Daycare worker fights for better access to childcare after death of Caiden Henry

A daycare worker is fighting for better access to healthcare after the death of Caiden James Henry. Caiden was just nine months old when he suffered multiple abdominal and head injuries; his babysitter was arrested and charged with murder.

Working in childcare for more than a decade has given Amber Crosby the chance to work with lots of kids, but there was something so special about Caiden James.

“Everything about him. His eyes, his sparkle, his smile,” said Amber, a manager at Planet Kids.

At Planet Kids, she watched Caiden for eight months– five days a week and 8 hours a day. Amber says the two grew close.

“Learning and bonding and growing and doing amazing things. Learning to sit, building our muscles,” she added.

But, Caiden’s mom couldn’t afford to keep him there. Amber was sad, but she’s used to it.

“Childcare is a mortgage payment,” she explained.

She never anticipated what was to come. Caiden’s mom had a co-worker’s husband watch the little boy. Police say Caiden died at that man’s hands.

Now, Amber is turning her grief into action.

“If we had more resources and more help out there for childcare expenses, it might make it easier for parents who are struggling so much,” Amber said.

She isn’t alone.

Daycare facilities across the state have been working toward the same goal. At Spokane’s Little Rascals Childcare Center, the state pays some care for 90 percent of the kids.

“It’s hard to keep your doors open when you’re solely relying on money from the state,” said Pamela Smith, Director of Little Rascals.

Amber knows change will not come overnight and as she continues to fight, she’s keeping Caiden close to her heart.

“I had somebody draw up a twinkle, twinkle little star and I didn’t know what i would do after that. And then one day I was like, in my heart you always are. He kind of always is,” she said pointing to the new tattoo on her chest.