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: Filling Service Gaps for Children 0-5


Formula Funding Grants to Local First Steps Partnership Organizations

Annual grants of formula funding to local First Steps partnership organizations in each SC county, in order to support needed programs and services for children 0-5 based on the partnership’s community needs assessment and comprehensive plan. Local First Steps partnership boards have the flexibility of selecting from among more than 30 evidence-based and evidence-informed program models that best meet the needs of their community. Programs or organizations interested in partnership or subcontracting opportunities should contact their local First Steps office.

Deadline: May 15, 2020 for fiscal year 2020-21



Grants to Expand Innovative and Best Practice Programs

Check back for future opportunities.


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