PLEASANT VALLEY — The COVID-19 pandemic has continued to affect workforce development, with quality child care and early education options becoming a separating factor for success in America, according to a press release. As a major step in mitigating this equity challenge, United Inner City Services announces its expansion to a third early education location in the Northland, at 6600A Royal Street in Pleasant Valley.
UICS’ assumption of operations in this space enables stability for children and families that would otherwise have been displaced, a press release states, along with continuing employment for educators and administrators from the previous early childhood provider.
Located between Interstate 35 and Interstate 435 off of South Liberty Parkway, North Child and Family Development Center will bring UICS’ arts-based early education curriculum to serve families in Clay and Platte counties, the release states.
“We are inspired to serve more families in a time of great questions about health, wellbeing, and job stability,” said UICS CEO Deidre Anderson. “Our focus on the whole child, through social and emotional development along with a foundation for learning, is incredibly relevant today.”
Serving a capacity of more than 70 students, ranging from six weeks to 5 years, the early education school will mirror the philosophy and curriculum of its two peer nonprofit locations, UICS-St. Mark Center and UICS-Metro Center. Enrolled families have seen students rise to more than a 90% kindergarten readiness rate at these two schools, the release states. Success is credited to credentialed and degreed teachers, a priority of family development, access to focused Family Advocates at each school, and a curriculum and staff attuned to trauma-informed care.
UICS-North Center opened to serve new infant, toddler and pre-kindergarten students in early September, after gaining occupancy of a space formerly occupied by EasterSeals Midwest. A partnership will continue with the two organizations, with several staff members transitioning to UICS classrooms and administrative roles, while also providing a history and access to care for students with disabilities and their unique needs. Enrollment slots for Early Head Start, Head Start and tuition-based families are now available, along with early education teaching positions.