Sunday 15 December 2019

Parents' shock as Hyde and Seek crèches to close

Closing down: A member of staff closes the shutters at the Hyde and Seek crèche on Tolka Road, Dublin. Photo: Frank McGrath
Closing down: A member of staff closes the shutters at the Hyde and Seek crèche on Tolka Road, Dublin. Photo: Frank McGrath
Aoife Walsh

Aoife Walsh

Parents of children attending Hyde and Seek crèches have told of their shock after the four childcare facilities were ordered to close.

Mother Claudine Nigne said she wasn't informed the Tolka Road crèche is to close its doors. The crèches will shut by December 31 on foot of an order by Tusla to remove them from the register.

"I was very lucky to find this one. My son likes it. It's nice. When he's happy, I'm happy too. It's not going to be good for us. I didn't know it is closing," Ms Nigne told the Irish Independent.

Another mother said recently she moved her son from the Tolka Road branch to the Millbourne Avenue crèche, where she found a "big difference" in how staff treat the children.

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"I actually didn't know about it until this morning. I have mixed emotions. With everything that happened, I don't know.

"I go to college as well, so it's just stressful for me. I love the service because the teachers are so warm and welcoming.

Councillor: Former Dublin Lord Mayor Nial Ring outside the Tolka Road crèche. Photo: Frank McGrath
Councillor: Former Dublin Lord Mayor Nial Ring outside the Tolka Road crèche. Photo: Frank McGrath

"The treatment is different from the other branch.

"There's a big difference with how they treat the kids. I moved him because I moved to this area," she said.

Mahail Bargan, whose son attends the Tolka Road crèche, said it had "really improved" since the 'RTÉ Investigates' exposé was broadcast in July.

"We're going to start searching now, I don't know what's going to happen. We're not happy about that. Not at all," he said.

"It's crazy hard to find childcare, almost impossible. I know what happened before and it's really improved now. It's very hard for us to go somewhere else."

The Dublin crèches at Tolka Road, Shaw Street, Millbourne Avenue, and Glasnevin have been ordered to close by December 31.

Hyde and Seek has 21 days to appeal Tusla's decision.

Brian Lee, director of quality assurance at Tusla acknowledged the "difficult position" parents will be in to find alternative childcare.

"Tusla can confirm that four Dublin-based services have been notified of Tusla's intention to proceed with removal from the register of early years' services following the conclusion of an enforcement process.

"The date given for closure by Tusla is December 31, 2019.

"Tusla acknowledges that parents will find themselves in the difficult position of finding alternative childcare providers in these areas, and has notified the Department of Children and Youth Affairs of our concerns, who are working with the local city/county childcare committees to make support available to parents."

In response to Tusla's decision, a spokesperson for Hyde and Seek said it plans to appeal the decision.

"We do not accept the outcome of the regulatory process," they said.

"Since the airing of the RTÉ programme we have continued to work to ensure we adhere to the highest standards. We are very confident in the service provided at all four of our crèches and will appeal this decision."

Irish Independent

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