After the alarming realization that one in seven children in South Carolina is not ready for first grade, the General Assembly created South Carolina First Steps to School Readiness in 1999. Currently, First Steps is the state’s only entity focused exclusively on increasing school readiness outcomes for all children ages 0 to 5.

Since inception, First Steps has helped more than 500,000 young children prepare for school though programs that strengthen families, improve children’s health and well-being, increase the quality of child care and early education opportunities, and help transition rising kindergarteners into school. Every South Carolina county has a First Steps office that identifies local needs and collaborative opportunities to help our state’s youngest learners be better prepared for school.