A decision by Tusla to defer the introduction of new safety regulations for crèches and childcare providers is necessary, according to Fianna Fáil's spokesperson on Children and Youth Affairs Anne Rabbitte.

The Child and Family Agency has deferred the regulations until June.

In a statement, it said the requirements have been in place since 2016, but some providers were experiencing difficulties, particularly with regard to having fire risk assessments carried out.

Tusla said providers are now being allowed to proceed with applications without the risk assessment document and have until 30 June 2020 to provide it.

It said documents around garda vetting and insurance will still have to be submitted by 12 December, under the new timetable.

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Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, Ms Rabbitte said nearly 560 crèches were struggling to reach planning permission and fire certification standards as part of a new re-registration process.

She said the new regulations are very onerous on childcare providers and the deferral of the new standards will give older or expanded facilities time to organise the necessary fire safety certification and planning permissions.

Ms Rabbitte said Tusla was seeking greater powers to be able to inform parents about inspections and also that a crèche with conditions attached to its registration must put a notice stating this on its front door. 

Yesterday, Tusla said it was removing four Hyde & Seek crèches in Dublin from the register over quality and safety concerns.

A children's lawyer said there is nothing to prevent the Hyde & Seek chain from operating for the next 21 days while it appeals the decision. 

Catherine Ghent said the situation regarding the closure of a number of crèches is of huge concern for parents.

She said the move by Tusla asking childcare providers to display its certificate of registration should already be mandatory.

Ms Ghent said the decision to de-register the four Hyde and Seek crèches is "incredibly significant".

However, she said, when a decision is made to de-register it needs to be established whether it is the manager or entire facility that is de-registered, when that is necessary.

Frances Byrne of Early Childhood Ireland said parents can be reassured that any childcare provider who can get basic paperwork over the line by 12 December, will be able to operate legally in the New Year. 

Speaking on RTÉ's Today with Sean O'Rourke, she said childcare providers around the country now have to get things such as garda vetting and other paperwork in by 12 December as part of the re-registration process and said the deadline has caused terrible anxiety. 

"We had looked for a possible extension. Tusla and the department came back and said that is not possible.

"What they have done now is a kind of a halfway house where childcare providers all over the country have to get things like garda vetting, identification and insurance in by the 12th and then wait for fire and planning until june of next year," she said.

She said one issue among many providers is that they have sent their paperwork in and have not heard back from Tusla.

She added that the re-registration has "chipped the smaller provider over the edge" and said they are urging them to try to stay open.