Resources for Families - SC First Steps

Resources for Families

Children are learning from the moment they are born. With support from their parents and caregivers, they gain the skills, knowledge, and behaviors necessary for a strong start in school. The following resources are available to help.

Support in your community

No matter where you live in South Carolina, you can find a First Steps location nearby. Our professionals are here to assist you with parenting and to help you promote your child's learning and growth. Contact your local First Steps to learn more.

Find your local First Steps >>

What does it mean to be ready for school?

South Carolina’s Profile of the Ready Kindergartner describes 60 developmental milestones for rising kindergartners.

Learn more >>

First Five South Carolina connects families with the state’s public services for young children. Answer a few questions to check your eligibility for over 40 programs.

Palmetto Pre-K is your one-stop shop for finding free educational preschool programs in South Carolina. Check your eligilibity, search for a program near you, learn how to apply.

The Palmetto Basics are five fun, simple concepts that parents and caregivers can use to help a child’s healthy development. This free resource is designed especially for families with babies and toddlers.

Countdown to Kindergarten supports rising kindergartners and their families in the transition to school. Visit to find summer programs, events, and resources that help prepare children for kindergarten.

Ages and stages

How your child moves, speaks, acts, plays and explores offer important clues about their development.

Health and wellness

Information and programs that promote children's health.

Child care and early education

Give your child a strong foundation by choosing a high-quality early learning program.

  • Visit to search for free full-day four-year-old kindergarten programs in private, community- and faith-based centers across the state.
  • Palmetto Pre-K is your one-stop shop for finding free pre-K programs in South Carolina.
  • The DSS Child Care Scholarship program makes child care more affordable for families by making all or a portion of provider payments directly to child care providers so parents can work or attend school or training.
  • SC Child Care Resource & Referral connects families with quality child care.


Delays and disabilities

Act early if you have concerns about your child's development.

  • BabyNet is South Carolina's early intervention system for infants and toddlers under three years of age with developmental disabilities.
  • Family Connection South Carolina offers resources and support to families of children with disabilities and special healthcare needs.

Everyday learning

Turn daily activities into learning opportunities for your child.

  • The Palmetto Basics are five fun, simple, and powerful ways that every family can give every child a great start in life.
  • Use the South Carolina State Library's Day by Day Family Literacy Calendar to develop your child's early literacy skills.
  • Your community has lots to do and see! Search this map to find your local library and explore family-friendly places near you.
  • Through Museums for All, those receiving food assistance (SNAP benefits) can gain free or reduced admission to museums across South Carolina and throughout the United States.

Family support

Services and resources are available to help you care for your family and yourself.

Child safety

We all have a role in protecting children from harm.