Unlicensed daycare provider arrested

SPARKS, Nev. ( & KRNV) -- A local daycare provider arrested on child abuse charges was not a licensed child care provider.

28-year-old Jennifer Beach was arrested on Tuesday, following a month long investigation by the Sparks Police Department. Beach is out on bail, and the case is still under investigation. Nut now, the parents are speaking out.

When Todd and Nathalia Ridenhour entrusted their first-born, 6-month-old Nola, to Jennifer Beach, they were told she was working at a licensed daycare, and were even referred to Beach by a co-worker. After this incident, they say they learned from their mistakes.

"I'm going to do whatever it takes to get justice for my daughter," said Nathalia. "So that doesn't happen to other children out there. This is a mother's worst nightmare."

Pictures show bruises on Nola's head, face, arms and legs. Nathalia says she discovered them after picking up her daughter from daycare provider Jennifer Beach. After a month-long investigation, police arrested Beach for child abuse in connection to the case.

"Mostly, I felt helpless," Nathalia said. "I just felt like maybe I did something wrong. Why would you do that to a child? Why would you do that to my child?"

The Ridenhours say they thought Beach was a licensed caregiver, but she never was. The daycare was licensed, and seemed like a great fit for them.

Nathalia said they thought they finally found someone they could trust "Someone who was referred by people we knew. This is a great place. We checked out everything. Sometimes too good is not true."

As authorities continue their investigation, the Ridenhours say their experience in trying to find affordable child care is a teachable moment.

"If you're going to send your kids to daycare, make sure you do all the research yourself," said Todd. "Don't just go off a license, just don't go off a referral here or there. It's expensive, but you get what you pay for."

Nathalia says she'll continue to fight for justice for her daughter. "This shouldn't happen to any child of any age. It just shouldn't happen. License or unlicensed, I don't care. This is not okay."

News 4 did reach out to the the caregiver Jennifer Beach. A woman inside her house saw our reporter knocking on the door, but never answered.

As for the daycare company in this story, they have not been charged or cited for any wrongdoing. But we given the opportunity to give their side of the story, a person there said "no comment," and we had to leave the property.

If you want to see if your daycare worker or company is licensed, or has any complaints against them in the past two years, you can contact County Child Services. You can also reach them at 775-337-4470.