Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Children and Youth Affairs, Anne Rabbitte TD, has expressed her concerns that TUSLA does not have the ability to shut down non-compliant Creche’s due to flaws in the legislation.
Deputy Rabbitte commented, “
We have all seen how terribly wrong things can go in creches under poor management. I have already highlighted my concerns that it can take months and months for TUSLA to remove a service from the register, even where it is obvious to inspectors that rules are being flagrantly broken and children are being endangered.
Deputy Rabbitte continued:
Now, the Minister has confirmed that where a service is de-registered, it is the registered service provider, i.e. the person designated as the creche manager, that is removed from the register. In many creches, it is not the owner or even the top-level management who is listed as the service provider, it is simply the line or operational manager. So where a creche is de-registered, it would merely be the line manager who could not continue to provide a service, and not the owner.
Deputy Rabbitte concluded:
This is a huge lack of accountability when creche companies could simply continue operating with a different manager named on the TUSLA register. It makes no sense, especially when you consider that a creche manager very well might be just following orders from senior management, for whom is there is no accountability from the watchdog. The Minister needs to extend TUSLA powers to punish non-compliant creches. This should include making it impossible for any management team or company involved with very poor levels of service to operate a creche in Ireland.