Tusla Issues Update on the Early Years Sector
Tusla – Child and Family Agency today publishes an update on key areas of the Early Years Sector, in line with its commitment to greater communication with parents and providers in the sector. These updates relate to the re-registration of childcare providers and the removal of two services from the register.
Re-registration of crèches
Tusla today announced that all early years service providers who were required to re-register their service by December 2019, if they wished to continue operating, have done so.
Speaking about the process, Brian Lee, Director of Quality Assurance, Tusla said: “Compliance with the re-registration process has been exceptionally high. The engagement from service providers with the process shows a real commitment to maintaining compliance with this aspect of the regulations and ensuring that children can have quality early years experiences in Tusla registered services. This sector is vital to many aspects of Irish life for children and their parents and the many service providers and staff who work daily to provide safe and happy settings for children.”
Tusla has been working with and supporting early years service providers in relation to the re-registration process over the past 18 months. These statutory regulations have been in place since 2016, and it is Tusla’s role, as regulator, to inspect services on the basis of the regulations to ensure that providers are in compliance with the legislation. A number of remaining documents need to be submitted to conclude the re-registration process. Many providers have submitted all, or some, of these documents already. Further guidance and assistance will be provided to those who have not yet submitted some or all of these documents.
Removal of Services from the Register
Tusla can confirm that two services have today been notified of Tusla’s decision to proceed with removal from the register of early years services for persistent and serious breaches of regulations. This decision is taken following the conclusion of an extensive enforcement process. The date given for closure is 21st February 2020.
Providers have a legislative provision to challenge those decisions in the Courts within 21 days.
The two services are:
- Home from Home Crèche, Greystones, Co. Wicklow;
- Oblate Fathers Community Crèche, Dublin 8
Commenting on the closures, Brian Lee, Director of Quality Assurance, Tusla said:
“These decisions are taken after careful consideration and a lengthy process, during which the provider has every opportunity to demonstrate a willingness to make the necessary improvements to ensure a safe service for children.
We acknowledge the impact closure has on parents and children using these services and the staff employed in them. There are very significant added dimensions in the context of a community crèche. Every effort is made to avoid reaching this stage of the regulatory process, however Tusla’s primary concern is the safety and wellbeing of children at these services, and where we cannot be assured of this we must take the necessary action.”
Tusla has notified the Department of Children and Youth Affairs of these decisions. The Department, through the City and County Childcare Committees, will be providing supports to parents to assist them with finding alternative childcare providers in these areas.
As one of the services is a community/not for profit service working in an area with high levels of disadvantage, the Department has asked Pobal and the Dublin City Childcare Committee to examine potential solutions for continuation of the service. This could include introduction of new management and governance arrangements.
Tusla will engage with the Department in relation to any proposed solution. It will also will expedite any applications for registration of new childcare providers in this area, or any applications for a Change in Circumstances (e.g. change of owner) in this area.