First Steps Evaluations
Legislation requires First Steps to contract with an outside evaluator to measure its effectiveness every three years.
Conducted by the High/Scope Educational Research Foundation, the 2009 First Steps evaluation notes strong outcomes in parenting, childcare quality and school transition, while lauding the agency's continued ability to target high-risk clients and the promising early results of the CDEPP 4K pilot. Dramatic improvements in the agency's data/assessment capacities are noted.
The High/Scope Educational Research Foundation conducted the 2006 evaluation of First Steps’ outcomes and practices. The report notes that First Steps is reaching the right children and making an impact in South Carolina, but suggests that improvements in data quality and common statewide assessment instruments are needed to further enhance the sophistication of future analyses.
In 2003, Child Trends, a national, nonpartisan research center, conducted the legislatively-required evaluation of First Steps' first three years. Calling First Steps "ambitious and innovative," the evaluation report notes that First Steps has engendered a "culture of accountability" regarding expenditures and program implementation. The Child Trends evaluation tells South Carolina that First Steps is on the right track. To read more about the First Steps evaluation, click on the reports below: