mindee?

For a 1 year old, how long does it take before you decide he is settled.

How do you cope with the constant crying whilst minding them?

How do you fit it around your old mindees, eg if you have your limit of mindees per day, when and how do you settle in new mindees?

Having a difficult experience with my first ever CM and not sure what to do.

My DS attends one day a week at a CM who now seems has not settled him in properly and is suggesting we restart settling in. She wants to charge a full day's rate for a gradual build up of hours and wants an answer asap whether we'd agree. Don't think it's fair as she cancelled some of the original settling in sessions and have pointed this out to her. She's not accepting this and wants full day's rate even if he stays and hour.

ThePrisoner Fri 05-Sep-08 01:23:55

This "restarting" a settling-in period is a load of *** - I think a settling-in period is any time (mutually decided) before the start of an actual contract. You do not stop and start.

With me, parents are welcome to book any hours/days they want prior to when they actually need a child to start. Some choose an hour or two and maybe build up to full days.

I have others who visit with their child, and stay with them and with me, for an afternoon or two, but I do not charge for this as I am not solely caring for their child. It is often more of a reassurance for a parent that I am an "OK" person, and we get to know each other better (as well as the child and I).

It is impossible to set an amount of time that a child will take to settle in - children are so different. I have had many children who have started full-time with no prior settling-in periods, and they have been fine.

I have had children who have been upset, but I am not phased whatsoever by "constant crying". If it happens, we often go for a walk - the child is in a buggy and I talk to them as we walk, so that they get used to my voice (poor things!!) Talking quietly, sitting with or near the child, and playing with "interesting things" will often distract them so that they may join in. Singing and cuddling babies usually works too. Ideally, I would have the least number of other mindees present, although having another child around can often help.

If I have my limit of mindees, then I obviously cannot take on a new one for settling-in time, but I have usually got some free hours during a week one way or another. I have sometimes had parents accompany us to one of our usual social activities (soft play, music group etc).

A good childminder will work with parents to settle their child. You need to have that good relationship with your childminder, and I really don't think you have this with your current (?) one.

Gosh ... that was long!!

chickenrice Fri 05-Sep-08 09:50:36

Thanks ThePrisoner for kindly answering each question. Anyone else please? Thanks

nbee84 Fri 05-Sep-08 10:08:54

This isn't answering the question in your op but...

for some children the settling in sessions work far better if Mum can spend some time with their child at the childminders. The child gets to know the childminder while still having Mum there to look to if they are feeling anxious. After a first visit of maybe 2hrs with you staying for the whole time, you could try staying for 1 hour and leaving her with childminder for 1 hour. For some children you may have to stay for the whole time for a couple of visits.

I've always found this has made the transition easier than just leaving a child with a childminder for the settling in sessions. They are able to get to know the childminder and the new surroundings with more confidence because they have confidence with you being there.

Hope that made sense and wasn't just waffle hmm

PinkChick Fri 05-Sep-08 10:13:50

How do you settle a new mindee?

**i offer normally 3 sessions before they start (none if they want to start straight away or sometimes more if they wont start for a while or parent/child is anxious)each time from 1 hour to half day FREE

For a 1 year old, how long does it take before you decide he is settled.

** I have a 8 month old and she settled first day, so doesnt help you, but a GOOD cm would have ways and means of helping them settle, i would feel a failure if i had to ring you!

How do you cope with the constant crying whilst minding them?

** never had it, i will use EVERY diversion tactic under the sun, from "oohh, look quick, did you see that dicky bird outside the window, quick lets looks..can yous ee him..were is he?..is that him.." and so on to dancing around with them/on my own looking like a loon, but whatever works i say!..another good one is taking them out in pushchair, tlaking constantly "ooh look at that lovely green tree, did you see that bird/squirrel/dog, wow look at that big truck" etc etc

How do you fit it around your old mindees, eg if you have your limit of mindees per day, when and how do you settle in new mindees?

