Posted by SchoolDays Newshound on 29/05/2013. Tags: Education And Politics
Concerns have been raised about the quality of childcare
in Ireland following the broadcast of an RTE Prime Time programme last night (May 28th).
The show appeared to highlight the mistreatment of children in three creches, with evidence gathered using undercover filming, Health Service Executive (HSE) reports and internal HSE documentation.
As a result, the three creches featured in the programme - Giraffe Childcare and Early Learning Centre in Belarmine, Links Childcare in Abington Wood and Little Harvard in Rathnew - have either launched internal probes or suspended staff members.
The footage showed children being strapped into their chairs outdoors for as much as two hours and being aggressively treated at nap time, while diaries detailing their activities were not fully accurate.
Entitled A Breach of Trust, the show concerned a report from the RTE Investigations Unit, which found issues relating to numerous areas, including training, staffing, regulation breaches and inspection systems.
Speaking ahead of the RTE programme, Minister for Children Frances Fitzgerald said: "These allegations will throw doubt into every parent's mind about whether quality is good enough ... it is a terrible position for parents to be in.
"But there is more and more training [and] more and more emphasis on quality in the sector."
The Irish Independent reports that these failings come despite the three creche companies receiving millions of euros in state funding in recent years.
Around €3.6 million is believed to have been paid out to the centres in the past two years as part of the Early Childhood Care and Education programme - an initiative that entitles every child to a free pre-school
year in a creche.
Adding to the concerns about childcare standards in Ireland is the news that creches and pre-schools in parts of the country have not been subjected to an inspection from the authorities for up to four years.
The Irish Times reports these evaluations have not been carried out even though parents have registered hundreds of complaints due to fears over standards of childcare in the country.
Written by Donal Walsh