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would you be upset to not be thanked properly?

(28 Posts)
clankypanky Wed 04-Nov-09 13:47:32

I have just finished looking after a little girl .She started with me when she was 8 months old and I had her for 9 hours, sometimes 10 hours a day for 4 days of the week. The parents moved house and told me they wanted to get a new childminder in their area as it was adding on to their journey time, I was upset but they reassured me that if they could they would have me carry on for them but that it just wasnt viable because of their journey time...fair enough so I helped them find a new one and gave them details. It then took them 2 months to get round to contacting her. I kept asking whats the situation..Ineed to know so I can look for other work and they kept being apologetic and saying theys not had time to get round to doing anything about but yes she would prob still be leaving by half term. Eventually the Thursday before half term they told me that the following day would be her last! So next day was her last, my children did beautiful cards for her, i did lovely card for her and passed on lovely learning journal that Id worked really hard on. And that was it. No thank you card/gift...nothing. Baby that we've gone through teething, illness, learning to walk, crawl...basically like part of out family for 5 months is gone and Im really upset that the parents never thought to thank me properly...sure, on the door they said a quick thank you but that was it. Am i wrong to expect more? Do any of you get upset when a little one leaves like I have?

nannyl Wed 04-Nov-09 13:57:17


if you look after a child for most of their waking hours durig the wek for months of course you expect a thank you
sad for you

clankypanky Wed 04-Nov-09 14:06:01

thank you nannyl, Ive been quite upset about it, I can't understand how people can be so ungrateful, yes they paid me but I was looking after the most precious thing in the world for them...I even nursed her when she was sick because they dumped her on me without telling me she was ill and then they scarpered. Is it unproffessional that last night I was thinking about her and worrying that she would be frightened at the new childminders...shes not being settled in or anyhting just thrown straight in with full time...and she was very close to my son too...hes pining for her already so I wonder if she is the same...its left me wondering if Im cut out for this if it upsets me so much.

Numberfour Wed 04-Nov-09 14:36:15

it's one of the hardest things when a child you really and truly love has to leave you. and when there is hardly a thank you, it stinks! I agree.

it's awful that you don't appear to have been valued as much as you should have been - whether by way of a card or stunning reference.

i have too often cried when a little one has left, so yes, it is not unusual to be that upset and to feel worried that the child may not settle somewhere else shows what a caring CM you are.

hopefully the family will realise they owe you a better thank you than a hurried one at the door........

clankypanky Wed 04-Nov-09 14:47:46

Should I ask them for a reference do you think? Might that jolt them into thinking they should have done something for me?

nannyl Wed 04-Nov-09 14:54:11

i think you shoukd definitely ask them for a reference smile

frakkinaround Wed 04-Nov-09 14:57:55

Definitely get a reference!

thehairybabysmum Wed 04-Nov-09 15:04:19

How rude of them, especially as you obviously love their little one too.

I use a nursery for my two and its such a pleasure that the staff clearly have lots of affection and time for my boys...i cant imagine not thanking them enormously when they have to go to school. As you say it is your most precious things they are looking after!

A member of staff recently left and i was gutted (though glad for her as it was a promotion) as she was lovely and has known my two since they were babies.

These people sound a bit bonkers and not deserving of you!! Hopefully your next charge will have more appreciative (i.e. normal) parents.

saintlydamemrsturnip Wed 04-Nov-09 15:16:33

Erm you sound a bit too involved tbh if you are worrying about her at her new childminders and describing her as 'dumped'. Yes it would have been nice to have been thanked as it is polite to thank anyone who has done a good job but from the parents point of view you weren't doing them a favour they were paying you.

I can understand why you are miffed but you do sound a bit over involved.

saintlydamemrsturnip Wed 04-Nov-09 15:27:02

have to say your notice period sounds too short! I always expect to have to give childcarers at least a months notice - seems fairly standard - I would change that in your contract.

BradfordMum Wed 04-Nov-09 15:52:21

Mts Turnip - in order to be a good childminder you can't help but get involved!
I still worry about them when I've dropped them at school or nursery, knowing that they've had an upset a home, or got a wobble tooth or just That they are a bit under the weather.

