"Experiance with our 9 month old son"
review of Tina Mac - Childminder in Inverness
Experiance with our 9 month old son
Putting our son to this childminder did not work for us. We decided to go with this childminder based on the very positive score (5 stars out of 5) on this site although there was only one review available. Other than attending a few introduction hours, our son attended overall 4 days within a 2 weeks period. At this time he was just over 9 months old (unable to crawl) and was the only child younger than one year, all the other children were able to walk and play with each other.
The area of the house where the children were kept was a hall, where there wasn’t enough day light, a hard wooden floor which the kids sat on, not colourful or cheerful and in our opinion not at all child friendly. There were no wall stickers, bright colours or posters which could significantly improve the impression of the room.
There were 8 kids including our son and the childminder had an assistant to help out. We felt the staff to kid ratio was already poor (which we found out later on) with 4 kids to 1 minder, adding a baby younger than one year to this mix was not a good decision and we should have been informed early on how busy they were.
Unfortunately, we did not hear one positive thing from the childminder about our son. “He is too heavy, I will have such big biceps from carry him.” (He was a normal healthy weight, there are charts for it.) “He was too grumpy, he did not want to eat, he did not want to sleep, he wanted to be picked up and carried all the time, as soon as we put him on the floor he started crying. He was too wriggly when we changed his nappy.” Not one positive statement was said about a 9 month old baby!
We’re not sure what this childminder was expecting? to put a 9 month old baby on the floor let him entertain himself? We found the whole set up very unprofessional, especially to blame a baby instead of taking responsibility for their lack of resources or capability. The childminder’s refusal to accept responsibility for the fact she could not cope with a baby, brought me to conclude that she had become complacent whilst caring for older kids and was therefore incapable of giving a younger child the care and attention required.
We paid £80 per 2 day period (£5 per hour) and had to provide our own nappies and food. A quick calculation on the income caring for 8 kids; is what we believe won over common sense of her own capability.
She also repeatedly made comments such as “she is 2 years old and she is the same size as him” (meaning our son). When I heard this for the 3rd time I said to her “Our son wears clothes appropriate to his age, not bigger sizes so he must be the healthy size.” following her profession and years of experience these conversations should never have taken place, comments such as these are highly unprofessional.
One day when we picked him up we noticed that he had a ‘hair tourniquet’ around his finger (hair had got tightly wrapped round his finger), on another occasion we found bruising on his elbows and knees, when questioned it was explained that he was crawling on his elbows. Have you ever seen a baby crawling on their elbows? Crawling which would cause bruises? We certainly hadn’t. We took pictures of both issues and did not question further as we were worried that something else could happen to our wee one but just knew that we had to find a new place where staff were capable of taking care of kids younger than 1. We soon found a new place, coincidently on the last day our son was there (which she was not aware of at the time) she wrote in his diary “he doesn’t seem to be settling at all, we maybe get 20 min max of him not crying! I will give it one more week to see if it improves, if not I’m afraid with having other children that need our care we can’t give him one to one all the time, we can’t even put him down for a few mins when he starts to cry!!! Sorry! Even with two of us it’s very hard!” She did not have the courage to say any of this to our faces; we found out when reading his diary at home. Luckily we had already made the decision and had found a new place for him.
Our son now goes to a nursery where the ratio is 1 adult for 3 kids maximum; the kids are divided into the groups based on their own capability if they are able to walk etc. Nappies are provided and also food which is homemade in the nursery. The fee is based on one day (no matter how long the kids stays there) and gives the parents flexibility to drop/pick up the kid from 07.30 to 18.00. We are very happy and so is our son! So if your child is less than one year old or cannot walk yet we would not recommend this childminder at all and even if the child is older we would advise anyone to properly observe the environment where the kids are kept all day.
Response from Tina Mac
Firstly this child I had for four days ONLY in July as it was on a temporary basis as there childminder was sick, and it took them 5 months to write a review ? I have only seen this now as I wasn't a gold member for the last six months so couldn't see this so only responding now.
As a childminder you are allowed six children on your own, I had 8 and there is two of us! My area that I care for little ones is NOT a hall it's a bright child friendly environment, ( see pictures ) yes it's got wooden floors but for hygiene reasons. I wouldn't have it any other way,
I'm not going to lie to a parent and "sugar "it up if your child is not settling in, crying all the time wanting picked up then yes I'm going to tell you, he just didn't settle but it usually takes a few weeks to anyways. As much as I would like to give one to one care ( look for a nanny ) I have other children in my care that need attention too. Anyone will know it's not easy looking after little ones especially if there that needy.
Ive had many family's over the years some for 6 -7 years with brothers and sisters following behind, surely that's a testament to my care and what I provide. Like everything in life sometimes you just clash with folk and parents are no different sometimes it's the parent you just don't seem to get on with not the child and no matter what you do, or provide it's not going to be good enough for them. Yes I charge £5 per hr I do not provide nappys, why should I ? It's different in a nursery when they have 40 children they can afford to provide all of the above I can't justify the expense. I provide snacks morning and evening, and I feel I'm very generous ( ask any of my parents or children ) this is MY HOME at the end of the day please keep this in mind, I'm not a nursery.
Like trip adviser you get bad reviews and people see this but never look at the bigger picture and all the happy children and parents I have and did have over the 18 years. If your child is " needy" then look for a nanny who can give one to one,or if you want a home environment where there will be different age groups that's good for the child ( just like it would be in your home ) then 18 years of happy children and parents is a testimony to what I do.
I would love any one to do this job for one day , in there HOME!!!! To see how hard, messy, exhausting but how enjoyable and fun it is.