Saturday 23 September 2017

Celine Naughton: It's no wonder our most popular childminder is Mammy

Not all creches are bad and not all nannies are Mary Poppins, but it’s up to parents to figure out what’s what and who’s who
Not all creches are bad and not all nannies are Mary Poppins, but it’s up to parents to figure out what’s what and who’s who

IN the aftermath of the recent childcare scandal, a nationwide scramble to rush children out of creches and into the arms of nannies would hardly be a surprise. Like most kneejerk reactions, it would be wrong, but a new bogeyman is preying on the fears of parents everywhere. Who could blame them for wondering if what went on in three creches in Dublin and Wicklow could possibly be played out in similar facilities in any other part of the country?

But as the bogeyman plants seeds of doubt and suspicion, we have to remember two important things: not all creches are bad and not all nannies are Mary Poppins. The trouble is, it's up to you to figure out who's who and what's what.

Trusting their precious child to the care of another is one of the hardest decisions parents have to make – and the lack of regulation in this country makes it harder still. Ireland doesn't have a childcare system. We have an ad-hoc, unplanned, disorganised, fragmented hodgepodge of nannies, grannies, creches, au pairs, babysitters and other minders who collectively make up what is known as the childcare industry.

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