THE Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) has rejected assertions that public health nurses who are employed as inspectors of creches are not qualified for the job.
Phil Ní Sheaghdha of the INMO said the nurses are fully qualified to carry out the inspections and have the confidence of the Health Service Executive (HSE).
She said they have concerns about the current regulatory system, in that anyone can open a creche with inspection only happening after they are in business.
Ms Ní Sheaghdha also said there is a huge shortage of inspectors, which impedes their ability to carry out the number of inspections that would like to do.
Meanwhile, large for-profit creche chains have been criticised for their reaction following the broadcast of a Prime Time programme on standards earlier this week.
Special Rapporteur on Child Protection Geoffrey Shannon criticised the chains for what he described as “their deafening silence” since the airing of ‘ Breach of Trust’.
The chief executive-designate of the Child and Family Agency Gordon Jeyes has said there should be a significant registration fee for all private creches and preschools which should go towards funding training and improvement of services.
The largest representative group for childcare providers Early Childhood Ireland has said any increase to the fee will never be enough to cover the cost of the reforms to the system needed at the moment.