Jackson County Outside Agency Funding Awards $358,000 Grant to United Inner City Services (UICS)

United Inner City Services (UICS) was recently awarded a $358,000 grant from the Jackson County Outside Agency Funding to provide general operating support for its early childhood education programs at St. Mark Center and the new Metro Center location.

Funding will support approximately 275 children and their families with high-quality early education, arts-infused curricula, and wrap-around supports at both center locations. The new program, Metro Center, is located at 39th and Troost inside the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority (KCATA) Metro Transit Center. As a major transit hub, this location is ideal for working families who rely on public transportation.

Due to a long enrollment waitlist, which speaks to the high need for quality early childhood education in Kansas City, UICS recently opened its second site, Metro Center, in September 2019. This expansion more than doubles enrollment capacity and presents an opportunity to increase efficiencies for UICS’ early learning programs. Metro Center includes an infant and toddler program for up to 24 students, ages six weeks to two years.

For more than 50 years, UICS has served the Kansas City community as a multi-service agency addressing the challenges facing families in the urban core. Today, UICS is carrying out its mission of “Building Bridges. Inspiring Minds. Impacting Futures.” through the St. Mark Child & Family Development Center (St. Mark Center) and the Metro Child & Family Development Center (Metro Center), which are the primary programs of UICS. The St. Mark Center is recognized as one of Kansas City’s leading early learning programs. Highly trained faculty utilize a project-based curriculum in an arts-infused environment to teach St. Mark and Metro Centers’ students. St. Mark and Metro Centers are licensed by the State of Missouri, and St. Mark Center is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). The newly-opened Metro Center is in the process of obtaining accreditation from the NAEYC.