Creches run by woman whose staff lost child

HSE regulations do not preclude staff with convictions from working with children

 Garda vetting highlights any convictions but it is up to the employer to decide whether the individual is suitable to work with children or not.

Garda vetting highlights any convictions but it is up to the employer to decide whether the individual is suitable to work with children or not.

Fri, May 31, 2013, 21:50


Two Dublin creches and an afterschool care facility are being operated by a woman who was convicted for breaching regulations after a child was left behind in a park in 2004.

Anne Davy, who owns and runs Hyde and Seek creches and afterschool in Dublin city centre and Drumcondra, was fined in March 2005 for failing to provide adequate safeguards and supervision for the three-year-old boy during an outing to Fairview Park.

She was operating Giggles Creche and Montessori on Tolka Road at the time and was also convicted of not providing adequate safeguards in accordance with her insurance and of having inadequate staff and attendance records. She was fined €1,200 over the incident, which happened in July 2004.

When contacted yesterday about the matter she said she had not been involved directly in the incident but was convicted because she was the owner of the creche. “My past is there. I have worked hard to get where I am,” she said.


Regulations
HSE regulations do not preclude people with criminal convictions from setting up creches or working in them.

Garda vetting highlights any convictions but it is up to the employer to decide whether the individual is suitable to work with children or not.

Early Childhood Ireland, which represents creches, says it sends in Garda vetting forms on behalf of its members and checks them when they return. Rarely were criminal convictions of the kind that raised concerns, but when they were creches would be contacted about them, said Irene Gunning, chief executive of the group.


‘Suitable’
HSE regulations state adults working with preschool children must be “suitable and competent”.

The 2005 case centred on an outing to Fairview Park with the court hearing two adults brought 16 children on the trip. One of the mothers, Denise McGrane, was waiting at the creche when the children arrived back from the trip and it was realised her son Nathan was not there. She and a teacher returned to the park and found him on a swing. Ms Davy denied the charges.

The creche owner also set up Just For Kids creche and now operates Hyde and Seek.

A 2012 HSE inspection report obtained by RTÉ for the Hyde and Seek creche on Tolka Road showed three staff were in charge of 27 children the day the inspector arrived.

The report said Garda vetting reports were not available for three staff members and four students employed at the time.