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Should I be concerned about this new childminder

(14 Posts)
Dawnyann Thu 30-Jun-11 13:51:43

My 3yr old DD has just got a place in a preschool nursery (afternoons) so as I work more or less full time i've had to source a local childminder for me to drop her off with, childminder will walk her round to school in the afternoon & I can pick her up on my way home.

I have just received a freind request from said childminder on FB, which I reluctantly requested because we had a letter sent home from the nursery where my DD goes at the moment to say that all nursery staff should NOT be friends with parents on social networking sites as this can compromise positions and security of the child etc.

Anyway I HAVE accepted the request and now I have noticed that whenever I check FB at work (on breaks etc) the childminder is ALWAYS logged on!

Surely if you are running a childminding service from your home then you shouldn't be sitting on FB all day??!?! Can anyone give me any advice on how I can bring this up with her, because my DD hasn't actually started with her until next week due to having to hand a months notice in at her current nursery.

Aside from this issue, my husband said he "Wasn't keen" on the childminder when he picked my DD up from a "Trial day" last week, but couldn't explain why. He said she just looked "wierd" and said there was a strange man standing around in the garden! I explained that he CANNOT make assumptions on someones looks and that he was out of order, to which he agreed and said that he isn't 100% comfortable with ANYONE looking after our DD and was just being over protective.

So, do you think we should go with our gut instincts on all these negative feelings or just see how it goes when she starts? I'm so confused because if anything WAS to happen I would not forgive myself for not acting on these uneasy thoughts???

Sorry to rant on, hope i've explained it.


LadyDamerel Thu 30-Jun-11 13:57:46

How often does she actually post on FB? I know it's not necessarily an indicator of how long she's on there but it may give you some idea of how much she is using it. Also, how do you feel about the type of things she is posting on there?

IMO, you'd be better off finding another CM if neither of you are sure about her. Childcare is something you need to be 100% happy with or it doesn't work. Having so many doubts before she's even started doesn't bode well for the future relationship, tbh.

Dawnyann Thu 30-Jun-11 14:06:21

She's just always on the chat thingy at the bottom of the screen, and the main things on her wall are from all the games on there (farmville etc) so it's not so much about the content of it, just rather the time spent on there?

I can't comment about the strange looking man in the garden because I haven't seen him, but if he WAS there when I picked her up or dropped her off then I would ask who he was (which my DH should have done)

The problem is that without this childminder she can't have the place at the school because there;s no one else to take her for me and I want her to be at the nursery where she will be going to school to make friends, settle in & get to know it.
So if don't send her to this childminder I have to be sure. Oh god im so confused?!?!!?

hopenglory Thu 30-Jun-11 14:10:43

just because FB is showing her as there, doesn't mean that she is.

Somebody else may be using the computer, it may just be running all the time - doesn't mean that she's sitting at it, neglecting all of the children.

If you want to know, ask her

swash Thu 30-Jun-11 14:14:19

Dawn, I would arrive early next time you collect her so that you can check things out. I would err on the side of gut instinct here. I felt strange about my cm, but thought I was being silly. She wasn't bad in any way - well apart from the fact that she put my 6-month-old baby in a front-facing carseat and later in a baby walker - but we never gelled and I don't think she liked my dd much (who was admittedly not the easiest of babies). She was used to looking after friends' dcs and just wouldn't do anything my way.

I pulled dd out after 4 months and bitterly bitterly regretted having ignored my instincts for so long. I still felt bad about it five years later and have only got over it very recently (dd is 7). I found out much later that a friend had interviewed her and decided against sending her dc there because she thought she was a bit strange (made me feel even worse).

I don't think it is acceptable to be logged in really - and if there are any updates at all while she is childminding then that is really wrong.

mumblebum Thu 30-Jun-11 14:16:04

I have FB up on my computer all the time so it always looks like I'm there when I'm not. I often get back to the computer and find people have started chats with me when I've not been there. She could be the same and just dipping in and out of it.

Dawnyann Thu 30-Jun-11 14:16:49

Yes I had thought that because I do the same at work, (leave it running) she does have a daughter who seems to be sitting at a desk whenever i've been there so it could he HER using it.
I AM going to ask her but I don't know how raise the question without her thinking im accusing her of neglecting the children. "touchy subject" IFKWIM. any tips on how to approach it?

