There are 4600 Childcare Providers in this country…………..which are not subject to regulation. The biggest problems relate to Garda vetting of staff and the provision of proper ID.
In County Mayo, only one of a total of 22 crèches met the required standards.
The Child Care (Pre-School Services) Regulations 2006 provide for some basic health and safety provisions and there is scope for inspection however only 36% of crèches in the State were inspected in 2013.
This is why the provision of child care has become open to serious and shocking abuse, recently revealed by RTE’s Prime Time.
In conjunction with Barnardos we urge all parents to carefully read the Parents Guide to the 2006 Regulations which lay out the minimum standards every parent is entitled to expect from their child care provider. Parents should also regularly seek to inspect the crèche their child attends and ask questions about safety; supervision; care; play; sleeping arrangements; diet; toilet facilities; staff numbers; Garda vetting of staff members; CCTV facilities; outdoor areas; public liability insurance; and any accidents or incidents which as a matter of law should be officially recorded and reported.
At C. M. Haughey Solicitors we have represented clients whose children have suffered personal injuries in the care of crèches either as a result of accidents, neglect or abuse. For many years, crèche providers have gone under the radar but thanks to the recent expose by RTE the pressure is on to upgrade their services and up skill their staff. Hopefully the Government will review and reduce the massive subsidies the larger crèche companies have been receiving in the last number of years.
From this month all child care providers shall be required to register with the HSE. Up to now all that was required was notification………………..rendering the industry rife for abuse.
It is simply not acceptable for a child to be allowed to walk out of a crèche and across a main road – which only recently happened at the well known Giraffe crèche in Bellarmine, South Dublin who have refused to provide open access to their CCTV footage.
At C. M. Haughey Solicitors we have expert knowledge of the regulations applicable to child care providers and our experience with these cases has shown standards are very poor. We believe our children, the most vulnerable in society are entitled to the full protection of the law.
The 2006 Regulations provide staff ratios as follows
0 – 1 years 1: 3
1 – 2 years 1: 5
2 – 3 years 1: 6
And children must be in sight at all times with a minimum of 20 square feet per 20 children.
If you or a member of your family have been affected by any of the issues raised in this article, call us on 1800938893 or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org for an immediate, confidential assessment.