COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (CBS4) – Officials investigating complaints about a day care in Colorado Springs found more than two dozen children — all under the age of 3 — behind a false wall that led to the basement of the owner’s home. Police say the owner, 58-year-old Carla Faith, refused to cooperate with officers.
The Department of Human Services asked the Colorado Springs Police Department to help with a welfare check at the Play Mountain Place on Willamette Avenue on Wednesday. Officials say they received complaints that the facility was housing more children in their care than their license allowed.
When officers arrived, they didn’t find any children at the licensed facility. But when officers tried to contact the owner at her residence, which is located on the same property, they said they could hear children making noise.
“During their investigation, officers found a false wall that led to the home’s basement,” investigators stated. “When officers walked down the stairs, they located two adults and 26 kids inside a finished basement, all of [whom] were under the age of three-years-old.”
Three adults workers at the day care were arrested for misdemeanor child abuse relating to neglect; however, those charges were canceled by detectives pending further investigation. Faith was not arrested, “as detectives pursue appropriate charges.”
The CSPD Crimes Against Children Unit is handling the criminal portion of the investigation; all licensing matters are being conducted through DHS.
If you have concerns about a child care program or if you see something concerning, call the child care complaint line at 1-800-799-5876. If you suspect child abuse or neglect, call the Colorado Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline at 1-844-CO-4-KIDS (1-844-264-5437). Anyone witnessing a child in a life-threatening situation should call 911 immediately.
Families can search for licensed, quality child care online at ColoradoShines.com/search. Families may also call the Child Care Referral at Mile High United Way at 1-877-338-2273 or text ‘childcare referral’ to 898-211 to find quality care and learn more about the availability of care.