Monday 19 August 2019

Crèche owner to step down after breaches of regulation discovered - RTE Investigates

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Niamh Lynch

A crèche owner is to step down after breaches of TUSLA regulation were discovered.

Anne Davy, one of the owners of Hyde and Seek Childcare, which operates four crèches across Dublin for children aged between three months and 12 years, will step down after an RTÉ Investigates programme found Ms Davy herself performed "poor practises RTÉ witnessed… that included how she interacted with and handled children."

The childcare company, which is also owned and run by Ms Davy’s husband Peter and daughter Siobhan, has said that Anne Davy will "take no future role in front line childcare provision".

On a number of occasions, 20 children were left with one care worker for hours at a time, while on 75pc of days that an undercover RTÉ researcher worked in the company’s Tolka Road branch, breaches of TUSLA's guidelines on adult to child ratios were breached.

Hyde and Seek Childcare also opened a crèche in Glasnevin in January 2018 but failed to register it for 14 months, despite correspondence with TUSLA requesting that the company complete its registration in order to be subject to regulatory inspections and checks.

The crèche was eventually registered on March 1 of this year, after the company pleaded guilty to the non-registration and was given the benefit of the Probation Act.

Other breaches of TUSLA regulation include failure to ensure staff were Garda-vetted before working with children and concerns around sleep room conditions.

RTÉ reports that cots at the Tolka Road branch were packed so tightly together that workers found it difficult to provide appropriate care for children at nap times.

TUSLA inspection reports also previously reported numerous non-compliances with regulations.

However, Ms Davy had previously been prosecuted for breaching childcare regulations. In 2004, Ms Davy was convicted when staff from the Tolka Road branch left a three year-old boy on his own at a local playground, alongside other regulatory breaches.

In 2007, she was convicted again for breaching child to adult ratio regulations and failing to keep records.

In the years between Ms Daly’s convictions, the company changed its name three times.

RTÉ Investigates – Creches, Behind Closed Doors will air tonight at 9.35pm on RTÉ One.

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