Family of murdered baby boy leads effort for better childcare se - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Family of murdered baby boy leads effort for better childcare services in Spokane

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SPOKANE, Wash. -

Daycare is as expensive as college tuition and one Spokane family says that needs to change because that high cost contributed to their baby boy's death.

Spokane Police say 10-month-old Caiden Henry was beaten to death by his babysitter, 28-year-old Joshua Mobley, last February.

Court documents show Mobley started taking care of Caiden while his mother worked. Caiden’s mother knew Mobley and thought he was a good person.

Now, Caiden's family is leading an effort make sure their tragedy doesn't become someone else’s.

“Caiden was a happy, happy baby and he smiled all the time,” said Caiden’s aunt, Kitara Johnson. “To think he will never have first birthday, he'll never have a first day of kindergarten, to never have the option to pick a favorite color.”

Johnson joined several community leaders at Monday’s City Council Meeting to make a desperate plea for better access to affordable and extended childcare services.

“I am here tonight because it shouldn't hurt to be a child in Spokane,” said Johnson. “No citizen should have to bury the bruised, battered, and outstretched body of a child in Spokane.”

Following the emotional city council meeting, Johnson discussed some of the biggest challenges facing parents who want to put their children into daycare.

“We have a growing epidemic,” said Johnson. “It is imperative as a community that we come up with solutions.”

Two of those solutions, according to Johnson, are the cost of regular childcare and access to extended services.

“The cost of regular childcare is about the amount of a mortgage,” said Johnson.

She’s not wrong. Last year, the average cost of full-time childcare for an infant in Spokane County was more than $10,000, which is roughly the same cost of sending your child to a public university.

“We need to ensure we have a future and our children have a future to look forward to,” said Johnson. “This has been a personal passion of mine not just to look out for one child but all the Caiden's in our community.”

Johnson and Excelsior are hosting a community forum called "It Shouldn't Hurt to be a Child in Spokane" on February 20th at 6:30 p.m.

They're hoping for feedback and suggestions about what needs to be done to give more access to affordable and extended childcare services.

Right now, House Bill 2396 would create incentives to help families afford childcare. You can learn more about it by clicking here.

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