Utica Mayor Robert Palmieri presented a check for $480,000 to the United Way of the Mohawk Valley on Thursday for the expansion of childcare services at the Academics First program at the DeSales Center on Genesee Street in Downtown Utica.

“The Utica Prosperity Initiative is about listening to the community. Childcare is clearly a huge hurdle in combatting poverty, and it is imperative we expand it to help more parents in need. I thank United Way for their outstanding work and look forward to the continuing partnership,” said Mayor Palmieri.

Academics First currently offers licensed childcare from 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM. on weekdays.

Erin Gutierrez Matt, Executive Director of the United Way, says with the funding, childcare will soon be available from 6:00 AM  to 9:00 PM on weekdays and from 6:00 AM. to 6:00 PM on weekends.

“Supporting childcare in our region has always been a top priority for United Way. Partnering with the City of Utica on this initiative allows Academics First to continue to expand access to affordable childcare when families need it the most.” said Gutierrez Matt.

For more information about the program, or any other inquiries can be found by visiting
Academics First website
academicsfirstutica.org or by calling (315) 624-0272.

Childcare was the community’s most supported project as part of the Empire State Poverty Reduction Initiative (ESPRI).

In June, the city unveiled the Utica Prosperity Initiative’s Phase I projects, one of which was an expansion of childcare.

The city will be announcing the implementation of other Phase I projects and unveiling the Utica Prosperity Initiative’s Phase II projects next week.

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Check out each photo below and try to see if you can get all these locations right on the first try. Let us know how you did in our station app. Good luck!

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