COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - 11 News has confirmation from Colorado's Department of Human Services that two more in-home day cares have been shut down in Colorado Springs. This time, both facilities were unlicensed.
A spokesperson for the department says they first received a complaint that Carla Faith was providing unlicensed care at a home on 1319 Franklin St. on Nov. 8, 2019. DHS determined that an unlicensed child care facility was being run at this property and sent Faith a cease and desist order.
That cease and desist order was sent days before another in-home day care operated by Faith was raided. In that bust, police say they found dozens of children hidden in a basement behind a false wall. The children were found in a home on the property at 838 Willamette Ave. Parents tell 11 News the day care, called Play Mountain Place, was run out of other buildings on the property that Faith did have a license for. Investigators found she was caring for more kids there than her state license allowed.
On Nov. 14th, the department got another tip about an unlicensed in-home day care at 814 Willamette Ave. Investigators confirmed unlicensed care at that location too.
DHS also suspended the child care license for a pre-school operated by Faith located at 610 E Willamette Ave. Records show all of these properties are owned by Carla Faith.
"I was pretty terrified," said one mother who took her son to Play Mountain Place. She tells 11 News that Faith had previously suggested she move her 2-year-old to another home day care called "New School West." She says the facility was at 814 E Willamette Ave.
The mom, who wanted to stay anonymous, says she found out about the allegations when she showed up to drop her son off at day care on Nov. 14.
“It really is terrifying. That’s kind of the best word I can think of," she said. "I really am a lot more concerned by things I can’t and probably won’t know based on the fact that my child can’t communicate and that I was not provided any sort of communication.”
DHS says they investigate any complaint they receive regarding unlicensed care. The state conducts an on-site licensing inspection and then determines the appropriate action.
Deputy Director of Communications Madlynn Ruble provided the following statement on how the department handles unlicensed child care:
If the individual or facility continues to provide unlicensed, illegal child care, the Department, through the Colorado Attorney General’s Office, may apply for an injunction in any District court to issue a court order preventing an individual from operating a child care facility without the required license.
If it is proven that the individual has been operating an unlicensed, illegal child care facility, the court shall issue an injunction order to the individual, which prevents the individual from operating any unlicensed facility unless he or she obtains the required license. If the individual who has been issued an injunction from the judge continues to provide child care, he or she violates the court order, and the judge may issue a bench warrant for contempt of court. This could result in the individual serving up to 180 days of jail time.
Four child care facilities operated by Carla Faith have been shut down in November. Two were licensed, and two were unlicensed. DHS says they will keep investigating any complaints they receive.
Carla Faith has not been arrested. Colorado Springs Police says charges are likely. They are working to determine what charges are appropriate through their investigation.