My feed

to access all these features

Discuss everything related to paid childcare here, including childminders, nannies, nurseries and au pairs.


CM Club could really do with some opinions about this

55 replies

saltire · 13/03/2006 10:34

I'm a bit reluctant to post this here, but could really do with some opinions from other CM's.It's a bit long, so sorry.

I have two brothers that i mind, some weeks its every day, other weeks its only 1 or 2 days. The oldest is 2, he will be 3 in four months time. The younger brother is 14months. Mindee1 doesn't talk much, is still in nappies and is very clumsy. When he talks he doesn't string a sentence together, he will say
"oobble babble dabble Thomas babble babble"
or Babble babble car babble etc. He is still, as i said in nappies, and doesn't even know when he has wet in them or pooed in them ( as opposed to my part time 18month old who knows when seh's wet her nappy and will tell me). He is also very clumsy,if there is a toy on the floor he will trip over it, or stand on it, in fact he never steps over anything, he just stands on them, and trips over them. When we are out, every third or fourth step he trips, or he will repeadtedly walk in front of the buggy and trip over the wheels.
When its feeding time, his 14month old brother will sit in the high chair and feed himself quite well, as will the 18month old when i have her. However, Mindee 1 doesn't seem to know what to do with the food, probably not helped by some of the crap his mum sends for lunch mind. For example, if she sends soup, he just sticks his fingers in and trys to lick it off, if its a sandwich he puts it flat in the palm of his hand, and tries to eat it that way. He will also sneak up to the other kids and try and pinch their food.
I know they have problems with his sleeping. He never slept when he was a baby for more than 2 hours in a 12 hour period, and now he won't go to bed, he just screams the place down so they let him play in the living room until he falls asleep, which she says is sometimes as late as midnight, then she wakens him at 6 to get ready to come to me. Could this be having an effect on his develpoment? I have given her leaflets about the sleep clinic and asked her to talk to her HV about it, but as of this time she hasn't done anything about it.
I had my Care Commission Inspection last week, and we were going over the Care Standards, one of which was the one that covers observations of children etc. She was there while the brothers were, and she commented on mindee1, and said that she thought he was a very slow developer. She asked if i had mentioned his talking/potty training etc to his parents. I have told his mum to send pants and pull ups and i will help with potty training but she said he's not ready as they have tried and he didn't have a clue. I have also mentioned the talking, but she's very sort can i put this. If she hears him say a word shes all excited and jumps round the house, but doesn't then encourage him to try and say it again, and yet i know they talk to him a lot at home. She also thinks its normal for an almost three year old to only have a vocabulary of 6 words, but my own Ds are 8 and 6 so i cannot remember whats normal

Anyway, my CC inspector said that i have a duty to contact the local HV and aske her to come out and observe the child when he is with me, and she will then be able to bring the subject up with his parents as he will be due an assessment soon. My CC inspector said that going by her own children, and friends children he was very behind with his development and she had concerns about his clumsiness as well.
I was shocked at this as i feel she is asking me to go behind the parents backs on this, what about confidentiality etc. I am a bit uncomfortable about this and would really apprecitate some advice as to what othet CMs would do in the same situation. I know i run the risk of being shouted at, but i could really do with the opinions of other CMs, just to see what they would do? Do i go ahead and contact the HV? Please don't be nasty to me, i'm really stressing over this.

OP posts:
saltire · 13/03/2006 12:21


Walking along a straight line no, he was very unsteady, we made a game out of it.
Rolls over ok
Can throw a ball, but not at the person.
Can't catch it
Can't throw things into a bucket again we made a game out of it
can throw ball at wall, but can't catch it.
Never tried him climbing the gate TBH, but he can climb onto my sofa ok, or into the buggy, and when we go to the soft play area, he can climb on things there, although he does trip while he's doing it. But my Ds2 who is 6 can't always catch a ball!
He doesn't fall asleep in the car on the way home (its a good 3 or 4 miles away) because she told me that he cries all the way home. She says he is tired but just won't sleep, and as soon as they put him into bed he seems to be wide awake again and screams the place down, thats when they let him into the living room

Would any of you contact the HV though, thats what i would like to know? Or would you feel a bit uncomfortable about doing it like i do?

OP posts:
diddle · 13/03/2006 12:21

Obviously all children develop at different rates, but i do think that this little one is in need of some assistance.
I would observe him and note down for example in one day, all the concerns that you have.
I would then ask to meet the parent, not when the child is present, but when you can both have chance to talk freely, and to be honest i don't see any reason why you shouldn't tell the parent what the inspector said, and suggest that she contacts the health visitor herself, as you feel it is not your place to do so. Ask her to keep you informed as you suspect the inspector will follow up on the suggestion.It sounds like you are doing what you can to support the child.

