Creche expose

Someone is keen to get going to creche this morning.

It’s been a tough week for working mums feeling guilty after the TV expose on some bad crèches aired on the Irish national broadcast channel.

Undercover reporters uncovered a string of unsafe practices including staff backgrounds not being checked, understaffing, crowded sleeping areas and worst of all significant failings in the way the creche owner interacted with children.

When it aired seceral people asked me how I felt about sending my child to creche and it is hard not to feel devestated at the thought something like this could happen.

Luckily there are also lots of great childcare providers out there, and even though she can’t talk I’m pretty sure she is happy there. She is always keen to go, and runs into the arms of staff.

Before I enrolled her in creche I visited several times at different times of day and was always happy with what I saw.

I know all the staff by name and know who has been with her all day. They always explain any bruises and give me a written report each day, so generally communication is good.

They also send photos through the day. I know thats only a glimpse of one moment but it is reassuring.

Staying at home with her would be lovely, but just not an option for me right now. I don’t have nearby family that could care for her for those long hours. I did consider a childminder, which can be good as they have less children to care for, but I think it’s a tough long day for an individual practitioner and I like that in the creche there is theoretically good support and oversight. Therefore for me right now a creche is the only realistic option

I felt sorry for the staff in our creche this week too. It must be hard for them watching that, and knowing that parents will be doubting their service, when most are really trying to do a good service for not a whole lot of pay.

I know bad creches need to be dealt with but I wish it was handled by the appropriate authority with support for affected parents, rather than through a TV show that leaves all working parents facing questions and feeling guilty.

I’m glad the programme aired, even if it made me feel bad, but I hope it is a call to action to government to put in place robust inspection procedures, and consider proper support for working parents to stay at home more.

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