Children seen climbing shelving unit at day care centre
The basic care needs of toddlers attending a Co Meath day care centre were compromised at key times, with children being seen climbing on to the shelving area of the library and on to the window sills, according to inspectors.
The children, aged two or three, were also found to be "visibly tired" as they were not offered sleep time. One child, who was seen crying and tired, was instead served dinner before her sleep time.
The inspector noted that the staff member told the child: "We will have a nice dinner and then go to bed."
The concerns have emerged in a 2016 Inspection Outcome Report on the south Meath day care centre by Tusla, the Child and Family Agency.
The report, seen by the Irish Independent, found issues over the health, welfare and development of children were non compliant, with the 30 children being offered diluted cordial drinks at mealtimes and no water or milk were offered in line with recommended practice.
The report also found children had to wait for extended periods before being served their food. Five children had to sit and wait in the dining room for half-an-hour for their desserts to be served, as they were expected to wait while the older children finished their dinner, the report stated.
Children also remained longer than necessary in high chairs following their meals.
The general hygiene of this particular day care centre also came under fire, with the report stating it was "not satisfactory".
The report stated nappy changing was not always carried out in line with the service policy, such as the nappy changing mat was not cleaned after each child and gloves were not always changed in between nappy changes.
Children washed their hands using a communal basin of water and their hands were dried on a communal cloth towel, which posed a risk of cross-infection.
"The Montessori room floor was not clean enough, stairs and doors of the children's toilets were not clean. Cots and bed linen were shared between children," the report continued.
It was observed that one child was taken out of a cot without changing the sheets and blankets, and another child was then placed to sleep in the same cot.
Some children had three blankets placed over them while sleeping, risking overheating as the blankets were too heavy.