Tusla has said it has been proactively addressing areas of non-compliance with regulations in a number of crèches since 2018, following an RTÉ investigation - Crèches behind Closed Doors.
Recently RTÉ Investigates was contacted by several families who were concerned about the standards of care their children had received while at various Hyde & Seek Childcare crèches.
Hyde & Seek Childcare is a family run business owned and run by Anne and Peter Davy and their daughter Siobhan Davy.
The company has four creches across Dublin City catering for children from three months up to 12 years of age.
RTÉ Investigates had two undercover researchers successfully apply for childcare positions with the Hyde & Seek company. Both researchers had the required qualifications, are highly trained and were Garda vetted by RTÉ.
RTÉ witnessed some examples of good care, however, it wasn’t long before the RTÉ undercover workers started to observe repeated breaches of regulation.
Some of those issues observed include the failure of Hyde & Seek management to ensure staff were Garda vetted before working with children. Tusla regulations state that vetting must be completed before a staff member is allowed any access to children, but this did not happen.
In a statement released this evening, Tusla said RTÉ's Crèches behind Closed Doors "contained distressing footage which will undoubtedly cause upset and anxiety for parents/guardians and the general public."
The child and family agency said they "received information from RTÉ in July in relation to serious concerns regarding quality of care in these services which triggered further action from the Early Years Inspectorate.
"We recognise and share the serious concerns the programme raises about the quality of care within these crèches, but more importantly the impact of concerning adult behaviours on children."
Tusla added that they have "been proactively addressing areas of non-compliance with regulations in these crèches since 2018."
They say that:
- Hyde & Seek Glasnevin was successfully prosecuted by Tusla in 2019 for the operation of an unregistered service (under Section 58 (d) of the Childcare Act, 1991 (as amended). Enforcement activity began in January 2018 when this was first brought to our attention.
- Hyde & Seek, Shaw Street, was inspected in September 2018, and again in July 2019, and it is subject to on-going enforcement action.
- Hyde & Seek, Tolka Road, has been subject to a significant level of regulatory enforcement activity and referrals have been made to Tusla’s child protection and welfare services.
Brian Lee, Director of Quality Assurance at Tusla, said: “Every single registered service provider in Ireland has been inspected, and the majority of service providers are compliant with the majority of regulations.
"In 2018 Tusla carried out 2513 inspections, and reports are available on Tusla’s website.
"However, in a small number of cases enforcement action is necessary and in those instances Tusla can and does take action, up to and including closing the service, and/or taking a criminal prosecution."
Following the broadcast, Tusla issued the following advice to parents:
- Check if the service provider is registered;
- Check the last inspection report;
- Speak to your provider and seek assurances about the quality of care;
- If you have a concern about an early years’ service you can contact Tusla’s Early years’ Inspectorate on 061 461700 or by emailing email@example.com
- Check Tusla’s Quality Regulatory Framework which will help providers and parents to understand the regulations.
Earlier today, it was revealed that