Wicklow Fine Gael TD, Simon Harris, has today (Thursday) raised the concerns of Wicklow parents in a Special Dáil Debate arising from a Prime Time Investigates programme on creches which has raised a number of serious concerns about the standard of care being provided to children in a number of creches including one in County Wicklow.
Speaking on the issue, Deputy Harris stated “I, like so many people, was absolutely appalled to see incidences of emotional abuse of children in some creches in Ireland shown in footage on last night’s Prime Time programme. This footage will understandably have caused fear and worry for many parents in Wicklow and throughout the country who are dependant on the services of creches to mind and care for their children.”
“I secured time in the Dáil for a special debate on the matter with the Minister for Children and I raised a number of questions including the standard of inspections carried out in creches, ensuring inspection reports are available to parents and published online, the need to ensure quality of care in creches and the training and qualifications of those working in creches and the need to recruit additional inspectors to monitors creches,” said Deputy Harris.
“I have now been assured of the following:
Inspection Reports for creches are available for parents to view. Parents, if concerned, should ask their children’s creche to show them the report. If this is not forthcoming they should contact their local HSE office to obtain it.
Within a matter of weeks, the Minister has informed me that all creche inspection reports will be available online to be publically viewed. This will help inform and empower parents.
Legislation entitled “Children First” will be approved by Government in the coming weeks. This will put in place structures and obligations for the reporting of child protection concerns.
The Minister is now giving consideration to the need for more inspectors to carry out creches inspections and the standards considered within such inspections.
The specific incidences which features in the television programme last night are the subject of an active and ongoing Garda investigation.
“I welcome these assurances. It is important to obviously note that there are many, many excellent creches and superb staff working in creches in County Wicklow and around the country. They carry out an excellent job on a daily basis. However, it is absolutely essential that we do everything we can to empower parents to make informed decisions about their children’s care and that we ensure that creches providing substandard care or risking a child’s welfare are put out of business,” continued Deputy Harris.