The closures of two Colorado Springs day cares run by Carla Marie Faith, who apparently was caring for more children at Play Mountain Place than the six that her state license allowed, is not the first time Faith has run afoul of licensing agencies while running day care centers.
Authorities shut down several of her child care homes in California, the Los Angeles Times reported in 1998. In one unlicensed facility, investigators found 44 small children.
At the time, Faith said she was running the centers “to stay afloat financially,” and was applying for licenses.
Faith did not respond to voicemails asking for comment after Play Mountain Place, 838 E. Willamette Ave., was raided and its license suspended Wednesday and then Counterpoint School, at 610 E. Willamette Ave., closed Thursday.
Colorado Springs police went to Play Mountain Place on Wednesday after being asked by the Colorado Department of Human Services to check on the welfare of children at the center, police spokesman Lt. James Sokolik said in a statement Thursday.
Update:To provide clarification, the Colorado Springs Police Department is working directly with the Department of Human Services (DHS) at a state-level, not with the El Paso County DHS branch. https://t.co/yfgLs8i3CK— Colorado Springs Police (@CSPDPIO) November 15, 2019
Police said Faith lives in the multistory Victorian home, which has no visible sign that it is a day care center.
Not finding any children, officers spoke with Faith, who, according to Sokolik, “refused to cooperate.” While still in the home, officers said they heard the sound of children, Sokolik said.
Eventually, they found “a false wall” leading to a finished basement, where they discovered 26 children — 20 more than the license allowed — all under the age of 3, and two adults, police said.
There have been no allegations that any of the children in Faith’s day care centers have been mistreated, and Faith, 58, has not been arrested. Three workers at Play Mountain Place were arrested on suspicion of misdemeanor child abuse relating to neglect, but the charges have been withdrawn.
Click here to read more about Faith's day care facilities and the impact the closures are having on local families.
Reach Olivia at email@example.com. Twitter: @oliviaprentzel