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Immediate review of childcare facilities required in Dublin in light of HSE survey in Southern Area - Mary Lou McDonald

17 August, 2006

Sinn Féin National Chairperson Mary Lou McDonald MEP has today called upon the Health Service Executive in Dublin to "conduct a similar survey on the state of childcare services in Dublin City".

Ms McDonald made her calls after it emerged that 85% of crèches in the Southern Area failed to fully comply with childcare regulations.

Speaking today Ms McDonald:

"The HSE survey in the Southern Area will undoubtedly come as a shock to many parents who view crèches as safe and comfortable spaces for their children. However, this report certainly points to major health and safety concerns in a large number of the premises inspected.

"Given that parents fork out huge sums of money to place their children in regulated childcare, it is not unreasonable to expect that health and safety standards are rigorously enforced. It is essential that all possible checks are not only carried out but are reviewed on a regular basis to ensure consistent standards.

"In light of the information compiled by the HSE Southern Area, it is absolutely essential that a review is now carried out here in Dublin City to assess the state of the childcare sector. Such a survey is required to ensure that proper standards are being met and that parents are placing their children in a safe environment.

"It is important to point out that the vast majority of staff working in the childcare sector carry out their work in a professional and sensitive manner and are dedicated to providing a safe and loving environment. It is essential that they are also provided with a safe and healthy working environment.

"I want to take this opportunity to call on the HSE to begin an immediate review of childcare facilities in Dublin to ensure that staff are working in first class conditions and children are provided with care and support in a safe space." ENDS

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