RTKangaMummy · 13/03/2006 12:33

Oke doke

I was being stupid there BlushBlush

DS was doing those tests when he was 8

So probbaly not relevent for 2 year old


IMHO I would NOT go to the HV behind the parents back

I would ask if you can ring her at a convienient time to talk about him

I would tell her what the inspector said

BUT not go behind her back

Uwila · 13/03/2006 12:38

I've no experience as a CM, but i want to tell you what I would think as a mum. If a HV came knocking on my door because my childminder had contacted her I would too furious for words. And if further to that, you had never brought these concerns to my attention. Well, I would consider you both m=negligent and report you to proper authorities for failing to iform me of my childs percieved lack of development.

I know you are feeling very uneasy (as you should) so obviously you are not the kind of person that would do this. But, that inspector should be reported. Imagine advising childminders to go behind parents backs. And did she even advise that you inform the mother/father.

Stories like this are exactly why government beaurocracies should be responsible for the welfare of children.

Not to mention, a lot of people don't really care for HVs because they find them push, and unhelpful when they do need something.

Further to this, I do think this child is exhibiting some warning signs and it is your duty to inform the mother. That is really all you can do. I really think it is not your place to contact the HV.

Jackmummy · 13/03/2006 12:39

As mentioned earlier in this thread, I would look into the posibility of him having glue ear.
A child I minded had it and it affected her in many ways.
Speech delay due to not hearing others properly
Lack of co ordination as the fluid in the ear effects balence
Also sleep problems - she never went through the night and was often up for hours on end - apparently may have been due to severe headaches due to the pressure of the fluid build up in the ear.
She was also a very fussy eater and was spoon fed much later than my ds who was the same age - not sure if this is linked!
Anyway at 2 1/2 she had basically no language and was quiet a cross child. lots of tantrums etc.
Then she had gromets... a different little girl! Although she was alway lovely, I feel bad as I've only mentioned her problems.
Hope this helps,

Uwila · 13/03/2006 12:40

Oh, yes. I would definitely tell the mum what the inspector said. Then, tell the mum what your concers are. But, leave it at that.

Uwila · 13/03/2006 12:42

Must preview!

Stories like this are exactly why government beaurocracies should not be responsible for the welfare of children.

RTKangaMummy · 13/03/2006 12:44

Uwilla we do however have to contact the authorities if we suspect abuse/neglect for the sake of the child not the parent

but in this case IMHO the parents should do something

RTKangaMummy · 13/03/2006 12:46

Sorry I meant for the sake of the child not for the sake of the parents

ie the child is the most important thing rather than the parents if there is abuse/neglect happening

Uwila · 13/03/2006 12:51

Oh, sorry. Totally agree there. Of course if a child is being abuse the parents would get no sympathy from me.

Uwila · 13/03/2006 12:55

Saltire, I just want to emphasize that it is the inspector whom I think is off the mark here. Not you!

coppertop · 13/03/2006 13:15

I'm not a CM but I don't think that calling the HV would do much good tbh. If the mother really doesn't believe that there is a problem then the HV will not really be able to force the issue. The mother may also be annoyed with you for speaking to the HV in the first place, even though you had only the very best of intentions.

It sounds as though you may need to speak to the mother again. The issues you describe may be explained away individually but when you put them all together it paints a slightly worrying picture.

I can relate to the lack of sleep issue. My ds1 (autistic) rarely slept for more than 20 minutes at a time as a newborn. Ds2 (3yrs old and also autistic) is also a terrible sleeper. He too is still hyper until the early hours of the morning and needs very little sleep. This is improving slightly with the help of the Paediatrician and medication.

It sounds as though this little boy could benefit from an assessment by a developmental paediatrician to rule out any problems. The parents will have to be the ones to ask for this.

Good luck. :)

Isyhan · 13/03/2006 13:21

Was the inspector implying that you should go straight to the HV because she felt it came under the realm of child protection? Because otherwise its a matter for the parent. I dont think this sounds like a child protection issue.

Isyhan · 13/03/2006 13:25

Another thought. say you did contact the HV about this child. she is going to ask 'are you the legal parent or guardian' You will say no. So unless it is a child protection issue she cannot really discuss the childs health matters with you anyway can she?

