Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore has pledged that no State internships will be approved for crèches accused of mistreating children.
It came after the Irish Independent revealed that one of the companies at the centre of the childcare scandal is seeking nine interns to work at its creches for only €50 a week on top of their social welfare payments.
Giraffe Childcare, whose head office is in Blackrock, Co Dublin, has posted an advertisement on the Government's JobBridge.ie website seeking staff, but said it had not recruited any this way.
At Leader’s Questions, Mr Gilmore gave a commitment that internships would be halted for creches accused of mistreating children.
“JobBridge posts will not be approved for any of those facilities named in that programme,” he said.
Sinn Fein deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald said Giraffe Childcare was advertising internships at €50 a week for people with no qualifications.
“How on earth is that appropriate?” she asked.
Mr Gilmore said that state funding – such as the payments for the free pre-school year- will be cut where standards are not being maintained.
“This Government will not tolerate a situation where taxpayers’ money is being used to subsidise facilities that are not treating children properly,” he said.
It came after Children’s Minister Frances Fitzgerald had failed to give such a commitment yesterday despite being quizzed about it by Government and opposition TDs in the Dail.