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Child Coming To Setting In Clothes Way To Small For Her.


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Hi we have a mindee that comes to us on a flexible basis. She is 14 month old but is often in clothes that are aged 3 months and 6 months. Sometimes with the buttons undone so it "fits" or the poppers only 1 of them done up. ie vest. I'm concerned as she should be wearing appropriate clothes but I don't know if there is a finace issue here and they can't afford new/second hand clothes.

 

I don't know how to talk about it to the mum. She looks at us as we are just babysitters as it is. We are there to look after her and that's it. Tried to explain the EYFS to her.

 

Advice to how we can handle this.

 

Thanks

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This is a very delicate situation, isn't it? Is the lack of clothes that fit the only thing that worries you about your mindee? Do the parents pay their fees on time, or are there other underlying signs that there are financial difficulties in the family? If you are not at all concerned about other aspects of the child's wellbeing, I still think you need to raise the issue with her parents.

 

I think maybe the only way would be to start a casual conversation about how the clothes she is wearing today are too small, and that you're having problems putting them back on her after changing when she gets wet, or whatever. The parent may well confess that money is tight, at which point you can discuss some tactics or offer tips on how to source cheap clothes of the appropriate size.

 

In pre-school I would use some of our spare clothes, and tell the parent that when the child got wet we realised that the clothes she had were too small to put on her, so I'd changed her into some clothes from our stock. I'm not sure whether you have a stock of spare clothes as a childminder, but it can be a useful way of starting a difficult conversation. We're fairly used to telling parents when their children's plimsolls are too small, or their spare trousers are now far too short, so for us it is perhaps easier to talk about these things.

 

I'd also make sure I made notes of my conversations with parents, just to be clear about who said what, and what the parent's response was. I'm not saying there is necessarily anything untoward going on, or that this child is being neglected in any way, but it always pays to document everything.

 

Good luck - let us know how things go.

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I think HappyMaz has covered it perfectly!

 

I do, as a childminder, keep a stock of spare clothes (often donated by other parents) and will send children home in them if they get wet/dirty etc (most days :o ) I've also had families pass things on to other families here, whether they're struggling financially or not.

 

Certainly raise the issue with the little girl's parents, and document it. If they are in difficulties you may know of someone with outgrown clothing to pass on, to help out.

 

Keep us posted!

 

Nona

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Great advice as always from Happymaz and Nona.

 

Before speaking to the parents I would have a think about who this is a problem for. It could be that the child is still comfortable in the clothing and the parents don't see appearance as an issue. If that is the case I don't think there is anything to address except how you feel taking the child out and about.

 

If she were older and more self-aware that could be different but perhaps at that stage they will make more effort to get her clothing which fits.

 

Is raising this issue now a good way to improve what sounds like quite a difficult relationship with these parents already or will it be more detrimental to the child than the clothing currently is? You are the only one who sees how tight the clothing is and can make that judgement. It's hard to tell from ages and sizes because babies and clothing vary so widely.

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Really difficult isnt it?

I have to say though that when my oldest was a baby I cut the feet out of a baby grow so it fitted better because I loved it!

Do you know anyone with older children who needs to have a clear out? yOU COULD HAVE THE CLOTHES WITH YOU WHEN MOM ARRIVES OR COLLECTS AND ASK IF SHE IS INTERESTED IN TAKING SOME OF THEM OFF your hands. (Darn caps button!)

Be careful though that mom doesnt come to rely on your generosity in sending her child home in your clothes. My ex sister in law knows my mom will buy my niece and nephew anything they need (an 11 yr old in age 9 trousers and a 7 yr old in age 4-5 knickers) so she doesnt attempt to cloth them herself.

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I had a similar conversation with a parent last week who keeps sending their (small) 2 year old in a coat for 12-18 month old.

 

I just mentioned to the parent that the child was having some difficulties when playing outside moving around and playing as the coat was restricting him a little bit. I asked if it would be possible for them to send him in something a little bit bigger. I don't think the parent genuinely realised because he seemed quite shocked, yet happy to sort it. The child came in the next day with a better fitting coat. I also recorded it in our incident book (where everything gets recorded!) so we have a record of the conversation that dad and I had.

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