Pre-natal to Five


Head Start/Early Head Start is a federal program that promotes the school readiness of children ages birth to 5 from low income families by enhancing their cognitive, social and emotional development. RAI's prenatal to 5 Head Start program provides educational, health, nutritional, social and other services to children enrolled in a federally recognized tribe and their families. Services are designed to be responsive to each child and family's ethnic, cultural and linguistic heritage. RAI's Head Start program has consistently scored among the highest in the nation. Our Head Start teachers and teacher mentors are required to have an Associates Degree or higher. Our teacher assistants are required to have a Child Development Associates (CDA) credential in pre-school, and Our Early Head Start teachers and teacher mentors are required to have a CDA in infant/toddler setting. 

Each center has a variety of services and options available to families part-day or full day and school year or full year. Breakfast, lunch and snacks are provided. Transportation is available for those in need. Cultural and language curricula for the Lakota/Dakota language are used. Developmental screenings are provided.


We engage parents in their child's learning and help them progress toward her or his educational, literacy and employment goals. Parents are welcomed into our program and our Parent Policy Council representatives are involved in shared decision making with RAI's administration and Board of Directors.


Lakota Site - Rapid City

Pre-school -2112 S. Valley Dr.                605.341.3163 Infant/Toddlers -2112 South Valley Dr.    605.343.4741

Dakota Site - Crow Creek Sioux Reservation


1008 Burton Stepp Loop

Ft. Thompson, SD

605-245.2337 or 2185




"We have to measure our success one child at a time and one family at a time. In spite of all of their challenges, we have families with big hearts and they have lots of love for their children."   

-Anne Reddy

Head Start and Early Head Start Director


RAI’s Head Start and Early Head Start programs, under the direction of the National Office of Head Start, will follow the CDC’s Covid-19 Guidelines, as stated by the National Center for Health, Behavioral Health and Safety. Programs will be held in-person, in the classroom.

Guidelines may be found at

Because vaccination is the leading public health prevention strategy to end the Covid-19 pandemic, every staff person who is eligible is required to be vaccinated.

Children under the age of 12 are not eligible to be vaccinated yet, so layered Covid prevention strategies will be implemented: masks or face shields will be worn indoors by everyone over the age of 2; social distancing, frequent hand washing, proper ventilation and rigorous cleaning will all be implemented; temperatures will be taken daily; if staff or child is sick or display symptoms for infectious disease, they should stay home and see their health care provider.

RAI is working with partners in the community, including the Oyate Health Center, I Am Legacy and NDN Collective to see that everyone has easy access to the vaccine.

new building.jpg

Our new 28, 324 square foot building at 2112 South Valley Drive has given us the capacity to serve 146 children and 10 pregnant mothers at this location. 


We are already at capacity  and the needs of our community keeps growing. We will launch a new campaign this year to add 4 more classrooms to our building.   


Please note that due to the Covid-19 pandemic no annual report was produced last year.