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RTE to broadcast report next week

RTE plans to broadcast its report on standards in creches early next week.

But the station is still liaising with parents to secure permission to broadcast scenes indicating that children were mishandled and subjected to poor quality care in three creches.

The RTE Investigations Unit said the programme would demonstrate that high standards in Links in Abington, Malahide; Giraffe creche in Belarmine, Stepaside; and Little Harvard in Rathnew, Co Wicklow, were not met.

The findings were reported by RTE researchers to the HSE and creche management in a "timely fashion in line with expert advice".

But Links childcare in Malahide last night said that just five minutes of film footage from the creche would be broadcast, which was not a "fair, balanced or proportionate" representation of the professional care provided.

The company operated 10 creches in Dublin, and all 190 employees were suitably qualified and garda vetted.

"During the course of their employment, all staff are monitored and recorded manually, and all HSE regulations are fully complied with," it said.

EXTRACTS

"As a result of what management saw on the RTE filmed extracts, immediate steps were taken by management to dismiss one employee and to suspend three others, pending the findings of a full investigation.

"It should also be noted that whereas the undercover reporter worked at Abington for approximately 200 hours over five weeks, less than five minutes of film footage is being used by RTE.

"This does not represent a fair, balanced or proportionate representation of the professional care provided by the Abington staff." Links added that it believed the incident was "isolated" to a specific staff member.

RTE said it had been liaising with the families of children directly involved, and had shown them the footage. "Any other parents with children in those creches who have concerns will be facilitated with a viewing of the programme before it is transmitted," it added.

Gardai have examined footage intended for transmission, and the station would co-operate with any further requests on foot of a court order.

The creches involved have been given access to the footage that will be shown. All have been offered the right of reply, along with staff directly involved.

Irish Independent