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Growing pains

Some creches waiting FIVE years between inspections

“It’s just not good enough,” says Early Childhood Ireland.

“INSPECTION IS GOOD for everyone.” That is the verdict from a body dedicated to safeguarding children’s development in their early years.

Early Childhood Ireland (ECI) was responding to this week’s report from Tusla, the child and family agency, which found there had been just one inspector operating per 21,052 children in the Dublin and northeast area of the country.

While Tusla claims that such shortcomings have been addressed, Early Childhood Ireland – whose members comprise both parents and policymakers as well as childcare sector professionals – said it was concerned that there are not “regular and consistent inspections across the country” of childcare and young children’s educational facilities.

It said:

Some of our members are waiting five years in between inspections, which is just not good enough.

While it welcomed a new recruitment phase for inspectors next month, it said that it needed assurance that all inspectors are also qualified in early childhood care and education.

Consistent inspection makes it easier to tackle “small breaches” within a few days, and prevent a situation from escalating, it said.

Parents who were worried by the Tusla report or can’t find an inspection report for a facility where their children are to attend should visit the place themselves and speak to a manager, ECI recommends.

There are two leaflets available for parents to download in the run-up to ‘back to school’ week – one for pre-schoolers, and one for ‘big school’-going children.

Is one inspector for 21,000 kids good enough?>

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