Choosing a creche: the parents’ checklist

A complaint about a creche can be investigated through Tusla

The Tusla Child and Family agency offers a list of tips to parents

The Tusla Child and Family agency offers a list of tips to parents

 

What should a parent look for in a creche? Most parents follow their gut instinct when choosing the best childcare options for their pre-school children, but a checklist of things to ask about and observe in a creche is helpful.

These include the quality of care (kindness and attentiveness of staff to children), the safety features of the creche (child gates, protected safe outdoor and indoor areas, etc), hygiene standards, food preparation, sleeping facilities and relationships between staff and management.

The Tusla Child and Family agency offers a list of tips to parents when checking out a creche here.

How do you check if a creche is registered?

Parents can examine the National Register for Early Years Settings on the Tusla website to check if a creche is registered.

Alternatively, a parent can ask to see a copy of the written verification issued to the creche under registration. Within two months of achieving their registration, creches will receive a certificate of registration from Tusla that parents can request to see.

Parents can also email eyi.registration@tusla.ie to check if a service is registered or not. Creches are registered for three years after which they are required to apply for registration again.

During the three-year period, the registration status of each service is reviewed following every inspection, follow up, or inspection following receipt of unsolicited information. Parents can request to be informed about each stage of this procedure.

How do you check if a creche has been inspected?

Reports on all creches inspected by Tusla Child and Family Agency from July 2013 are available on www.tusla.ie/services/preschool-services/creche-inspection-reports/.

Creches inspected before that date are currently being uploaded onto the site. If you have difficulty accessing an inspection report for a specific creche, you can email eyi.publishing@tusla.ie.

How do you check if a creche has been found guilty of breaches?

The Tusla Child and Family Agency publishes a list of creches that it has removed from its register on its website. It also includes creches that it has taken to court for operating without registration.

One of the Hyde & Seek creches in North Dublin that featured in the RTÉ documentary was prosecuted in March 2019 for operating without registration.

What are the rules around carer-to-child ratios in a creche?

The ratios for full day care creches set by Tusla for babies and children aged up to three years of age is three babies to children for each staff member.

How do you make a complaint?

Every creche registered with Tusla will have a complaints policy. Each creche should have one staff member to whom complaints are directed. The complaints policy states that complaints need to be investigated promptly, taken seriously and handled appropriately and sensitively.

If you are unhappy with how the creche dealt with your complaint, what can you do?

If your complaint is related to the creche and how it handled your complaint, you can contact Tusla’s Early Years’ Inspectorate on 061 461700 or by email on early.yearsui@tusla.ie

However, if your complaint involved a child-protection issue, you should contact a Tusla social worker.