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Press Release, 14/08/2014: Inspection reports show quality standards in some crèches still not being met

Children playing in a crecheQuality standards in some crèches still not being met, says Start Strong

Dublin August 14th 2014 - A year on from the Prime Time investigation A Breach of Trust, inspection reports show that quality standards in some crèches are still not being met.

We need much greater investment in our young children and their early education if we want to be sure they are getting quality care. That’s according to Start Strong – a coalition of organisations and individuals seeking to advance children’s early care and education in Ireland.

Inspections

Start Strong was speaking in response to an article on the front page of The Herald today [Thursday August 14] which listed a series of failures by some crèches based on the findings of recent inspection reports.

The reports found breaches such as staff without references and poor hygiene and sleeping conditions. Some crèches didn’t have hand washing facilities in nappy changing areas, others had scalding hot water coming from taps and one didn’t have enough suitable play materials. In one crèche, the front door was continually left open.

“Inspection reports show that despite promises made after the RTE Prime Time programme A Breach of Trust, very little has been done to improve the situation” said Toby Wolfe, Research and Policy Officer at Start Strong.

The programme, which was broadcast well over a year ago, showed distressing scenes of children being mistreated and manhandled in crèches.

“The number of complaints made by parents has actually increased since Prime Time. And the problem of low wages, poor working conditions and insufficient numbers of trained staff is still widespread and needs to be addressed” said Mr Wolfe.

“The Government must also introduce a mechanism to withdraw public funding where a service doesn’t meet quality standards” added Mr Wolfe.

NEYS

Ireland’s first National Early Years Strategy is currently being developed to improve Ireland’s early care and education system. It is due before the end of the year.

“We call on Minister James Reilly to publish a draft of the National Early Years Strategy as soon as possible to allow for consultation” added Mr Wolfe.

“We urgently need to ensure that children in Irish crèches have the standard of care they need and deserve.”

Contact

For more information please contact Tressan McCambridge, Communications Officer 087 295 9344 or 01 662 4021

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