South Carolina First Steps was established as both an agency of state government and an affiliate network of nonprofit organizations for the purpose of leveraging both public and private resources in support of services that prepare children to start school ready to reach their highest potential.

As the only funder of early childhood programs in every county of the state, South Carolina First Steps both administers grants of state funding on behalf of the General Assembly and actively seeks additional public and private resources to make discretionary and targeted grants in support of services to children birth through five.



Focus Area: Expanding 4K Services in Underserved Communities


Provider Grants

One-time grants of up to $30,000 to create and/or expand First Steps 4K classrooms

Deadline: rolling through June 30, 2020



Public-Private Partnership Grants

Up to $1,000,000 available in pilot grants for renovation or refurbishment of existing, publicly-owned structures to provide First Steps 4K services to children from multiple counties and multiple school districts, through public-private partnerships.

Final Deadline: April 1, 2020



To learn more about First Steps grantmaking and grant seeking, contact Betty Gardiner, Director of Grantmaking and Development.