A new partnership between South Carolina’s First Steps and the Department of Social Services aims to provide child care scholarships in South Carolina for families. The DSS stated that siblings of 4-year-olds enrolled in First Steps 4K program can now qualify for childcare scholarships in a press release on Wednesday, May 12th.
First Steps 4K works with over 200 private child care centers in South Carolina to provide free care to eligible 4-year-olds kindergarten children. The new child care scholarships in South Carolina termed “First Steps 4K + Siblings,” will extend free child care and after-school scholarships for siblings from 0 to 12 years.
Georgia Mjartan, the executive director of SC First Steps, said the new program is a transformative opportunity for families. He also said that parents can now fully return to work or school, knowing that their children are learning in a safe, nurturing environment.
DSS State Director Michael Leech reported that high-quality early education benefits both children and their families. He said DSS stands ready to lead with First Steps to implement the partnership. The director added that the agency would provide 12 months of child care vouchers for younger and older siblings of a 4K eligible child.
Leech stressed that parents would not get charged a copay, and there are no work, school, or training requirements or income limits for families enrolled in the program. Currently, 4K serves 2,232 children in 222 centers across 29 counties. First Steps estimates that more than 1,300 siblings of current students are eligible for the scholarships.
Scholarships for siblings will take effect from August 16th, 2021. Families can apply by visiting the First Steps website. When families have access to safe and reliable full-day daycare, they can better pursue their goals.
Contact our Greenville family law attorneys to find out more about the foster care system and adoption laws in South Carolina.