Uwila · 13/03/2006 13:29

And another thought. Some people don't really like their health visitors and decline their services. If this boy needs a referral to a paediatrician, it is perhaps the GP whom the mum needs to contact.

waterfalls · 13/03/2006 13:40

Have just read this thread, and agree he does seem quite delayed, however I would'nt mind betting that the lack of sleep could be the cause of his delayed development. This child seems to know exactly which buttons to press with his parents, taking him out of bed and letting him play downstairs because he screams should not be an option for him, he needs to be taught when it is time to sleep, and have a strict routine, he is very young and should be sleeping around 12hrs a night.

I think he still needs to assessed though, and if I was the parent I would rather you approached me, than wisk him of to the HV behind my backSmile

ThePrisoner · 13/03/2006 18:55

If another professional has commented on apparent problems with your mindee, then there is a problem.

I certainly wouldn't contact the HV without the mum's knowledge, I think that this is way out of order.

Personally, I would talk to the mum (again!) about your concerns and tell her about the comments made by your inspector, and ask her if you can contact her HV if she is unable (or unwilling) to do so. It's not really your place to do this, but I think you do have to do something! It's also not your place to take the child to the HV, but if you were prepared to do it and the mum says it's OK, then that's what I would do.

It is then out of your hands, but you will have done all you can.

tigermoth · 14/03/2006 08:14

when my youngest son was at nursery, the staff were worried that he was unusually lively. They told me this on several occaisions and asked if they could get my HV to observe him during a nursery day. I told them ds was about to have his 3 year check and to wait till then. When ds had it, the HV said he was ok. I believed he was ok, too. I told the nursery staff this an thought the matter was closed. The nursery then went behind my back and contacted my HV, asking him to come in. They implied they had my full permission. I wasn't told till afterwards. The HV said my son was lively but normal, just as he'd said to me before.

When I found out, I was really angry. I felt I could not trust the staff and that they did not like my son much - an irrational thought perhaps, but I felt they did not have the measure of him. I would have taken my son away had it not been for the presence of his new key worker, who was lovely and the fact he was leaving soon to go to his new school.

So, my advice would be to tell the mother, be open with her at all times. Could you say it's not uncommon to have children's HV's visit childminders - would this help? I also think it would be good to tell her that something as curable as glue ear could explain everything, just to calm her fears.

If at a later stage you feel she is actually neglecting her child (no real hint of it so far) then yes, talk to the HV, but be prepared to lose her business. Hope it doesn't come to that.

Isyhan · 14/03/2006 10:12

I'm not sure I agree with you prisoner. Sometimes individuals end up in these inspection jobs and they may not necessarily be the fountain of skills, knowledge and experience they make out. Id certainly want to know the facts about what they are basing their judgement on rather than rushing off to a HV after someone from OFSTED has made a slight comment based on a short time with a child. Then when Id quizzed the inspector I would speak in depth to the parent. (~unless there was a real child protection issue)Im a parent and I would absolutely go nuts if a cm went straight to a hv before speaking to me. Im not a vindictive person but I would also make a point of telling other parents that is what she had done.

ayla99 · 14/03/2006 11:34

I would not approach the HV without speaking to the mum first, this goes against my confidientiality policy.

I would use tigermoths comment that its not uncommon for hv to visit cm and suggest to parent that, a busy working parent I understand it could be difficult getting time off work so I would be happy for hv to visit child while in my care and keep parent informed.

Uwila · 14/03/2006 11:39

I'm really suprised. Do parent delegate things like this to their childminders. I am the queen of long working hours. I delegate most things to other people. But, if I thought my child was not developing as he/she should and would benefit from some kind of assessment, you can be absolutuley certain that I would be there, not the childminder. This just strikes me as odd. Do other parents do this?

Furthermore, I'd be at the GP asking for a referral and not at the HV.

HellyBelly · 14/03/2006 13:56

Uwila - I think all parents are different. The mindee I have had since July started pre-school because I was putting my son there and they are the same age - I ended up phoning the school to arrange visit (me, my ds, mindee and their mum all together) and then confirming we wanted spaces. They are moving pre-schools after Easter and again I did the arranging (at mums request) but I said I thought we should all go independently this time. Mum clearly loves her DD but I think lacks confidence in doing certain things due to her DD being in childcare since 6 months old (just the impression I get from conversations we've had)

Uwila · 14/03/2006 13:59

Maybe I'm just a control freak. Grin

HellyBelly · 14/03/2006 14:02

Not at all. I'd be EXACTLY the same!! :)

Uwila · 14/03/2006 14:05

And my kids landed in full time childcare way before 6 months. Sometimes I wish I could go back and change that, but then I look at them and they don't appear to have suffered any.

So tell her not to feel guilty!! Smile

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.