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Getting the childminder to do more with my children?

(20 Posts)
colie Mon 05-Oct-09 22:56:28

I have only started using a childminder 3 weeks ago. She looks after my two youngest children 5 days a week all day. Taking the eldest of the two to pre school 5 mornings for me.

Due to the fact that I have never used one before I am not sure how you say" How much tv are they watching a day" and "could you please make sure they get out for an outside activity every day (weather permitting).

Last week she took them out twice, and it was dry here the five days. She doesn't have any other mindees during the day. They did a collage one day. Other days they did nothing apart from watch tv (as far as I can tell).

My youngest is 20 months and other daughter with cm has just turned 4.

I got her details from the childcare link website but the day before I was due to start using her she told me she was not registered as she had not renewed it, because she didn't have any lo's and only had two over 8's. She has assured me she has applied for re registration and showed me her insurance and CRB.

I was stuck between a rock and a hard place as noone else had vacancies (apart from a nursery and I had let the space for my eldest go).

Also, there are very few toys in her house and nothing like play doh or paper etc.

She is still charging me the full rate so I was hoping that she would start getting in equipment that would stimulate my children. There are no toys in her garden either and the kids never get out in it.

Obviously I want to tell her that

A. I want my daughters to have an excursion, outing everyday, (weather permitting).

B. Would like them to have access to her garden. Although she didn't tell me they would have that when I started them with her.

C. Would like my kids to be stimulated with toys etc. readily available.

D. Would really rather they didn't watch tv in hers but understand if/when she is cooking dinner etc. she may want the tv on.

E. Would love an update of what they have done each day.

I just don't want to get her back up but I am worried about the lack of stimulation.

Also is it common for childminders to allow cbeebies to be on all the time. I know it is because for the first week I was picking them up after lunch time and it was on, now pick them up between 4.30 and 5.15 and it is oon.

My eldest went to a private nursery and it was just so much easier to be aware of what had happened in her day.

If you a cm would you provide details of everything they had done in their day. If you use a cm do you get these details.

Thanks for any advice. I am just dreading having to discuss my wants with her incase she gets a bit defensive so would rather just say to her I want a break down of what they do every day.

I had mentioned going to the childminders "stay and play" sessions in local sure starts but she said she can find them a bit "clickey" but she would find out when they were on and go to them.

nannynick Mon 05-Oct-09 23:13:56

As a service user you don't have much control (any really) with regard to what happens during the day. However childminders I know try to get out of the house every day, be it for a walk in the park or go to toddler groups.

>She has assured me she has applied for re registration and showed me her insurance and CRB.

Worrying... if the insurance is from NCMA then I don't think it is valid without a valid Ofsted (assuming you are in England) registration certificate. Does she have a Ofsted registration certificate? If so, take a note of the Unique Reference Number (6 numbers may also have 2 leading letters) and check it on the Ofsted website. If the childminder is minding illegally (and is at the sound of it) then that is her issue, rather than yours.

As a nanny I don't do a daily diary but I do take pictures whilst on trips, of activities and the children's parents can see those.

colie Mon 05-Oct-09 23:19:43

Oh, thanks for your reply.

I have checked with my council who have confirmed her registration has lapsed (though didn't update their website!) but that she has reapplied for it. I know I shouldn't be using her but thought her registration might come through quickly!!

Do you think then I am wrong to say to her I would like my children to be more stimulated and asking her how she will do this?

Every other chldminder I saw had toys etc all over the place.

Also, thought I had read a post where some cm's were saying they do fill in a diary for children but maybe they were referring to babies.

nannynick Mon 05-Oct-09 23:35:36

Childminders do diaries for babies, not sure about older children. I'm not a childminder... so what I do is different.

The childminders on here will probably post on this thread tomorrow, so you will get more advice then.

Personally, I think as you are her only client, you can ask her to stimulate your children more... take them out to the park, toddler groups etc. Though if she will actually do it is another matter.

WriggleJiggle Mon 05-Oct-09 23:46:52

I don't think your requests are unreasonable. My CM does all sorts of exciting activities. OK, some of them can only be seen as exciting from a toddler's perspective (indoor stationary sledging, hiding in large cardboard boxes, tapping the metal radiator with beaters to make music grin). Toys are not neccessary for good quality playing IF the CM has a great imagination.

They also go out twice a day to drop off / collect others from school, and usually go to a toddler group or similar every morning. They definitely always go outside.

Oh, and I also get an A4 sheet each day highlighting some of the activities.

Are you sure you have chosen the right childminder? Can you look around at the other options?

