THE JOURNAL, THIS MORNING:
THERE HAS BEEN widespread anger and criticism of a number of creches after an RTE Prime Time programme which showed young children being mistreated by staff.
The programme, ‘A Breach of Trust’, aired last night and showed staff aggressively handling children, shouting at them, and fabricating entries in daily diaries detailing what the children had done that day. In one incident, a baby was left in a high chair for two hours, while other children were strapped to their chairs for long periods. READ FULL ARTICLE HERE.
I'm wondering how many parents were lying awake last night after watching RTE's Primetime episode (excellent journalism, by the way, give those guys Ryan Tubridy and Marian Finucane's wage as a bonus between them, and sling the usual lot off the telly altogether - who's with me on that one)?
I've seen Facebook posts to the tune of 'Never EVER will I leave my kids in creches... there's always a choice love', and Tweets about how we need independent inspectorate of childcare, and more investment by the government. Oh, and the HSE Rep on the radio this morning doing fecking nothing to address any parental concerns. Faffing, is all it was.
Truth is though, for so many Irish families this morning - if there is a choice, it's an untenable one. Give up your job because you're afraid of what might be happening to your kids in daycare? What kind of choice is that? This is reminiscent of Leo Varadker's head-up-his-own-arse comments about women giving up their jobs if the cost of childcare is too high. This is yet another cost, another source of stress for the modern Irish family.
We DO need independent inspectorate of childcare, and more investment by the government. Is it going to happen? My elbow it is, unless we change the government entirely. That lot are too busy paying the banks and digging up shcandal on each other.
Is this a women's issue? Ideally, no, but practically, it probably is. I'm willing to bet there there are a lot more freaking out mammies than there are daddies right now. Not that the daddies care any less, but there is (generally speaking) more inherent responsibility and guilt bred into the mammies. We're trying to change that, of course, but for now it's a reality we're dealing with as best we can.
I'm a solutions person, but I'm not sure what the solution is here. As a parent - ask questions. You're paying, you're the customer, and you have every right to get as much information as you need to feel secure in leaving your kids in day care. Take all the time you need. Turn the place over, question the kids, the staff - it should all be an open book.
Fundamentally though, nothing is going to change until the government does. If you're moaning about the lack of accountability, lack of investment in childcare, lack of support or transparency, I ask you (and you'll hear this a lot from me) - DID YOU VOTE?
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