Trusted local news leader for Prescott area communities since 1882
Wed, Dec. 11

No additional child abuse confirmed at Prescott Valley day care
Business owner surrendered child care licenses

Police search the Gummy Bear Early Learning Center, in the 8000 block of Manley Drive, Prescott Valley, Thursday evening, July 11, 2019, as part of an investigation into complaints of child abuse. They also searched an associated Gummy Bear Childcare business on Spouse Drive. (Tim Wiederaenders/Courier, file)

Police search the Gummy Bear Early Learning Center, in the 8000 block of Manley Drive, Prescott Valley, Thursday evening, July 11, 2019, as part of an investigation into complaints of child abuse. They also searched an associated Gummy Bear Childcare business on Spouse Drive. (Tim Wiederaenders/Courier, file)

Authorities have been unable to confirm that any additional child abuse took place at Gummy Bear Early Learning Center in Prescott Valley.

Eight to 12 complaints of child abuse were lodged by parents against the center after one of its employees was arrested for allegedly abusing a 3-year-old girl in mid-July.

“We interviewed a bunch of other kids as a result of it, and I can’t corroborate that they were actually abused,” Prescott Valley Police Department Sgt. Jason Kaufman said. “If I can’t corroborate that and I have no victims, I don’t have any more crime.”

photo

Chandler Blankenship

Both of the business’s locations did close as a result of the arrest and the owner surrendered her child care licenses to the Arizona Department of Health Services, which regulates the industry.

Colby Bower with the Arizona Department of Health Services said, "Regarding Gummy Bears, ADHS did not revoke the licenses, because shortly after the story broke about the alleged abuse, the owner voluntarily surrendered and turned in the licenses."

The owner of the two Gummy Bear facilities, Kendra Hagerty, told the Courier on Sept. 1: "I don't have plans to reopen anything."

The employee that was arrested, 18-year-old Chandler Blankenship, is still going through the court process. He’s facing charges of child abuse and felony aggravated assault on a minor.

Editor's Note - this article has been updated to state that the owner of the business's surrendered her state licenses, and she has no plans to reopen.

Contact
Event Calendar
Event Calendar link
Submit Event

This Week's Circulars

To view money-saving ads...