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First Steps 4K

South Carolina First Steps offers you the opportunity to enroll your eligible child in a FREE quality 4-year-old kindergarten program for the upcoming school year.

Our statewide network of private, community and faith-based centers is committed to providing a healthy and safe learning environment and preparing your child for school success. Each 4K Provider is equipped with masks, hand sanitizer, thermal thermometers and other necessary personal protection equipment. All First Steps 4K providers adhere to CDC, DSS, and DHEC child care regulations to ensure the safety of all children and adults inside the building.

To qualify during the 2020-2021 school year, your child must:

  • Be 4 years old on or before Sept. 1, 2020,

  • Be eligible for Medicaid, free- or reduced-price lunch program, SNAP/TANF recipient OR be experiencing homelessness, transiency, or in foster care.

  • Be a South Carolina Resident

The enrollment process is simple. To check your eligibility and complete an application, click on the green buttons below.


Check Eligibility


Find 4K Programs




For additional information, contact SC First Steps to School Readiness toll-free at (877) 621-0865 or email free4Ksc@scfirststeps.org

For the 2020-2021 school year, participating programs have the option of 4 different program delivery models:
Option TR: Traditional (180 school days, 6.5 hours daily)
Option ED*: Extended Day (180 school days, 8 hours)
Option TS & SS: (Traditional plus Summer School, 220 days for 6.5 hours)
Option ED & SS: (Extended Day plus Summer School, 220 days for 8 hours)

Permanently established by the SC Read to Succeed Act in 2014, the SC Child Early Reading Development and Education Program (CERDEP) provides full-day four-year-old-kindergarten programs in 64 South Carolina school districts. Centers participating in a PILOT program for 2020-2021 may enroll 4K eligible students from the other 17 districts.  Enrollment is offered at no cost to eligible children.

If you're looking for additional information about preschool programs in South Carolina visit PalmettoPreK.org or click the logo below.