Preschool Development Grant B-5 Activities

Preschool Development Grant Birth through Five

A $3.5 million grant from the US Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Administration for Children and Families was awarded to the SC Department of Social Services in December, 2018. Known as the Preschool Development Grant Birth Through 5 (PDG), this one-year grant required work in five key activity areas over the course of a single year: Needs Assessment; Strategic Planning; Maximizing Parent Knowledge; Sharing Best Practices; and Improving Overall Quality. South Carolina First Steps was a key strategic partner in obtaining and executing the grant, receiving $1.3 million in grant funds and providing more than $1 million in state match. Due to a delay in the receipt of funds a no-cost extension was granted and work on the grant officially concluded on February 29, 2020.

The Preschool Development Birth Through 5 Renewal Grant to build upon the initial work of the PDG grant is a federal grant to support the expansion of early childhood programs and services in South Carolina. The award provides $11 million per year for up to three years. The South Carolina Department of Social Services is executing the grant, and activities are being coordinated and administered by partners SC First Steps, the Department of Education, the SC Head Start Collaboration Office and the state’s Early Childhood Advisory Council. Funding will allow South Carolina’s Early Childhood Education (ECE) system to continue to work towards its goal to increase access to quality early childhood programs and services for vulnerable children.

PDG activities overview

Grant activities support the following outcomes:

  • Child-serving agencies and organizations share a common vision, goals, and outcomes for the state’s birth through five system
  • Coordination, collaboration, and alignment across the state’s mixed delivery system support an increase in access for families
  • Shared recruitment and application processes for families
  • Coordinated efforts to maximize parents’ knowledge, choice, and engagement
  • Statewide activities to support transitions for children between various early childhood programs and into elementary school
  • Shared professional development to better meet the complex social and emotional development needs of vulnerable children and families
  • Expanded supports to providers to improve quality
  • Improved data-driven decision making
  • Robust evaluation and continuous quality improvement

Palmetto Pre-K

Palmetto Pre-K serves families of 3 and 4-year-old children and system navigators with a parent portal to access the state's free public Pre-K programs, with family engagement programs and by providing high-quality professional development opportunities for 4K teachers.

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First 5 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.  A single online application makes it easy to apply for multiple programs in just a few minutes.

(Click for more on First 5 SC)

Statewide Strategic Plan and Needs Assessment

The groundwork for the collaborative plan gives voice to the many participants heard in the SC Needs Assessment Report, a document produced using Preschool Development Grant Birth-5 funds to understand statewide priorities for South Carolina's young children and their families.

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