First Five SC

What is First Five SC?

First Five SC transforms the way families access publicly funded early childhood programs and services in South Carolina. Through a single online portal, families and their advocates can find information about child care, health, early intervention, nutrition, and parenting support programs in their area. The single online application makes it easy to check your eligibility in just a few minutes for more than 40 services.

What is the purpose?

First Five SC engages parents and caregivers as active partners in making South Carolina’s early childhood system work for young children and families. By streamlining the search and application process, First Five SC helps families better understand their options and choose the programs and services that best meet their needs. As a project of the South Carolina Early Childhood Advisory Council, a collaborative, interagency body representing the state’s early childhood system, First Five SC works to support its mission of supporting families and helping young children thrive.

Who does it serve?

Parenting young children is multifaceted and families are usually dealing with more than one need at any given time. First Five SC accommodates the real life complexities of families by providing cohesion between publicly funded early childhood programs and services in South Carolina with one singular application for families. By answering a few questions, families and their advocates can locate publicly funded early childhood services that they may qualify for in their area and apply for all applicable services in one application online.

Everyone can share information about First Five SC

We all have a role to play in supporting our communities and families—First Five SC can help connect families you know to publicly funded programs that help young children and their parents.

First Five SC has thousands of visitors each month, and we want everyone to be able to find great information about public programs.

One easy way is to follow us on Facebook, then tag friends in comments, and share posts with your network.

You can download outreach materials to share, images for your webpages, and see FAQs below.

Want print materials to share at events such as health fairs, parent groups, festivals and celebrations? Use our order form at the bottom of the Share page on First 5 SC,

About First Five SC

First Five SC began as an idea in 2019 with a simple principle: families deserve a responsive one-stop portal to learn about public programs and services to help with their child’s growth and development.

First Five SC is committed to serving as a holistic tool for families to increase knowledge, choice, and access. First Five SC aims to support communities and professionals who help families across the state.

Sixty publicly funded programs and services are included in the initial launch of First Five SC in December 2021, and 44 of those programs are also included on the common eligibility screener. The common eligibility screener is easy for families to enter a few pieces of information about their child, household and circumstances, and find out which programs they may be eligible for so they can begin the next steps of enrollment. These early childhood programs and services are staffed and resourced by state agencies listed on the flow of federal and state funds into SC. Many of these agencies are members of the Early Childhood Advisory Council, representing SC’s early childhood system.

Future Growth

First Five SC is a continually developed and publicly owned portal. It has the possibility of expanding to include additional publicly funded direct family-serving programs and services.

A common service application will soon be launched where eligible families can enter information into one or more applications for participating early childhood services.

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The project described was supported by the Preschool Development Grant Birth through Five Initiative (PDG B-5), Grant Number 90TP0080-02-01 from the Office of Child Care, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Shareable Resources

First Five SC logo - The logo can be added to a website as a reference for parents. (link to

Share First Five SC - Download outreach materials to share, images for your webpages. Want print materials to share at events such as health fairs, parent groups, festivals and celebrations? Use our order form at the bottom of the Share page on First 5 SC,

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