Abuse in private crèches poses need for public childcare system

The instances of neglect and maltreatment and the facts around the shoddy inspection regime that current exists are now well documented in the press and media.

The instances of neglect and maltreatment and the facts around the shoddy inspection regime that current exists are now well documented in the press and media.

However discussion around the response required to prevent this happening again is completely one sided in the sense that the fact needs to be recognised that we have for the best part a lucrative for-profit expensive system of childcare lends itself to inadequate staffing and resources to ensure children are properly looked after and assisted in their development.

The system we have is a legacy of the previous boom where double income households and long commuting created an unprecedented demand for childcare that the previous government left the to the privateers to satisfy but at an enormous cost to low and middle income families. The is a reason why childcare in Ireland has been referred to as a ‘second mortgage’. The government subsidies provided to assist parents meeting the cost of the most expensive childcare in Western Europe while undoubtedly welcomed by parents in reality served to subsidise the massive profits of these operations some of which at least we now know skimp on staffing and resources.

Rather than simply promising a more thorough and rigorous system of inspections by the HSE which of course has to be delivered upon a more profound debate is now needed about the need to eliminate profit from our system of childcare altogether by means of replacing what we have with a comprehensive publicly funded system of childcare and early years education.

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No to privatisation of the ESB

No to privatisation of the ESB

By Dave Keating

George Lee wants to sell off Bord Gais and the lucrative parts of the ESB, supposedly to fund a jobs creation programme. The irony is that in order to sell the ESB, Fine Gael has supported Fianna Fail's policy of cutting the staff of the semi state company in half to just 6,500, with further staff cuts planned. Fine Gael has also supported the government's policy of introducing so called competition in the generation and selling of electricity. This they say is in order "to reduce the price for consumers". However the very opposite has happened.