COLORADO SPRINGS — When Colorado Department of Human Services investigators inspected the Play Mountain Place daycare on Wednesday, they found more violations than what the original complaint reported.
Employees did not pass background checks, required records were not kept, and the facility’s owner did not live at the house where the daycare was, as required by state law.
The original complaint alleged more than 10 children were kept at the facility, staff members were not qualified to work with children, and children were being cared for in a garage. DHS says they found sufficient evidence for all three claims.
Carla Faith, the owner of the facility, lied about the presence of children on the property, refused to tell Colorado Springs Police where the children were, and refused to provide access to locked storage bins or the grounds surrounding the residence, the report says.
The report says three employees were not authorized to work at the daycare for two reasons: They did not complete a background check through the CBI or FBI, and required training on child abuse and neglect was never completed.
CSPD confirms one employee was arrested the night of the inspection on two unrelated warrants. They say that person is 30-year-old Katelynne Nelson, who failed to appear on a DUI charge in 2019 and driving under restraint in 2018.
The inspection found 26 children, all under the age of 3 years old, in the basement of a home that is unlicensed for daycare use. State law says no more than six children may be kept in a home not licensed for daycare use. The toddlers were found in a basement behind a fake wall, the report says.
Toddlers were found needing changed diapers, sufficient meals, and rest.
State law requires records kept for employees, volunteers, and substitutes for at least three years following the end of that person’s care. DHS says none were found at the home.
Faith told investigators they were destroyed in a water main break.
As reported on Thursday, Colorado Springs police originally had charged three employees with child abuse relating to neglect, though those charges were canceled as they further investigate those employees and Faith.
Resource for Parents
In light of the childcare situation now impacting our community, Alliance for Kids, the Early Childhood Council for El Paso County, will be offering enhanced supports for families aligned with the role of the Child Care Resource & Referral Agency for the County.
The following information will be posted on their website Alliance for Kids and some of their social media outlets:
- Childcare options: They have been compiling data since early this morning on the availability of childcare slots in our community. The information of early care and education (ECE) programs with availability will include age levels (such as a preschool opening, toddler opening), geographic location/address as well as their quality rating. The list will be approved by the state and posted this evening.
- Our community of ECE programs will have access to an emergency/temporary waiver to provide care to those families who were enrolled at either of the two licensed sites. The waivers are approved by the state on a case by case basis. They will receive periodic updates from the state on granted waivers so they can add to the list of ECE programs listed on their website with childcare availability.
- Alliance for Kids will be offering (for the first time) parents the opportunity to make appointments with their Alliance for Kids staff and visit one-on-one on elements of finding quality childcare AND childcare options available. The website will have the information to schedule appointments, which can begin on Monday.
- Early Childhood Mental Health (ECMH) options for families and children impacted will also be posted. This will offer families the opportunity to call and ask questions and/or meet with a Specialist. There will also be information if you want to bring your child in for an Early Intervention screening.