Creche accused of allowing staff to wake a child with wet cloth on face

The Hyde & Seek creche chain and two of its directors face fresh charges for breaking childcare regulations.

Summonses in connection with alleged breaches of the Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016 have been issued against the Dublin creche company and directors Siobhán and Anne Davy. The creche has featured in an RTÉ Investigates program.

The case has been brought by the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs and came before Judge Anthony Halpin at Dublin District Court on Monday.

Siobhán Davy is accused that, being a director of Hyde and Seek Glasnevin Ltd, on April 11th, May 23rd, and July 27th last, at the premises on Finglas Road, Dublin, she permitted two staff members to work directly with children while not in possession of documentary evidence confirming they held minimal educational awards.

She faces a summons for permitting staff to wake a child by holding a wet cloth to their face on July 10th last.

She was also accused of allowing one staff member to supervise nine babies in contravention of safety ratios on July 8th last.

The company itself was accused of not having documentary evidence of staff having a major award qualification in early childcare, on dates between April and July. It is also accused of permitting the use of a wet cloth to wake a child.

Owner and director Anne Davy was summoned on charges for allegedly allowing eight staff members work at Hyde and Seek Creche and Montessori without appropriate Garda vetting on July 19th last; and providing inadequate space with 46 children present on September 11th, and 37 children present on July 19th last, when only 32 were sanctioned at the creche.

Aoife McNickle BL, prosecuting, applied for an adjournment for the case to link up with further summons due before the court next month.

Defense solicitor Rory Staines said he had received disclosure of approximately 3,000 pages but there were no statements as the Child and Family Agency say it does not have the power to take statements.

To advise his clients, the defense needed to know who was going to be called to give evidence and what they will say. Ms. McNickle said there was no difficulty with that.

Judge Halpin ordered the prosecution to provide summaries and adjourned the case for mention on December 9th next. He agreed to an application by Mr. Staines to excuse the defendants from attending court on the next date.