Dawnyann Thu 30-Jun-11 14:23:56

Swash, i DO know what my DH was on about because I also had the same feeling but none of us know why or can put our finger on what it is exactly, and I know that it's wrong to judge someone solely on their appearence which is what im fighting with myself over.
My DD seemed to like it there but she's a very easy going child and would settle in most places.
Their OFSTED report is all good marks with a couple of "outstanding" marks. I also asked a neighbour who's DS goes there and she gave them a glowing report, so maybe we are BOTH being over protective, cos thats a natural thing surley.

Thanks for all your comments BTW really appreciate it x

Dawnyann Thu 30-Jun-11 14:25:39

Swash - Did your friend say WHY she thought she was "strange"?

2cats2many Thu 30-Jun-11 14:27:30

I always try and go with my instincts. It may be unfair to the childminder in question, but if there is something bothering you, even if you can't quite put your finger on what is is, you should listen to that little voice.

Your subconscious often picks up on things that your conscious doesn't and that is what gives you 'bad' feelings IMO.

swash Thu 30-Jun-11 15:04:47

Dawn, one thing was that she went on about how friendly she was with the people who left dcs with her (that she went on holiday with them etc). She said the same to me, but I assumed that she meant they were her friends already. I don't know why that felt odd but it did. To me she explained in great detail how she would have to report me if she felt my dd was being abused confused. It made me feel strange - because obviously she wasn't - but I knew that she had previously worked in child protection so had this in her head.

I don't know - she just had a funny attitude. I was v protective of my baby, and she thought I was an idiot. For example, I didn't want the sun on her and provided a buggy umbrella for her to use. She never did. She once said 'She wouldn't stop crying so I stuck a plug in it' meaning a dummy in her mouth. I thought she just had a funny way of talking, but obviously it wasn't the way I wanted my child to be referred to. And the car seat thing was very odd.

In the end, we parted company crossly and with great relief on both sides. She was a mum of two who knew it all - I was a new and paranoid mum. We didn't get on. As a much more experienced mum, I think she was a bit of a cow. And I shouldn't have left dd with her because I wasn't ready to let go.

If you feel funny, go with your instincts. I looked for lots of reasons why I should stop the arrangement, but in the end I should have just thought that I didn't like her and so I didn't want her looking after my baby.

flaurenoko Sun 03-Jul-11 09:41:32

You know the new MSN messenger logs you into facebook chat automatically.. I have MSN running on my computer all the time - with this new version its constantly showing me as online on FB chat..

Thats one possibility..

Another, and this could be the reason she added you as a friend is so she can leave her computer on, logged into facebook at all times, so if you need to send her a message you can easily.. Obviously its not always easy to answer a mobile - where as messages sitting in chat will wait till she is ready!

BlueberryPancake Sun 03-Jul-11 10:43:28

I am training to be a childminder and I would say that you are entitled to ask who the man in the garden was, if there are other people in the house/garden on a regular basis they have to be CRB checked. It was made clear to us during the training that we should try to avoid as much as possible other people coming to the house (clearner, gardner, handyman...) whilst the children are in the house and to keep a log book of all visitors. You can see the book a registered childminder should have one and you are entitled to see it. (unless there's an emergency obviously, a plumber for example...)

Also, as to being logged on, my computer is upstairs and often switched on all day even if I'm downstairs. I don't use fb so I can't tell you the ins and outs, but I am 'logged on' to Msn pretty much all the time the computer is switched on, but I'm not in front of the computer. Does that make sense.

With regards to child protection, a registered childminder has to inform parents that there is a procedure in place for child protection and safeguarding children, it is our obligation to share the information with you. alongside another 40 odd policies and permission forms..... I know it's a pain but they are requirements imposed by Ofsted.

I'm not saying that you shouldn't question your decision; if you are not confortable you are perfectly entitled to look for an alternative.

InLimboAgain Sun 03-Jul-11 21:13:30

TBH, if it was me I would keep dd at the nursery she's at now, I understand you want her to be settled at the school, but my dd went to a different preschool and was fine starting school. In fact, it could actually be more disruption for her having to settle with a CM (especially one you're not sure about) as well as new nursery, than just switching to school in a year?

This is just me though, dd had 2 CMs (picked up after school) and I wasn't happy with either of them, for very different reasons,I've vowed never to use a CM again! (Sorry to those good CMs out there, I'm sure you do exist!)

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