Saturday 24 August 2019

'I was really appalled by what I saw' - Taoiseach Leo Varadkar on TV exposé of Hyde & Seek crèche chain

Leo Varadkar. Photo: Damien Eagers/INM
Leo Varadkar. Photo: Damien Eagers/INM
Children’s Minister Katherine Zappone. Photo: Frank McGrath
Hugh O'Connell

Hugh O'Connell

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said he was "appalled" by the revelations in the RTÉ Investigates programme aired on Wednesday night.

“I think I speak for everybody in the country when I say that I was really appalled by what we saw on Prime Time in relation to the way that children were treated," said Mr Varadkar in Donegal tonight.

“And I know that a lot of parents dropping their kids off to crèche or to preschool this morning must have been that little bit more worried or that little bit mor nervous than they would be normally.

READ MORE: We'll act to ban crèche staff found unfit to practice from working in childcare facilities, vows Government

“But we do want to reassure people that this was just about one particular chain and we’re confident that what people saw last night doesn’t reflect standards across the crèche sector, or the childcare sector, or the preschool sector at all.

“We do have some very strong regulations in this area around minimum standards, and over the past four or five years the number of inspectors and the number of inspections has doubled.

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Children’s Minister Katherine Zappone. Photo: Frank McGrath

“But Minister [for Children Katherine] Zappone is going to examine ways into how we can improve enforcement further in the period ahead. And as you know there is now a Garda inquiry under way into some of what was seen there last night.”

READ MORE: Hyde and Seek crèche controversy: 'Our trust has been betrayed' - devastated parents react

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