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Every early experience in a child’s life– from birth through age five – helps to build a foundation for success. With the positive support of parents and caregivers, children gain the skills and knowledge they need for a strong start.

Articles

Learn more about supporting your child and family’s growth with the articles and resources below.

Getting Ready for Kindergarten

What Makes a Child Ready to Learn?

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Ready for kindergarten is more than being the right age by the right date. Years of study have shown that when children enter kindergarten with certain abilities, they are better ready to learn. Starting off well in kindergarten helps children be more successful through their years in school.

Special Needs & Early Intervention

Child Development Screening: What to expect and how it can help

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While every child develops at their own pace, a parent will often recognize when their child needs extra help, if they know how to look. See how answering some key questions can guide parents, teachers and health care providers to understand and meet a child’s unique needs.

Parenting & Family Support

Raising a reader: 5 ways to engage young children with books

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Parents are told all the time that helping children read is one of the most important things they can do for their child’s education. But how does a new parent with a baby or a parent with a toddler who won’t sit still use this advice?

Resources

Child Care & Early Education

Day by Day Family Literacy Calendar from the SC State Library has fun literacy learning topics for every day of the year.

The Palmetto Basics are five fun, simple, and powerful ways that every family can give every child a great start in life.

Palmetto Pre-K is your free one-stop shop for finding free educational preschool programs in South Carolina.

SC Child Care has information on finding affordable and high quality child care.

Food & Nutrition

Build a healthy eating routing when you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, with a tipsheet from the US Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.

Myplate.gov has recipes and tools to make every bite count.

The US Department of Agriculture has nutrition and health information for every stage of life at Nutrition.gov

Summer Meal Programs provide free, healthy meals to children in the summer months.

Parenting & Family Support

Bright by Text provides free quality tips, game, and resources from SCETV, PBS, and a number of other trusted sources.

Gain valuable experience and give back to your community through service with First Steps AmeriCorps. The service ranges from providing one-on-one supports for parents to hosting outreach events to promote school readiness. AmeriCorps members receive a stipend and education award to pay student loans or future tuition cost.

Through Museums for All, those receiving SNAP benefits can gain free or reduced admission to many museums throughout the state simply by presenting their EBT card.

No cost tuition at any of South Carolina’s technical colleges for select high-demand fields can help you achieve an even brighter future for your family.

Through SC Works, access employment and training resources, including the locations of the SC Works Centers across the state.

 

Getting Ready for Kindergarten

A Parent's Guide to Kindergarten Transition in South Carolina has practical tips and information to help ease into being prepared for the first day and beyond.

Carolina Classrooms, SC ETV, Then Comes Kindergarten is a 30 minute video with education leaders about the transition from Pre-K to the K-12 system.

Countdown to Kindergarten Resources & Celebrations help you learn what it means to be ready and how you can help prepare your child for success.

Countdown To Kindergarten Tip Sheets have useful ideas on forming new habits and getting ready for school

National Association for the Education of Young Children, Transitioning to Kindergarten can give parents ideas for handling the day-to-day before, on the first day, and the first week of Kindergarten.

Profile of the Ready Kindergartner describes the physical, cognitive, social and emotional signs of school readiness.

Ready, Set—Kindergarten! guides offer a brief introduction to each area of school readiness and provide samples of skills children need.

Health & Safety

Back to Sleep, Tummy to Play—important things to remember about safe sleep for infants.

Car seat safety from the American Academy of Pediatrics has a quick guide about finding the right car seat for your child.

HealthyChildren.org from the American Academy of Pediatrics has vetted information about children’s health and development.

Lead poisoning prevention from the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control has information to help see if your family is at risk for lead exposure.

The Well-Visit Planner© is a quick and free pre-visit tool that helps parents identify priorities and needs for a child's well visit check-ups. Create your own guide to share with your child's health care provider.

 

Special Needs & Early Intervention

Do you want to learn more about your child’s development? Here is an explanation of screenings from Brookes Publishing.  Another resource is Baby's First Test that can let you know more about what happens at newborn screenings. 

Beginnings SC provides expert knowledge and individualized planning strategies for parents, professionals, & communities to promote successful outcomes for children who are deaf or hard of hearing in South Carolina. 

Track your child's milestones from age 2 months to 5 years with the Centers for Disease Control's easy-to-use illustrated checklists on the CDC Milestone Tracker.

At Family Connection of South Carolina, families of children with disabilities and special healthcare needs can find resources about healthy growth and development, education services, healthcare needs, training, and programs that support them at any time during their journey.

Take a free developmental screening through Help Me Grow SC. Routine screenings give important clues to how a child is developing and if there are any areas that need strengthening or further evaluation. Help Me Grow SC can also assist you in connecting to resources in your area to promote your child’s healthy development.