The health department has been instrumental for years in bringing early childhood assistance to the community. Raising Riley is a collaborative effort of everyone in the community who wants good opportunities and outcomes for the children of Riley County.
Raising Riley RIGHT formerly Smart Start and the Early Childhood Block grant has been a part of the Riley County Health Department since 2000. It provides resources such as:
Early Childhood facilitator/coaches to provide health, safety and child development training and consultations for participating providers
Child care subsidies to help parents pay for quality child care
Parents as Teachers home visiting position
Qualified mental health consultant available to participating child care providers and families
The facilitators meet with providers monthly to provide them with curriculum, educational materials and support. Discussions, activities, and handouts center around related topics such as:
Early childhood development
Developmentally appropriate activities for children
Working with mixed age groups
Setting up the child care environment
Parent education and interaction
Student – teacher interactions
Addressing behavior and guidance issues
Health and Safety information dissemination is a priority. Participating providers can earn incentives to help support their programs and careers.
The Raising Riley RIGHT program also includes child care subsidies for hundreds of children, enabling them to attend quality child care programs that participate in Raising Riley RIGHT.