Ombudsman seeks HSE meeting over 'serious concerns' about creches

Ombudsman seeks HSE meeting over 'serious concerns' about creches

The Ombudsman for Children Emily Logan is seeking a meeting with the HSE to discuss her "serious concerns" about the care provided to children in creches.

Ms Logan said the immediate concern is for the safety of children in the three creches identified in last night's Prime Time programme.

Secretly recorded footage at three creches in Dublin and Wicklow showed childcare staff tossing children, screaming at them and snatching toys from their hands.

Some of the footage, which was recorded by an RTÉ researcher who had gone undercover as a worker at the childcare centres, showed toddlers strapped in highchairs for hours on end without anything to stimulate them.

Ms Logan said it raises questions about the standard of care provided in all creches and that serious questions need to be asked about the rigour of the HSE inspections into creches and the type of people they employ to work with children.

She said: "There are the immediate concerns about the childrens' safety and welfare and whether those are being dealt with.

"I understand that there is an ongoing investigation by Gardaí and the HSE in relation to that immediate concern.

"The second issue is, whether what we saw on the programme last night represents more generally what's happening in creches, or whether they were isolated incidents.

"It's really important that parents can trust the people who are looking after their children on a day-to-day basis."

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