A CRECHE is being prosecuted by the HSE for eight alleged breaches of childcare regulations.
Owner Hazel O'Mahony has denied the breaches, which are alleged to have occurred at Tiny Tots Creche, Killeagh Gardens, Killeagh, Co Cork, during an inspection on November 22, 2012.
Environmental health officer Lorraine Potter and public health nurse Eleanor Buckley carried out the inspection.
One of the inspectors alleged that when the children were being fed in the baby room, that she did not observe them being offered a drink.
The HSE also alleges that there was a build-up of dust on all the radiators throughout the facility, a hole in the wall of the lobby heading to the toddler room, and two cleaning products were left on a counter within the reach of children.
It alleges that there was one more baby in the baby room than there should have been, according to the guidelines.
Other allegations include that one of the inspectors was the only adult in the baby room for a period during lunchtime, and that a child climbed on to a table in the room and was removed by the proprietor who had just entered.
All of the allegations, under the Childcare Preschool Services Regulations 2006, have been denied by Ms O'Mahony and by staff at the facility.
Michelle Geaney, who has worked at Tiny Tots for 14 years, gave evidence at Midleton District Court yesterday.
She told the court that the children were their "utmost priority".
"We put the children first. We make sure they are comfortable, changed. If they are upset we comfort them."
Another staff member, Emma O'Riordan, who was also in the baby room, described an allegation that children were deprived from drinking as "upsetting" and "absurd".
She said it was "stressful" being observed and watched throughout the day.
Solicitor for Ms O'Mahony Frank Buttimer said the creche was a top-of-the-range facility with well-trained staff.
Mr Buttimer said all of the charges should be dismissed.
Solicitor for the HSE Denise Kirwan said that her clients were experienced inspectors, who had behaved profession- ally, and that they came into the facility with a fresh pair of eyes having never been there before.
Judge O'Neill said he would not give a decision and would consider the evidence.