A HORRIFIED mom discovered that her child was being kept in a filthy basement, behind "a false wall," alongside 25 other toddlers at a daycare center.
The mother endured every parent's worst nightmare when she found out about the conditions at Play Mountain Place, owned by Carla Faith, 58, who lived on the premises.
This concerned mum got no notice that the daycare was closing
Another mother hoped nothing more "nefarious" was going on when emerged that 26 kids were being kept in the basement of Faith's daycare center
"I would never have believed the state of things if I had not seen it with my own eyes,” the distraught Colorado mum told KKTV 11 News.
“Prior to yesterday, my experience had always been dropping off and picking up my child in a clean, pristine and loving environment.
"Yesterday, I picked my child up from a small, dingy room in a basement that I had never before seen, where 26 children were crowded together amidst empty juice box containers, graham cracker crumbs and various children’s blankets and lovies.
"The room smelled of unchanged diapers."
Although the anonymous parent hoped it was a one-off, the damning evidence spoke volumes.
“In the corner of the basement, there were cubbies with children’s names on them, holding diapers, including my own child’s, leading me to believe this is a place they had regularly spent time," she continued.
“This was nothing at all like the level of care I had been led to believe my child was receiving, and the amount of deceit that took place to convince parents otherwise is completely mind-blowing.
"To say I am shocked, overwhelmed and feeling utterly betrayed is an understatement.”
I picked my child up from a small, dingy room in a basement that I had never before seen... The room smelled of unchanged diapers.
Chillingly another mother said her two-year-old used to cry before being dropped off at the school, begging: "Don’t take me to the little house, don’t take me downstairs"
Betsy Murphy, whose son attended the disgraced daycare, told The Gazette she had only seen the "calm, clean and wonderful" upstairs portion of Faith's house, so had no idea what her child was talking about.
When local authorities were tipped about the Colorado facility - and Faith did not cooperate - they raided the place and unearthed the horrendous conditions the little tots all under the age of three were playing in.
Officers found a "false wall that led to the home’s basement" where 26 kids were being supervised by just three adults.
Faith, whose now suspended state license only allows for six children, was not arrested but police are planning on pursuing the "appropriate" charges, according to KCBD NewsChannel 11.
Three workers were reportedly arrested for child abuse relating to neglect but these charges were cancelled until the investigation is over.
It has emerged that this is not the first time Faith has gotten into hot water about her daycare centers.
Don’t take me to the little house, don’t take me downstairs!
A child who attended Faith's daycare center
In 1998, the Los Angeles Times reported that several of Faith's child care homes were shut down in California for secretly housing children, with investigators finding 44 kids in one unlicensed facility and "hazardous material."
Faith claimed that she was applying for a license when the state busted her and described their intervention as "harassment."
One parent, who pulled her child from Faith's daycare 21 years ago, said at the time that she didn't want Faith "ever near children again" when the news came to light.
Now, concerned parents - some of whom had been on a waiting list to enrol their child in the playschool - were given no notice that the school was shutting its doors.
The problems are only beginning for panicked local moms have no one to mind their kids now that Counterpoint School - a second Colorado Springs daycare, also owned by Faith - reached out to parents yesterday, telling them to pick up their kids.
“They told me it was a licensing issue and that I needed to pick up my daughter,” Sherri Musgrave told reporters, while another mom Sherry Macwilliam hoped overcrowding was the only issue.
“I’m really hoping that nothing more nefarious has been going on," she said. "That, in fact, it is an overcrowding issue, which is bad enough as it is."
Since the daycare conditions came to light, the Crimes Against Children Unit are working with the Colorado Department of Human Services who are investigating the licensing issues.