Young children were seen eating and touching each other's poo at a "dangerous" nursery that was closed after a damning Ofsted report.
The investigator was so shocked at the scenes at the now-closed Kidspiration nursery in Gorton, Manchester that he even intervened at points "to maintain children's health and safety".
The damning report reveals children were put "in significant danger" down to "catastrophic failings" of management, Manchester Evening News reports.
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"When some staff change children's nappies, they fail to notice that faeces have leaked onto surfaces that children have access to," said the report.
"This results in younger children putting faeces into their mouths."
The inspector also had to physically alert staff at the nursery when he saw children putting pebbles and sharp, broken pieces of ice into their mouths.
On another occasion, he was forced to stand at the top of a flight of stairs "to stop children from falling over the banister".
Babies, meanwhile, were "left alone for prolonged periods with no interaction from staff".
"They sit quietly, look on into the distance and are not given the quality learning experiences that they should," said the report.
The report went on: "Catastrophic failings from leaders mean that children are not provided with adequate care and learning. Staff do not supervise children well.
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"Although children are content to leave their parents and happily greet staff, many of them wander around the rooms, bored and seeking stimulation.
"Risk assessments are poor. The inspector had to intervene to maintain children's safety on many occasions. This poor practice puts children at unnecessary risk."
The inspection was carried out on December 9 and children there at the time ranged in age up to three.
There were a total number of places of 63 but 14 children on the roll. In all five categories assessed, the nursery was rated 'inadequate'.
Kidspiration Manchester has been contacted for comment.
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