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22/5/2013; Gardai and the HSE are investigating allegations of poor quality at the Giraffe Childcare creche in Stepaside. Picture credit; Damien Eagers / Irish Independent

22/5/2013; Gardai and the HSE are investigating allegations of poor quality at the Giraffe Childcare creche in Stepaside. Picture credit; Damien Eagers / Irish Independent

22/5/2013; Gardai and the HSE are investigating allegations of poor quality at the Giraffe Childcare creche in Stepaside. Picture credit; Damien Eagers / Irish Independent

PARENTS at one of the three creches featured on RTE's expose on childcare will receive full copies of the HSE inspection reports over the coming days.

The move comes after the programme by RTE's investigations unit revealed serious breaches in childcare standards at the three creches in Dublin and Wicklow.

The programme showed members of staff manhandling and shouting at toddlers. Footage also showed them being strapped into their chairs for lengthy periods.

 

NON-COMPLIANCE

Giraffe creche in Belarmine, Stepaside, will make reports available to parents in the coming days.

Secret filming took place at Giraffe, as well as the Links creche in Abington in Malahide and Little Harvard in Rathnew, Co Wicklow.

RTE began the covert filming after identifying creches that showed non-compliance in HSE reports.

Parents who have children at the Giraffe facility were informed by its management yesterday afternoon that it would reveal the HSE reports in question over the coming days.

The company said the most recent HSE report showed one non-compliance incident in 2010.

It said that incident had been fully dealt with and the individual dismissed.

"The entire incident happened in a matter of one to two minutes," the company said.

"This is totally contrary to good childcare care practice and procedure.

"The carer reported the matter to her centre manager within the hour and, on initial assessment of the complaint, head office was informed.

"Next morning, operations support completed the initial investigation, having interviewed all involved.

"The parents of the child were informed by Giraffe and the carer was suspended.

"Following a full disciplinary hearing, the carer was dismissed," the company added.

Meanwhile, Minister for Children Frances Fitzgerald announced that creches will be reviewed by the head of the Child and Family Support Agency, Gordon Jeyes.

The Department of Social Protection confirmed that none of the three childcare facilities being investigated by the Garda and HSE would have accessed the JobBridge scheme.

 

CONCERNS

"It is important to note that there have never been any JobBridge interns in any of the locations referred to in the Prime Time programme," it said.

Giraffe also confirmed that it has never employed anyone on the JobBridge internship.

Separately, the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation said that it has raised a number of concerns in relation to the numbers of public health nurses engaged for creche inspection.

It said that a further 25 inspectors would be required.

However, it noted that the practice of allowing providers to open without a pre-opening inspection should be stopped and inspection should be mandatory prior to opening.

clairemurphy@herald.ie


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