Parents Protest San Jose Daycare After Alleging Abusive Care

A group of concerned mothers are protesting against a San Jose daycare, claiming abusive care and aggressive handling of their children.

The mothers, who have pulled their children out of De Colores Child Care Center, on Friday handed out fliers near the daycare to inform other parents of the alleged abuse.

"I find it heartbreaking and I'm stressed over this," said Gloria Marin, who organized the picket. "I just want the kids out. I want this place shut down and I'll do whatever I can until it's done."

Marin is one mother who has filed complaints against De Colores Child Care Center with the state.

State documents show during inspections this year the facility was found to have unqualified staff working with infants and too many kids for the amount of staff on duty.

In addition, documents report during an unannounced inspection in March officials found a child unsupervised in the bathroom -- a violation that resulted in a $150 fine.

The mothers filed the complaints against the daycare with the California Department of Social Services.

A former teacher at the daycare who did not want to be identified told NBC Bay Area she never witnessed physical abuse during her seven months working at the facility. But she did talk about withholding food from kids as punishment and hardly giving water to kids.

"The owner said if we keep giving them water, they're going to go pee and we're going to be changing diapers," the former teacher said.

Amanda Lipscomb, a concerned mother, said she always wondered why her daughter would come home thirsty from the daycare.

"She would just down a whole sippy cup of water," Lipscomb said. "She was so thirsty. It's amazing."

The daycare's owner, Celia Villa, said in a statement:

"Our students' safety and education remain paramount. We have already implemented the required changes and are working with the licensing board to meet all requirements."

Other parents said they are concerned about the allegations, but never experienced any problems.

The daycare has scheduled an open house for Monday. Parents are invited to meet with administrators and bring up concerns they may have.

NBC Bay Area's Jean Elle contributed to this report.

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