Childcare managers and professional's view of the Health Service Executive inspection process.
This study set out to investigate the effectiveness of the Health Service Executive (HSE) inspections of childcare from the perspective of childcare professionals. The study had three main objectives. Firstly, to investigate childcare professionals’ experiences of HSE inspections (for example, the number of inspections, what the inspection involved, impact of inspection on their services).Secondly to investigate managers’ and childcare professionals views and opinions on the inspection process (e.g. effectiveness, fairness, the extent to which it was it worthwhile).Thirdly to explore the childcare managers and professionals views on the changes to the HSE inspection process, including the publication of the reports online and also to investigate any changes they would like to see implemented. This topic was chosen due to the growing demands on childcare in Ireland today and also due to the limited research current available on this topic. A qualitative method was used to gather data in the form of interviews. The research was exploratory and broad in nature and interviews were well suited to the character of this particular study. The main findings of the study were as follows. According to the childcare managers and professionals from this study there is no standardisation when it comes to the inspection of childcare facilities. The inspector did not inspect the childcare facilities according to the Child Care Act 1991. The participants had no two inspections the same and could not know what the inspector would be looking for on each inspection. The participants also believe that the inspector is too reliant on coming up with recommendations which are not occurring to the Child Care Act 1991 regulations. The views of the childcare mangers and childcare professionals was that the inspection process is unfair and that the inspector is not focused on the primary concern which is the care of the child. The participants believed that the inspector was focused more on the cleanliness and hygiene of the facilities instead of the level of care being provided to the children. All the participants in the study welcomed the publication of the HSE inspection reports online. They believed that the publication of the reports online will allow parents to make more informed decisions when they are choosing their child’s childcare. Some of the changes that the childcare manages and professionals would like to see introduced is a standardised inspection process, so that all childcare facilities can be inspected in the same way. Additionally the participants would like to see funding allocated to the childcare sector for the recruitment of additionally staff. These additionally staff would be employed to carry out the paperwork and assist when the HSE inspection is taking place.
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