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Hiya one and all, hope youve all enjoyed your hols and such. Im back in the seat and as busy as ever. To add to the mix I had a call few weeks before school started from parent whom needed a nursery run. Fine except the drop off is at 07:20 am and she was in a panic as her nursery doesnt start until 08:00am. Never one to say no, I said I was willing to do M-F but that my rate would be higher before 09:00am. Im charging £5.00. Its a 32mth only boy. As most of you know I have four of my own so mornings are busy to say the least, this little one has been unsettled. This is due to a change in his setting prior to summer break- he had changed rooms in nursery - to one in my opinion you could just swing a cat, but I digress. Anyway basically it has been a very emotional week for me and him.


The drop off Mon, was as expected very tearful ( they arrived at 07.10) he cried in my arms forbest part of 40mins/ I did put him down with the others in front of tv for a few minutes whilst I dressed my youngest but he was so distressed I picked him up again where he eventually fell asleep on my shoulder;which of course meant that my hubby/eldest girl (10yrs) helped with breakfast/dressing etc whilst I was seeing to littlun. I texted parents to tell them update and asked whether I should still take him to nursery or wait until he woke. They said they wanted him to get into a routine and he would wake anyway. He did but on return of school run. quiet after that and drop off at nursery wasnt too bad after I pointed out that he would need consoling and cuddling ( !!?).


Anyway tuesday was slightly better ie 30mins upset but still cuddling needed dropped off at 07:15. I spoke to mum and suggest that they leave him till last minute to wake and I would dress him on arrival. The dad had been waking him up at 06.00am !! ( he said he was awake actually) which would as we know add to his emotional distress as well. WEdnesday they took my advice and arrived 7.25 ish. At nursery he started crying again as keyworker/person he liked wasnt present. I had to prompt them again that he need a cuddle. The staff there stand upright and talkto him like an adult " hi B do you want a cuddle" I find this 'hands off' approach rather strange to say the least. Admittedly I am compeletly 'hands on' - whom isnt ? and dont know how nurseries operate but was rather shocked. ( they have been looking after him for a year after all)


Each day has gotten better re crying at my setting and Friday was down to 2mins! :(


My problem is that I wanted to chat to them face to face re week and my concerns re his care ( or lack of it) at nursery. So I arranged via text on thursday, for an update and chat on the Sat. His emotional state is delicate re changes - but my concern is that at nursery unless a specific person is there that he likes he is upset. They must of mentioned something about the key worker as Thursday and Friday a different staff member was there whom thankfully knows her stuff ie approached me and took him out of my arms ( what Id expected from the start of the week :o )

The dad phoned me thurs evening on the pretext of fees but actually was because they thought I was going to cancel on them. His wife on the previous settling in visit had been upset about me expressing my dislike of nurseries ( what did they expect me to say ? that I loved them ? -I am very what you see is what you get but maybe should have kept my opinions to my self...) That they were happy with the care he recieved. That they had every confidence in me to do this for them (!?) He did sound taken aback when I told him that i'd had to prompt them to pick him up. And that they really needed me to do this for them. I did say that I know it was only my opinion and that Im not going to say he is fine when he isnt. I also know that it is up to them what they do re their son.

Id suggetsed that he might come to me full time but they wanted to see how he settled first. I explained that at the moment it was okay but would change should someone come along and need a full time place ( which I havevacant at the moment). He said he understood this too.

So I felt upset. I havent spoken to them face to face which is what I knew this situation needed. I know feel that they dont want to know what think and just do the run so to speak. He then on Friday late pm texted me to say "thanks for this week".

So now my problem is this - a) am I charging to little re the early start; it does impact on me and the family

:( i was going to suggest that he come one day to me when my son isnt in nursery but maybe I should wait a few weeks ?

c) should I say that not prepared to do it unless in a month or so they switch to me full time. Still not sat down to do contracts as still in settling in period.


