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Real Story reveals small children in private nurseries being looked after by sometimes overworked and under-trained staff.
The programme's covert footage shows children as young as two-years-old in one nursery being shouted at, roughly handed and called names such as "minger".
It also reveals, in two nurseries, carers flouting basic hygiene regulations.
Over four months, Real Story reporter Lizz Brown went undercover in three private day nurseries to find out the truth behind private daycare.
These nurseries claimed to be providing a good environment for children, but what Lizz Brown found will concern any parent who is using, or considering using, private day care.
The nurseries investigated are not one-off unregistered nurseries that have slipped through the net. They are Ofsted, government-approved nurseries that on the surface appear to be shining examples of childcare at its best.
If parents can't have confidence in the Ofsted inspection system, just who can they trust?
Real Story: BBC One, Thursday 12 August 2004, 2100 BST and live on the Real Story website.