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"super- childminder", or is she??

48 replies

Chepstow1 · 03/12/2005 07:40

Hi there, wondered if I could pick the brains of childminders/carers/nanny's and mums. I have a 14 month son who has been going to a childminder since Sept for roughly 3 days a week. My childminder is lovely, very like minded on food/activity, and gives him lots of cuddles.

She is a highly qualified ex paediatric nurse and as a result is expensive (£6.50 an hour). I need some flexibility in my job, so have booked 4 days a week and only use 3. I feel that if she feels she is getting a good deal and is right for my son, then we all win.

OK, so here come the issues.....She has her own son and is very evangelical about giving up her career to be at home. She often makes the point that she has never left her son with anyone and just wouldn't. She has also made it very clear that my little boy needs to fit into her routine and this has resulted in him being forced into dropping his morning sleep which he has like clockwork when he is at home (and sleeps at lunctime and from 7-7 at night). She has told me that he never sleeps well at her house and does not need this sleep (when in fact I have discovered it it really because her own son gets up earlier than mine and by 9 is desperate to be out of the house, so all her activities start at 9). She has also said my son is a poor eater, where at home he eats more than me. Also, and this is the bit that is really irritating (but I can deal with if everything else was OK), she is constantly career counselling me, saying "why do you work", "couldn't you move house and live on less money", " a child needs its mummy", etc. I think she thinks she is being nice, but it trebles my guilt at being away.

Finally, she is I think the "good deal" e.g being paid a 4th day and not yet having had to work it has meant she just expects not to work it. Last week I asked her to work 4 days and she constantly told me how tired my son was, what a long week he's had, and how she doesn't know how I could face being away from him.

I was running a conference and really busy at work, and spent every evening in tears.

Am I just experiencing what all Mums experience when you leave your child, or should I give hee the boot and find someone with more experience (she may have lots of nursing quals, but I have totally led the way on using utensils for food and assisting mobility etc etc), and gives me less of a guilt trip.

OP posts:

snafu · 03/12/2005 07:59

Give her the boot. And while you're at it, ask her who the f* she thinks she is...

You are paying her (and she's got a great deal, imo) to guilt-trip you? How exactly does she imagine she would get childminding work if not for working mothers like you? There are plenty of childminders out there who will give your son lots of cuddles, feed him decent food and respect you as his mother and their employer.


thecattleareALOHing · 03/12/2005 08:01

You can't go on like this! You are paying her a FORTUNE to be patronised and insulted! No, find different childcare and if you are brave, tell her why!


NotQuiteCockney · 03/12/2005 08:01

I would quit, just for the guilt trip! How horrible, to have the person who's taking care of your child, make you feel you're making a bad decision. I'm sure you have enough on your plate without that!

And I'm sorry, but she should be working to your schedule, or at least trying to.


SpaGlorytoBlog · 03/12/2005 08:03

She sounds like she is taking liberties. Also why would she try and make you give up work and look after him yourself, she would be doing herself out of a job.
I personally would have to find someone else. I would want my child to be the number one priority.


Curmudgeonlett · 03/12/2005 08:08

I used a childminder and I've been a childminder. She sounds like a jumped-up know-it-all .. half of her job is to make you feel positive and confident about your decision not to undermine you.

Children do behave differently at their childminders, there should be flexibility to allow them to fit in with the childminder's routines .. also maybe with the stimulation of another child he really doesn't want to sleep in the morning .. he is on the cusp of changing sleep routines at that age.. and I am sure your child could sleep in the buggy in the morning if he needs it so that part I wouldn't particularly worry about.

the not eating depends on what she expects surely?

personally, if it was my child .. I'd look for an alternative childcare


snafu · 03/12/2005 08:19

Talk about biting the hand that feeds...


ks · 03/12/2005 08:21

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn

Curmudgeonlett · 03/12/2005 08:24

would also like to point out that being a paediatric nurse she will know how to administer IVs and manage serious health issues. All stuff where it is down to education and there are ways to do everything.

This does not mean that she is childcarer incarnate .. just that she had a career as a nurse

she knows as much as you know about childcare from a mother's pov


Chepstow1 · 03/12/2005 08:26

Hi there, wow thanks for the responses. I guess I am weighing up her attitude to food, activities and the "better the devil you know", versus her attitude. She is really bossy and on more than one occasion especially when I asked if she could delay going to Mums and tots to 9.30/10.30 (it runs 9-12) and was told flatly "no" and if I didn't like it maybe things aren't working out..

I am getting used to being back at work and thought it was just me being a control freak, but you guys are right, my son always comes second

He also never reaches to her for a cuddle which I find weird after 3 months. We've had friends to stay overnight who he does not know well, within 10 mins was totally ignoring my husband and I whilst dancing in their arms to head/shoulders/knees and toes...

Think the boot is coming!!! Going to place another line to see if there are any good childminders out there, plus look on gov web thing

Cheers, I am really happy!!!

OP posts:

Twiglett · 03/12/2005 08:35

agghhh .. you should have mentioned the cuddle thing immediately .. I think that's appalling

my DS patently adored his childminder .. he was never a cuddly toddler but would cuddle her and sit on her knee

DD (who is a cuddle-monster) recently spent a few days with her (when I was poorly) and also ran in for a cuddle

that would really concern me more than anything else .. I would really consider moving him

(have changed name back from curmudgeonlett)


noddyholder · 03/12/2005 08:38

She sounds dreadful!It is all for her like she is childminding to fund her life at home with her kids and nothing about the mindees at all.