I think the world would be a better place if we all cared a bit more.

saintlydamemrsturnip Wed 04-Nov-09 16:02:46

I've employed good childminders. I expect them to care but not to be unable to stop thinking about a child who has moved on or to judge a transfer as 'dumping'. I would find that over involved (think there is a difference between over involved and involved).

Also re the gift thing - is this an only child? I have 3 kids - if I'm buying presents for teachers/carers directly involved in their care I have to get 14 for ds1 (he attends a special school and a respite centre and a childminder),5 for ds2 ( teacher plus after care) and 6 fir ds3 (teacher, ta and aftercare). I simply can no longer afford lots of individual extra presents do it tends to be something to share round or something very token ( du and I already don't buy each other Xmas or birthday presents so we're not being unilaterally mean).

NowtonTelly Wed 04-Nov-09 16:06:13

That's really sad. Our nanny has been with us for 6 months and if she left or we had to replace her, we wouldn't be able to thank her enough for all the hard work she puts in. At the very least, I would have a cup of tea with her and tell her exactly that - just how very much she was appreciated.

childminder Wed 04-Nov-09 17:00:16

Gentle reminder smile saintlydamemrsturnip childminders are not employed by families, we are self employed. We provide a service for fees that you pay.

Clankypanky, what notice period do ypu have in your contract?

If we didn't get so involved with families and the children we look after we shouldn't be childminding, it is hard sometimes when they leave. I have had one just leave and I miss him a lot. Some are more special than others

clankypanky Wed 04-Nov-09 17:34:14

I do have a notice period but i haven't asked for money because i just couldnt be dealing with the hassle and potential sour grapes it could cause, I think because I had a general idea that it might happen I decided it wasnt worth demanding a final payment.
I described her as being dumped because one day the parents came round, plonked her in my arms and said 'shes had a bit of a bad night' and then scarpered as quick as they could. I did feel like they dumped her because she was then ill with a soaring temp, I couldnt get hold of the parents on any numbers for most of the day. I then had to walk up and down for most of the day trying to soothe the little girl and when the other parent came to pick up she revealed that actually the child had been ill in the night...but they didnt tell me that in the yes, i did feel she was dumped on me - that day. Its an expresion of feeling dumped upon. (And I was referring to that day and not the transfer to new childminder)
I didn't say I was unable to stop thinking about made that up yourself. I have thought about her but Im not sitting here crying into my tea you know, you've taken it out of context.However when youve looked after a litle one and seem them reach so many milestones, and that that child cuddles up on you and goes to sleep and eraches out for you when they are sad means you build a bond...more than you would in a nursery where you have others to fall back on and a more rigid structure.
I suppose what added to it was that I had an e-mail from a friend of the childminder she has gone to quizzing me what they were like because she was now unsure of whether to have her or not because the parents had been a bit funny with her. I didnt say anything obviously because of confidentiality but it did concern me that the new childminders heart might not be quite in it-this is something they will have to work out though i suppose.
She is an only child although to be honest this doesnt bother me...its a doddle to write a card or make one isnt it?
Thank you everyone, its reassuring to know that Im not alone in feeling sad when a child goes....and I dont think Im over involved, if I was then I wouldnt be on here getting it out of my system. Id be ringing them or something!

saintlydamemrsturnip Wed 04-Nov-09 17:59:34

apologies - I do realise childminders are self employed and have always treated them as such ( they set the rules in terms of availability/ activities etc). I have bought in services from several childminders and nurseries and have directly employed childcarers myself - of course I treat childminders differently from directly employed childcarers.

I do think the parents sound a bit rude but I'm not sure they 'should have' done something for you. I don't know I think that's a kind of strange expectation for someone who was there for 5 months. Maybe it's just that we have employed or contracted the services of so many people over the last few years that whilst a thank you is always given we don't go overboard. For example I directly employed two students for 5 months to help out with disabled ds1 (always wirh me there).They moved on at the end if their studies and I didn't give them a gift- they were paid very well and they had a spoken thank you. No thank you card because my son can't write or draw so it would have been made by me - fairly pointless. . I did drop them a thank you card and note with their last pay packet but to be honest wouldn't have occurred to me to do anymore. And I would find it bizarre if they expected more.

