Palmetto Pre-K is a portal serves as a way for families and system navigators assisting families to easily access free federal, state and local 3- and 4-year-old Pre-K programs. Families can determine their eligibility and locate high quality educational programs in their neighborhoods and near their workplaces. In an historic collaboration, the SC Department of Education, Head Start, SC First Steps and the SC Department of Social Services envisioned, created, developed and launched the portal, which is a critical tool in matching each eligible preschooler with and appropriate program slot. Funding for the development process was provided through the Preschool Development Birth-5 Grant. The portal was officially launched in February 2020. Work continues to fully develop the site and to include all locally funded Pre-K opportunities.
The public's understanding of funding for the state's preschool programs has often been misunderstood. The graphics below contrast the perceived versus actual funding for the state's public preschool programs.