Resources for Families - SC First Steps

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Resources for Families

Children are learning from the moment they are born. With support from their parents and caregivers, they gain the skills, knowledge, and behaviors necessary for a strong start in school. The following resources are available to help.

Support in your community

No matter where you live in South Carolina, you can find a First Steps location nearby. Our professionals are here to assist you with parenting and to help you promote your child's learning and growth. Contact your local First Steps to learn more.

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What does it mean to be ready for school?

South Carolina’s Profile of the Ready Kindergartner describes 60 developmental milestones for rising kindergartners.

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connects families with the state’s public services for young children. Answer a few questions to check your eligibility for over 40 programs.

is your one-stop shop for finding free educational preschool programs in South Carolina. Check your eligilibity, search for a program near you, learn how to apply.

are five fun, simple concepts that parents and caregivers can use to help a child’s healthy development. This free resource is designed especially for families with babies and toddlers.

supports rising kindergartners and their families in the transition to school. Visit countdownsc.org to find summer programs, events, and resources that help prepare children for kindergarten.

Ages and stages

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

  • Use the CDC's developmental milestone app to track and celebrate your child's developmental milestones from 2 months to 5 years.
  • Find out with screening tools from Help Me Grow South Carolina.
  • South Carolina's Profile of the Ready Kindergartnerdescribes the physical, cognitive, social and emotional signs of school readiness.

Health and wellness

Information and programs that promote children's health.

  • .
  • provides access to free or low-cost healthcare coverage (Medicaid) and other quality of life resources.
  • The provides free healthy meals to children, 18 years old or younger, throughout the summer months.
  • ճoffers health education, healthy foods, breastfeeding support and other free services for families.
  • is the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) parenting website.
  • provides free eye assessments for infants 6-12 months old.

Child care and early education

Give your child a strong foundation by choosing a high-quality early learning program.

  • վto search for free full-day four-year-old kindergarten programs in private, community- and faith-based centers across the state.
  • is your one-stop shop for finding free pre-K programs in South Carolina.
  • The DSS makes child care more affordable for families by making all or a portion of provider payments directly to child care providers so parents can work or attend school or training.
  • connects families with quality child care.

Delays and disabilities

Act early if you have concerns about your child's development.

  • is South Carolina's early intervention system for infants and toddlers under three years of age with developmental disabilities.
  • offers resources and support to families of children with disabilities and special healthcare needs.

Everyday learning

Turn daily activities into learning opportunities for your child.

  • ճare five fun, simple, and powerful ways that every family can give every child a great start in life.
  • Use the South Carolina State Library's to develop your child's early literacy skills.
  • Your community has lots to do and see! to find your local library and explore family-friendly places near you.
  • Through , those receiving food assistance (SNAP benefits) can gain free or reduced admission to museums across South Carolina and throughout the United States.

Family support

Services and resources are available to help you care for your family and yourself.

  • offers child support, kinship care, financial assistance programs and more.

Child safety

We all have a role in protecting children from harm.

  • To report a potential case of abuse or neglect,where the child resides.