Services

At Academics First, we strive to provide more than just the basic necessities of childcare. Our aim is to help the children we serve reach the fullness of their potential. 

Our focus is to provide your child with a positive experience with an increased understanding of the world obtained through education.

Below is a snapshot, highlighting just a few of the services you will find available here at Academics First.

Full details about our childcare center and all that we provide can be found in our Family Handbook.

Infant & Toddler Care

At Academics First, we provide infant and toddler care starting with children as young as 6 weeks of age. We understand the many varying needs that infants and toddlers have and it is our goal to make sure that your children receive the proper attention and focus from our staff that they require.

Our caregivers/teachers directly observe infants by sight and sound at all times and regularly check on sleeping infants during rest periods. We also aim to support toddlers transitioning into toilet training. Our commitment is to work with parents/guardians to make sure that toilet learning is carried out in a manner that is consistent with your child’s physical and emotional abilities and your family’s concerns.

Early Childhood Education

Academic’s First uses a multi-curriculum approach. This allows us to gather information about each child’s developmental abilities and evaluate progress so we can modify and adjust what we are doing in our classroom so as to deliver the best individualized instruction for each child. This evaluation is communicated to families periodically during the year using various formal and informal tools, forms, and resources. For screening, Academic’s First uses curriculum-based assessment(s), we monitor each child’s achievement of developmental milestones, share observations with parents/guardians, and provide resource information as needed for further screenings, evaluations, and early intervention and treatment. 

Nutritional Meals & Snacks

Academics First provides meals and snacks that are properly planned, prepared and portioned according to the Child and Adult Care Food Program (https://www.fns.usda.gov/cn) and the state requirements for food service.

We pay close attention to food allergies. If your child has a food allergy, we ask that you notify us in writing so that we can make appropriate substitutions to suit your child's needs.

During meals everyone sits at the same table. Children are encouraged to serve themselves from food passed around each table. Good table manners are modeled and encouraged. Weekly menus are posted for viewing. Our staff is trained in first-aid for choking and are present at all meals.

Needs-Based Growth

Your child’s transition into childcare should be a positive and exciting learning adventure. We will work with you and your child to ensure the smoothest possible transition occurs as new routines and new people are introduced. Children are transitioned between programs based on age, developmental readiness, state licensing requirements, and space availability. During transitions, current and future teachers will meet with you to propose a plan to introduce your child into new programs. 

Creating a mural of special friends and special times at our center will be part of your child’s education at our center. We will provide you with information on local schools, what to expect, and ideas on how to talk to your child about going to elementary school.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are your hours of operation?


Academics First is committed to helping families with non-traditional work hours, find quality child care. Therefore, Academics First will be open 7 days a week (please see our handbook for holidays and days of closures). Our regular hours of operation will be Monday thru Friday 6:00 AM - 12:00 AM and both Saturday and Sunday from 6:00 AM - 6:00 PM. Currently we are operating and open Monday - Friday from 6:00 AM - 6:00 PM. We will make a public annoucement once we begin to extend our hours of operation.




Are donations to Academics First tax deductible?


Yes, Academics First is a 501 (c)3, and most donations are tax deductible. We recommend that you check with a tax adviser to make sure. We accept donations to our scholarship fund, general fund, staff education.




What ages of children do we serve?


6 weeks to 12 years with 2 preschool rooms based on developmental levels.




Do we provide part-time care?


We do offer part-time rates. Some restrictions do apply. Call today to discuss your situation.




Do we provide drop-in care?


Only for children already registered and only if there is space. Drop-in rates will apply, and you may not substitute days for drop-in care.




What meals do we serve?


We serve breakfast daily for children who arrive prior to 8:00 a.m., hot lunch is served at noon. We serve a snack at approximately 10 am., 3 p.m., 7:30 – 8:15 p.m. and dinner at 6:00 pm. We encourage children to try new things but never require them to eat what they do not want. All meals are served family style.




Are all staff trained in CPR and First Aid?


All staff are trained regularly in CPR, even if not required by the state. First Aid is taught as required by state licensing agency/regulations so that you can feel confident that your child is safe and receiving the best care possible at our center.




Can I visit my child at the center anytime I’d like to?


Yes, Academics First has an open-door policy. You are encouraged to visit your child anytime but keep in mind of disruptions to the flow of the classroom and the stress of separation for the child. If these become too much, you may be asked to cut down visitations until your child smoothly adjusts.




Can Academics First administer medication?


Yes. Academics First has met all of New York State’s requirements in order to be able to administer medication. Staff attends specialized training each year and takes the MAT exam every three years to keep up to date. Parents must obey strict guidelines set by New York State. Medications are only given if the proper forms are signed by parent and physician and given to us along with the medication in its original container, labeled with the child’s full name. According to New York State regulations, all paperwork must be completely filled out and submitted before administering medication to any child.




Do the Academics First Childcare facilities have secured entrances?


Yes, all child care centers have a secured front door that always stays locked. Parents are given a code to enter.





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ADDRESS: 309 Genesee Street Utica, NY 13501

EMAIL: cblackledge@academicsfirstutica.org

TEL: 315-624-0272 or 315-624-0273

FAX: 315-624-0572

NON-TRADITIONAL EXTENDED HOURS:

(Currently we are offering the following hours)

Weekdays: Mon. - Fri.   |   6 AM - 6 PM

Additional hours are coming soon!

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© 2020 Academics First  All Rights Reserved

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