Parents view footage of alleged creche mistreatment ahead of RTÉ broadcast

Footage showed child being pushed into a chair and made to face a fridge for 40 minutes

Questions have arisen over mistreatment at some creches. Photograph: Getty Images

Questions have arisen over mistreatment at some creches. Photograph: Getty Images


Parents whose children attend creches where alleged mistreatment occurred have been viewing footage secretly filmed by RTÉ. The programme compiled by RTÉ’s investigative unit is still being edited and is expected to be aired tonight or tomorrow, said a spokeswoman.

Parents whose children were directly involved in the alleged mistreatment were contacted last week. RTÉ has also shown footage to parents whose children attend the creches but who were not directly involved.

“I had family and friends ringing me all week about it so I wanted to be forewarned about the footage before it went out on television,” said Alison Moore, whose daughter attends the Giraffe creche in Belarmine in Stepaside, Dublin. She said she saw the footage on Saturday.

It showed a child being pushed down into a chair and being made to face a fridge for what RTÉ said was 40 minutes, said Ms Moore. The child is then taken out of the chair and put back in it for food. Another child is shouted at during nap time to go to sleep and their shoulders are pushed down. A blanket is then thrown over the child’s whole body for a short time.

“I did find it hard to watch,” said Ms Moore. “They are not hurting the kids, but it is being physical.”

The programme also alleges that the children’s allergy list was not kept up to date but Ms Moore said staff know what their needs are because each child has laminated placemats with their dietary needs printed on them. “Our experience of the creche has been nothing but positive ... I would still recommend it,” she said.

‘Inappropriate conduct’
Giraffe last week admitted the footage showed “clear evidence of inappropriate conduct” involving a member of staff who had since been suspended. The incidents involved “strapping of children in to their chairs” for purposes other than meal time or table top activities, keeping them seated for longer than necessary, and “abrupt handling of the children during rest and sleep periods”.

Two other creches involved in the programme include Little Harvard in Rathnew, Co Wicklow, and Links in Abington, Malahide, Dublin. Links creche said it had dismissed one member of staff and suspended three others.