FOUR CRECHES in Dublin will be forced to close by 31st December this year after child protection agency Tusla ordered them to be removed from the register.
The Hyde & Seek creches, part of a chain operating in the capital, were the subject of an undercover documentary by RTÉ earlier this year which revealed numerous failures in child welfare, including overcrowding and blocked fire exits.
In creating 'Creches: Behind Closed Doors:', two undercover RTÉ reporters applied for and were given roles as childcare workers without first being Garda vetted, something which would have revealed any historic reason why a person should not be allowed to work with children.
The documentary resulted in severe backlash from the public, and the owner, Anne Davy, stepped down shortly afterwards.
The chain had introduced a new management team in the weeks following the explosive undercover investigation, however those members resigned last week.
Now a court order could see all four Hyde & Seek creches permanently closed if the chain does not succesfully appeal the decision.
The Child and Family Agency Tusla acknowledged that parents would find it difficult to arrange childcare with such short notice, but said "This decision is not taken lightly, and is a last resort which is used when as regulator Tusla cannot stand over the continued operation of the service".
Tusla added that the agency had been in touch with the Department of Children and Youth Affairs who would work with the City and County Childcare Committees to provide extra support to the families affected.
Hyde & Seek Childcare confirmed to RTÉ News today that they would appeal the decision from Tulsa, saying:
"Since the airing of the RTÉ programme we have continued to work to ensure we adhere to the highest standards.
"We are very confident in the service provided at all four of our creches and will appeal this decision,"