** if i was taking on a new mindee i wouldnt/shouldnt have my limit every day!, so i would always have SOME time to settle, its so important!, i chose a quiet day for first session, then busier day for rest to introduce children to eachother.

Really, honestly run away!, shes awful!
smile..good lucksmile

BradfordMum Fri 05-Sep-08 10:32:51

With regard to Pinkchicks comment about feeling a failure if I had to ring you, I'm afraid I must be a failure then!

Scenario - mum and dad visit with F aged 10 months. F is very very clingy and will NOT separate from mum, even if dad tries to hold him.
Ok, I think, he's unsure of surroundings.

They ask me to care for F, and we fill in contracts. 3 days a week, 8am to 3pm.

They both come again - 3 times for 2 hours each time. F is still unsettled.

I have F on the first day. He cried for the whole 7 hours. Mum said he probably would.
I told her that we'd persevery that week.
ON the 2nd day, he dried for 7 hours, and on the 3rd day, I rang mum at mid-day and asked her to collect him.

The then told me that apart from her 6 week check up, she'd held/cuddled/nursed F since he was born. Dad was never alone with F and when Mum went to the loo, F either screamed or went with her.

In fact, her parents had been to stay with them the week prior to F starting, and it had unsettled him so much, they were asked to leave and go back home!

I felt sorry for F, but to be honest, I was so glad to be rid.

I still see them at toddlers, and they've gone on to have another baby, who is showing the same signs and symptoms!

In 14 yrs, this is the only child I've not 'gelled' with and had to admit defeat.

Sally

SheSellsSeashellsByTheSeashore Fri 05-Sep-08 10:42:18

i know this isnt very cm like but have you tried biscuits crisps snacks?

i look after my 15 month old nephew from time to time and he is insanely clingy and crys everytime his mum walks out of the door.

one chocolate digestive and a banana later and he is fine <greedy baby>

my nephew is probably so clingy because of a smiliar thing to 'f's parents' my sister is v over protective and wont let them out of her sight.

singing and generally just being really silly works with nephew too as do trips to see the ducks.

navyeyelasH Fri 05-Sep-08 11:02:58

OP in your situation you should be able to get settling in periods on the days you had pre arranged for your son to attend "normally" - because in theory there should be a space for him as you had agreed this was when he would go! (does that make sense?)

All CM settle in differently, but IMO backtracking from 1 * selling in day & 2*full day will just delay the settling in period. How about asking the CM if he can come for half of the arranged times and you will be there for duration if he gets bad, then next week you'll be there for one hour shorter and just continue that way?

What is your LO like when you collect him? Is he in a right state or does he seem fine to you? Have you left DS with others before? How is he normally?

IF I were you though I would find another CM.

navyeyelasH Fri 05-Sep-08 11:09:15

Also if I were you I would politely ask your CM why it is she would rather risk being without a mindee that could replace your sons slot rather than be paid half a days rate for (say) 3 weeks of settling in, then full days rate from now until contract ends.

Seems insane she'd rather risk getting a new mindee with no guarantee of finding the business. I think she has someone waiting in the wings, so to speak and thought as you had only done one session with her you could be fobbed of with this excuse. That would also explain why an ofsted outstanding CM is unable/unwilling to settle your son.

chickenrice Fri 05-Sep-08 11:35:26

Hi

Yes thanks to all for your comments.

As for DS he is a very confident LO, having a 4 year old bro. He has attended playgroups with his older bro from the day he was born. he loves to copy what his older brother does and follows him and his older friends all around our house and their houses.

we don't have family nearby but when we have left both siblings with grandparents and been out for a few hours. they don't see the grandparents weekly, maybe once a month so he has stayed with people he is unfamiliar with.

sessions with cm so far: first time he broke down crying when he saw me but the second time he wAS crying before we even got to the door. first day cm said he followed her everywhere she went. maybe he won't sit still like her other mindee who can't move around yet and whom i have only ever seen play in the same spot. as for the other mindee i think he's over three and is capable of playing by himself so i suppose my ds can't have made it that stressful for her.

