Crèches failing to vet staff for child safety
Major concern about the lack of Garda vetting of childcare workers has emerged in a series of inspections by the children's watchdog.
An analysis of 500 randomly selected inspection reports of pre-schools, play groups, nurseries, crèches and other services found 38pc had not complied with the law to have all workers vetted.
The concerns have emerged in the 2015 annual report of Tusla, the Child and Family Agency.
It also highlighted problems with other issues including child safety - as 49pc were not compliant in dealing with hazards such as cord blinds, allowing children access to first aid boxes and electric kettles, or outdoor areas that were not secure.
The report said 2,302 early years services were inspected by Tusla - a 74pc increase on 2014. Some 58 complaints received were investigated and two prosecutions taken.
There was also a significant problem with lack of references for staff, and the absence of a person in charge was discovered in nine facilities.
The report was published as further details emerged of the Garda investigation into allegations of sexual assault at a Co Kildare crèche.
The Irish Independent has learnt that gardaí expect their investigation to last for a "number of months" and specialist interviewers will be brought in.