I was rather upset this week. I find it difficult when kids are distressed to pass them over to such a different approach to my own. Your thoughts comments and advice please. I am more disensitised now than on Friday but that is because Ive had a lie in till 08.00am !! xD Ive been sending a photo each day of how he is at my setting but am feeling un appreciated at the moment. I dont think they know what they have got with me. :(

One important thing to mention that Ive forgotten but youve probably guessed is that he is their first and only child. They are both secondary teachers needing to travel far to work. hence the early dropoff. thanks for reading.

Edited by waveawand
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As I am not a childminder, I find it difficult to comment upon the specifics of your post but would just like to say that I think, from you have said, that you sound like a real treasure and any parent would have struck gold to find you!

Dont give them an ultimatum though re your place, it is early days yet, although maybe you could give them some outline of your expectations re a child in your care?

Good luck with this one, you are emotionally involved already and you may need to be more detached to cope?

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It sounds like your style of childcare is very much at odds with that of the nursery. I'd seriously struggle (and I have in the past) with handing a child over to nursery staff who don't seem to recognise when a cuddle is appropriate. It can make you feel very emotional on behalf of the child.


I think I would take this as two separate issues.


The first would be whether it was worth it to me to have a child taking so much of my time at a point of the day where my family needed my attention. I would consider whether this is sustainable and whether, as he settles, it will get easier anyway. I don't think you can expect the parents to move the child because you don't feel that the arrangement is appropriate. If you don't feel it's right or sustainable you should probably just give them notice. If they feel forced to use your service you could end up with resentment causing problems in the future.


The second issue is the nursery staff. If, when you hand this child over, you feel that he is getting inadequate care in any way you should probably arrange to chat with the manager and let her/him know what you have observed. The staff may behave differently when being watched ny the boss. As you've already told the parents of your concerns you have done all you can to address the matter unless something more serious happens which makes a complaint to Ofsted appropriate.

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Yes you certainly sound as though you know your stuff. However I am a little confused as to how you can say he is gettinglack of care in the nursery just because you needed to prompt them to give hima cuddle; how can a judgement be made at a 5 min handover with regards to the rest of the day?

The Key person approach doesn't work 100% of the time due to shift patterns, holidays, training, sickness etc. However, there should be a buddy in place. How do you know that the kp wasn't off or in later and that the buddy hadn't phoned in sick?

I understand that you say you are not a big fan of nurseries, which is your very welcome opinion, however, please don't make sweeping judgements or suggestions to the parents without knowing the full facts. If however,you are aware of the full facts then I aplogise 100%. This is just my opinion; I have been both a childminder and now manage a nursery

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I think that the child is being expected to adapt to 2 settings at the same time which is a lot to expect from a young child. I don't have a solution but in my experience this is not a realistic expectation for a young child.Had your mindee had visits to yourself and the nursery beforehand.I have been a childminder and a pre-school supervisorfor a long time.Maybe you need to suggest to parents that you take him later to nursery and stay with him to settle him in. Yes naturally I would console a child who was upset on arrival but we did find this week with lots of new ones that they needed less cuddles by the end of the week. We also use strategies like distraction, buddying child with an older one, comments like mum will be back soon. A 2.5 year old would be able to understand a simple picture routine.

Good luck in a few weeks you will forget he even cried at all- hopefully.

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Had your mindee had visits to yourself and the nursery beforehand.I

Thanks for all your comments. The child has had a few visits to me before this week. The nursery is one he has attended for a year. The change there is one of environment - not staff as all of them seem to know him. Your right about sweeping statements(janny1960) I dont know whom if anyone is his keyworker. Im sort of focussing now on Friday rather than earlier in the week. I wouldnt be bothered I think if I thought he was happy. His parents think he is. I dont personally think he is. At this age he needs consistency and a "surrogate" mum me thinks. My humbly opinion and one I can only hope his mum comes around to eventually too. He only sees he parents for any length of time at the weekend,they dont pick him up until six where he is of course happy to see him.