However when ds1 eventually leaves his childminder who does respite care with him - and has done for about five years now - she will have a big gift
because she has been part of the family for so long and
has cared for him so well and she is very important to

So whilst - as I said I can see why you might be miffed - I think it's not perhaps something to expect iyswim. Just my opinion. I am not dissing childminders .

bibbitybobbityhat Wed 04-Nov-09 18:06:00

Yanbu clanky. Some people are just extremely thoughtless but you are yanbu to be miffed about it.

bibbitybobbityhat Wed 04-Nov-09 18:07:05

When my dd left her childminder after going to her for 2 days a week for a year we all cried! I certainly gave her a card and flowers.

thebody Wed 04-Nov-09 18:11:05

I think you sound a lovely cm and they, being rude and ignorant parents, were lucky to have.

Please remember most parents arnt like them and just be proud that you did a good job.

Numberfour Wed 04-Nov-09 19:30:41

def ask for a reference. it is always good to have a set of refs to show prospective parents, anyway!

frakkinaround Wed 04-Nov-09 21:20:44

I think a thank you card is a nice touch and a reference is an absolute must for any childcare professional. I have in my contract that a written reference will be provided at the end just as a reminder!

clankypanky Wed 04-Nov-09 21:57:23

Thank you everybody, youve made me feel much better, Im going to ask for a reference and see how they are as well in a nice never know, they may have just been busy and not got round to the thank you. I know it was only 5 months but like it was said before, it was long hours...most of her waking hours and quite intense as a result. And to reiterate to not grabby,a card would have been sufficient...which is what you did by the looks of things. This was the first baby that I looked after (in a professional capacity) and its all a learning curve I suppose. Thank you all for your comments.

summerstorm Wed 04-Nov-09 23:57:05

I think you were right to be upset. I have been a cm or a lot of years and keep in touch with most of the parents and children. Some of them are now bringing their children to visit. Does make me feel old but its lovely

saintlydamemrsturnip Thu 05-Nov-09 09:15:17

I'm not suggesting you were grabby, as I said the parents sounded rude but in your post where you talk about her being thrown in with her new childminder and your son's feelings of pining for her and your worry that she would be puniny for him I felt you did sound a little over involved for your own good really. You did ask in that post whether you were cut out for it and tbh I think you will need to take some sort of mental step back if you are going to deal with a succession of children.

Some parents will treat you as an extension of their family, others will treat you as a contracted hired help, many will be somewhere in the middle. Through all of that no doubt you will remain a professional caring childminder. But I do think if you're not going to get too upset when a child leaves you need to develop the ability to roll your eyes at people's rudeness rather than take it personally or continue to worry about the child.

I'm aware I'm not explaining myself well. I don't think you were grabby, I do think they should have said thank you but your post about worrying about pining does suggest to me that for your own sake you need to at some kevtl recognize that this is a contract of services - despite those being in your own home and involving children- and some parents will treat it as such. I'm not saying they should, but as a childminder I think you need to half expect it.

I could never be a childminder by the way as I know I would end up wanting to strangle the parents. Personally I think it's probably one of the hardest bits of childminding but unfortunately it is part of the job. You did ask whether you were cut out for it. I'm sure you are but you will need to get used to people treating you in that way.

45nanny Thu 05-Nov-09 09:47:12

Some parents just dont think about saying Thank you . I nannied a little boy full time 8/5 from when he was 8 m till he went to school at 5, also his baby sister for two years .
The parents gave me a months notice and on the day i left just said bye then .
I had my own child(the same age ,so the children had had grown up together) and was expcecting another .We didnt see them again for ages , (they were always busy when we wanted to see them ) I didnt want a gift , but certainly would have been nice to have a Thank you for taking care of our childdren for 5 years and being there for us and them when they were sick (and in hospital) and during all though wonderful moments , 1st step , talking etc.
Just know op that you did a good job of taking care of their child and move on to being a good childminder.

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