Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan, Niamh Smyth, has expressed her shock and horror at the conditions in Hyde & Seek créches which was documented on RTÉ Investigates.
“What we witnessed is very concerning for anyone who has a child in a childcare facility. We put complete trust in child minding services and parents should not have to doubt that the upmost care and consideration is provided to their children. As a mother with a young child the programme was harrowing to watch.
“It is very concerning to see one crèche in operation by this company opened in January 2018 but not registered with Tusla until March 2019, only after being taken to court did they register the location. Previous to this they had not been subjected to regulations and checks.
“I also have grave concerns over fire safety regulations not being monitored by local authorities at crèches. It’s important that there are regular inspections to make sure owners are adhering to regulations at all times and aren’t, as we saw, changing room layouts, which then put children and staff at risk.
“I fully support my party colleague, Child and Youth Affairs spokesperson Anne Rabbitte TD who has written to the Chair and Clerk of the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Children and Youth Affairs asking them to hold a special sitting of the Committee to discuss this matter, and to request Tusla’s attendance at this session so that we can hear what steps it will be taking to ensure that such a breach of trust and responsibility does not recur within the childcare sector,” she concluded.