I will see how things go this week. Hopefully the emotional side of drop off will diminish as we go on. I have thought of staying longer at nursery too if he should be distressed this week too. Not sure if they will allow me to do that though?


thanks again for all your responses. :o

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I would suggest that the child is confused because of the change of routine; too many changes and transitions at once, a room change in the nursery and now having to go to a childminder. Hopefully with careful handling and tlc he will settlle. I assume the parents spoke to the nursery before hand and told them what was happening and that he may be unsettled for a while. Have the nursery set up a communication book so that the parents can know straight from the nursery how he has been that day, if not it may be worth suggesting it. As for staying with him; well there are 2 schools of thought here 1 is to keep it short and sweet, drop him off, say your goodbyes and leave, the other is to stay and see him settled; but I am making a judgement here now, my guess is he hasnt developed the bond with you yet that he has with the nursery staff, so as I said my guess is he's upset at the many changes and transitions going on rather than being left by you; hope that makes sense

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Really feel for you and the little-un. It would do my head in a bit to be handing over when I thought it would be better all-round for the child to stay with me. However, he was in Nursery first - and settled there - so I would hope I'd be able to swallow my pride and crack on with the job in hand (of course always hoping Mum and Dad finally see the light!).


It is really hard for parents (especially teachers for some reason) to take time off to look after their children in emergencies, so I can see why they would want to stay linked up with a Nursery which won't close up if one worker is sick or unavailable. That sort of security is important for the family, so good for the child too. If it looks like parents are coming around to wanting you to have the child all day, I would have some good back-up available in case my kids or I got crook. You could also make a bit extra (and brownie points) by being available for Nursery Training Days.


When you say you charge £5.00, is that per hour or from 7.20 'til 09.00? I think it's a bit cheap for the later and very good gettings for the former.


Hang on in there, Do the best job you can while being true to yourself and I hope you have a better week. You might even get some recommendations for more work from these parents.


Very best of luck



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It has taken me a while to decide to reply to this one but here goes my two penneth form a parents view... and yes it will be long!


he has been happily attending the nursery for a year, and parents have been very happy with the care he has been receiving... due to their commitments they now find themselves in a position where they can no longer be the ones to drop off and need someone to fulfil this role, which you have undertaken to do.


meanwhile the child has had a break for the holidays so out of routine, a change of room at nursery and to top it all yet another new person , environment which is totally different to all the others he has previously known.. a fair enough reason to be unsettled in itself... you do have to remember that you are the newest change added to his routine.. the others while changing are still similar .. and familiar people , against the one week you have had the child (5days of less than an hour?)


as a parent I would feel very aggrieved to have someone who knew so very little about my child and had seen them less than 5 hours commenting or telling me how they felt about my choices and how I was looking after my child.. which is what the comments about your personal opinion actually are... you may not like nurseries but it is all your opinion and how you feel.. many do like them and children are happy in them , and this family obviously chose this route for their childcare for a reason.. not your place to comment on it really.. no matter how you feel about them. Your suggestion about coming to you full time also undermines their decision and could be seen as someone 'poking their nose ' into their choices/ decisions. same for one day a week idea.


You really have no idea on how the nursery cares for the child or has been for the last year except for a brief handover in the morning.. there may be reasons they don't jump to cuddle a 2.5 yr old who has been with them so long..they may have found that is it better to have a more adult approach to him..its not necessarily hands off just different to your own.. (and in fact my child who also was an only would have found your approach overbearing and totally backed off in all ways...even when he was upset.. not what he liked at all..)


think maybe you would be better to decide if you can cope with the half hour and drop off and if you want to continue to do it..


I do think it wrong for you to make suggestions to parents on such a short time and without giving the child a chance to really settle into a new routine, and also about your feelings or expectations form the nursery , no reason why they should have the same as you or treat him as you feel is right.. they know the child better than you do after all..


There is so much you don't know about the way the child is cared for and while you can say things like 'handover was difficult he was unhappy'.. you really do need to give the facts and not your feelings across to the parents... be a little more objective and give the child a chance to settle.. Nursery class/ preschool is not far off , what then yet another change ..leave as is and let the parents make the decision..

