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Crèche Inspections

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Deputy Simon Harris

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Snippet Contents:

This is a rapid fire round. Parents in my constituency of Wicklow, and parents throughout the country, are upset, worried, disturbed and shocked at what they witnessed in last night's "Prime Time" programme into what the Minister correctly described this morning on national radio as incidents of emotional abuse in some crèches, including one in my county. It is widely accepted that the Minister is a reforming Minister; that is widely acknowledged by all stakeholders. In past years this country invested in bricks and mortar, but not in standards and quality. That is what we now must do.
I want to put a number of questions on the record of the House. When will we see the publication of the much-needed Children First legislation? Can parents currently access inspectors' reports into crèches? When will these reports be available online similar to the Health Information and Quality Authority, HIQA, reports? Is the Minister planning on recruiting more inspectors? Is she satisfied with the standards of inspectors? Can she confirm if a Garda investigation is under way, and what is the status of that? Will people who were involved in incidents face punishment? What advice would the Minister give to parents in Wicklow and throughout the country who had to drop off their children at crèches this morning, will collect them this evening and are now worried sick after the incidents that "Prime Time" correctly exposed?