“You have to change the culture, you have to be vigilant, you have to monitor, you have to inspect, you have to train, you have to have people with qualifications,” the minister said. “All of that applies to this sector. This is a sector that has grown incredibly quickly over the years of the Celtic Tiger.”
She said the under-fives had not been adequately addressed in the past decade and that work was needed to shore up the sector.
“We do need a stronger inspection regime, we do need more follow-up, and we do need the inspection to take account of a broader range of issues, for example, quality,” she said.
On the publication online of the reports, Annie Callinan, head of quality assurance, HSE, said “this was a reform in progress” as the move had already been planned.
Ms Callinan said the HSE had been reforming aspects of its service in the past two years and inspections were “extremely important”.
She said she was not satisfied with the current rate of inspection — typically a visit every 20 months — but while there was a reconfiguration of inspectors the HSE “probably need more capacity”.
“I don’t know if we need more inspectors — we need to look at the whole of the system,” she said.
“We are going to publish inspection reports online within months,” she said, adding that “more robust enforcement” was also needed.