Early Head Start - SC First Steps

Early Head Start

Nationally, Early Head Start programs serve over 160,000 children and pregnant women annually.

Evidence Based

Early Head Start (EHS) is a federally funded program that provides family-centered services to infants and toddlers under age 3, pregnant women, and their families.

This map only shows programs funded by South Carolina First Steps. For more information about services available in your area, contact your local First Steps partnership.

Who it Serves

Eligibility is generally based on family income at or below the poverty level according to guidelines established by federal government. Children in foster care, children experiencing homelessness, and children from families receiving public assistance (TANF or SSI) are eligible regardless of income.

Ages 0-3

Families with babies and toddlers


Pregnant moms and expectant families

How It Works

Early Head Start offers a range of services that can support a family’s changing needs over time. Program options include center-based and family child care, weekly home visits, and twice-monthly opportunities for group learning, discussion, and social activity.

Home Visiting

In-home coaching with trained parent educators

Group Support

Community-based workshops and classes

Professional Development

Learning experiences for early childhood professionals

2 Generation Approach

Education and support for the whole family

Target Outcomes

EHS programs are designed to promote healthy outcomes for pregant women and newborns, support the healthy development of babies and toddlers, and foster relationships and self-sufficiency within families.

Community Impact 2022


children served


families served


counties served

More Programs in Early Care & Education

Early Care & Education

Quality Enhancement

Intensive support to child care centers, Head Start and preschool classrooms to improve quality

Early Care & Education

Quality Counts

Quality Counts is a community-based child care quality improvement strategy, designed to build and sustain high quality in early care and education programs.

Early Care & Education

Child Care Scholarships

Eligible children receive tuition-free enrollment at quality child care centers

Early Care & Education

Child Care

Providing local families with access to high-quality early care and education.

Early Care & Education

Training and Professional Development

Certified and registered training hours for the early childhood workforce

Early Care & Education

First Steps 4K

First Steps 4K offers free, full-day four-year-old kindergarten to qualifying children in South Carolina. We partner with more than 270 licensed child care centers and private schools across the state, making it easy for families to find a high-quality program that meets their needs.

Early Care & Education

Enhanced Early Education

The Enhanced Early Education strategy seeks to enhance education services offered by early childhood classrooms.