Michael Staines
Michael Staines

11.55 21 Jul 2021


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Some childcare providers are refusing to accept children for up to two weeks after they return from holidays abroad.

Despite the introduction of the EU Digital COVID cert this week, a number of creches have written t parents warning that they are keeping their 13-day quarantine rules in place.

On The Pat Kenny Show this morning, the Chair of the Federation of Early Childhood Providers Elaine Dunne said some services feel the rules remain necessary due to the spread of the Delta variant.

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Childcare providers refusing to accept children for two weeks after holidays

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She suggested that a “good number of services” across the country have been shut down due to Delta outbreaks, with the HSE warning that further closures are likely.

Meanwhile, figures released by the HSE yesterday showed that children account for a third of all new infections recorded in the past fortnight.

She said each childcare provider has its own procedures and policies aimed at keeping staff and parent safe.

“You have to think about, if the Delta variant is very high in an area in Dublin or in any other county around the country then we have to stick rigidly to our policies and procedures,” she said.

“We do the same with the winter vomiting bug or any other kind of bug that comes in – you have policies and procedures around that.

“All we are trying to do here is to keep everybody safe and well and to keep everything running smoothly.

“Now, we are being told, just let everybody in; there is nothing to worry about with children. Yet the HSE are clearly stating that people under the age of 18 are getting this.”

A plane flies over the sea during the sunset in Beirut, Lebanon A plane flies over the sea during the sunset in Beirut, Lebanon, 22-02-2021. Image: Xinhua/Liu Zongya

She said the Delta variant is a “completely different kettle of fish” to other strains and urge parents “just to bear with us for a couple of months until we see where this Delta variant is going.”

“It is not just keeping ourselves safe, it is keeping the families safe and it is keeping the workforce going and keeping the economy going,” she said.

“If we take away all those policies and procedures, we don’t know what is going to happen.

“Are there going to be so many creches closed down that it is going to have a knock-on effect on a whole load of different things?

“If you have 80 children in a creche and it comes in, that is 80 families - 160 parents - out of the workforce for ten to 14 days.”

Holidays

Also on the show, mother and parenting podcast host, Sinead O'Moore said the rules will prevent families form going on holidays.

“Having two small children, the one thing I know about travelling with children is you leave nothing to chance,” she said.

“You are packing and repacking and double checking because you need that confidence and clarity because travelling with children is anxious enough.

“If you think you are going to return home and all of a sudden not have two weeks of childcare at the end of that, that is enough to make parents say no it is not for us.”

She said noted that the Delta variant is already dominant in Ireland and warned that, if it is somehow more dangerous for children, the HSE needs to come out very clearly and say that.

You can listen back here:

Childcare providers refusing to accept children for two weeks after holidays

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