‘Thank you, from the bottom of my heart’: Readers’ views on creches

We asked readers to share their experiences of creches in Ireland – here’s what they had to say

The Irish Times on Thursday asked readers who pay for childcare in creches in Ireland to share their experiences of the service they received – both positive and negative. Photograph: iStock

The Irish Times on Thursday asked readers who pay for childcare in creches in Ireland to share their experiences of the service they received – both positive and negative. Photograph: iStock

 

Creche care is in the news this week after an RTÉ investigation revealed a pattern of disturbing behaviour and practices at the Hyde & Seek chain of creches in Dublin, including fire safety breaches and rough handling of children.

In a statement on Thursday, the chain said the documentary raised issues which it would deal quickly. It also said the programme, overall, did “not reflect who we are”.

The Irish Times on Thursday asked readers who pay for childcare in creches in Ireland to share their experiences of the service they received – both positive and negative.

Here is what they had do say.

Sana, Dublin: ‘I find it to be quite expensive’

My son started creche when he was about a year and a half. I find creche in general in Ireland to be quite expensive for what you get in return. I also don’t like the large staff turnover.

I would like for the Government to force all creches to have cameras that parents can tap into and check on their children.

Tony, Dublin: ‘We are ver y lucky’

Our daughter has been in full-time creche care since she was a baby. She is now almost 4-years-old and in all that time we have not had one single occasion to doubt the level of care being given to her. We are very lucky in that our creche is full of hardworking, caring, considerate staff who we (and more importantly our daughter) have developed close relationships with over the years.

Obviously the practices highlighted in the RTÉ documentary are inexcusable and need to be addressed immediately, but I do worry about the negative impact this coverage has on all the genuine, diligent (and no doubt underpaid) child carers out there, and the inevitable judgement levelled against parents who decide, for whatever reason, to put their children in creche which is bound to follow.

AM, Dublin: ‘Their food is extremely high in sugar’

I have been unhappy with my children’s creche for a long time but there is such a shortage of options in the area, I would find it very hard to find a full-time place for both elsewhere.

I don’t believe they are being mistreated – or I would pull them out immediately – but I believe the general standards are way too low in terms of what they eat and how they spend their time. Their food is extremely high in sugar, and I suspect a lot comes from jars and packets, rather than being homemade.

Dessert is every day, along with high sugar yoghurts, juice with meals, biscuits, jellies and lollipops on a regular basis. I have asked that my children be given no sugar, and only water, but birthday cakes are brought in by other parents on a very regular basis and it is unfair to exclude my children from their friends birthday celebrations. There needs to be a blanket ban on sugar in creches.

Perhaps worse than the sugar is the TV usage. Even on the lovely warm days we have been having recently, the creche show cartoons – and full movies – on a near daily basis; presumably to give the staff a break, rather than the children.

Again, I have complained about this and been told my children can be brought out of the room when the TV is turned on if that is my wish. How unfair would that be on my children? HSE “guidelines” suggest screen time should be minimised but they are not breaking any rules, as far as I can see. I pay €2,000 a month for my children to watch TV and eat sugary food. It’s a joke. I will be pulling them both out in the New Year and looking for a childminder when my circumstances allow me to.

Clare, Dublin: ‘Issues have always been dealt with promptly’

My three children have attended a wonderful creche in Dublin over the last nine years. It’s an owner-run, stand-alone centre. The owner and managers are very experienced. The junior staff come and go regularly, which I like, as it adds new energy to the place.

The managers are excellent communicators. Issues have always been dealt with promptly. There are sometimes tears at drop off and days when my kids aren’t 100 per cent but I’ve had to go to work.

The staff have always been as accommodating as possible, going that extra mile when necessary.

It’s always easy to get through on the phone to check up on them during the day. At collection, the staff make time for a chat or to share a story about the day. I often look in the window and see the staff cuddling and tickling and having fun with the kids.

The place has a great atmosphere. I’m very satisfied that my kids are cared for and I don’t worry about them when I’m at work. To all the childcare workers out there, who work so hard at caring for our most precious little people, thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Caroline, Dublin: ‘The standard of care is second to none’

My two daughters attend a creche in Dublin. The standard of care is second to none and both our girls thoroughly benefit from and enjoy their daily experiences there. I feel very confidante every morning that they will be well looked after and treated with respect and kindness.

In their creche the girls eat well, sleep well, play well and also learn so much. As a parent this is invaluable. The cost of sending both girls to creche is punishing but by having such trust and confidence in the creche, this softens that blow.

Jennifer, Waterford: ‘Wonderful experiences’

I am a working mother of two boys and I have wonderful experiences with our local creche. It is truly child-centred and has always accommodated my two boys’ individual needs; both physically and emotionally. They are flexible and understanding and never want the children or the parents to feel stressed or under pressure. We are very lucky.

Cathal, Dublin: ‘Wonderful, friendly atmostphere’

Our children attend a creche in Dublin. The attention and care shown, not to mention the wonderful friendly atmosphere is second to none. We have used other creches in the past but this one is exemplary.

The staff show great interest in our children, one of whom has special needs. The management have a great rapport with ourselves and are always available to discuss how things are going.

Snehit, Dublin: ‘I’m so worried’

My child started to attend creche last week. Can we please please ask Tulsa to make cameras mandatory? I’m so worried as I cannot see what goes into those rooms.

Fiona, Dublin: ‘I have been hugely impressed’

My 16 month-old daughter has been in a creche since she was 10 months old. I have been hugely impressed by the way in which her carers have bonded with her and adapted to her individual needs.

They have genuine affection for her and I know that they actively miss her when she is not in creche. The energy with which they meet my daughter every morning is testament to their dedication and she goes in every morning with a massive smile on her face.