Fianna Fail spokesperson for Children and Youth Affairs, Anne Rabbitte TD, has called on Minister Katherine Zappone to intervene in the Hyde and Seek crèche closure debacle, which will leave parents without childcare after Christmas.

Following a meeting in Leinster House on Wednesday evening with parents who use the crèche chain, a number of proposals have been put forward by Deputy Rabbitte and the parents.

Deputy Rabbitte commented, “The crèche closures were announced with no fallback plan in place and the parents feel they’ve been failed miserably, not just by the crèche but also Tusla, the Department of Children, and Minister Zappone.

“Highlighting the lack of communication from stakeholders, the parents have been left to find alternative childcare themselves, but there are simply no spaces available in the area, or even surrounding areas. The truth of it is that parents need these crèches to stay open out of necessity. Their only other option is for some parents to quit their jobs, and that’s simply not fair.

“These are a solution focused group and they’ve drawn up a number of proposals for Tusla and the Minister in an attempt to find a temporary resolution. The parents are requesting that the Minister facilitate talks between the parties involved and consider their proposal to install an interim management team at the crèche, which would at least give parents time to find an alternative childcare provider, or indeed for new owners to take over the crèche on a more permanent basis.

“There is a crisis in childcare and parents across the country will understand the lack of options out there, and we now have this group scrambling to find a place for their children for January 1st. If Tusla and the Minister decide to outright reject these proposals, they should at least be offering the parents an alternative,” concluded Deputy Rabbitte.