The Child and Family Agency, TUSLA, has been accused of keeping parents 'in the dark' about 27 crèches the agency is currently moving to close down.

The comments by Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Children and Youth Affairs, Anne Rabbitte follow yesterday's appearance of senior TUSLA officials, including its new Chief Executive Bernard Gloster, before the Joint Committee for Children and Youth Affairs.

During the meeting it was confirmed a total of 41 childcare providers across the country currently have a high risk rating.

However it subsequently emerged that due to ongoing concerns regarding breaches of regulations, TUSLA has proposed to deregister 27 of these crèches.

"It's nothing short of scandalous that we now know there are 27 crèches operating that TUSLA is trying to shut down, but parents are being left entirely in the dark," Deputy Rabbitte told RTÉ.

"Tusla won't pinpoint the locations of these crèches because of 'due process' so how are parents to know if their crèche is breaching its conditions? Where's the transparency? When a parent is leaving their child with a crèche they deserve certainty that their child is being looked after well."

Ms Rabbitte added that Minister for Children, Katherine Zappone must now move to reassure parents.

"It is worth noting that this status does not imply children attending these services are at risk, or that they should be removed from the service. It seems to me, however, that Minister Zappone's hands-off approach and leisurely pace at strengthening Tusla's powers has resulted in a crèche inspection system that is broken and needs immediate repair. Tusla simply lacks adequate powers and this needs to be remedied," she said.