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Plans for 'ispy' phone app for parents

CRECHE managers at one of the facilities featured on Prime Time are planning to introduce a Big Brother-style app for parents to check on their children.

Links creche in Abington, Malahide said it was aware of the "distress and anxiety" experienced by parents following the broadcast.

Management has pledged a full retraining programme for staff, starting this weekend.

"Our focus is on what can be done to repair the loss of trust that is inevitable as a result of what has happened," the company said in a statement.

It plans to provide a real-time CCTV online coverage for parents which may be available as a smart phone app, subject to consent.

"Each creche will have its own individual login and password, making the system safe and secure.

"We believe the use of this technology will make it significantly easier for parents to keep abreast of their child's daily activities in our creches, reassuring them that their child is getting the best possible care."

Giraffe creches have also pledged to install CCTV throughout its centres.

The company, whose Belarmine creche featured in the programme, said that it would introduce increased training for all staff in child protection and would reassess risk management procedures.

One staff member at the Giraffe creche in Belarmine is currently suspended pending an investigation.

"We unreservedly apologise for the upset caused to all parents viewing these video clips and for the unacceptable breach of standards shown therein," the statement added.

Meanwhile management at Little Harvard creche in Rathnew apologised to parents and children for any distress caused.

It said that the group and its legal advisers will continue to carry out a "full investigation into the isolated incidents and review all options available to improve the service in its creche".

The directors said they were disappointed that the footage in Rathnew focused on isolated incidents.

"Notwithstanding this, everybody in Little Harvard is taking all steps necessary to ensure that these shortcomings are not repeated," the statement added.

A representative would not comment on whether any staff members have been suspended.

They did say that "one or two" clients were considering leaving the service, but say they have been overwhelmed by the level of support from parents.