What is First Steps?

South Carolina First Steps to School Readiness was created in 1999 by the South Carolina General Assembly for the purpose of having every child in South Carolina arrive at kindergarten ready to learn. Sadly, many South Carolina children possess one or more risk factors that put them at high risk (greater than a 1 in 3 chance) for “early school failure” – either being retained or scoring below grade level in reading or math – by third grade.

Lancaster County First Steps exists to bring together efforts in early childhood at the local and state level, public and private, to focus and intensify services and assure the most efficient use of all available resources to serve the needs of Lancaster County’s young children and their families.

The Lancaster County First Steps Partnership Board Members are Champions for Children. The board is made up of local leaders who are strong advocates for children and their first 2,000 days. Champions serve to carry forward the message of the importance of early childhood development in our county. This year the Lancaster County Board has been busy planning, implementing and evaluating several proven early education initiatives. The Board knows that Early Care and Learning is important in South Carolina and particularly in Lancaster because:

  1. South Carolina’s greatest economic resource is our people. Therefore, economic development starts with early childhood development.
  2. Children’s earliest experiences literally determine how their brains are wired. With quality early childhood education, children will be school ready; have higher graduation rates and grow into productive citizens and valuable employees.
  3. There are only 2,000 days between the time a baby is born and when that child shows up in for the first day of kindergarten. When we provide children with the experiences they need during their early years, we get a lifetime of results for our children, our state, and our economy.
  4. South Carolina grows stronger when we help families raise more capable children into smart, valuable and productive citizens.

“The first 5 years of life have so much to do with how the next 80 turn out.”  Bill Gates

Please feel free to contact our office if you have questions or need additional information:
Lancaster County First Steps
121 South Wylie Street
Lancaster, SC 29720
Phone: (803) 286-8000
Fax: (803) 286-8061