Press Releases

RTÉ Investigations Unit Documentary on Standards in Childcare

28/05/2013: RTÉ has confirmed that Prime Time will tonight broadcast the RTÉ Investigative Unit report, A Breach of Trust.

The documentary explores issues relating to standards in childcare in Ireland. It will be broadcast tonight on RTÉ One at 21.35. The documentary is presented by reporter Oonagh Smyth.
The programme raises concerns about overall standards of childcare in Ireland, based on evidence gathered from HSE Inspection reports, internal HSE documentation and undercover filming in three crèches.

The programme demonstrates that standards of childcare in three crèches (the Links crèche in Abington, Giraffe crèche in Belarmine, Stepaside, and Little Harvard in Rathnew, Co. Wicklow) were in breach of HSE regulations and childcare guidelines. The programme finds various degrees of mistreatment of young children in specific rooms of the crèches, involving inadequate care and serious breaches of child care regulations.

The programme also features commentary from the following childcare experts: Professor Noirin Hayes Professor of Early Years Childhhod Care & Education, Prof Sheila Greene Developmental Psychologist TCD, Dr Caitriona O’Toole Developmental Psychologist NUI Maynooth, Irene Gunning (Early Childhood Ireland).

The documentary will be followed at 22.35 by a live studio and audience discussion on Prime Time, presented by Claire Byrne.

Notes to Editor

  • Please note that this edition of Prime Time will not be available on the RTÉ Player and will not be repeated after this evening. We regret that it will not be possible to facilitate requests for preview copies on this occasion.
  • It is the express wish of the parents of the children involved that no screengrabs relating to crèche footage are reproduced in broadcast, print or online.
  • The findings of the investigation were shared with the various crèche owners and RTÉ offered them due right of reply. All staff directly involved in the incidents which feature in the programme were also offered the right to respond to the findings of the programme.
  • Production was undertaken with the cooperation and guidance of childcare experts. The programme team liaised with a childcare expert throughout production with regular reports and viewing of footage.
  • Findings were reported by RTÉ researchers to the HSE and the crèche management in a timely fashion in line with expert advice. Gardai have been given footage intended for transmission. RTÉ will cooperate with any further requests by Gardai on foot of a court order, as is standard