Danthe4th Mon 05-Oct-09 23:46:55

Its a requirement of the eyfs that all children have access to the outdoors on a daily basis, you should get a diary for the youngest child so you know what she has been doing,eating,nappy changes etc.. It may be that this childminder has not had children in the eyfs age since the new regs came in last year.
I would ask what training she has been on, I would expect her to have plenty of stimulating toys on offer, I would not expect the tv to be on for more than half hour during the day maybe after lunch and perhaps before you pick up.

Does she not go to toddler groups or the childrens centres, library, parks.
You shouldn't have to ask but why did you not ask all this when you first met her, you should know what she was going to be doing with your children before you sent them.
Have you signed all the necessary permission forms for medical emergency care. Did you see all her policies as all the info should be in there. Personally I would find someone else.

squirrel42 Tue 06-Oct-09 00:03:54

If she's not currently registered then there's nothing to compel her to do any more than sit your children in front of CBeebies all day, and if she doesn't make changes when you ask her to you'll be a bit stuck.

I'm not sure why your council would know that she had reapplied for registration beyond what she has told them she's doing. Registration is a process between the applicant and Ofsted, and I am very sure that Ofsted would not be happy to know a "proposed" childminder without a current registration was actively minding. It can take months to get an application through, and if she's let her old registration lapse it'll almost be from scratch again with social services and health checks, CRBs and references. Plus an Inspector will come out to do a registration visit - how will she explain your children being there? Will she say you're not paying her or it's just a one-off ad hoc day for a friend?

There are always plenty of people on both sides of the unregistered childminding arguments here, and in the end it's up to you. But I must say some alarm bells are ringing.

atworknotworking Tue 06-Oct-09 07:29:43

If this lady was a CM previously, she should know that children need outdoor time, even if its a couple of sessions in her own garden. I rarely put TV on maybee once / twice a month if that then usually its something to do with a topic we are doing.

I do a day book for all under 5's also observations, assessments, planning, photos etc all cm's who work as registered minders do this.

If I was a parent I would expect my child to do each day a craft activity painting, glueing or drawing, moddelling playdoh, clay junk boxes etc, free play, physical excercise, story / circle time as well as some educational activities sneaked into play.

I would never ever use an unregistered CM she will not be properly insured, you need to make sure that she has a full and current paediatric first aid cert, is registered as a food business, has safeguarding training, car is properly insured etc.

So many people work unregistered because it's not easy anymore to tick all the boxes, it is against the law and she shouldn't be doing it, what makes this worse is that she should know better and she didn't tell you untill you had agreed. Do you have a contract have you signed consent forms for medical treatment, medication, photo's, emergency first aid etc.

I agree if her registration has lapsed it could take months to renew it, I too would like to hear how she explains your DC's to the Ofsted inspector when they visit.

Find someone who is above board and where your DC's will have the best outcome possible. You should't have to tell a CM what she should be doing.

HSMM Tue 06-Oct-09 08:23:47

I am a CM. Mine play outside every day (maybe they are playing in her garden). They rarely have the TV on, because we are too busy. My husband is currently re-registering and he would not dream of taking on any children before he is fully registered.

thebody Tue 06-Oct-09 09:01:31

colie got to be quick as one asleep and others coming soon.


I have laid out paint and glitter to do pictures, we will try to go outside to the park later but as its raining we will probably go to soft play or the local toddler session.

I do a daily diary every day so parents know what their children are doing anyway, NO TV at all Tomorrow we will be going to another toddler session, with music and movement after, and then have crafts at home or stories or lots of play at my house which is like the local branch of early learning centre.
we may cook later or do simple science or nature studies.
we go to the library and the toy library.. etc..

you are being short changed and she is lazy.

look on the Ofsted website and move on..

PinkChick Tue 06-Oct-09 09:43:22

i agree with TheBody...firstly as shes not reg you wont (if needed) get financial help, secondly SHE WILL NOT BE INSURED if shes not ofsted reg and that in itself can take months...she will have to have a pre reg inspection first of whihc im sure would not be a good one if she has no toys or No idea of the EYFS so it mention other cm's...why did you choose this one?

Regardless of if you have or havent signed a contract, its not actually worth the paper its written as shes not reg!
so go find a registered cm, who WILL do daily Diaries and who WILL take at least your youngest to fun playgroups and ensure they have plenty to do at her house!

I am sick of people like this claiming to be cm's, they give us a bad name!sad

good luck..oh and child care plus should NOT have passed her number onto you, make sure they no she isnt reg at min!

Scarfmaker Tue 06-Oct-09 21:08:42

Was just going to say diaries, etc. are done for all 0-5 (not just babies).

Fruitbatlings Tue 06-Oct-09 21:14:03

Is she busy doing all the paper work for Ofsted?
I got really behind on my paper work because I wanted the children to have a good time and not be ignored.
Maybe that's it?

