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First Steps 4K

South Carolina First Steps offers FREE full-day four-year-old kindergarten programs in private, faith-based and community-based preschool providers!

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

For more information, contact SC First Steps to School Readiness toll-free at (877) 621-0865.

In addition to the offerings of the state's public school districts, SC First Steps offers parents the opportunity to enroll their eligible children with more than 200 private, faith- and community-based preschool providers statewide.

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To qualify during the 2019-2020 school year, your child must:

  • Be 4 years old on or before Sept. 1, 2019,
  • Be eligible for the free- or reduced-price lunch program or Medicaid, AND
  • Live in one of the following school districts: Aiken, Abbeville, Allendale, Anderson 2, Anderson 5, Anderson 3, Bamberg 1, Bamberg 2, Barnwell 19, Barnwell 29, Barnwell 45, Berkeley, Calhoun, Cherokee, Chester, Chesterfield, Clarendon 1, Clarendon 2, Clarendon 3, Colleton, Darlington, Dillon 3, Dillon 4, Dorchester 4, Edgefield, Fairfield, Florence 1, Florence 2, Florence 3, Florence 4, Florence 5, Georgetown, Greenwood 50, Greenwood 51, Greenwood 52, Hampton 1, Hampton 2, Horry, Jasper, Kershaw, Laurens 55, Laurens 56, Lee, Lexington 2, Lexington 3, Lexington 4, Marion, Marlboro, McCormick, Newberry, Oconee, Orangeburg 3, Orangeburg 4, Orangeburg 5, Richland 1, Saluda, Spartanburg 3, Spartanburg 4, Spartanburg 6, Spartanburg 7, Sumter, Union, Williamsburg and York 1.
  • Your child may qualify if you live in one of these districts :Anderson 1, and 4, Beaufort, Charleston, Dorchester 2, Greenville, Lancaster, Lexington 1, Lexington/Richland 5, Pickens, Richland 2, Spartanburg 1, 2 and 5, and York 2, 3 and 4.
    Recent changes in eligibility allow age and income eligible students living in those districts to enroll in the full day, tuition free First Steps 4K classes in our participating PILOT centers for the 2019-2020 school year! Participating PILOT centers may serve eligible 4K students residing in all school districts of SC. Slots are limited in the identified PILOT centers
For the 2019-2020 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 (see list below).  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.