Interns wanted, no qualifications necessary
A company at the centre of the childcare scandal is seeking nine interns to work at its creches for only €50 a week.
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.
It is one of 43 creches across the country currently looking for interns, but almost half are not seeking workers with qualifications.
An analysis of advertisements shows that the qualifications sought range from none to Junior Certificate, Leaving Certificate or a recognised childcare qualification, including third-level.
The advertisement from Giraffe says interns will gain practical experience of caring for children, and that training would be provided.
"We require dedicated, enthusiastic individuals who are driven by the enjoyment and satisfaction gained from caring for children," says the advert, dated April 22.
Educational requirements include the Leaving Certificate or equivalent, while the "ideal candidate for the role must have a minimum qualification" in childcare.
A statement from Giraffe said: "While we have had an advert running on JobBridge, we have not recruited anybody from that source.
"From time to time we have students from the childcare colleges. The graduates are there to learn and undertake minor tasks, and they are not counted in ratios and are not left unsupervised.
"They wear 'Graduate' badges to ensure everyone knows their status."
Nineteen creches that are seeking 33 workers do not require a formal qualification, saying rather that it would be an "advantage".
Some want interns to have their own transport, while others require proficiency in Irish.
The other 24 creches, which include Giraffe and are seeking 28 staff, require a formal qualification in childcare.
Meanwhile, the Department of Social Protection has said that 1,772 people on community employment schemes aimed at helping the long-term unemployed get back to work are employed in creches.
They are paid €208 a week and are removed from the live register while they are employed.
A department spokesman said: "Two-thirds have job titles related to childcare such as childcare worker or after-school assistant.
"The remaining places include jobs to support the childcare services and other services provided by the schemes in question such as an administrative assistant or cook.
"The workers were employed in 323 sponsor companies, and all were vetted by gardai.
"The department is responsible for the eligibility and recruitment of potential participants training to work with children and/or vulnerable adults."
Only those with an interest in childcare would be allowed to work in a creche.