Early Childhood

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:
Kid on Slide

  • Early childhood development 
  • Best-practices 
  • Developmentally appropriate activities for children 
  • Literacy development 
  • Working with mixed age groups 
  • Setting up the child care environment 
  • Parent education and interaction 
  • Student – teacher interactions 
  • Addressing behavior and guidance issues 
  • Conflict resolution 
  • CDA assistance 
  • Accreditation 
  • And more
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. 

Many early childhood assistance programs are housed at the Family and Child Resource Center at 2101 Claflin Road including Parents as Teachers, a toy and book lending library, free community play groups, two infant/toddler child care rooms, WIC, Family Connections, M&I, and Healthy Start, and Child Care Licensing.

2016 Raising Riley RIGHT Scholarship Application