Claims News

Hyde & Seek Investigation on RTE Raises Possibility of Creche abuse compensation

Posted on: July 25th, 2019

An RTÉ Investigates report, which uncovered multiple cases of ill treatment of children at various Hyde and Seek creché locations around Dublin, may result in a number of creché abuse compensation claims once unhappy parents have had time to consider their options.

The report, broadcast last night, unveiled many cases of mismanagement and supervision at the crèches included. Two undercover childcare workers/reporters sought employment in crèches managed by the Hyde and Seek chain and discovered that major violations in good practice and safety procedures were taking place, despite a previous investigation highlighting creché mismanagement in 2017 and a number of subsequent reviews by the child protection agency Tusla. Following the 2017 reports more stringent legislation was introduced in relation to the operation of 4,500 childcare facilities.

In the intervening period of time, Tusla carried out 11 inspections at the different locations since September 2017. Even so, it was seen that children in the Hyde and Seek childcare centres were being treated badly and placed in serious fire risk.

Tusla released a statement following the airing of the programme which said: “We recognise and share the serious concerns the programme raises about the quality of care within these crèches, but more importantly the impact of concerning adult behaviours on children.”

Other discrepancies noted by the undercover pair of reporters included employees not being Garda vetted, babies sleeping in bouncers and an inadequate amount of space between cots for staff to look over sleeping infants. The documentary also showed young babies being stressed after being left in high chairs for a long time and also being placed in a room for ‘misbehaving’. It was also seen that the quality of the food was of a low standard and the staff to child ratios were unacceptable.

The Hyde and Seek chain of crechés, a family-run operation that consists of four crèches in the Dublin area, released a statement that said: “We know we need to work to rebuild, retain and enhance the trust our parents have in us. We have spoken to many of them in recent days and would urge others with concerns to contact us. We are available to talk to and meet parents at any time. We note that while the programme made criticisms of aspects of our service, it praised our childcare staff whose dedication, professionalism and kindness are central to the care we provide.”

Anne Davy, one of the owners of Hyde and Seek, has stepped down from frontline work with immediate effect. She said that the group would be calling in external consultants to look at the operations of the childcare service.

In 2004, Davy was convicted when staff at one of her North Dublin crechés left a three-year-old boy on his own at a local playground when the returned to the creché with the other children. In 2007, she was convicted again for breaching child care regulations, including child to adult ratios and failing to keep adequate records. During these years, the company changed name on three occasions.

The Hyde and Seek group may now have to address upcoming creche abuse compensation claims submitted by parent of the badly-treated children.



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