Parents advised to spend time in creches observing practices

Creche owner says parents should know their rights and ask questions

Photograph: iStock

Photograph: iStock

 

Parents need to know what to look for when selecting a creche for their child and should be aware of their rights if they are unhappy with something, according to the founder of a chain of 12 Dublin creches.

Karen Clince, the founder of Tiger Childcare, was speaking in response to a damning documentary, RTÉ Investigates: Creches, Behind Closed Doors, showing a series of failings at the Hyde & Seek Childcare chain of creches also in Dublin.

“Parents need to know what good quality education looks like for early years,” Ms Clince said.

For example many parents might think several bouncers and high chairs in a creche is normal, she said. However many creches now no longer use bouncers due to safety concerns and only use high chairs for very young infants.

Parents might just accept that creches offer group and not individualised care and that they can’t do anything about it. “But actually, that’s not true,” she said. Creches should be able to provide individual care and attention to a child even in a group setting.

Ms Clince encourages parents to spend time in the creche observing how it works. Most good creches will allow this, she said. They should observe the ethos, how staff speak to the children and if there is a lot of crying.

“Ask questions about the sleep practices. Do they soothe the children? Do they stay in the room with them?

“And ask about nappy changes. Are the children changed all together like on a conveyor belt or are they given individual attention?”