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Dublin: 4°C Thursday 21 October 2021

Oireachtas Health Committee to meet HSE on creche issues

They will join childcare organisations in speaking about the findings of the RTÉ undercover footage of three creches in Ireland.

THE HSE WILL appear at the next Oireachtas Health and Children Committee to discuss the creche scandal.

Labour TD Ciara Conway told TheJournal.ie that the committee will meet after a short break and will discuss the recent RTÉ Prime Time investigation A Breach of Trust, which focused on undercover footage in three creches in Ireland.

She said that representatives from various childcare organisations and the HSE will appear before the committee to discuss what is happening to deal with the findings of the programme.

Conway said that “unfortunately there is no quick-fix solution to this” and that if it is too quick “you might put the wrong system in place”.

The Labour Party TD for Waterford has opposed calls for the installation of CCTV cameras in creches in the aftermath of the scandal:

There have been calls for the installation of CCTV cameras in creches to provide parents with the opportunity to check in on what is happening in the creche throughout the day. In light of the horrendous footage shown on Prime Time, the idea that this could reassure parents is understandable. However, it is neither workable, nor is it enough to truly solve the problem that is facing us.

She said “it will do nothing to solve the root causes of mistreatment”. She said that the best way to ensure children are getting the best care is:

We must focus on ensuring that those who are responsible for caring for children are fully trained, and have the necessary qualifications. We must provide support for childcare workers, through mentoring, coaching and other kinds of practical support.

A garda investigation and HSE investigation are underway into the footage broadcast on the Prime Time programme.

Children’s Minister Frances Fitzgerald said that the footage was “harrowing, distressing, shocking, and… absolutely unacceptable”. She said it was evident that the inspection procedures in place were not fulfilling the standards needed.

New inspectors are being recruited to address the lack of HSE-appointed child inspectors in five counties.

Read: Nationwide JobBridge ban for creche chains featured in RTÉ programme>

Read: Van Turnhout “not convinced” HSE equipped to respond to parental concerns>

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