Tusla - Ireland's Child & Family Agency

Tusla – Child and Family Agency publishes Early Years Inspectorate Annual Report 2015

2,302 early years services inspected by Tusla in 2015 – a 74% increase on 2014 

Tusla – Child and Family Agency today publishes the Annual Report 2015 of its Early Years Inspectorate. The report outlines the activities of the Inspectorate which is tasked with inspecting pre-schools, play groups, nurseries, crèches, day-care and similar services which cater for children aged up to six years.

The report details a number of key achievements in 2015 including:

  • 2,302 early years services were inspected by Tusla – a 74% increase on 2014 (1,326)
  • 258 complaints received about early years services were investigated;
  • 137 new service notifications were received;
  • Two prosecutions were taken.

The report also contains an analysis of 500 randomly selected inspection reports from 2015 which found that the overall level of compliance across regulations in 2015 was 72%. An analysis of the non-compliant findings relating to individual regulations highlights the main areas of concern across the 500 inspection reports in areas including health, welfare and development of the child; first aid; management and staffing; behaviour management; fire safety measures; safety measures; and insurance. The analysis also reveals that there are ongoing challenges in respect of children’s safety and Garda / police vetting in early years services. 46% of services in the analysis were reported to be non-compliant in the area of children’s safety and 38% of services were reported to be non-compliant in the area of Garda / police vetting.

Speaking today at the launch of the report, Brian Lee, Director of Quality Assurance, Tusla said “Tusla, through its Early Years Inspectorate, is the statutory regulator of early years services in Ireland and is responsible for promoting and monitoring the safety and quality of children’s care in early years services in accordance with the Government’s regulations. Last year, we increased our activities, conducting 2,302 inspections and investigating 258 complaints. This represents a 74% increase of inspection activity compared to 2014, when 1,326 inspections were carried out, and means that we have more effectively monitored the sector to ensure safety and quality are embedded in services in the best interest of children.

He continued “While we identified a lot of good practice and there were high levels of overall compliance with the regulations, it is clear that there are still some areas that require further attention and improvement on the part of early years services. We are continuing to focus our inspection work on these areas of non-compliance and risk in services across the country to drive the highest possible levels of compliance and the best care and safety possible for children attending early years services”.

Annual Report 2015 of the Early Years Inspectorate

ENDS

For further information please contact:

Ruth McCourt ruth.mccourt@tusla.ie  
Eleanor Reidy eleanor.reidy@tusla.ie
087 634 8373 

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