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Crèche Inspections

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Deputy Ciara Conway

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Snippet Contents:

We should not cause panic among parents and as a parent of a young child I understand how much we rely on child care. I contacted my local crèche this morning in Dungarvan just to say I was thinking of the workers there. It has been a very difficult day for them, and these people are very committed to their job and giving care and attention to children on a daily basis. Most in the House would probably agree with that statement.
The Minister spoke about Pobal analysing the results of the community employment schemes around the country. Anybody with experience of services funded by Pobal would say that its reports always focus on numbers but we must move away from them if we are to speak about quality child care provision. It is not just about numbers, how many new pieces of equipment have been bought or how many children attended a service but rather what the child and the carer do in the service which has the biggest impact. It is unfortunate that it took this investigation to bring the matter to the fore. I am not sure the inspections as they stand would have outed the sort of poor practice we saw last night, which is really scary. We must focus on that and I know the Minister is really committed to the area. I hope to continue working with her to ensure we can bring improvements to fruition.