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What would you think - and say - if a childminder did this on 1st bedding in day

(29 Posts)
OldLadyDay Mon 27-Oct-08 11:37:23

DS is 4. Childminder lives 2 miles away so came and picked us up this morning on what is set to be a few hours bedding in time before starting proper after half term.

Well she came and I let her put DS into the car seat - a booster seat with a back that used actual seatbelt - but was horrified that she places the seatbelt over DS's lap, didn't bother to put it over his shoulder, plugged it in but then didn;t tighten it up. It would have been utterly useless in an accident.

I was really embarrassed as it was out first day and I was aware that she was embarrassed too - but asked her if she was going to tighten the seat belt properly, and she said, 'it's okay, the seat won't come out' to which I replied, 'the seat won't be DS will' - there was literally nothing to keep him in the seat if there was even a mild collision.

She put it over his shoulder on the way back but it was still not very tight.

I had totoal confidence in her before this and now don't know what to think.

needsomeonetotalkto Mon 27-Oct-08 11:43:49

Oh lord, that poor childminder. Are you going to breath down her neck like this all the time? I give it 3 weeks a month tops before she gives you the boot.hmm

RideEmCowboy Mon 27-Oct-08 11:46:32

Not strapping a child into a seat is a serious mistake. I don't think being concerned about counts as "breathing down her neck"


needsomeonetotalkto Mon 27-Oct-08 11:48:32

Hmm - you either trust the CM or you don't. In this case Op souind like she does'nt.

snickersnack Mon 27-Oct-08 11:50:13

I think it's fair to point that out. Absolutely no issue that children should be strapped in properly. Whether that casts doubt on her ability in other areas is a different issue. I'd say not, unless you've got other evidence - I think you should give her the benefit of the doubt.

OldLadyDay Mon 27-Oct-08 11:52:46

Don't understand you NSTTT - are you saying I should ignore saftely issues?

Isn;t trust something that is built up - or do we just trust any CM immediatly cos they have spaces?

Or should I just hand him over and forget about him and car seats. Car seats, what are they for anyway?!

needsomeonetotalkto Mon 27-Oct-08 11:54:40

I think you did have a fair point but you sound like you need to chill out. Are you neurotic?

OldLadyDay Mon 27-Oct-08 11:55:20

Bemefit of the doubt SS - yes, this is my feeling on it. But I wouldn let DS do into his grannys car of he wasn;t strapped in properly so won;t be making allowances for a CM.

I am totally shocked at NSTTT's reaction that caring about my childs safety is somehow being over cautious.

LittleMyDancingWithTheDevil Mon 27-Oct-08 11:55:54

Erm, I don't let my mother strap DS into her car any more as she never tightens the straps up right either. She's happy to let me do it and would much rather I mentioned it than worried about him constantly, or worse still, that she had a crash and something terrible happened to him.

This isn't 'I don't like the way she wipes his face' this is a safety issue, and you are entirely reasonable to point it out.

OldLadyDay Mon 27-Oct-08 11:56:04

Oh fuck off NSTTT. no wonder you do.

OldLadyDay Mon 27-Oct-08 11:57:54

Exaclty MylittleDancing. Thank you. I am reassured by yours and others posts. That is what MN is about

CrushWithEyeliner Mon 27-Oct-08 11:58:55

You do have a very valid point but she is settling in - just give her a bit of slack. You really can't be on her case like this from day one it will just make her nervous and not able to do her job properly.

It was a silly mistake but you need to chill a bit.

CarminaBanana Mon 27-Oct-08 12:00:30

It isn't being neurotic to expect someone who is paid to care for your child to have the basic intelligence to know how to use a child seat and seat belt correctly.

Any responsible parent would be shocked that their child wasn't properly restrained in a car. Their child's safety is paramount to them - as it should be to any childcare provider.

OldLadyDay, if you are happy with all other aspects of the childminder's care, maybe a frank conversation to ensure she will use the seatbelt properly from now on will reassure you.

MrsMattie Mon 27-Oct-08 12:02:04

I don't think it's being OTT to insist that a car seat/belt is fitted properly. They are worthless if they aren't.

