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Childhood professionals concerned about RTÉ doc revelations

The Assocation of Childhood Professionals have called on the government to work with its members to achieve quality in care.

Image: Laura Hutton / Photocall Ireland

A GROUP REPRESENTING childhood professionals in Ireland has said it is concerned about the current public focus surrounding an RTÉ investigation going undercover in three creches across Dublin and Wicklow.

The Association of Childhood Professionals (ACP) said it would wait to view the programme on Monday before making specific comment on it. However, it has called on the government to work with its members to achieve quality in the childcare sector.

In a statement, the association said it “abhors mistreatment of children in any circumstance”.

“It has no place in the practice of a childhood professional,” it added.

Claims have been made that there has been underinvestment in the sector, which employs about 30,000 people. According to the ACP, development is required in training, inspection and commensurate pay for workers.

Yesterday, Children’s Minister Frances Fitzgerald confirmed her department were working to expedite reforms which will see inspection reports made public, a move welcomed by Early Childhood Ireland.

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The Minister told RTÉ today that the allegations of mistreatment are “deeply disturbing” and that the reports could be online within a couple of weeks.

Both the HSE and the gardaí have launched investigations into the allegations arising from RTÉ’s undercover investigation. A worker has been dismissed and at least three others suspended after the researcher secretly filmed staff in the centres.

The allegations include children being forcibly held down during sleep times and being strapped into chairs for prolonged periods of time.

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