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We envision a community where children thrive and families flourish.


Rev. Samuel Mann, Founding Executive of EarlystART (formerly United Inner City Services)

EarlystART (formerly United Inner City Services) has served Kansas City, Missouri’s urban 12th Street Corridor just east of downtown since 1967. With the leadership of its first Executive Director, Rev. Samuel E. Mann, the organization was created to strengthen the health and vitality of its neighboring communities. EarlystART came to serve as an anchor, connecting families with vital resources for food, rent, and utility assistance, as well as other social services.

In response to a growing demand for high-quality childcare from neighboring families, a childcare program began in 1972 with the support of St. Mark Union Church. In 2001, key Kansas City leaders and community partners launched EarlystART (formerly UICS)’s capital campaign to erect St. Mark Child & Family Development Center. The state-of-the-art facility on the grounds of EarlystART opened in 2004 with a distinctive, creative curriculum and a commitment to a highly trained faculty.

In 2019, EarlystART answered the call for further expansion and access to premiere early childhood education in a new area of the city. Metro Child & Family Development Center opened at the key corner of 39th St. and Troost Ave, where one of the busiest metro bus hubs in the city is located. With access to transportation and quality childcare in one place, more families in the community are empowered every day to flourish.

EarlystART took another step of growth, in the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, to ensure that families in the Kansas City Northland would continue to have access to affordable high-quality education. A third center, North Child & Family Development Center opened in August 2020 in Pleasant Valley, MO. Its staff and facilities offer specific support to developmentally challenged early education students and their families while providing EarlystART’s experience to a growing and diversifying part of the Kansas City metropolitan area.

St. Mark Center, Metro Center, and North Center function today as the heart and signature outreach of EarlystART and are recognized as two of Kansas City’s leading early learning programs. Our Centers serve a capacity of 300 infants, toddlers, and pre-K students as well as their families and caregivers.