HSE must beef up crèche regulation enforcement

Today’s Irish Examiner investigation into conditions in our crèches, is a real eye-opener and is a clear indication that the enforcement regime needs to be beefed up as a matter of urgency.

The conditions in some of our crèches as outlined in the report are absolutely appalling. There was one horrific instance where a young child fell and fractured his skull, but no medical attention was sought. In another case a different child fractured an arm and the parents concerned were not even notified.

It is unthinkable that such cases could possibly arise in an area that is supposed to be regulated by the HSE. This report is a litany of negligence, ignorance and potential disasters. Currently crèches are visited by the HSE inspectorate on average just once every three years, which is quite clearly grossly inadequate. We now need a clear plan of action from Minister for Children Barry Andrews, outlining how he intends to tackle this.

Parents deserve to be able to send their children to crèches, safe in the knowledge that their children will be properly cared for in a safe, secure, and nurturing environment.

Failure to act on this report could give rise to the most serious consequences.