After a number of complaints about the same Colorado Springs daycare were discovered, authorities performed a welfare check at the institution. According to The Gazette, the complaints alleged that Play Mountain Place daycare was caring for more children than the six its license permitted.
During the welfare check, police said the owner of Play Mountain Place and another, larger, daycare refused to cooperate. According to reports, when authorities arrived at the multi-story victorian home where Carla Marie Faith both ran her daycare and lived showed no signs of kids.
It was while officers were trying to get Faith to cooperate that they started hearing sounds of children coming from inside the home. Police spokesman Lieutenant James Sokolik said in a statement that the officers performing the welfare check eventually discovered 26 children, all under the age of three, and two adults, who were caring for them, behind a “false wall” that lead them to a basement.
Despite caring for more than the six children her license legally permitted, Faith has not been arrested and none of the children that were being cared for at the daycare showed signs of being mistreated or abused.
Parents Are Left Feeling Duped
However, as a result of the daycare being in violation of its license, it was shutdown. As was the second facility Faith owned, Counterpoint, which cared for 122 children. Parents of the children who were enrolled in the daycare are now left to pick up the pieces and find new daycares for their children as soon as possible.
Jeanette Conde, whose 3- and 2-year-old children attended the daycare, told The Gazette that she waited an entire year to get her kids into Faith’s daycare. “I was on a year-long waiting list to get into that place. Everybody loved it. We loved it. But apparently it was just too many kids. Now both of our children have no care.”
However, as a result of the violation and the shutdown, parents feel duped by Faith, saying it’s so hard to trust a person to help take care of your children to begin with. Conde added, “I’m completely betrayed. Every parent that we talk to, we all feel it is so hard to trust your children with people and we felt like we could really trust them.”
And as The Gazette reports this isn’t the first time one of Faith’s facilities was shutdown. According to The Gazette, Faith ran several unlicensed daycares in California as she was applying for licenses in order to “stay afloat” before they were all shut down.
Moms Had No Idea There Was a Daycare Basement Behind a “False Wall”
Parents allegedly didn’t know Faith was putting their children in her basement behind a “false wall.” As one mom, Betsy Murphy told The Gazette, police showed her the basement when she was alerted by a text from Faith to pick her son up.
And while she described Faith’s facility as “calm, clean and wonderful,” she said the anxiety her two-year-old son used to have about being left alone had started creeping back over the last week. “Don’t take me to the little house. Don’t take me downstairs.”
The mom admitted she didn’t understand what her son was talking about because she only knew about the beautifully renovated garage behind Faith’s home where the daycare was supposed to be. In a statement to KKTV, a mom who wished to remain anonymous shared what she saw the day she picked her son up from the daycare:
“I am a parent of one of the children who was found to be hidden in the basement of Play Mountain Place yesterday afternoon. I was one of the first two parents who were on the scene and would never have believed the state of things if I had not seen it with my own eyes. Prior to yesterday, my experience had always been dropping off and picking up my child in a clean, pristine, and loving environment. Yesterday, I picked my child up from a small, dingy room in a basement that I had never before seen where 26 children were crowded together amidst empty juice box containers, graham cracker crumbs, and various children’s blankets and lovies. The room smelled of unchanged diapers and several of the kids were crying- everything was the exact antithesis of everything I had been led to believe my child was experiencing during the days they spent at Play Mountain. My immediate hope was that this was a one-time thing, but in the corner of the basement, there were cubbies with children’s names on them holding diapers, including my own child’s, leading me to believe this is a place they had regularly spent time. This was nothing at all like the level of care I had been led to believe my child was receiving, and the amount of deceit that took place to convince parents otherwise is completely mind-blowing. To say I am shocked, overwhelmed, and feeling utterly betrayed is an understatement as prior to yesterday I had nothing but rave reviews for this place and the caregivers.”
What’s next for Faith is unclear?