View Full Version : Are we allowed????

04-05-2010, 09:08 PM

I know as childminders we aren't to use baby walkers due to safety issues but are we ok to use the stationary activity centres like the Graco baby einstein discover and play activity centre or the leapfrog learn and groove activity station????
My sister is looking into them for my nephew who just likes to be upstanding all the time.He has her shattered with very achy arms.I was wondering if I came across a mindee like this would i be ok to use one seing as the just rotate 360% and don't actually move along the floor.

does anyone own one? are there any that you would recommend?

04-05-2010, 09:37 PM
There is no 'law' saying we can't use baby walkers - I think they have their place - used sensibly and for short periods of time.
I think that goes for any type of baby equipment/childs toys.

05-05-2010, 06:19 AM
I would use both a walker and a discovery centre if it suited a particular child . Walkers can be dangerous , so can many things , but we moniotor / risk assess etc to reduce any risk.

05-05-2010, 06:40 AM
I have an activity station for my lil mindee she likes to be upright and held trying to grt her used to being left

05-05-2010, 06:57 AM
i too have had an activity centre for my own children and my mindee's, like previously said all is fine in moderation with risk assessments being carried out.
i would have been lost without mine as one mindee hated being on floor!

05-05-2010, 07:20 AM
Thank you for your replies.I was told by my coordinator that under no circumstances use a walker and theat ofsted would be very unhappy to see one even if a risk assessment was in place.I was also told that "in working in partnership with parents" it's my job to explain the danger to the parents and talk them out of buying one to use at home.I refused to do this as I said I couldn't do this as I used one for my children, like them and it's not my place to tell parents what to use at home.I explained to my parent that I was unable to use one as a childminder but if she chose to use one at home that was up to her.

Has anyone had any feedback directly from ofsted? i'd love to know what they've said.

05-05-2010, 07:21 AM
I have a fisher price hop and pop :thumbsup:

05-05-2010, 12:01 PM
i have a fisher price jumperoo that i use for my baby and 9 month old mindee :)

05-05-2010, 12:33 PM
I have a baby starting in June and he loves his walker at home! I used one for my son and have discussed using it with the baby's mum. She is more than happy for him to use it. I will risk assess it, and also get written permission from her. I feel that the area it will be used in is safe, and the baby will be supervised at all times.

There is no law about this, they are not recommended I am aware, but I personally wouldn't have been without mine for my son, he loved it!

05-05-2010, 12:34 PM
Ofsted (and some co-ordinators as you have found out) don't like them. However, it is not for them to dictate what you can and can't do. All you need to show is that you are fully aware of the dangers and done RA, have discussed with parents and obtained parental permission, perhaps have a small policy explaining that you will supervise children at all times, never at the top of stairs/uneven surfaces etc, and that they will only be used for xxminutes per day and never extended periods.

When they show you the legislation that tells you you can't use them then thats when you can't.

it all comes down to personal choice and remember apart from the legislation and guidances - this is your business and you can choose to do as you wish. All you need to do is back up your stance and be prepared to argue the point.

05-05-2010, 01:04 PM
My friend had her inspection just last month - she has 9 mth old twins. Mum provided her with walkers to use at her house. She got mum to sign a permission form saying she was happy for my friend to use the walkers. Her inspector basically said that some like them and some dont. She was quite happy that my friend had written permission to use them and made no more fuss of them.

I have one of those activity centres for my mindee who is 11 mths old. He was very used to being held when he started here and with 2 under 2, I cannot carry him all day. He also only sleeps 1/2 hour tops each day, so sometimes I need to be able to put him somewhere safe while I do diner, wash up etc.

The difference between walkers and the activity centres is that the centres dont move. This is the danger with walkers - if children roll over something they can easily tip. I have wooden loor and have a door bar between hall way and front room, then have the door bar where the patio doors run between front room and conservatory. There are too many hazards for me to have one. My friend mentioned above who uses them has one large through lounge and no door bars except into the kitchen and that has a gate anyway.

Hope that helps:thumbsup:

05-05-2010, 08:28 PM
It's been great to get all your replies.It's an interesting topic.
I'm going to look into an activity walker but in future if parents ask me to use walker then I will do a risk assessment and work alongside the parents.


10-05-2010, 04:05 PM
i got one of these for a baby who simply lived in one at home, I only used it for short periods but it was a godsend when after schoolies were bounding about the place as baby was not on the floor. It also helped him settle really quickly as it was something familiar to what he had at home.

I did have one parent who said she didn't want me using it for her child though, but I will be keeping it for my own baby as I like the idea of somewhere safe to put baby when older children are around and have never had a baby take to a play pen or travel cot type environment.

10-05-2010, 09:08 PM
I bought a Graco baby einstein activity centre from ebay for £16 and I'm so chuffed with it.Its in a fantastic condition.Baby and mum loved it today and she has me looking on ebay for her too lol