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Waterbury, CT – Catalina Reyes, 54, was arrested after police say a baby was found hidden in a home daycare center crawlspace during an investigation of overcrowding. The D’D shocker… the baby was alive and unharmed.

According to reports, the Department of Public Health received a report that Reyes’ center was overcrowded. On March 14, an inspector was dispatched to the center to investigate. After a four-hour-long investigation, the inspector reportedly heard crying that could not be ascribed to the children identified to be in Reyes’ care.

The source of the crying?! …a 6-month-old baby who was reportedly hidden behind a locked door in a basement crawlspace so that Reyes’ center could meet ratio during the inspection. Police said the child – who was strapped in a car seat – had no supervision, food, or drink throughout the time of the inspection.

In an apparent indication of the importance of convenient childcare when compared to, say, the health and well-being of their children, some of Reyes’ clientele have come out in support of her efforts. When asked if she would still bring her three-year-old son to the daycare after the recent investigation, customer Margi Fitzgerald unequivocally said ‘yes.’

“I thought maybe it was some kind of misunderstanding, it couldn’t be true, and if it was there had to be some logical reason…,” said Margi Fitzgerald adding that, “Someone must have dropped off an unexpected child right before the health inspector arrived.”

Ms. Fitzgerald, of course, is absolutely right. Someone must have unexpectedly dropped off a child at Reyes’ center on the day of the inspection and – when confronted with this – Reyes would have had absolutely no choice but to hide the child in a basement crawlspace. As Ms. Fitzgerald says… it’s simply logic.

Sadly then, it appears that the real problem is not, in fact, with overcrowding, but with crying. Our society’s continued inability to provide home daycare providers access to baby-sized ball-gags and mild sedatives has doomed parents to face head-on instances of overcrowding and, quite possibly, the substandard care that comes with it.  Think of it this way… Just one low-dose carbon monoxide delivery system could have relegated the Reyes’ center’s overcrowding issue to the basement crawlspace of parents’ minds where it belongs. When – oh when – will the needs of parents be made a priority?!

Reyes was charged with risk of injury to a minor and jailed.  She was later released after posting $5,000 bond. It was not reported if Reyes’ incarceration was longer or shorter than the baby’s.

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