A number of members of a new management team put in place at Hyde & Seek Childcare following an RTÉ investigation into care standards at the Dublin crèche chain are understood to have resigned their positions in recent days.

The developments come following a decision by the High Court last week to grant an injunction, pending arbitration, restraining the company's insurer from cancelling the insurance policies for its four facilities.

Ironshore Europe DAC's move arose from investigations by it arising from the RTÉ Investigates programme and subsequent media reports.

In the wake of 'Crèches, Behind Closed Doors', which was broadcast in July, Hyde & Seek owners wrote to parents informing them of an "Action Plan" for the future of the company.

It included the appointment of external consultants, the promised appointment of new staff and management, the implementation of a company-wide restructuring programme and a complete audit of its crèche facilities with identified findings and improvements to be implemented in full.

The letter, written by company owner Siobhan Davy and seen by RTÉ News, added she hoped the steps being put in place would develop "a culture of communication and transparency" and "will begin to restore the trust you have had in our service and return Hyde & Seek Glasnevin to an exemplar in the field".

In further correspondence with parents, Hyde & Seek said it had recruited a new Group Operations Manager and a second staff member to the role of Glasnevin crèche manager.


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The Glasnevin crèche is a purpose built facility, which opened in January 2018. 

Hyde & Seek previously received the benefit of the Probation Act for opening the facility, unknown to parents, without appropriate registration.

RTÉ Investigates has been contacted by a number of parents who say in recent days they have learned these staff members have in the past week left their position.

It is understood some of the staff concerns centred on the failure to implement policy change within the company.

A new branch manager at one of Hyde & Seek's other facilities is also thought to have left her position, as have several frontline childcare workers working across the company's crèches.

One parent, who spoke to RTÉ on the basis of anonymity, said: "Following July's RTÉ broadcast, parents did remove children from the service.

"Those who remained did so for several reasons. In part it was due to a lack of available childcare. More importantly it was due to the level of care afforded to our children by the dedicated staff caring for our children daily.

"Remaining parents pushed for an overhaul of management, governance and a change in culture. Hyde & Seek's response, while not immediate, did meet that demand. However, it now seems we are in a worse position than we were in July."

Affected parents say a report by the external expert contracted by Hyde & Seek, which was to be made available to them at the end of October, has also yet to materialise.

The parent added: "The last week has seen many parents again consider their options. For those who can find alternative places, it would be easier to remove their children and end the stress and sleepless nights.

"However, given the sensitive age many of our children are at, to remove our children from their friends would cause them distress. The issue at hand here is not one of the level of care afforded to our children by the frontline childcare workers. It is an issue of governance, management and oversight.

"A new manager is now in place in Glasnevin and we hope she succeeds but what is being done to prevent this from happening again and again? What is being done to assist parents in this situation and parents who will undoubtedly find themselves in similar situations in future?"

Another parent said: "At the core of this are services parents need. We have to pay our bills, we have no other choice when it comes to childcare and we simply want to do the best by our children. It's extremely worrying and upsetting."

Additional inspections of all Hyde and Seek services were completed by Tusla officials in recent weeks. 

The inspections followed the receipt of new complaints from concerned parents.

These concerns have also been raised with local public representatives, as well as the Minister for Children Katherine Zappone.

In a statement, Hyde & Seek Childcare stated: "We are committed to providing quality childcare to all our families ... This includes ensuring that we have the proper policies and procedures in place.

"A very small number of staff who started with us recently have decided not to stay with us and they are being replaced quickly. While we cannot comment on individual employees we have a management structure in place and a full complement of staff."

The company added that it is in constant communication with parents.