As for settling in on allocated day navyeyelasH, she wants the full day's rate even if stays an hour. that would cost a lot as i am paying her up to a couple pounds more per hour above the going rate. i don't know whether he has just got off to a bad start as she has an outstanding ofsted inspection but she won't have it any other way. she has cancelled 2 settling in sessions but won't let me have them back on the old terms 'pay as you stay.' wants full day's rate for the next 4 weeks for resettling in and wants to amend the contract to state something about settling in. BTW, do you usuaaly remember the ages of kids you look after if they have been coming to you for motnhs or years?

PinkChick Fri 05-Sep-08 11:49:51

No BradfordMUm what i said does definatly NOT relate to your situation, you 'tried' with that child, you did not ring after 30 minuts and TELL them to collect, having day unon day of a child constantly crying is no good for your sanity, nor is it any good for the child, so no, you are not a failure and nor would i be in that situ, but someone who doesnt give it half a chance shouldnt be doing this kind of work, we all know these children are going to have some form of separation anxiety, some worse than others but from op's description her LO is not like that or if he was, would not have taken much to help him calm down and enjoy himself

navyeyelasH Fri 05-Sep-08 14:41:10

I remember the ages of all the children I look after (I am an a nanny and do a lot fo ad-hoc work) from the moment I meet them. It is important to remember ages so you can plan appropriate outings and activities etc.

At the end of the day I would just tell her it's her problem she cancelled the settling in sessions not yours; you are happy to pay for time used in settling in sessions (not whole day) as per your original verbal agreement. Otherwise you are happy to send son there all day and she will just have to cope with him (I don't know if you would?).

I reckon this CM does not want your son there for some reason or another TBH. Maybe your usually very settled son is picking up on her vibes or maybe she is not making the effort she should be. Either way she does not sound like a professional to me!

My experience of Osted inspections is that they are happy to give anyone an outstanding that has 200 thousand different bits of paper neatly filled out. IMO Ofsted regulate the bureaucratic/administrative side of CMing and the quality of care comes second to them, so do not think that an outstanding levels = saint CM. Although well done to anyone who has achieved outstanding (putting my foot in it left right and centre this afternoon; blame my headache!)

chickenrice Fri 05-Sep-08 21:15:16

I'm not saying DS is perfect. He is attached to me and stays close when he is not comfortable. However he is very confident too. In playgroup situations, he crawls everywhere and goes up to everyone. He does follow me around a lot in the house usually emptying drawers, etc. I don't have to hold him all the time. He likes having mummy around but which child doesn't?

Yes, thanks Navylash, I only asked about ages of mindees because CM said she did not know how old her mindees were and had to check her records. This I asked because I was interested in the age mix of the children my DS would meet. I thought this was strange since i'd thought she'd need to plan.

After our last session, I forgot to take DS's stuff with me and went yesterday to collect it. I found his things in the plastic carrier bag I took it in, outside her porch. It was raining and the bag was wet but luckily his things were okay. Knocked on the door. She answered. DS screamed when he saw her. I asked her what she did when he cried during his last session. she said gave him a cuddle, tried to read him a book, play with some toys. Fine. Asked whether she took him out into her garden or for a walk. She said no. i can't understand this as on the day of his last session, he cried for 'the last few hours.' she said she did not know how her other ' mindees carried on without being affected.' she said that it was not fair on ds, her other mindees or her. seemed like she was blaming me but i got back straightaway to pick him up when she contacted me. If it was so urgent why did she not ring my DH. At no point during our conversation, did she try to interact with DS. I did try to put him down in her house but he screamed.

After that, DS and I met a friend at the library. My DS seemed content and crawled everywhere. Seems he was just uncomfortable with her as I don't think she tried to really get to know him. I've had enough so am going to speak to her about termination. Tried to contact her by phone today but she is not in. Thanks for all your advice. Shall let you know how I get on.

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