No joy for reopening of Fledglings crèche for IT Tallaght student parents

By Aura McMenamin

Students in IT Tallaght are no closer to getting the Fledglings crèche reopened following a deflating meeting with Student Union reps this week.

Aggrieved parents complained that they had already persistently called local crèches to find a lack of spaces, or were being asked to pay up to €1,800 for a deposit and first month of service.

ITT Students

Student Union President Jason Kavanagh said the SU had contacted South Dublin County Council to form a list of crèches and planned to host an open day so that parents could meet potential crèches in the area such as Giraffe and Cocoon.

However, the students’ anger was palpable as they proposed to put forward a motion to protest outside the college gates, encouraged by Anti-Austerity Alliance councillor Mick Murphy.

Student Union sabbaticals have worked to revert the college’s decision following the announcement last month that Fledglings had failed to meet the tender criteria to run the on-campus créche.

However, the SU reported that meetings with college officials have proved unsuccessful.

College officials said they would reopen the tendering process again in August. However, this means that there won’t be a childcare provider until January 2018.

Many students have stated they will have to defer or drop out of college if they cannot source affordable childcare by September when college resumes. The problem affects up to 50 students who rely on the subsidised crèche.

Fledglings is a community crèche is run by education provider An Cosán and has operated on campus for seven years. Some parents pay as little as €440 per month for the service, which does not ask for deposits.

The college have refused to state why Fledglings failed to meet tender criteria, saying the information is ‘commercially sensitive’. A Freedom of Information request by Senator Lynne Ruane was also denied.

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