Edited by Inge
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My heart goes out to all involved... and I hope you won't feel that I'm "having a go" Waveawand.... but, personally I don't think I would continue with the arrangement.


I was taught that the golden rule of childminding is "if it's detrimental to me or my family then it has to stop"... so no early starts, journeys out of the way to take one child if I have to load all the others into the car in all weathers etc. If it's bothering you enough to make this post then it isn't really working for you and your family and, with your "business" head on, I think you'd have to agree that the financial gain isn't worth the upset!?


This arrangement sounds like one change too far for this little soul... he's had 6 weeks at home with Mum and Dad, (where he's maybe used to being spoken to in an adult way) before returning to a familiar setting and staff (albeit a different room) but spending half an hour in a different environment first (please don't think I'm criticising - my house is no place for the faint-hearted before the school and nursery runs... children arriving, breakfast on the go, hubby and teenage daughter still getting ready for their day, so I can understand he may be overwhelmed) and then taken by someone new to nursery.... the staff there may be following the same arrival strategy that has worked for him and them for his year with them and although you would do it differently, again that's another change for him to handle xD


I honestly think that the parents are doing their best to keep his routine the same by continuing at nursery and may feel that you're not supporting them fully if you're criticising the nursery and their choices - and basing your observations on a few minutes for only 5 days. (I've bitten my tongue sometimes when taking children to other settings unless I've seen something REALLY untoward)


My gut instinct is that the parents will quickly make a decision about continuing the arrangements... you're still in the settling-in period - how long is that? Could you offer to extend it to see if things settle over 4-6 weeks or until the parents can make alternative arrangements, if that's what they choose?


I really think a heart-to-heart chat with them to say that you have reservations but didn't mean to criticise the nursery (remember, they're happy with it) They may have read your comments as promoting your own services by bad-mouthing the nursery (not a reputation you want to get)


I'd put my hands up and say that I'd thought through my comments etc and apologise for speaking out-of-turn and see if clearing the air reduces everyone's stress levels a bit. Put it down to "back to school-itis" and hope that next week is better! :o



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Hiya again, I understand and have gone through most of whats been said. Yep I have apologised for airing my views (this was before I started the week by the way and just a general comment ie not specific to their choice but to nurserys in general). The mother had already expressed concern re the new room and how small it was; how unsettled lo had been for some weeks previous and not wanting to go in for "ad hoc" days in hols due to their work load) They have never been able to take him to nursery. A friend has been doing it for the duration of time he has been there, and can no longer do it. Hence the panic to find someone to take him. They have asked whether I have other children during my day - as Im studying I only have mindees on one day of the week (thurs). They are not adversed to at some point him needing to come to me as she was going to move him to preschool but they also didnt start until 08.00am.

The child is with me from 07.20am until 09.20 when I can get him to nursery. So not just half an hour and we have spent three separate meeting days prior to the start up day of several hours a piece.


Friday was the best day with him relaxing enough to play with some toys and enjoy time with my kids on school run ;chatting etc; eaitng some breakfast which is a first. I think this week will be very informative. And I do agree with you Inge and janny1960, to be objective; its very hard but I have I think got my head around it. After all, whom am I to tell them what to do ? I will endeavour to restrain my ever eager tongue :o and pack in enough quality interaction with lo in the short time I have with him.


It was that whole juggle of whether to share what I'd seen re emotional state of the child; or to just put it down to first week back etc. As a parent I want to know both good and bad news . As a professional if I hadnt said anything and a further (god forbid) incident occurred; how would I feel having said nothing ? I wish now that I had kept them to the meet on Sat. as it wasnt something I wanted to do over the phone. But the last thing I wanted to do was appear to be criticising there decision or query they care of the child. I did emphasis this on the phone, repeating that if they were happy then I was ( well have to be as its there call). It was the emotional welfare of the child that I was upset with, and incidentally despite the short time Ive known him, he more than once on drop off at the nursery held on to me. xD


Will let you know how things are this week. Thanks everso much for your responses !

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