26 Jul 2019, 15.29

Officials from Tusla are due before the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Children and Youth Affairs next Wednesday, 31st July, to discuss the RTÉ Investigates report on child care facilities.

Officials from the Department of Children and Youth Affairs will also attend the meeting in Committee Room 1, Leinster House at 10am.

The RTÉ Investigates programme, “Crèches - Behind Closed Door” raised concerns about child care practices at a Dublin crèche chain including fire safety, child to adult ratios and Garda vetting procedures for staff.

Speaking in advance of the meeting, the Chairman of the Joint Committee on Children and Youth Affairs, Alan Farrell, TD said: “The contents of the documentary have caused considerable distress and concern and footage has revealed shocking failures in adhering to Tusla, the Child and Family Agency guidelines for crèches. The treatment of babies, the disregard for fire safety regulations, and the disregard for the child to adult ratios shown in the RTÉ documentary were horrifying.

“Children are some of our most vulnerable citizens, and we must act to ensure they have the greatest possible protections, particularly when in childcare. Parents and guardians must be able to have confidence that their children are safe, secure and well-treated when in childcare facilities.

“The Committee is eager to use this opportunity to question Tusla – the Child and Family Agency on what it is doing in relation to this matter and what actions it is taking it terms of enforcement when poor standards and management failings are found. We need to know what Tusla as the regulator and inspector of early years services can do to close or suspend services when serious concerns are identified. We will also be questioning Department officials what is being done to ensure the safety and quality of our early learning and childcare sector.

“Our children, and parents and guardians must be protected. The Committee will strive to ascertain how the treatment showcased by RTÉ was not prevented, and to ensure such instances do not occur in future.”

Committee proceedings can be viewed live here.

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