Creche employs psychologist to counsel parents affected by alleged mistreatment footage

Malahide creche director ‘acutely aware of distress caused’

Links, which runs the Abington creche in Malahide, Dublin, said parents and staff “affected by recent events” could attend the psychologist

Links, which runs the Abington creche in Malahide, Dublin, said parents and staff “affected by recent events” could attend the psychologist

Tue, May 28, 2013, 01:00


A Dublin creche involved in an RTÉ investigation into alleged mistreatment of children has employed a psychologist to counsel parents who may have been affected.

Links, which runs the Abington creche in Malahide, Dublin, said parents and staff “affected by recent events” could attend the psychologist.

RTÉ is expected to air the programme tonight showing alleged mistreatment at the Links creches and two other creches, Giraffe in Belarmine in Stepaside, Dublin, and Little Harvard in Rathnew, Co Wicklow.

Deirdre Kelly, director of the Links chain of creches, said in an email to parents who use the creches that she was “acutely aware of the distress caused by events of the last week”. She said she would be available to parents at the creches this week. “I know that you, the parents and guardians, are angry, disappointed and anxious,” she added.

The number of CCTV cameras had been increased “with a view to clearer images and better coverage”, said Ms Kelly. “We are also looking at the possibility of ‘real time’ coverage, but again we have to ensure that this is safe for all children.”


‘Dedicated’
Early Childhood Ireland stressed ahead of the airing of the RTÉ programme that most staff at creches were “dedicated and hard working”.

“People are attracted to this business because they like children,” said Irene Gunning, chief executive of Early Childhood Ireland, which represents 3,300 pre-school and after-school childcare providers.

She said it was unfair to criticise creche owners for being in business. “It is a legitimate business in the same way that doctors are there for profit too. Most creches in Ireland are small, and most of the costs go towards wages.”

She said people with any concerns about the creche their children attend should talk to staff and ask to see inspection reports. Creches should also discuss the issue openly with parents and explain any problems the reports highlight.

Giraffe creche last week admitted that the RTÉ footage showed “clear evidence of inappropriate conduct” involving a member of staff who had since been suspended.