View Full Version : Hmmm is it worth it?

22-02-2012, 11:45 AM

Had a parent enquire a couple of weeks ago, originally for 3 days a week (including a sat - but has now changed to 3 weekdays) 6 hours a day for baby 8 months in may.

They visited, mum is very anxious about leaving dd, asked lots of questions and wanted to come back when I had new mindee, and meet OH, no problem with this.

So today mum has visited, here for almost 2 hours observing me with her dd (in her words she was 'testing me to see how I deal with her DD when she is unsettled') and my mindee, and now wants to come with me on the school run and meet the other children I have.

I can't help but think this is going to be a lot of hassle long term, what do you think?

22-02-2012, 12:01 PM
At least you are getting a descent amount of hours. Just have the usual settling in period and see how it goes. Just make sure the parent reads all the policies and signs to say that she has done so.
Some people are very nervous about leaving their kids especially PFB.

22-02-2012, 12:20 PM
I have had 2 mums over the last couple of years who have been incredibly anxious about leaving their children.

One had a job that meant she was out & about all the time and wanted to call in as & when, just so she could see the baby. The other wanted to do 6mths of setting in before she went back to work and was in tears every day as she left her child with me. In both cases the children were absolutely fine, settled perfectly and really enjoyed their time here.
Mums both relaxed relatively quickly & ended up as some of my most laid back parents ever :D
It comes down to their trust and confidence in you and with some parents you really have to work at it.

With your mum I think I would decide what you are prepared to do & what you're not. Personally I would not have had a mum sat observing me for 2 hours to "test" me, nor would I particularly want one coming with me on the school run, although that probably isn't so much of an issue. Has she actually said she wants to use you yet, or is this all to help her make up her mind? What if she doesn't like the other children you look after? Is that going to put her off?

22-02-2012, 12:25 PM
I would not have someone in my own home for two hours watching me. The child would not settle if the mum was there anyway.

I would not want them on the school run, you need eyes in the back of your head during this without having to contend with a stressed mum.

Your children could all change after this mum has started anyway, so i cannot see the point.

Has this mum said she is using you and paid a deposit, as i would not put myself through any of this unless she had.:)

22-02-2012, 12:34 PM
Mum has said she wants to use me but has not paid deposit yet! I thought she wanted to pop over and see my in action as I didn't have any mindees when she came initially, so didn't have a problem with this but 2 hours was a bit much!! :eek:

Thinking i might say to her that if she def wants to use me and pays deposit then I will do school run with her. I don't want to do anymore unless I know she is serious...

22-02-2012, 12:36 PM
No I would not agree to this level of contact and definitely not on the school run. As someone else has said children can come and go. I do tell a new parent what age and sex children I am currently caring for but that this can change. As long as their child fits in and settles it really isn't the business of a new parent who else you have. Nor is it your current parents business who else you take on.

Part of my interview process is introducing prospective parents to my husband and children, they are and always have been part of the 'team' and always have a say regarding prospective parents and children.

I never do a first interview during minding time anyway as I don't feel it is appropriate to have a stranger in with all the mindees and I couldn't work with them and answer a barrage of questions. I also like another adult in the house with me.

My first settling in is always without the parent. I do an hour and tell them to go and have a coffee with a friend or get their hair or nails done :laughing:

I find it much easier without a nervous parent staying. I then build up to 3 hours over two more sessions prior to the full contracted hours starting.

22-02-2012, 12:46 PM
Mmmm, it's a tough one. I had a parent similar to this and in the end I bottled out of signing the contract at the last minute. She had taken up so much of my time and I was always drained and my head was literally spinning after her visits because she was so intense! Don't get me wrong - I totally understand their anxiety - I would be the world's worst prospective parent if I wasn't a childminder!

How do you feel about her generally? Do you think she would be 'warm and fuzzy' once she relaxed? The parents I turned down weren't horrible but they weren't warm either and I need parents who 'embrace' my daughter, whereas these were 'wary' of her around their child. What is the point of her coming on the school run -you might have different children by the time her child comes to you, or you might have quite a high turn over of children. If she is so worried about other children maybe she needs a nanny who can provide sole care. Phrases like 'testing you' would really annoy me and this was also one of the reasons I turned down the parents. What if you give her all of this time and she decides not to go with you anyway? Is she oing this with other childminders and then she is going to pick 'the best one'? I think you need to have a chat with her and get her to tell you what she is anxious about. Maybe you could show her the parts of your Ofsted report which could convince her that you can deal with such issues. She needs to trust her instincts too, if she gets a good feeling from you and knows that you have settling in periods and open communication so that you can meet her child's ongoing/evolving needs then what more could she ask?

You do have your current mindees to think about though. Is it fair on them to have a 'stranger' observing how they interact etc? You could explain this to her - they deserve the privacy and there are confidentiality issues here - would she want someone observing to this extent whilst her child was in your care?

Do let us know what you decide!

22-02-2012, 01:10 PM
i had a mum at the start of term come & stay for a 5 hr ( yes! 5hrs! ) settling session !!! i was going spare at the end of it! luckily mum is very nice, and she interacted with the other LOs too!

mum was very nervous at leaving her LO, (LO not bothered!) mum said LO had always been very clingy and shy until she came to my house! i also went to visit at her house, so she saw me as a friend of mums!

i talked to mum, who wanted to meet all my minded children etc, and said she would, but as & when they were here! she accepted that.

the second day, mum stayed for 20 mins and left for an hour, and since then has been dropping off and leaving. but she needs support and i text her to say LO almost immediately!

good luck x

03-03-2012, 11:09 PM
What did you decide to do Becci26? (I'm nosey :blush:)

03-03-2012, 11:38 PM
i'd tell her to go an run!! at the end of the day you dont know her or her background and i would be telling her its a safeguarding issue you cant have her tagging along on a school run while you are looking after other peoples children! if her child isnt at school why does she think she has the right to "test" how you do you school run :rolleyes: i also dont do settling in with parents present as the child is never going to settle with you while the parent is present especially an ott one

04-03-2012, 08:02 AM
What did you decide to do Becci26? (I'm nosey :blush:)

Lol I decided to let her come on one school run (won't be making a habit of it with her or other parents!) but spoke to her the other day and said I needed to know if she definitely wanted the space. Have told her when she comes on Monday for school run to come tome at half 2 so we can sign contracts and pay her deposit.
For me it was too good a contract to turn down as is all year round 3 days a week (6 hours) and at the mo all my other children/ enquiries are term time only.
We shall see if she signs tomorrow....

04-03-2012, 08:48 AM
I agree with what others have said, it is always a tough one when new parents are looking to you to have their LO, after all they are asking you to look after the most precious thing in their lives and some parents really struggle with this, that is sometimes why they choose us, as childminders, over a nursery, for that home from home environment.

For some parents it is not a problem to meet you for about an hour then leave their LO, however for some parents it can be a very traumatic experience to entrust someone else with their child, and they may need longer.

That's where we as professional childminders need to reasssure parents that their LO will be cared for in a safe and secure environment and that we can be trusted to take care of the most precious thing in their lives, this can usually be done on a first visit, however some parents need a little longer on a visit or a longer settling in period.

Hope it goes ok Becci and that you get the contract, :thumbsup:

05-03-2012, 07:10 PM
Hope it went ok today :thumbsup: