View Full Version : Returning to Childminding, some help please

08-02-2013, 10:20 AM
Hi everyone, I have been a childminder on and off for the last 4 and a half years and have just had my 3rd child, I wasn't going to return as all the Ofsted pressure and not much confidence in myself put me off, but I have decided that I have the childcare qualifications and experience and I know a lot about what I should be doing, and this forum is brilliant for filling in the gaps, so Im going to brave the pressure and take the inspection as a learning curve even if I get a lot of recommendations. I guess any job I would do would have similar pressures so I may as well do something I can do from home and alongside caring for my own children too.

Anyway, Im looking at what I need to do before I re-start and have some questions.

Can anyone recommend the best stair gates that my 2 year old will not be able to keep pushing on and loosening it so much that it just pushes open?! We have ones that you adjust with a bolt for tightness but it seems to always come loose and then he just forces it open. Maybe one that screws into the frame?

We have a fireguard and the chain attaching it to the wall broke so I was using a bit of string to tie it on to the attachment but again my 2 year old can get this off! The gas fire is actually disconnected so its ok for the moment, if I had one of those chains with a clip style end, I wonder if he would suss out how to open this ..... any alternatives?

My kitchen cupboards don't have a lockable cupboard for cleaning cupboards, what do I do about this? A safety catch isn't good enough is it?

Does anyone have a list of what I need in my first aid box as need to recheck this.

We now have a new shower room which has a vanity unit in it, can I keep toiletries in there if I use the safety latches?

Anyone recommend the best safety latches seeing as my 2 year old has sussed out how to open or break some of them!!

Is it ok to send my 2 year old away for the week when Ofsted visit lol as he is living up to the terrible two's and Im nervous that he is going to being as much of a pickle as possible lol. Im hoping they won't visit till after he has learnt my boundaries of climbing up onto the backs of the sofa to look out windows, pushing open stair gates, climbing on stools in the kitchen to access what he see's on the side (have since locked the stolls away to save my sanity!) He is really testing everything at the moment, won't hold my hand half the time when getting out the car to the school run so have to wrestle him in the buggy as he just stands still .... if I have a younger one to childmind there will be no room in the buggy! Shouts 'no' at me in a really cross voice ...... I guess I need to just perservear on the boundaires and time outs? Any tips on that! My first was so good and my 2nd is loving the terrible two's!

May be back with more questions!

08-02-2013, 10:47 AM
It seem like most of the childproofing problems are with regards to your 2yo. I would fix the 2yo rather than the house ;):laughing:. I know it's hard, but he is old enough to understand that he should climb or push on gates and latches. It just takes a lot of stubborness on your part in enforcing it until he realises that he mustn't do it.

We have had both types of gate and currently have the pressure fit ones. The screw in ones are a bit more sturdy but can still be pulled away from the wall with determination, and the damage to the wall is more severe (and expensive!) when it happens.

I have cleaning products and medicines in cabinets with magnetic locks, they are much more sturdy that the plastic catches and more child-proof, imo:
SAFETY 1ST Magnet Lock: Amazon.co.uk: Baby (http://www.amazon.co.uk/SAFETY-1ST-33110024-Magnet-Lock/dp/B005OW5Q9O/ref=sr_1_8?s=baby&ie=UTF8&qid=1360320436&sr=1-8)

08-02-2013, 11:05 AM
lol, yes its working progress on trying to fix the 2 year old lol. At the moment Ive been putting him in the highchair for time out but he can wriggle out of the straps and then stands up in it, maybe its time I tried a thinking spot of something and just keep returning him to it? Never had these sort of issues with my first or mindee's! My 2 year old is very head strong and usually does it while Im trying to give my baby his bottle or expressing milk so wanted a stair gate that would stop him being able to get into the kitchen. I think maybe I need to tighten the stair gate bolts with a spanner as maybe they are just not done up tight enough.

Will look at those locks, not seen those ones before

08-02-2013, 11:57 AM
I use the magnetic locks as well, they're totally toddler proof. A toddler trying to get your attention by climbing things, pulling open doors etc is going to get even more attention from you if you do a time out and have to keep returning him. He's a bit young for a thinking spot, I would just do a short sharp no and remove him from the situation.
Maybe if you give him opportunities to explore safely, it'll help to stop any dangerous behaviour. If he wants to look out of the window can you get him a little step stool that he can stand on safely instead of climbing on the sofa and in the kitchen do you have a spare cupboard that could be his, with old pots and pans, utensils in so he can still empty stuff out and explore without pulling your stuff out.
A lot of 2 year olds can master most stair gates. It may be safer to take them off if you can and teach him how to safe without them there.

