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RTE programme raises concerns over childcare standards

Posted by SchoolDays Newshound on 29/05/2013. RTE programme raises concerns over childcare standardsTags: 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 WalshADNFCR-2163-ID-801591207-ADNFCR



(29-05-2013 09:09)

Statement: Issued by the Association of Childhood Professionals - Wednesday May 29, 2013.

RTE Prime Time programme response from the Association of Childhood Professionals

The Association of Childhood Professionals has voiced its concern at the findings of the RTE Prime Time investigation into practices at crches.

The Association said the programme showed repeat instances of practices that are not acceptable for the childhood sector.

In response the Association of Childhood Professionals (ACP) called on the Government to work together with childhood professionals to ensure high quality provision in the childhood sector and to ensure the implementation of national standards.

In particular, the Association said key steps to progress include:

The Early Childhood Care and Education sector Workforce Development Plan (2010) needs to be developed into a working plan and adequately resourced and implemented.
The Solta National Quality Framework (2006) and the Aistear Early Childhood Curriculum Framework (2009) need to be implemented
The childcare inspection system needs to be revised and an early years specialist needs to be included on the inspection team.

All ACP members sign up to the ethical framework to support a high quality of professional practice.

ACP Chairperson Marian Quinn said: The development of the childhood sector requires quality standards for training, professional development and inspection. It also requires commensurate pay for workers and Government commitment to ongoing development based upon evidence and best practice.


(29-05-2013 10:57)

I watch last nights show with tears on my cheeks.
No person should be permitted to work with children unless they have
Necessary Training, are Garda Vetted, Receive On-going Training and are Background Checked.
This was plain and simple verbal, emotional, mental and physical abuse of young children and should be dealt with severely.

Siobhan Kennedy

(29-05-2013 11:40)

As anticipated following the Prime Time show last night, Childminding Ireland is receiving enquiries from parents seeking childminders and from Childminders seeking professional support and guidance.

As the professional Association representing Childminders nationally Childminding Ireland is urging all Childminders to give much needed reassurance to parents of their commitment to quality and professionalism by becoming a Registered Childminder of Childminding Ireland.

Contact Childminding Ireland on 01 287 84 66 for professional support and advise. Registered Membership and insurance 155.

Visit Childminding Ireland on facebook, twitter and for additional information and support

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