I'd probably say to her later on in a totally down to earth way: 'Look, hope we didn't get off on the wrong foot. I don't want you to think I am criticising you at this early stage - I just really need to know that the car seat is going to be fitted properly, otherwise I won't be able to relax...' or something along those lines.

Your childminder should understand that. You nee to feel confident about leaving your child with someone else.

JenniPenni Mon 27-Oct-08 12:02:43

I think it's unfair to call a mum neurotic when she has a valid concern about her child's safety! I am shocked.

I am a CM and am so aware of safety issues, and ensuring parents are happy with the way I do things. Valid concern is one thing, being neurotic quite another.

welshdeb Mon 27-Oct-08 12:03:42

Is it your car seat or hers?
If hers then unacceptable as she should be competent to put a child safely into it.

If its yours perhaps she is a little under confident using it (giving her the benefit of the doubt) and didnt like to ask you how to fit it. In which case you need to tell her.

I think that basic safety is something that cant be compromised as although other posters have implied that the OP is being a bit PFB its basic safety AND THE LAW, its the childminders job she should be aware of the law and imo there is no leeway here.

Surely if she isnt using the car seat properly and (god forbid)if there is an accident (apart for the risk of injuring any child,) wont her insurance - and her livelyhood be finished.

I am pretty laid back in most areas but am pretty keen on car safety.

Kewcumber Mon 27-Oct-08 12:06:14

sorry but I would immediately say something about car seat needing tightening. You don't need to make an issue of anything else but this is non-negotiable in my book. Properly fitted car seat and belt a MUSt in any car of DS doesn't go.

Any parent who doesn't think this is important is negligent in my view.

If necessary just say to her "its my thing - I'm particularly fussy about firmly fitted seat belts but go with the flow on most other things" - I (personally) would be happy to do a passive-aggressive number on her ie smile nicely and say how neurotic you are probably being but be firm about it with a steely glint in your eye. If she doesn;t get the message or doesn;t want to accomodate you then she's not the right childminder for you. Childminder should be expected (within reason) to accomodate parents wishes and tbh she should be doing this anyway.

Kewcumber Mon 27-Oct-08 12:07:01

Actually having re-read this is a very good line/approach

"I just really need to know that the car seat is going to be fitted properly, otherwise I won't be able to relax...' "

BradfordMum Mon 27-Oct-08 12:10:52

Safety is PARAMOUNT in this job - the fact that she didn't fasted your child in properly while you were there is outrageous!
Might she not bother woth the lap belt in future if you're not there?!

Sack her immediately!


JenniPenni Mon 27-Oct-08 12:14:11

Sally, she cannot sack her as she is not employing her ;), she can give notice.

I would chat with the CM and raise this concern. If I was a parent I would also supply my own carseat and show her how to fit it in properly etc.

Seriously, if someone does not take car safety seriously and responsibly, what on earth else is she not taking seriously???

Alarm bells.

OldLadyDay Mon 27-Oct-08 12:18:53

Thanks all.

I agree Kew, with MrsMatties approach. Will do that tomorrow. smile

BM that was my worst case scenario - but she is very conscientious in everything else so I will give her the benefot of the doubt, but if I do witness anything else so serious I'll just take Ds out of her care, sadly.

OldLadyDay Mon 27-Oct-08 12:20:52

That's what I though JP. So tough to call.

If I am not happy by end of half term though I won't go through with it.

I will have to goive up work till after xmas but so be it. I can't compromise on DS's saftely

geraldinetheluckygoat Mon 27-Oct-08 15:58:42

Also, just wondering how old ds is, as he should be over 2 stone in weight to use a car seat like the one you describe? smile
I dont think you are being neurotic at all, was it her car seat? You would think she would use her own car seats in the correct way!

OldLadyDay Mon 27-Oct-08 16:26:38

It was her car seat. He is 3 stone. It was a 3 stage car seat.

BabyBaby123 Mon 27-Oct-08 16:30:19

were you there? if you were, then maybe she expected you to sort him out once you got in the car - not stand over her - poor woman. Sorry, I know safety of the child is important but you could have said something like "oh this belt's a bit loose on you, lets tighten it" (to child) rather than making her feel uncomfortable. There will no doubt be an atmosphere between you now which is a shame so early on.

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