Child Care & Early Education

Check Eligibility Learn More

Find out which services you’re eligible for.

Find a Provider Learn More

Look for child care, preschool, and other services in your area.

Need More Help? Learn More

Our partners can guide you through the process.

Young child smiling while laying on floor mat in front of box of blocks in child care center classroom

Need help paying for child care so you can work?

We can connect families to vouchers and scholarships that help parents afford high quality child care while they work, train for a job, or go to school. See if you qualify and how you can find care that fits your family’s needs.

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Programs and Services

SC Vouchers Learn more

Parents with income below 300% of the federal poverty level may be eligible for vouchers to pay for child care while they work or attend school.

SC Dept. of Education - 4K Learn more

South Carolina Child Early Reading and Development Education Program (CERDEP) is available for income-eligible children who will be 4-years of age on/before September 1st through the SC Department of Education.

Head Start Learn more

Care, activities, and lunch are provided free to children birth to age 5 who are from families with income at or below the poverty level.

Early Head Start Learn more

Free child care and parenting support are provided for eligible children age 3 and under, pregnant women, and their families.

First Steps 4K Learn more

Free 4-year-old kindergarten is available for eligible children, with full day programs five days a week.

First Steps 4K + Siblings Learn more

When a child enrolls in First Steps 4K, other children under 12 in the household qualify for free child care and after-school scholarships.

SC Child Care Resource & Referral Learn more

Parents and caregivers can search for childcare in their area and learn how to apply for financial help.

Countdown To Kindergarten Learn more

This free summer program helps children get ready for kindergarten and eases worries they or their family may have.

Countdown To Kindergarten - 4K Learn more

Teachers start Countdown to 4K by meeting with eligible families one-on-one for five sessions during the summer. Then as the first day of school gets closer, the teacher welcomes the child and family to the classroom for a visit before school begins. This free program helps children and parents understand what happens at 4K and the changes that 4K will bring. It’s also designed to help children and families feel comfortable about this new experience.

Child Care Scholarships Learn more

Children age 5 and under may be eligible for scholarships that let them go to quality child care centers tuition-free.

Library Based Programs Learn more

Local librarians visit families, childcare programs, and preschools to bring books, share stories, and interest children in reading.

Ready 4K Learn more

Parents and caregivers receive weekly texts with fun facts and easy tips on how to promote their children’s development by building on existing family routines.

Early Learning and Literacy Learn more

The Office of Early Learning and Literacy at the SC Dept. of Education works with school districts, teachers, communities, and families to provide resources to help every child succeed in school.