5 October 2000

Big Brother Day Care Will Open Soon


By Jon A. Brake

It sounds too good to be true. The Riley County Health Department is going to get a $275,000 grant to start a
Day Care Facility. The department will "provide care for children from the time they are born until age
eighteen." Of course to get the $275,000 it will cost the City and County almost $1 million.

As the Riley County Commissioners were told this would be a "one-stop shopping center for family care."

This is the Child Care Center that Manhattan City Commissioner Roger Reitz has been advocating for the past
four years. And he will get his wish.

Last week the Riley County Commission voted to "approve the concept of allocating unused space in the
Wharton Manor Facility to meet a 10% matching fund for the SmartStart Application to Social Rehabilitation

That's right, the grant is coming for Social Rehabilitation Services (SRS). This is the State Agency that has had
all of the problems placing children in foster homes. But of course Riley County thinks this Child Care Center will
be different.

The Center will be used to "Identify" children for Head Start and other organizations. A similar but different
center in Topeka was used as an example. As a story from the Topeka Capital-Journal (given to the
Commissioners) states about the Topeka Center: "Do you have a question about your child's development? The
center can help. Does your child need a checkup? The center can help. If your family is struggling with substance
abuse or truancy, facing a court date or just looking for someone to offer support, then 357----- is the number to

Would you take your child to a center where SRS will have an office door opening into the play area? Not if you
have the money to send your child to a private Day Care. Not if you have the intelligence to under stand that
every family that brings a child to this Center with a bruise or a cut will have an SRS file.

Big Brother is going into business in Manhattan.