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Question for childminders, how long would you give it?

(29 Posts)
Somewhereovertherainbow Wed 16-Sep-09 21:54:54

First day back at work for me = very stressful!

Baby left with my childminder. He has had 4 half days with her, no major problems, a few tears, but not much.

Today, he started crying at 10am and apparently, didn't stop all day. Didn't eat his dinner, or his tea, drank a little milk.
Childminder has said if she has one more day like that, she will not have him again.sad

I am in floods of tears, I need to work, and I feel like the worst mother in the world.

She had her two grand daughters there today, 8 months and 2.5 years and another little mindee 2 years old and a friend round with some mindees and I think that was all too much for my baby.

I don't think that such a houseful helped him to settle, and want to tell that may have contributed to him having such a miserable day, but I do need to be tactful though, especially as she has said ONE MORE day like that and she is quitting!

How long would you persevere minding a miserable baby, how long do they normally take to settle?

kingfix Wed 16-Sep-09 21:59:20

not a cm, so will stand back and let the professionals speak next, but am shocked that the cm has threatened you with quitting after one tearful day. How old is your son?

Julesnobrain Wed 16-Sep-09 22:03:08

She sounds awful and really heartless. Personally I wouldn't leave my precious baby in the care of someone so uncaring! Its really horrible to leave your baby I really understand and knowing they are miserable is awful but she is not helping matters. Is there an alternative you could investigate? I know I will get shot down by all the CM's here but this is why I choose a lovely quiet small nursery for DS and DD. Is there a nice one locally to you. Have you looked into it

Somewhereovertherainbow Wed 16-Sep-09 22:03:46

12 months. He is going through that horrible phase when he won't even let me leave the room to go for a pee without crying!

Herecomesthesciencebint Wed 16-Sep-09 22:06:07

did she not call you to tell you he wasnt settling? Im shocked by her attitude TBH. Agree a hectic day wasnt in his best interests at all and I strongly believe that an experienced childcarer would not allow a child to be this distressed for so long. if he had semed ok after the settle sessions she may have planned friends round etc in good faith but once it was clear he wasnt happy I really hope she cleared the house 9except the other mindee) for some quiet time. Can you discuss with ehr how she handled it, what she did to soothe him etc and that may open the floor for being open about how you feel.

To be frank, it would be me threatening to cancel the arrangement soon, not her. She sounds really thoughtless. she must have known you would be as upset by it as your DS so threatening you like that was a horrible thing to do.

when does he go back there?

kingfix Wed 16-Sep-09 22:06:44

argh i remember it well. How good is your relationship with this cm? Can you talk it through with her? Maybe she found so many children a bit much too, has she been doing it for long? I would say don't stick with an arrangement that doesn't feel right for you or your little boy. Just not what you need while you are trying ot get your head round being back at work too.

Summersoon Wed 16-Sep-09 22:06:47

That does not sound good to me at all. Your CM should be focussed on settling in your baby and it sounds as if she either doesn't know that a houseful of other children on his first day is not a good idea or doesn't care. It is possible that she was overwrought when she spoke to you but I would say: one more comment like that and you might want to look for alternative childcare because this arrangement will probably not work out. Sorry to have to say it and good luck!

xoxcherylxox Wed 16-Sep-09 22:07:28

hi i am a childminder and i would give it more than 2 days not sure how long but i usually think it takes a good few weeks if not a month to settle but as the time goes on it should get easier. i no i wont keep a baby the full month if as the month was gettin on there was no improvement. as for the house being busy that might be her routine for a wednesday that another childminder comes to hers one week then theres the other so that the children get to play with different children and have a change of sencenory (cant spell) if you bring it up make sure you dont sound like you dont want her having ppl over as i wouldnt be happy with a parent telling me who to have in my house and whn especailly if it as part of my routine or if it was another childminder with children and not just a friend with no children. just approach the subject gently saying oh mayb it was all the children tht was here, hes not use to alot of other children YET, but hopefully he ll be better today

navyeyelasH Wed 16-Sep-09 22:10:14

I personally would do everything in my power so that a child could settle well (I am a nanny and a soon to be CMer). If that meant changing my routine, having no guests over etc for a while then so be it.

Also from reading what you have written it sounds like you CMer was minding too many children (unless she has a variation?). Normally CMers can only have 3 under schhol age.

