Fri. Dec 13th, 2019

Owner Operator of Raided Colorado Day Care Has History of Violations

Police located 26 children in the basement, hidden by a false wall at a Colorado Springs day care. [Photo credit: KKTV]

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“They don’t like me because I don’t always follow their rules.  Do I occasionally run over capacity? Yes, I do,” Carla Marie Faith was quoted as saying in an article written by the LA Times back in 1998.

 

At that time, Faith was under investigation for operating several day care facilities without licenses, and those that did have licenses were under investigation for going over the limit of children allowed.

 

During one attempted inspection of a California facility, officials were denied access to the residence.  Investigators located two staff members rushing down an alley way, attempting to herd 31 children between the ages of 18 months and 4 years old, some without shoes on, to a location where they could hide during the duration of the inspection.

 

“Apparently she doesn’t think the rules are meant for her,” Ann Ceely, president of Westside Providers, said. “Children are at risk. Try to imagine 44 children at one home. How are they ever going to be fed and diapered and cared for? It’s unbelievable to me.”

 

On Wednesday, a day care facility that Faith operates out of Colorado Springs, Play Mountain Place, was raided with the assistance of Colorado Springs Police Department at the request of the Department of Human Services (DHS).

 

According to the Gazette, DHS attempted to investigate Play Mountain Place which is run out of Faith's home back in September, but they were denied access to the home and several out-structures.  At the time, it is reported that Faith stated that they were rentals for which she did not have keys.

 

Those out-structures, according to a statement from one parent, Betsy Murphy, are the converted garage and a cottage containing a kitchen and classroom that she had been led to believe where where her child was being cared for during the days that she left him at the facility.

 

Murphy though, said that her son's behavior had changed recently and he had become more "clingy," even crying on his way to day care.  “Don’t take me to the little house. Don’t take me downstairs,” Murphy said her son would say.  At the time, she had no idea what he was talking about.  That all changed though, when she received a call from police on Wednesday, November 13th, to pick up her son.

 

She was met outside of the home by and officer and a DHS caseworker before being led down a narrow staircase to the basement of the home where police had discovered 26 children all under the age of three- 20 more than allowed by the license- and two adults.

 

After the denial of access in September, DHS had gone to CSPD to ask for their assistance in investigating the facility on Wednesday after they had reportedly received a complaint of the facility having more children than it was licensed for.

 

Upon entry to the location, police initially found no children.  When contact was made with Faith, 58, she refused to cooperate.  Due to the fact that they could hear children, officers continued to investigate the premise and eventually located a false wall which had been specifically designed to hide children from inspectors or parents touring the facility.

 

Three adults were arrested at the time on misdemeanor child abuse from neglect, but those charges have been withdrawn by detectives pending further investigation.  CSPD Crimes Against Children Unit is handling the criminal investigation and Colorado state DHS are handling the licensing matters.

 

On Thursday, a second facility operated by Faith, Counterpoint School which is licensed for up to 122 children at one time, was closed.

 

Previously, in December of 2016 and May of 2017, DHS had found violations at Play Mountain Place concerning teacher to student ratios.

 

“I want her to lose her license, and I don’t want her ever near children again,” Germaine Abood said to the LA Times in 1998.  Faith lost her license in California, but one of the questions that remain at this time is whether Colorado was aware of the previous issues when they issued her new licenses.

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