COLORADO SPRINGS — The state shut down two daycares Thursday amid an investigation of child abuse and neglect, with the cooperation of the Colorado Springs Police Department. Dozens of families are left scrambling to find alternative care without Play Mountain Place, LLC and Counterpoint School, and more importantly, to find answers.
Both operations are owned by Carla Faith.
The allegations of abuse and neglect stem from a welfare check conducted by the Colorado Department of Human Services Wednesday night. CSPD assisted in a raid at Play Mountain Place near Willamette and Institute, after receiving a tip there were too many children for the number of adults supervising them.
Police officers tell FOX21 News during that raid they discovered 26 kids, all under the age of three, and two adults, hidden in a basement behind a false wall. Officers say the wall was specifically designed to hide kids from inspectors or parents touring the facility.
“I’m completely betrayed. Every parent I talk to, we feel completely betrayed.” mother Jeanette Condi said. “We feel like we could trust them and then they’re hiding all of this.”
Three of Faith’s Play Mountain Place employees were initially charged with neglect. Police have since dismissed those charges, but the DHS investigation into Faith and both of her facilities continues.
“I’m hoping this is a really poor judgment by Carla,” Sherry Macwilliam said. “She’s trying to accommodate parents, not inconvenience parents. She seems like a really great person and a great spirit.”
This isn’t the first time DHS has found issues with Play Mountain Place. In December 2016, they found supervision problems and student/teacher ratio violations. DHS found a similar issue in May of 2017.
FOX21 News also learned The Los Angeles Times reported about Faith in 1998. Human Services found neglect, unlicensed facilities, and classrooms filled with as many as 44 kids, under the supervision of only three staff members.
Still, our crews came across several parents who seem to be sticking by Faith, at least for now.
“Hopefully this gets clarified very soon, I think [Counterpoint School is] an excellent place to bring your kid,” mother Sherri Musgrave said.
David Fine’s grandchildren have attended both Play Mountain Place and Counterpoint School.
“I wouldn’t send them anywhere else,” he said.
“Day after day, month after month, year after year, it’s a super positive place. It’s a super beautiful place with people that love them and also educate them. What else could you want for your kids?”
FOX21 News reached out to Faith multiple times Thursday but never heard back.
Child Abuse Or Neglect Hotline:
- The hotline is staffed 24 hours per day, seven days per week.