Inspectors find chairs and toys in disrepair and lack of ventilation
SEVERAL creches operated by the Giraffe chain were criticised in a series of inspection reports for not meeting the standards.
Reports for creches in Loughlinstown, Milltown, Central Park, Elm Park, Clonsilla, Malahide, Celbridge, the National College of Ireland, IFSC and Malahide highlighted a series of breaches of regulations, including problems with vetting and checking staff references.
Other issues included a lack of supervision for children, with one noted as eating play dough, while an out-of-date packet of ham was found in a fridge, which staff said had been defrosted.
Chairs and toys were found to be in disrepair, there was a lack of ventilation, safety concerns about open cupboards and inadequate sleep facilities.
There were too few staff members on duty, "all reasonable measures" were not taken to safeguard children and the child protection policy in one creche was not clear about how abuse should be reported.
There was also inadequate insurance cover in place in one facility in Northern Cross, Malahide, which had insurance cover for 94 children, but 108 children attended at any one time.
Giraffe said that all breaches raised in HSE investigations were "immediately looked into and rectified".
There were delays in securing garda vetting, and Giraffe followed HSE protocol where a non-processed applicant was not allowed to be left unsupervised with children.