The First Steps 4K Expansion Grant provides up to $30,000 for the purpose of expanding access to First Steps 4K services to at least 10 additional children. This grant opportunity is open to sites in the current 62 eligible CERDEP school districts (named on application).
These one-time funds are intended to support applicants in overcoming obstacles currently preventing their participation in the 4K program. Such needs may include, but are not limited to, building renovations documented as necessary to bring proposed classrooms into compliance with licensing regulations and materials/equipment. All new First Steps 4K classrooms receive an additional $10,000 for the purchase of classroom furniture and materials.
Any organization within the 62 eligible school districts that has the facility space, ability to become a licensed child care provider, and willingness to adhere to First Steps 4K Guidelines is eligible to apply. Eligible applicants include center-based child care providers as well as churches, community centers, non-profit organizations, private and charter schools, colleges and universities, hospital systems, and others. Public schools and school districts are not eligible.
Providers receiving this one-time supplement are expected to be or become licensed, participate in the First Steps 4K program, and provide high-quality, center-based programs to at least 10 4K children annually for a minimum of three years.
Organizations within counties and school districts where there are little or no current First Steps 4K providers are strongly encouraged to apply: Abbeville, Bamberg, Calhoun, Clarendon, Colleton, Dorchester 4, Edgefield, Fairfield, Hampton 2, Marlboro, McCormick, and Saluda.
South Carolina First Steps 4K anticipates making a minimum of 3 awards before June 30, 2021.