The ISPCC has expressed serious concern at the grave findings of Wednesday night’s RTÉ Investigates programme which highlighted how young children in the care of a Dublin-based childcare provider were repeatedly subjected to treatment which was harmful and neglectful to their safety and their physical and emotional wellbeing.
The documentary outlined a litany of shortcomings on the part of the childcare provider, including irresponsible and harmful practices in relation to children’s sleep and overall care, inappropriate responses to children’s behaviour and more.
The national child protection charity called for urgent action to be taken to address the programme’s findings and for appropriate safeguarding measures to be strongly enforced by the Child and Family Agency in order to ensure the safety and welfare of children at all times while in the care of childcare providers.
ISPCC CEO John Church said: “The RTÉ Investigates programme highlighted serious and repeated errors of judgement and irresponsible behaviour on the part of adults entrusted with the care of vulnerable, and often defenceless, young children. These behaviours, in addition to the provider’s repeated failures to comply with sector standards and regulations, placed children at significant risk and, as such, must be condemned.
“Ireland has a bleak history of not listening to children and not acting in their best interests. Children have a right to be safe and their needs and welfare must come first. This was not upheld by the owner in their operating of these childcare facilities, as well as on a number of prior occasions. It is imperative that the history of those providing childcare is assessed to ensure their suitability for such a position of trust.
“Childcare practitioners provide a vital service to children and families in Ireland, with the vast majority creating warm and welcoming spaces where children’s individual needs are tended to with great care and where children’s individual abilities and personalities are nurtured and celebrated. Where shortcomings are identified in the provision of care services, it is imperative that swift action is taken to address these so that those in a parenting role can be confident their children are receiving a high standard of care.”