Creches – CCTV is not the answer

 

Sir, – This week, following the broadcast of the harrowing footage filmed in three creches in Dublin on the RTÉ Investigates programme, has been so difficult. It is easy to understand how CCTV has emerged as a panacea for widespread public concern.

While some of Early Childhood Ireland’s 3,800 members use such systems in their settings, it cannot and should not be the solution to meeting the levels of confidence which parents need to feel in the early-years sector.

It is imperative that we focus on the importance of building trusting and reciprocal relationships in our childcare settings. The use of CCTV does not foster a culture of trust and could be an invasion of privacy, of both young children and the sector’s workforce. There are also child protection concerns to do with the use of footage, which cannot be overlooked.

Ireland is now, at last, moving, albeit frustratingly slowly, towards a properly resourced and professionalised early years sector. This needs to be matched with a corresponding fit-for-purpose, transparent and effective infrastructure which would oversee planning, administration, funding and quality enhancement. The Government’s welcome aspiration for a single national early-years agency must now be turned into action.

We need every young child thriving and learning in quality early childhood settings. Many are already there, but it is long past time that we guaranteed this to all. – Yours, etc,

JILLIAN

VAN TURNHOUT,

Chairwoman,

Early Childhood Ireland,

Dublin 24.