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Snippet Contents:

The RTE investigation into child care facilities, "A Breach of Trust", is clearly the talk of Ireland today. Parents with children in child care are extremely worried and they are looking to the Dáil for assurance that the practices seen on our screens last night cannot be tolerated. Will the Minister give such an assurance today? Strapping toddlers to chairs for hours on end, shouting in their faces, tossing them about like rag dolls, forcing them down on mattresses with blankets over their heads and locking them alone in rooms are appalling practices.
A review and reform of regulations with legislative change is clearly necessary. State funding for child care should be more closely tied to strict adherence to regulations. I want to lay emphasis on that. It is absolutely essential. There must be a fundamental review of the policy of dependence on the private for-profit sector. The training and pay of child care staff must also be addressed.
I have questioned the Minister on these issues during the current Dáil and she has spoken of new strategies, programmes and plans. They are all very well but without funding commitments, they will be meaningless. We are prepared to work on a cross-party basis to advance these issues, as we have demonstrated time after time. The new child and family support agency will take a lead role but it must be properly funded and equipped to do so. What can the Minister guarantee in the interim pending the establishment of the new agency?