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Childminder - AIBU?

(78 Posts)
HugeLaurie Tue 11-Jun-13 13:01:00

My childminder is also a friend of some 20+ years so advice would be appreciated.

She looks after my 8yo DS before and after school, inset days and some school holidays.

So here goes:-

1. More or less every night, when I collect my son, there are the childminder's friends at her house having coffee and a chat. This would be ok if the children were in the same room but they are often in the garden or another downstairs room, unsupervised. More often than not my son, who is the eldest, is reading to the little ones or playing with them in the back garden. This has become more frequent in recent weeks. My previous childcare was a day nursery so I don't know other childminders operate. Is this normal?

2. My ex usually picks our son up from school on a preset day during the week. Last week he contacted the cm directly to say he wouldn't be picking our ds up and could she collect him from school. Neither of them told me until half past five that the arrangements had changed. I had to cancel what I was doing (work related) to collect my son. I told both of them that I was not very happy about the lack of communication.

3. Yesterday one of the other parents shouted at my son and was quite nasty to him. I was there when this happened. I did tell my childminder that I did not expect other parents to shout at my child. Discipline is one thing, shouting is another. I am reasonably strict as a parent and my son does get told off when he does something wrong. But I would expect the childminder and not another parent to hand out any discipline if it is required.

All of these things are reasonably minor in the scheme of things and seem a bit trivial when I have typed them out. But I am feeling a bit annoyed and I wonder if IBU to feel like this.

CaptainSweatPants Tue 11-Jun-13 13:04:33

No 2 is miscommunication btw you & your ex & nothing to do with the childminder

The other 2 points would make me think again about using her

Is there an afterschool club at school?

He'd be much happier with children his own age I'm guessing

flowery Tue 11-Jun-13 13:05:54

1. YANBU, that is completely unacceptable, she is paid to look after the children not leave them to look after themselves while she chats with her mates. It's one thing with an 8yo but if I were a parent of the younger children I would be especially unhappy about that.

2. I think that should have been your ex communicating with you, not the childminder. He is responsible for care of your son on that afternoon, so if he can't make it and arranges for the CM to pick him up I don't think it's for her to tell you. I also don't see why you should have had to cancel your thing.

3. Surely the problem is with the other parent not the CM?

neunundneunzigluftballons Tue 11-Jun-13 13:06:50

Personally I think you owe your cm an apology about the confusion with your ex. That battle should be with your ex only. Again my argument would be with the parent who disciplined your child when you were there not with the childminder. Why would you expect anyone to discipline your child when you are there except you? Lastly I would have no problem with an 8 year old playing unsupervised within the confines of a house or garden with other children so long as he was not deemed to be in charge of them in any way.

No 1 I wouldn't be happy with if it was every day. I know some childminders meet other CMs at each others houses so is this the case? Or is it just friends back to hers for a gossip? If the latter I'd be pissed off.

No 2 this was your exs responsibility to inform you not the CM, she prob assumed that you had been informed and would be turning up to collect ds, not her job to ring you and notify you that your ex has changed his plans.

No 3. If you were there then I trust you steeped in quickly amd informed other parent they shouldn't be shouting at your son?? Not your CMs fault really but I'd be making sure with her that this isn't happening on a regular basis. If you were there then the cm wouldn't discipline you would!

frissonpink Tue 11-Jun-13 13:08:05

..and this is why my daughter will be going to a nursery come September!

Was very unimpressed with all of the childminders we visited. Dirty homes, unprofessional blurred boundaries between work/home, no control of visitors etc.

FunnysInLaJardin Tue 11-Jun-13 13:11:26

1. I would be happy with this. My 7yo and 3yo get looked after by my cm after school and she will have friends over while the dc entertain themselves. It's what I might do at home. What else would you expect her to do?

2. That is an issue which you are your ex should have sorted between you.

3. If another parent had done this to me I would have spoken to the parent, and also mentioned it to my cm

Overall I think YABU in thinking these are major issues

CaptainSweatPants Tue 11-Jun-13 13:11:52

Frisson - what will you do when she's at school though ?

FunnysInLaJardin Tue 11-Jun-13 13:12:32

what a shame frisson all of my CM's have been excellent. Much prefer a home environment for under 3's

1. My son is often out playing down at the park with my childminders own children (all aged between 7 and 9) or down the road with neightbours children, so this wouldn't unduly concern me.

2. This issue is totally between you and your ex. It's not your childminders responsibility.

3. I was there when this happened So what did you say to the other parent at the time?

treaclesoda Tue 11-Jun-13 13:12:39

With a childminder, I tend to think of it along the lines of 'what would I be doing at home, myself?'

So, I wouldn't think twice about having a couple of friends round for coffee and sitting in the kitchen whilst the children were in the living room, my friends and I do it all the time. But, having said that, we can hear what they are up to, and we're up and down so often playing referee when they can't agree on what to play to check on them, that they are definitely not unsupervised.

