Calls for update on 37 crèches on Tusla ‘critical’ risk register

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A Galway TD has called for an update on the crèches deemed by Tusla to be ‘critical’, the highest level on the risk register.

Deputy Anne Rabbitte called for a follow-up meeting with Tusla and the Minster for Children & Youth Affairs for an update on the 37 crèches.

The Galway East TD said that transparency is vital here and that parents need to know their children are safe.

“Since neither the Department or Tusla are revealing where these 37 crèches are, we need to know that these providers are making progress towards being compliant because if they’re not, that’s very worrying.

“I’ve called for a follow-up meeting of the Children’s Committee with Tusla once the Dáil returns. At least then, parents can rest easy knowing their children’s welfare isn’t at risk. This can’t be dragged out; a clear timeline is needed.

“In addition to this progress report, we then learn this week that Tusla conducted 10% fewer inspections of childcare facilities in the first quarter of 2019 than it conducted in the same quarter of 2018,” said the Fianna Fáil TD.

Between this and the problems highlighted on RTÉ Investigates, she said she has serious concerns about the resourcing of the Early Years Inspectorate.

“I’m not confident that they are being equipped to go into crèches as often as needed and ensure that important child protection rules are being followed.

“The Minister has indicated changes she’s exploring but we need action, not inertia. I will be bringing forward legislation to bulk up Tusla’s powers to close poor services, but it’s important that Tusla is able to visit crèches to identify cases where action is needed,” concluded Deputy Rabbitte.