Mentors and inspectors to improve standards in creches
The Minister for Children Dr James Reilly hopes that a new initiative to promote and enhance the quality of early childhood care will help prevent the abuse of young kids in creches.
The 'Better Start' service will send mentors into childcare facilities to help them improve the quality of care and education.
It will also offer a "robust" inspectorate service to ensure standards are kept up.
The national initiative has been established by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs.
It will integrate a national approach to developing quality in early years education and care for children aged from birth to six years old.
It will co-ordinate supports and services already provided through city and county childcare committees and voluntary childcare organisations.
Dr Reilly, speaking at the launch at the Mansion House in Dublin yesterday, said he hoped that the new system would help ensure abuse in creches was prevented.
However, the service is not compulsory.
Una Hill of the Bonnybrook childcare facility in Dublin's Coolock said she was concerned about what would happen in the childcare centres that were not in a position to sign up because of a lack of resources.