‘Sand,” says Jamie (4). “I like to play in the sand. And we pick up the pebbles in the garden and then we count them. I like that, too.” Jamie was not as happy in his old creche, although he is a little too young to understand why.
But his parents, Barbara and Keith, know why. Their son had been attending a large, private childcare facility in south Dublin. “All too often we would drop him in the morning to meet a complete stranger in the room, as last week’s minder had decided to pack it in,” says Barbara. “We were rarely, if ever, introduced to new minders. The chopping and changing is very unsettling for young kids. There were staff shortages and minders in rooms with far too many children.”