I know it's not easy but TBH I would be keeping my eye open for other childcare options whilst giving the CMer benefit of the doubt!

bigdonna Wed 16-Sep-09 22:13:39

hi im a cm and im feeling really sorry for you!!!i have had several mindees whom have gone through months of being clingy,miserable.maybe hes coming down with something.your poor baby sounds like she had too much going on,but i suppose thats up to her.we all have off days no matter what age.also check her registration as mine says 3 under 5.and yes it can take a couple of weeks to settle .he needs to bond with her and feel comfortable.good luck in whatever you do but she seems to need more patience!!!!

danthe4th Wed 16-Sep-09 22:20:27

She is over numbers unless she has a variation have a look on her certificate which should be displayed. Do not leave your baby if she is. That attitude sounds awful and it sounds like she can't cope with that many children. I am a cm and would not expect a child to cry like that for so long, but all babies are different and take time to settle, but personally that is too many children especially with a visiting minder but maybe they were doing some planned observations together or drinking coffee, who knows, what has she written in the daily diary that she did to comfort your baby.

danthe4th Wed 16-Sep-09 22:24:26

Just another thing does she have a quad buggy or a double and has the 2 older children walk, I would like to know she can actually take 4 children out for a walk safely, does she have 4 cots or do the children not have a sleep, 4 highchairs or booster seats, thes eare the things that ofsted require to show you can look after 4 children in the eyfs age range, also 4 car seats, I would ask how she takes them outside or do they just play in the garden, very limiting imo

danthe4th Wed 16-Sep-09 22:30:32

This has actually wound me up that you are so upset, she should be supporting you and helping your child to settle and doing the best for all of her mindees You are not a bad mother for going to work,its life and we do the best we all can, but I question that comment about not having your child if she has a bad day again.

HSMM Thu 17-Sep-09 07:54:10

I am a CM. As someone else said, she is not allowed to care for 4 under 5 unless she has written permission from Ofsted (even if they are relatives). Even if this was a regular routine for this day of the week, I would have cancelled everything for a new starter, to allow them to settle in on a quiet day and to give myself time to deal with tears, clinginess, etc. Your baby may well have picked up on your own stress, which is perfectly normal (and shows what a close relationship you have). See how it goes with this CM if you like, but if it doesn't improve rapidly (her not your baby), look around for someone else. That is what the settling in period is for.

Shoshe Thu 17-Sep-09 08:02:44

Good God, what did she expect.

A lot of babies between 9 and 13 months a very clingy and cry every time you leave the room.

I have on who now is a happy, cheerful little girl, but for the first six months cried A LOT.

You get on with it, distract them, cuddle them, take them for a walk, anything to help them settle.

And as already been told, without a variation, she was over her numbers.

Part of EYFS, (which we all have to follow) is working in partnership with parents, she certainly isnt.

I would look for someone else.

There are some very good CM's out there, maybe one of the CM's on MN could recommend somebody for you.

LisaD1 Thu 17-Sep-09 08:56:05

I'm with everyone else on this (also a CM- day off today though), I have just had a new baby start with me and on her first day I even sent my own DD (almost 2) to her aunties house for a few hours so that baby could have my undivided attention. I know that's not always possible and I am lucky but my point is your CM should be going the extra mile to make the settling in period as stress free as possible, for all of you, but especially your baby.

I'm sorry to say I would be looking for another CM as the one you have sounds rather unpleasant and over her numbers!

Somewhereovertherainbow Thu 17-Sep-09 10:09:21

Thanks for all your replies. It is very helpful for me to get the views of other CMs. I was worried that I was being unreasonable/getting things out of perspective so it is good to know that others share my concerns.

TBH, I was very surprised when I found out that she had her two grand children with her the first day that my baby was starting with her!!

And her friend, another childminder with own mindees. It was a real houseful.

No wonder my little one cried! He is normally a happy little soul, does cry if I leave the room but I have only once had him cry all day, and that was the combination of teething and a bad cold.

It was clearly all too much for him. During his settling in sessions,there was only one other child there, so nice and peaceful and no major problems. So yesterday was a nasty shock.

I do wish she had called my husband, who works nearer than I do. He could have come and collected him.

He had a restless night last night, kept waking up and crying.

I feel dreadful, and I am dreading a repeat when I go back to work next week...

She is very experienced, which makes it all the more suprising and I have known her for many years. She has minded my other child, who has special needs and we have always been very happy with her, but I feel that she put her family first by looking after her grand children as well as my baby and that wasn't fair of her at all.

