Date set for trial of Hyde & Seek creche group over childcare breaches

Business and directors Siobhan and Anne Davy accused of number of offences

The Hyde & Seek creche group and its directors Siobhan and Anne Davy have been accused of offences under the Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

The Hyde & Seek creche group and its directors Siobhan and Anne Davy have been accused of offences under the Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

 

The Hyde & Seek creche group, featured in an RTÉ Investigates programme, will go on trial in February for breaking childcare laws.

The Dublin creche and directors Siobhan and Anne Davy have been accused of offences under the Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016.

That legislation sets out the health, safety, and welfare standards that must be in place in pre-school childcare services.

They deny the charges.

The non-jury trial at Dublin District Court has been delayed as a result of the covid-19 crisis.

The case was listed again for mention before Judge Anthony Halpin on Wednesday.

Defence solicitor Michael Staines said the four-day hearing would commence on February 7th.

Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, needed four weeks to obtain answers from RTÉ about video evidence, the court heard.

Judge Halpin granted his request to order disclosure of all remaining evidence, including correspondence between RTÉ and Tusla.

Mr Staines said a date might need to be set aside later this year to deal with the admissibility ofRTÉ ’s video evidence.

The case will be listed regarding the pretrial issues on November 24th.

The district court had earlier granted a stay on the de-registration of the creches by Tusla.

The offences allegedly occurred in 2019.

Siobhan Davy, director of Hyde & Seek Glasnevin Ltd, is accused of permitting two staff to work with children at their Finglas Road creche on April 11th, May 23rd and July 27th, without documentary evidence confirming they held minimal educational awards.

She has a charge for permitting staff to wake a child by holding a wet cloth on their face on July 10th. She is also accused of allowing one staff member to supervise nine babies in contravention of safety ratios on July 8th.

The company itself is accused of not having documentary evidence of staff having a major award qualification in early childcare. It is also accused of permitting the use of a wet cloth to wake a child.

Owner Anne Davy is accused of letting eight staff work at Hyde & Seek Creche and Montessori without Garda vetting. She also has a charge for providing inadequate space for 46 children on various dates when the creche was sanctioned for 32 only.

If convicted, they could face fines of up to €120,000.