08-02-2013, 12:33 PM
I think Ill keep the stair gates as it won't be long and my 6 month old will be crawling and I don't like them in the kitchen unless its when I can concerntrate on them 100%. I think he understands time out as he see's his older brother do it, and if Im cooking I don't have time to keep saying no and moving him away from the kitchen/stair gate otherwise we'd never eat! Our windows are really high so would need a chair for this ..... I do need to get a little stool though for when we do baking things etc. I do agree about giving alternatives, I am happy for him to play in the plastic bowl draw etc. but I do think he also testing the boundaries and with 3 of my own children and then also maybe 1 childminding, keep removing him from trying to push open the gate will mean I won't get us out the house on time. Once he is in the highchair he does then calm down and I say a simple explanation about what was dangerous. He gets lots of opportunities to play out, alternatives to the dangerous things, but he also tries to copy his 5 year old brother and has hit the terrible two's.

08-02-2013, 12:52 PM
So can I just re-cap on what you all do with 2 year olds if you don't do time outs? You just keep moving them away and saying no, giving them alternatives to do? Obviously along side being positive with the others things that they do well and when they listen.
What about when they refuse to put the walking reins on, at the moment I then put him in the buggy and just ignore his tantrum but if I don't have the space in the buggy what would you do then?

08-02-2013, 04:24 PM
So can I just re-cap on what you all do with 2 year olds if you don't do time outs? You just keep moving them away and saying no, giving them alternatives to do? Obviously along side being positive with the others things that they do well and when they listen.
What about when they refuse to put the walking reins on, at the moment I then put him in the buggy and just ignore his tantrum but if I don't have the space in the buggy what would you do then?

I don't do time outs so I try to minimise the risk of them getting up to mischief. If I'm in the kitchen cooking then they sit up to the table and do an activity like colouring or playdoh where I can keep them safe and out of bother.
A lot of 2 year old mischief is testing boundaries and attention seeking when you've got your hands full with something else. If they sit up to the table then you can still interact with them about what they're doing and they still get attention but you can get on with cooking the dinner while they are doing something fun.

I wouldn't let his behaviour put you off re-starting childminding, you may find that with other another child similar in age he may calm down and stop testing the boundaries as much. By the time you've advertised and taken on a mindee he may be out of the phase anyway.
A buggy board or buggy pod might be helpful if you've already got 2 children in the buggy. It could be his own special chair or step for when he gets too tired to walk or if he's refusing to walk. Mine own children have always flat out refused reins so I've never made them wear them, they just hold onto the pushchair. Have you tried the backpack reins? Might be more fun for him.

08-02-2013, 06:30 PM
I re-organised my kitchen and bathroom cupboards so that nothing dangerous is at a low level. I do not have any cupboard locks in my kitchen. Ofsted ok with this!

My cleaning fluids are in a cupboard next to downstairs loo and we just put on a cabin hook at high level. Ditto both toilets: removed bolts and put on cabin hooks at adult height. We find it much easier this way.

08-02-2013, 07:32 PM
thanks for the replies, he seems to have been much better today but then maybe I have been a bit more consistent with reinforcing not to do certain things. I am going to look at a side by side double and buggy board, currently have a phil and teds so can't use one on there. Most of the times he accepts reins or hand holding but I have the spare seat in the buggy as back up, its just been this week we seem to have constant friction but its also been this week Ive decided to return to childminding so maybe Im just taking more notice of the bad behaviour too.

And yes fingers crossed I won't be returning for a few months and we would have mastered the boundaries by then.

I guess the issues with the cabinet stuff is if older children go up to use the toilet themselves. I usually keep cleaning stuff in our en-suite up high and lock off our room anyway. But its things like deodrant/razors and Ofsted said I couldn't even keep shampoo within reach

09-02-2013, 12:33 PM
Now you see - there you go! another Ofsted inconsistency!

I showed Mrs O my shampoo & bath gels which are at child height in my bathroom - she said it was fine! I said 'obviously under 5s are supervised while in here and older ones unlikely to start drinking them'. Not an issue for me...

Gawd they irritate me - wish they would make their (collective) minds up.

09-02-2013, 08:13 PM
Yep it annoyed me too as I said also they don't go upstairs un supervised and use the downstairs loo!

She also said to put knives in the pot at back of the counter and not in a safety catched draw (also use stair gates) and to have a lock on the cupboard which had polish in etc. because 'if you were to have an accident a child 'may' be able to get in the kitchen, get a chair and unbolt that door'....... on reflection I should have said 'well then they could get a stool and get those knives and stab me too' ..... lol

Ive said all along childminding would be easier if we all had the same obs. to do, paperwork forms and rules about household stuff instead of hoping the inspector we see thinks along the same lines as us!

09-02-2013, 08:25 PM
I have not seen those magnetic locks before how do they work? Is it just a strong magnet that children wont be strong enough to pull? I was going to use catches but children do suss them out quickly so not very efficient and also after a while they dont clip back together properly through being constantly bent back and fourth