A $3.5 million grant to help coordinate early childhood services

Pee Dee

A $3.5 million grant will help South Carolina families plan for their children’s early education needs. 

Parents will now be able to take advantage of services that will provide children one-on-one meetings with their teachers before the school season begins. 

“There’s a lot of families that can’t afford child care or if their children don’t get to go to the school then they’re not aware that there’s other programs that they can be place in,” said director of Zion Canna Child development center, Lashaunda Jefferson. 

The grant will make it easier for parents to identify which services are available for children birth to age 5 before they’re enrolled in school and also focus on low-income families who might not be able to afford the services. 

“When that young child enters kindergarten for the first time they’re not scared and they have that connection with the teacher already,” said executive director for South Carolina First Steps, Georgia Mjartan. 

Some of the struggles parents face is feeling overwhelmed when choosing which service works best for them, but this grant will help guide parents to many resources especially when it comes to transitioning between early childhood and grade school systems.

“All of the different programs will come together to make sure children are reaching their highest potential. So that we can really work together to insure all children are ready for success,” said Mjartan. 

The grant will expand by creating a website that will allow parents to learn about services available for their child and how they can enroll. 

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