What We Do

First Steps 4K

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.  Enrollment is offered at no cost to eligible children.

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.

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 or max of 8.5 hours daily)

Option EY*: TR & SS (Traditional & Summer School of 8 weeks)

Option ED&Y*: ED & SS (Extended Day & Summer School of 8 weeks)

The enrollment process is simple. To receive a student application, contact the approved provider of your choice.

  • A complete list of 2018-2019 providers can be found HERE.
  • A complete list of 2019-2020 providers can be found HERE.

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

If you're looking for a 4K program at your local public school, you should contact your local school district.

If you're looking for a local Head Start Program, click the Head Start icon below.