Twiglett · 03/12/2005 08:40

although in your initial post you did say she gives him lots of cuddles? ??

now I'm confused


Chepstow1 · 03/12/2005 08:53

OK, cuddles, let me clarify... Whenever I leave she says "mummy loves you" and then during the day she tells me that she has given him lots of cuddles. She is always holding him when I pick him up (but I'd expect that). Also when its the end of the week she kisses him and says "I love you" and that she cannot wait for more cuddles next week...

I think the comment that my son is an accessory to fund her stay at home is spot on

God, I am a woman with a mission to find a replacement, going to type my ad now!!!

Cheers all xxxxxx

OP posts:

HellyBelly · 03/12/2005 10:08

Chepstow1 - how horrible for you. I'm a childminder myself and can't believe the way you've been treated so insensitively!!! I went to visit a pre-school yesterday with my mindee and her mum as they are both starting in the new year. I went to say something like 'oh no, there'll be tears on his (my ds) first day as this will be the first time I've left him like this' and I managed to stop myself as I suddenly remembered who I was with (although she's used to leaving dd as she has for over 2 years). I may not have left my ds with another carer but everyone is different - some choose to, some have no choice financially etc etc. I feel it's my job to make sure the parents are happy and comfortable and reassured if they have any feelings of guilt. What I read in your post shocked me and I really feel for you!

You must change childminder!!! Also, being paid for a day and then making excuses not to work it is bad enough without her making it a guilt thing too!!!

As for the price, don't know where you live but £6.50 an hour sounds such a lot. I charge roughly half that and thought that may be too much for some people. I'm sure you can find someone else no problem.

As for the sleep, what she said may be true? I had a mindee once who had a set time for morning nap and in the very early days, was fine with it but as he got to know the children and had loads of fun, he became a nightmare - would shout and rock the cot for up to an hour!!! Think he felt he was missing out on the fun!

As for food, I was going to say does she tell you exactly what has been eaten? I put EVERYTHING in a diary, every little bit of food etc. because if I was leaving my ds, I'd want to know all this. Having said that, even if the food wasn't an issue, I'd get rid anyway because she clearly has really upset you and I don't agree with the way you've been spoken to!!

Hope you manage to find someone else soon that you will be very happy with


HappyMumof2TurtleDoves · 03/12/2005 10:45

You've definately done the right thing Chepstow - where does she get off? what a bloody cheek.
I am a childminder and respect my mindee's parents and their decision to work. It is none of her business and she has no right saying things to you or your ds, she should keep her opinions to herself.
And yes, she is getting a very good deal financially, she should think herself lucky.
Will you be honest with her about your reasons for moving your ds?
It does sound like she is just childminding for the money and everything has to revolve around her child. I would find that a worry.
Good Luck finding her replacement, there are lots of lovely childminders out there who will do a so much better job than she is doing


mandieb · 03/12/2005 12:00

get rid of the old boot


Chepstow1 · 03/12/2005 12:23

Hi, have sent 6 emails to childminders with vacancies in the area and also just seen a lovely ad in the post office, so will see where we go. Thanks to all of you out there, you're fab. It's such a relief to know that the support is there

Big kisses to all of you


OP posts:

NotQuiteCockney · 03/12/2005 12:56

£6.50 is quite pricey for a childminder, with shared care. I think the normal price, in East London, is around £5, for that sort of thing. And it normally comes without guilt.


HellyBelly · 03/12/2005 13:29

Good Luck!


motherinfurrierfestivehat · 03/12/2005 13:42

Oh sweetie, I hope you find a really good childminder - as lots of us have - next time.


gemma97 · 03/12/2005 14:04

Good luck Chepstow. There are loads of brilliant childminders out there who love caring for children and are not judgemental at all. They, more than many other people, appreciate that women want to work for many reasons (as they do themselves) and that many of us have to in order to keep a roof over our heads. But whether we have to or just want to, no-one has the right to tell any of us that we should not work or that we should feel in any way guilty about it.

Go for it! Kick her to the kerb!


ThePrisoner · 03/12/2005 14:13

It's all been said already. Ditch her asap. I hope other people don't think that we're all like this awful woman (don't want to use the term "childminder", because she very clearly isn't).


Chepstow1 · 03/12/2005 21:28

Hi, I am going to kerb her for sure, even today have made some in roads into new and lovely carers. There is so muchinfo out there.

Hubby and I grinned and chinked a glass of wine tonight in celebratiion of binning her which says it all really!!!*

Kisses again

OP posts:

Tan1959 · 03/12/2005 21:47

chepstow1 - Keep us posted on your progress with search for a suitable childminder - I am sure there are lots of lovely childminders out there like us lot on here


Chepstow1 · 04/12/2005 08:49

Hi, sorry another question for you helpful helpful people out there. With my current and soon to be past childminder, I have paid her for 4 full days but never used her for all of that time (even when I was at the conf last week, I got Mum to have my little boy for half a day). Each week the hours have ranged from 2/3.5 days, and she has got quite shirty if I have tried to move days/times.

My boss is a dream, and has basically said that I can do the days I want and from home as long as the work gets done, and he is hiring an assistant for me so I can reduce the amount of work I need to do. This means that I will be able to do things like mums and tots etc in the morning and them would be looking for care in the afternoon on some days (probably 2 a week), there would be a full day in the office which would be semi fixed, but may need to move (as I would need to be in when my boss is and his diary moves all over the place), and there would be 1 day a week that I would have off and so would not need care. So, I'd be working 3 or 4 days a week, but 2 of those would be half days.

Is it normal/OK/acceptable to say to any new prospective childminders "can we agree hours/days each week?". I am very OK with guarenteeing min hours, say 25, and trying to fix the days as much as poss, but if I could find someone who could be totally flex, it would be great. What would you recommend on how I suggest this to any potential replacements for Super-childminder?

Thanks again, already got two people to call tomorrow, yeeha

OP posts:
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