First Steps Four-Year-Old Kindergarten

First Steps is now enrolling students for the 2018-2019 school year at more than 200 approved providers in 64 South Carolina school districts. For a list of participating First Steps 4K providers, click the link below. Applications should be submitted directly to the center of your choice.




BIG NEWS ABOUT FIRST STEPS 4K: Proviso language recently approved by the SC General Assembly will bring exciting changes to the First Steps 4K program during 2017-2018 school year! Participating programs will have the option of 4 different program delivery models:


Option A: A standard 180 day school year, operating 6.5 hours daily. 

Option B*: An extended day model in which the instructional program will operate for 180 days at 8.5 hours daily. 

Option C*: An extended school year model in which the program will operate for 220 days at 6.5 hours daily.

Option D*: The standard school year (180 days, 6.5 hours daily), plus an 8 week summer program operating up to 8.5 hours daily. 

*Note: The continued availability of expanded program models (Options B, C, and D above) during the 2018-2019 school year is subject to legislative approval during 2018. 


WHAT IS FIRST STEPS 4K? Permanently established by the SC Read to Succeed Act in 2014, the SC Child Early Reading Development and Education Program (CERDEP) provides full-day four-year-old-kindergarten programs in 64 South Carolina school districts.  Enrollment is offered at no cost to eligible children.

In addition to the offerings of the state’s public school districts, SC First Steps offers parents the opportunity to enroll their eligible children with more than 200 private, faith- and community-based preschool providers statewide.


To qualify during the 2017-2018 school year, your child must:

● Be 4 years old on or before Sept. 1, 2017,

● Be eligible for the free- or reduced-price lunch program or Medicaid, AND

● Live in one of the following school districts: Aiken, Abbeville, Allendale, Anderson 2, Anderson 5, Anderson 3, Bamberg 1, Bamberg 2, Barnwell 19, Barnwell 29, Barnwell 45, Berkeley, Calhoun, Cherokee, Chester, Chesterfield, Clarendon 1, Clarendon 2, Clarendon 3, Colleton, Darlington, Dillon 3, Dillon 4, Dorchester 4, Edgefield, Fairfield, Florence 1, Florence 2, Florence 3, Florence 4, Florence 5, Georgetown, Greenwood 50, Greenwood 51, Greenwood 52, Hampton 1, Hampton 2, Horry, Jasper, Kershaw, Laurens 55, Laurens 56, Lee, Lexington 2, Lexington 3, Lexington 4, Marion, Marlboro, McCormick, Newberry, Oconee, Orangeburg 3, Orangeburg 4, Orangeburg 5, Richland 1, Saluda, Spartanburg 3, Spartanburg 4, Spartanburg 6, Spartanburg 7, Sumter, Union, Williamsburg and York 1.


The enrollment process is simple. To receive a student application, contact the approved provider of your choice.

For more information, contact SC First Steps to School Readiness toll-free at (877) 621-0865.

4K Information for Preschool Providers