Parent Resources

How do children become ready for school?

Children are learning from the moment they are born. Every early experience – from birth through age five – helps to build a foundation for school and life success. With the positive support of parents and caregivers, children gain the social and emotional skills, knowledge and attitudes necessary for a strong start in school. The following resources are available to help:


Your local First Steps

Wherever you are in South Carolina, there's a First Steps nearby. Trained professionals are available to connect you with local resources and services that promote early learning, improve children’s health and wellness, increase access to quality child care and education, strengthen families and help prepare rising kindergartners for school entry. Contact your local First Steps to find out how we can help you and your family get connected to the resources you need.


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


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.


Learning at home - A parent is a child's first and most important teacher.


Health and wellness - Information and programs that promote children's health.


Child safety


Child care and education

  • Visit Free4KSC.org 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.
  • ABC Quality is the state's quality rating and improvement system for child care providers.
  • SC Child Care Resource & Referral connects families with quality child care.


Family support