2016 Early Childhood Common Agenda
United in support of young children (ages 0-5) and their families, advocates of the Early Childhood Common Agenda propose the following framework for building a smart, comprehensive early childhood system for South Carolina. We acknowledge that children’s opportunity for success is largely rooted in the social and economic well-being of their families and communities. Effective policy can counter adverse circumstances through a two-generation approach, equipping both parents and children with the tools they need to thrive. We urge our elected leaders and policymakers to consider this agenda as decisions are made to advance policies impacting young children and their families in order to create a brighter future for the Palmetto State.
Children who receive high-quality preschool services are more likely to enter school prepared for success in academics and throughout their lives. Many families struggle to afford care, however, with an average cost of $1,181 per month. Fifteen percent of South Carolina parents report their employment is affected by child care issues. This problem is exacerbated for low-income families, who are often forced by limited resources to choose care based on affordability and/or convenience rather than quality.
Increase participation in the Quality Rating Improvement System (QRIS), which includes established quality standards for child care, early care and education providers, by creating a committee to recommend incentive measures led by the Division of Early Care and Education, Department of Social Services.