Monday 11 December 2017

Brendan O'Connor: The vital creche question – is it a happy place?

There are small, well-run creches throughout the country that are second homes to kids, writes Brendan O'Connor

CHILDCARE: Gardai outside Links creche in Abington, Malahide, Dublin — one of those featured by ‘Prime Time’ — as parents arrive to drop off their children.
CHILDCARE: Gardai outside Links creche in Abington, Malahide, Dublin — one of those featured by ‘Prime Time’ — as parents arrive to drop off their children.
Brendan O'Connor

Brendan O'Connor

LET'S all agree we were shocked. And many of us cried. And many of us found it hard to drop our kids off to creche the next day. And it is all the Government's fault. And now that we have got all the hysteria and the very public displays of shock and outrage out of our system, let's think more calmly about what all this means. Two very clear agendas were slipped in amongst creche shock last week.

For some people, the whole affair proves that the State should run creches, because mixing profit and childcare has now been shown to lead to child abuse. Which is a curious lesson to draw from all this. What was most evident from last week's discussions is that the State is not even able to get it together to properly inspect creches. How this proves it should be running them instead is beyond me.

Some creches in Dublin have gone for up to four years without getting their annual inspection. The inspection, when it does happen, does not strike you as the kind of thing that would prevent behaviour like that witnessed by RTE in the three now infamous creches featured on Prime Time.

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