Still, she sounds lazy......

lilyjen Tue 06-Oct-09 21:46:46

I worked as an assistant for a childminder for 18 months and I have done the course myself and am a mother of a 6 yr old and what you want is what ought to be happening anyway and she sounds like a complete disaster to me-the kind who's in it for the should find one that you feel able to talk to and who communicates with you freely and enthusiastically. T.v shd be used sparingly and you should feel completely reassured and happy that your children are having a stimulating and creative time on a daily basis! As for worrying about discussing yr wants-yr the BOSS!!! These are yr children, yr most precious things in yr life that yr allowing this woman to take care of!!
DO NOT be afraid of speaking up for yr children is yr right and duty to them. If she doesn't smarten up I wd def spend time looking for someone else..there's plenty of childminders out there who LOVE their job and give it 100% best of luck x

colie Tue 06-Oct-09 23:24:00

Thanks everyone for the replies.

I had looked at other cm's but for various reasons they didn't suit. I then found one lady I was really happy with, whom I offerred to pay a deposit/retainer with to keep the spaces for a month before I started but she let me down. Started saying she would not be able to take dd2 to preschool etc.

Also other cm's I liked were going on holiday october/november times when I really couldn't be taking time off my placement (I am a student)

I just wish I had taken dd2 out of pre school and put them both in a private nursery now.

I feel awful thinking I am not putting my children;s needs before my own.

I asked her today what they had done and she took them to a garden centre because it had a haloween theme on in it. She stuck a leaf on a bit of papar for dd2.

She told me she had play doh etc. when I asked and that she was in the process of getting all the toys back in. That she also took the kids out.

I signed a contract she (she got it from a cm friend) so looked like an ofsted one. She said it obviously wouldn't kick in until she was registered.

Will need to check with her about the insurance.

I am definately going to have to speak to her and see if she can make sure my children's needs are being met, if not I will have to see what other child care is out there.

Thanks ladies. I know I made

colie Tue 06-Oct-09 23:26:30

Meant to say thanks ladies.

I know I am just putting my needs first. I am desperate to pass my placement which is full time until middle of Jan so afraid to start asking for time off for kids but will need to now.

Thanks again.

lisa1968 Wed 07-Oct-09 10:38:55

I dont think you are being silly at all.Im a CM and as of sept 08 we have to follow guidelines set by the EYFS.My tv is rarely on cos we're too busy!!Kids dont need tons of toys around to be stimulated but she really needs to pull her finger out and do the best that she can with what shes got.She can access a toy library if shes desperate!!As part of the EYFS she should be taking them out every day where possible.
If shes unregistered then shes not insured etc and it may be worth your while to check as often as poss if she has re-registered.What shes doing is illegal and your children are being compromised because of this.I do get mad with lazy CMs like this-i spend hours of my own time planning,paperwork etc and people like that make me cross because they are not meeting the needs of the children or the parents!! I know you're in a difficult position so just be careful and keep a close eye on things-and a close eye out for alternate care.

colie Tue 13-Oct-09 23:55:26

Well just an update really.

The morning after this pos (and all your wonderful replies) I asked the cm if she could give me a daily diary for both girls and if she was insured.

She told me she would do the daily diary and that she wasn't insured. I stupidly left my daughters with her but told her I was very concerned about the lack of insurance and would be rethinking the situation.

Meanwhile I had phoned around (via as child care link not working). Found someone who had free spaces (had visited before but she is most expensive in area).

Went back to get girls late afternoon and cm told me she no longer felt comfortable watching them and that she knew I had phoned CIS and was not sure why, when she had been open and honest with me from the start, about the lack of registration shock

I then explained to her that I was concerned about lack of stimulation for my children. That time had been progressing and her house was still bare, that she rarely took them out etc. Funnily that day she had taken them to a soft play and had a teeny bit of play dough out on the table.

She revealed that she thought I was goint to report her to ofsted and that I was going to come in her door with someone from ofsted.

That was enough for me really, and we both agreed to part ways.

I am delighted as the cm I am going to is watching a couple of children from my eldest's school so I know some of the Mums and her and her dh (they both cm) seem lovely, house is full of toys, lovely garden, pictures of kids out on activities etc.

My kids are starting next week and I just feel so much more contented, not worrying that they are just going to be stuck in front of a telly all day.

Thanks again ladies.

sofewbraincellsleft Wed 14-Oct-09 00:05:54

Glad you got it all sorted, it is not worth the risk of leaving your child in unregistered, uninsured childcare.

dreamteamgirl Wed 14-Oct-09 00:09:58

Well done on getting it all sorted- it must be a huge relief- and now you will be able to claim your tax credits too smile

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