The second thing, I don't think the CM was in the wrong here, it would have been normal for her to think that you and your Ex P had sorted things out between you.

The third, that one would annoy me more. I wouldn't have dreamt of going to my CMs house and scolding one of the other children she was looking after, and I don't think she should, or would, have allowed me to behave like that in her house. I can definitely see why you are annoyed about that one.

moogy1a Tue 11-Jun-13 13:14:50

Frisson please don't turn this into a CM bashing thread. My home is not dirty, I rarely have visitors, I have a very professional attitude and my mindees start school at the same level if not better in terms of reading, socialising etc. than nursery children.
Sorry you couldn't find a decent CM. Do you live in a "rough" area? grin

HugeLaurie Tue 11-Jun-13 13:14:59

With regard to the other parent shouting at my DS. The other parent is also a friend of my childminder (not one of mine though). There were other parents there also and I didn't want to cause an issue in front of them. I had a quiet word with my childminder as I was leaving.

My ex got a huge bollocking about last week. When my son first started going to my friend as his childminder we had a discussion about changes of arrangements as my ex can be unreliable. We agreed that if there were any changes that she would let me know. I had to change my work plans as my ex was to keep our DS until 7.00pm that evening. If I hadn't got the text message my childminder would have had my DS until 7.00pm, which isn't fair to her. She is only paid until 6pm. I didn't tell her off, I just asked her to let me know in future.

treaclesoda Tue 11-Jun-13 13:15:25

Forgot to say that whilst I would be relaxed about a CM having friends over or whatever, I would apply different standards in a nursery. But then in my case, and many other people's cases, the reason I chose a CM rather than a nursery was because I wanted my DC to feel like they were at home, which is the atmosphere that my CM wanted as well. I didn't expect her to educate/entertain etc, I just wanted her to go about her daily life and look after them and keep them safe, give them a cuddle if they fell over, read them a story if they wanted it. Whereas I know some other people who see a CM more like a formal childcare setting. It depends how you view it.

HugeLaurie Tue 11-Jun-13 13:17:56

Sorry, forgot to say. My ex had two telephone conversations with my CM. The first was at 2.30 to say he was at the doctors and couldn't get DS from school but might be able to get him later on. My CM asked him if he had told me. He said no. She told him to tell me. The second phone call was at 4.00pm to say that he wasn't able to pick him up at all. Again she asked him if he had told me. He said no. She told him to call me. He didn't because he is a massive knob head. She told me that he had rang her twice and that both times she had told him to ring me.

neunundneunzigluftballons Tue 11-Jun-13 13:18:56

Ah I misread I just realised that the scolding was in your cms house and one of her friends did it. I would not be one bit happy with that. Speak to her and ask her not to let that happen again. I would b furious with the woman who scolded though how unbelievably rude.

MortifiedAdams Tue 11-Jun-13 13:19:30

If you were there, OP, and are so strict, why did another adult have to step in and tell.off your son? Where were you?

Dorange Tue 11-Jun-13 13:19:46

Why you didn't talk to the other parent yourself?
Once the parent is there it's them who is in charge not the CM anymore.
And if communication between you and your ex is no good it isn't her fault.
Can't comment on the other topic as you didn't inform the number of children and their ages....

HugeLaurie Tue 11-Jun-13 13:21:33

Mortified. I arrived as this was happening. All of the children were in the back garden. I walked through to find this parent shouting at my son. I didn't see what lead up to it. The CM was there when this happened.

FunnysInLaJardin Tue 11-Jun-13 13:24:11

in that situation OP I would have asked the parent what was going on and why he was shouting at my child

moogy1a Tue 11-Jun-13 13:24:22

no.2 so the CM twice reminded your ex to tell you and you still told her you were unhasppy?! Not her fault and I think you should apologise.

On the whole YABU!

The whole point of a CM is that your DC is in a family environment - Point No. 1 would not bother me at all.

No 2 - miscommunication, nothing to get too het up over.

No. 3 - Well the CM didn't shout at your DS, another parent did so how is it her fault. what had he done?

KellyElly Tue 11-Jun-13 13:29:57

None of your points would bother me apart from point 3 and I would take that up directly with the person who shouted at my child. Point 1 - unless they are slugging back vodka this also wouldn't bother me. If this person is your friend of 20+ years I understand your points even less, as surely this is even more of a home-from-home environment.

HugeLaurie Tue 11-Jun-13 13:30:13

I just asked her to let me know in the future. I didn't shout at her or anything. My ex got a bollocking, as he should have done. My only point was that if neither of them had told me about the change in arrangements then my DS would just have been left at the CM until I realised that his dad hadn't dropped him off at 7.00pm. Normally she texts me every week to tell me my ex has got him.

Dorange Tue 11-Jun-13 13:31:17

was the other parent shouting AT your son or trying to get his attention, o perhaps because he was involved in a dangerous situation?
what exactly did you witnessed?

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