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Publication Title:

Public 4K in South Carolina: An Overview of Existing Programs and Considerations for Decision Makers

Author(s):

Molly Griggs, M.Ed.

Publication Type: Issue Briefs & Policy Reports

Policy Area: Building Stronger Early Childhood Systems

Page Count: 12

Publication Excerpt:

Many South Carolinians have long recognized the importance of high-quality early childhood education. The state was among the first to implement both a universal full-day 5K kindergarten and a limited state-funded 4K prog ram. During the 2010-2011 school year, 51% of South Carolina’s four-year-olds attended a publicly-funded 4K program. These offerings are provided at a cost to taxpayers of $135 million through a combination of local, state, and federal sources of funding.1The state currently offers several avenues for 4K, including South Carolina’s school district-based Half-Day Child Development Program, both public-school and private center-based sites of the Child Development Education Pilot Program (CDEPP), and federally-funded Head Start programs, with the majority of students served through non-CDEPP public 4K (see Figure 1).

he Half-Day Child Development Program was created in 1984 by the South Carolina Education Improvement Act. It seeks to improve school readiness in at-risk four-year-olds through school district based 4K. These 4K programs are required to be at least half-day programs, but many districts have chosen to provide full-day 4K. The Child Development Education Pilot Program(CDEPP) was created by the South Carolina General Assembly to require full-day prekindergarten in 37 plaintiff districts in response to the 2006 Abbeville School District v. South Carolina court decision. Students are served in both school-district based and private center-based CDEPP classrooms, with the majority of four-year-olds in district-based CDEPP classes.

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