Become a First Steps 4K Provider - SC First Steps

Become a First Steps 4K Provider

South Carolina First Steps partners with private, nonprofit, and faith-based preschools to provide high-quality four-year-old kindergarten programs that prepare South Carolina's children for success in kindergarten and beyond.

When you partner with First Steps 4K, you become part of our mission to ensure that all children start school ready to reach their highest potential. In return, we provide the funding, resources, and support you and your staff need to meet our high-quality standards. The benefits include:

  • Student tuition. Providers receive up to $9,197 per child per year.
  • $15,000 grant for materials and supplies with 7+ First Steps 4K students.
  • A dedicated 4K coach to support you and your teachers.
  • 90 hours of free, high-quality professional development for teachers.
  • Transportation reimbursement of $620 per child per year.
  • Research-based curricula and materials.
  • Education opportunities and support for directors and small business owners.
  • Access to a statewide network of First Steps 4K providers.
  • Assistance with marketing and outreach, road sign and outdoor banner included.

Apply Now

First Steps 4K New Provider Interest Sessions

Are you a DSS-licensed center and have been operating for at least one year? OR are you a non-profit independent school?  If yes, you may be eligible to partner with First Steps 4K. 

Join Martha Strickland, 4K State Director, and First Steps 4K Team members to learn about the opportunities of providing a 4K classroom through our state’s Child Early Reading and Development Education Program (CERDEP) funding. 

Click on one of the dates below to register for a New Provider Interest Session.

December 5, 2022 at 3:30 p.m.

December 12, 2022 at 3:30 p.m.

December 19, 2022 at 3:30 p.m.

January 5, 2023 at 10:30 p.m.

January 12, 2023 at 10:30 a.m.

January 19, 2023 at 10:30 a.m.

January 26, 2023 at 10:30 a.m.

First Steps 4K New Provider Application

2022-2023 First Steps 4K New Provider Application

First Steps 4K is accepting applications for the 2023-2024 school year from private (non-school district) preschool providers to participate in the SC Child Early Reading Development and Education Program (CERDEP) to serve eligible 4K children who are residents of South Carolina.

To apply for the 2023-2024 school year, click HERE.

All applicants are required to participate in a First Steps 4K New Provider Interest session. It is important that you familiarize yourself with the requirements outlined in the First Steps 4K Guidelines.

Questions? Contact Martha Strickland, 4K State Director, at (803) 734-0247.

Support Provided for First Steps 4K Providers

$10K

Grant funding available for materials and supplies

90

Number of hours of free, high-quality professional development for teachers

$8K

Value of provided research-based curircula, materials and trainings

Hear from Our Partners

We are able to provide free tuition and free transportation door-to-door for families of four-year-olds who will eventually leave us and go to big school.

- Little Smurf Child Development Center, Andrews, SC

We’re able have a lending library for our students because of all the books provided by First Steps 4K. Not everybody has lots of books at home and with First Steps 4K, we’re not worried about the students returning them because we know we can receive as many as we need to serve our students. 

- MEGA Child Development Center, Gilbert, SC