It is difficult for me to find another CM, with special needs experience, for my other child, who is at school, but needs picking up and also care in the school holidays. She is very good with her.

I work part-time, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, so we won't be back until next week.

I have decided to have a tactful "chat" about the numbers of children in the house and my baby needing a peaceful environment, at least to start off with.

I suspected that it was over the Ofsted limit, but wasn't sure if that applied to relatives as well. I am really shocked, as I am sure she knows that.

I find that he normally settles if you take him for a walk, but she couldn't do that, as she had too many children!

I hope that having her grand-daughters there is a one-off and that I will suggest a peaceful environment for next week will help him to settle.

I will let you know how it all goes!

maggi Thu 17-Sep-09 20:23:38

Not only do relatives count but also if any children have their playmates over. The Ofsted numbers on her certificate show how many children she can be responsible for, even if only 1 of those were a mindee.

xoxcherylxox Thu 17-Sep-09 21:12:32

maybe she got a variation to accomodate your child as she already watched your other child. i have recently done this as i watch a 1 year old whos mum has just had a baby i didnt have a space for the baby every day so got a variation care commission were fine with this as it wasnt for a compelty new family it was for an current family and they understand continuaty of care and that a parent wouldnt want her children at 2 different childminders. also maybe she does childmind her granddaughter my mum is also a childminder and i send my daughter one day a week just so she gets time with gran and with other children rather than me all the time and the sane children i watch. if my mum didnt childmind then i wouldnt send her to anybody as i would prefer her gran childminding her rather than any childminder.
also mite be different down your end but if your own child is say of school age and does hhave a friend over then it is not illegal as long as the childminder is not expected to be responsible for them and there parents are near by and do not go out or anything as the care commission no that our children need to have a life to and have there own freinds not just mindees

navyeyelasH Thu 17-Sep-09 22:14:21

xoxcherylxox, I am just finished my ICP training and one of the questions was can you have "playdates" (hate that word!) over if it means more children will be in your care than the cerificate allows.

The answer was no. The only way it is ok is if the child parent/career is on the premises. We were told that if you want your child to have friends over then you should not fill your spaces but allocate them to friends IYSWIM?

xoxcherylxox Sat 19-Sep-09 17:43:59

i dont agree with that , it is completely unfair on your own children and they will grow up to resent you and your job as they were never allowed to have friends over. i usually end up with half the street in my garden once the afterschool kids come in and go out to play in the garden all their friends come round to play. i think it would be different having toddlers over to play with your toddlers but school aged kids whos mums have let them out to play on there own should be fine. my daughter is only 2 so dont yet have the problem but i am sure once she is at school and friends come to the door then if she doesnt want to go out to play then i wil let her friend in and they can both play upstairs in her room. think it is different if they ask for a friend over for din then the other parent will assume you are watchiing the child as you have invited them over where as someone comeing to your door to see if your coming out to play then coming in is different.

HSMM Sun 20-Sep-09 10:07:33

xoxcherylxox - when my DD was under 8, I deliberately did not fill one of my spaces, so she could have a friend over to play and I would not go over my numbers. You are at work and if you were not in the house for work your DD would not be able to have a friend over. It's a choice we make when we do this job.

xoxcherylxox Sun 20-Sep-09 14:58:41

yea i agree if i was not in the house she wouldtn have friends over but then again she would be in some sort of childcare with her own chosen friends. we havent been told in scotland that friends of your child or mindee are not allowed plus we dont have the same rule as use that children over 8 arent included in your numbers so technially for us if we werent allowed friends over it would be until the child was 16 which is an outrageous age as they are more than capable of looking after themselfs

Herecomesthesciencebint Sun 20-Sep-09 22:27:46

somewhereovertherainbow, hope it goes ok tomorrow.

are you in birmingham by any chance?

Ripeberry Mon 21-Sep-09 16:35:59

Settling in is supposed to take at least 4 weeks and the CM should have had some 'starting points' from you. Did you fill in an 'all about me' form?
In this form you can tell the CM what settles your child, what food they like, what songs help them settle that kind of thing.
This CM should not tell you that they won't have your child anymore just because they cried loads.
Sounds like the house had too many children in it and your pool little child was overwhelmed.
Give it another week or so and then maybe look at another CM, maybe one that has recently registered as they will be able to give more one to one care.

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