Getting children ready for school

Every Child Ready

South Carolina First Steps works collaboratively to ensure that all children start school ready to reach their highest potential with engaged support from their parents, caregivers, and communities. Every Child Ready, our 2020-25 strategic plan, is a five-year road map for achieving our mission and moving toward our vision of success for every child.

See the Plan

The Latest with First Steps

HIPPY program to start for 4K students

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Marlboro County parents of preschool youth will have a chance to gain more tools to help them as their child’s first teacher. Last week, Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY) Coordinator Cheryl Scales read to 4K students at First United Methodist Children's Center during a read-along and a kickoff of the program coming to the county.


First Steps 4K: Preparing for statewide expansion

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With First Steps 4K, families are in the driver’s seat. They choose the program that best meets their needs. Families can enroll their child in any of the 244 private, nonprofit, or faith-based child care centers or schools participating in the program. The majority of First Steps 4K providers offer 8-hour day and year-round instruction, including summers, which is at no cost to parents.

Fact Sheet

South Carolina First Steps awards $17,664,476 in grants to support children’s healthy development and school readiness

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South Carolina First Steps has awarded its largest funding amount in more than 15 years - $17,664,476 in grants to its network of 46 local First Steps partnerships. A combination of state, federal and private dollars, the funds will directly impact more than 30,000 children and will expand parenting programs, increase the quality of child care, support positive transitions between early childhood and elementary school, and improve the health of South Carolina’s youngest citizens.

Press Release

4K education expands to all parts of South Carolina

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"I’ve seen my child excel, extremely," Stanley said. "I have seen so much growth, and she’s happy. And she’s willing to learn because she’s wanting to learn. She loves to come to school. When there’s a day out, she wonders why she can’t come to school. And that speaks volumes for this program." "When I would ask her ‘What did you learn today,' she can regurgitate everything that she learned," Stanley said. "And she’s excited about learning and that makes a difference in this age."


Upcoming Events

6 August

Countdown to Kindergarten Celebration

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South Carolina is celebrating its rising kindergarteners with celebrations across the state. Countdown to Kindergarten was developed by South Carolina First Steps in 2003 to help support strong school transitions by connecting rising kindergartners, families, and teachers in a series of one-on-one visits throughout the summer. Rising kindergarteners and their families are invited to the celebration.

19 August

SC First Steps Board of Trustees and SC Early Childhood Advisory Council Meeting - August 2021

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The South Carolina First Steps Board of Trustees meetings are every other month followed immediately by the South Carolina Early Childhood Advisory Council convenings.

6 September

Labor Day (observed)

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South Carolina First Steps office is closed in observance of the state holiday.

Find the SC First Steps Local Partnership Near You

Wherever you are in South Carolina, there's a local partnership nearby. Contact your local partnership to find out how we can help you and your family get connected to the resources you need.