'profits' | 

Childcare company being sued by parents of 26 kids posted earnings of more than €3m

Hyde and Seek posts €3 million ‘accumulated profit’ as law suits loom

Anne Davy, owner of Giggles Creche and Montessori, Tolka Road, Dublin who has been fined a total of €1,200 for breaches of the regulations governing pre-schools after a three-year-old child was left behind on an outing to a local park.

Patrick O'CompanySunday World

A CHILDCARE company being sued by the families of 26 children in the wake of the broadcast of ‘RTE Investigates: Crèches, Behind Closed Doors’ posted accumulated profits of more than €3 million up to December 31st of last year – new company filings show.

Hyde and Seek Childcare Limited filed accounts for the year leading up to December 31st of 2021 on August 5th.

The company accounts state that Hyde and Seek Limited made a profit of €54,004 in 2021 – bringing accumulated profits up from €2,966,720 the previous December to €3,061,488.

The accumulated profits of Hyde and Seek Glasnevin, a company Hyde and Seek Limited owns 51 per cent of, in the year leading up to December 31st were listed in the same set of accounts as €188,872.

Hyde and Seek Glasnevin was also said to have capital and reserves of €525,863.

Peter Davy and his daughter Siobhan Davy are listed as directors of both companies.

Former secretary and director of the companies, Anne Davy, resigned both positions in January after she pleaded guilty at Dublin District Court to breaching childcare regulations.

Anne Davy had been secretly filmed “roughly” handling a toddler to get him to sleep.

The 66-year-old was fined €4,000 after pleading guilty at Dublin District Court to breaching childcare regulations.

Tusla, the Child & Family Agency, commenced an investigation following the 2019 broadcast of the television documentary Crèches, Behind Closed Doors.

The RTÉ Investigates team went undercover to look at standards of care in the family-run preschool, which operates several premises in Dublin.

In 2019, the Minister for Children brought a prosecution with 22 charges, but the Covid-19 pandemic delayed the proceedings.

The prosecution dropped all charges against her daughter and director Siobhan Davy and the Hyde & Seek crèche group company.

Anne Davy admitted to engaging in a practice that was disrespectful at her Tolka Road crèche on May 8, 2019, contrary to section 19.3 of the Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016.

She also admitted having inadequate space per child ratios at the Shaw Street branch.

The court heard that 46 children were there on 11 September 2018, and 35 on 19 July 2019. However, the creche was sanctioned for 32 only.

Tusla manager Julie Nohilly, who was over childcare inspections, agreed with the prosecution that RTÉ Investigates decided to go undercover at the Hyde & Seek Tolka Road branch in April and May 2019.

Davy was filmed as staff tried to settle children to sleep, and she assisted them with an 18-month toddler, referred to in court as Child-A.

It was Nohilly’s opinion of the video evidence that Davy “roughly handles the child in trying to settle him to sleep”.

The Tulsa manager confirmed that out of the 120 hours of video obtained, the case came down to the one and a half minutes that the judge had seen.

Asked by Judge Halpin to place the incident on a one to ten scale in terms of severity, the Tusla manager said: “nine to 10, for me,” adding, “it is harmful to the welfare of a child”.

The court heard that Davy was previously fined €1200 in 2005 for failing to provide adequate supervision.

However, the judge held that it came under the spent convictions’ legislation, and he treated her as a defendant with no prior convictions.

Judge Halpin remarked that it was saddening if children were harshly dealt with, but he thought the Tusla witness’s severity assessment was harsh.

He said that he would have placed it mid-scale at five.

He noted Davy’s guilty plea, the media attention and abuse she received.

Judge Halpin fined her €4000 for the disrespectful handling of the child, and the remaining two charges were taken into consideration.

She was given six months to pay the fine.

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