What We Do

Through the Early Childhood Advisory Council, South Carolina’s leadership works together to support families and help young children thrive.

South Carolina’s Early Childhood Advisory Council is a collaborative group representing the state’s early childhood system.  Established in state statute, the Early Childhood Advisory Council includes the directors of state agencies, elected officials, and other state-level early childhood leaders.  The purpose of the Early Childhood Advisory Council is to carry out the ten duties of early childhood state system leadership as defined in statute.

Duties of the Early Childhood Advisory Council

  1. Conduct a periodic statewide needs assessment concerning the quality and availability of early childhood education and development programs and services for children from birth to the age of school entry, including an assessment of the availability of high-quality prekindergarten services for low-income children in the State;
  2. Identify opportunities for, and barriers to, collaboration and coordination among federally funded and state-funded child development, child care, and early childhood education programs and services, including collaboration and coordination among state agencies responsible for administering these programs;
  3. Develop recommendations for increasing the overall participation of children in existing federal, state, and local child care and early childhood education programs, including outreach to underrepresented and special populations;
  4. Develop recommendations regarding the establishment of a unified data collection system for public early childhood education and development programs and services throughout the State;
  5. Develop recommendations regarding statewide professional development and career advancement plans for early childhood educators in the State;
  6. Assess the capacity and effectiveness of two-year and four-year public and private institutions of higher education in the State for supporting the development of early childhood educators, including the extent to which these institutions have in place articulation agreements, professional development and career advancement plans, and practice or internships for students to spend time in a Head Start or prekindergarten program;
  7. Make recommendations for improvements in state early learning standards and undertake efforts to develop high-quality comprehensive early learning standards, as appropriate;
  8. Develop and publish, using available demographic data, an indicators-based measure of school readiness at the state and community level;
  9. Incorporate, within the periodic statewide needs assessments required in 42 U.S.C. Section 9837b, any data related to the capacity and efforts of private sector providers, Head Start providers, and local school districts to serve children from birth to age five, including fiscal, enrollment, and capacity data; and
  10. Perform all other functions, as permitted under federal and state law, to improve coordination and delivery of early childhood education and development to children in this State.



Strategic Plan & Needs Assessment

The groundwork for the collaborative plan gives voice to the many participants heard in the SC Needs Assessment Report, a document produced using Preschool Development Grant Birth-5 funds to understand statewide priorities for South Carolina's young children and their families.

SC Family Voice Council

The ECAC values family voices from South Carolina’s early childhood system. With its establishment of the South Carolina Family Voice Council, they are able to hear directly from a group of passionate leaders from around the state who are parents and caregivers of young children participating in a range of public programs. Council members of many ages, physical abilities, races, ethnicities, household incomes, geographic locations, family sizes, family types, and education levels come together to share their experiences as parents and caregivers. Recruiting is ongoing for this dynamic group of family leaders. 

First Five SC

First Five SC transforms the way families access publicly funded early childhood programs and services in South Carolina. Through a single online portal, families and their advocates can find information about child care, health, early intervention, nutrition, and parenting support programs in their area.  A single online application makes it easy to apply for multiple programs in just a few minutes.

Palmetto Pre-K

Palmetto Pre-K serves families of 3- and 4-year-old children and system navigators with a parent portal to access the state's free public Pre-K programs, with family engagement programs and by providing high-quality professional development opportunities for 4K teachers.

SC Early Childhood Integrated Data System

The Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems (SLDS) Grant Program awarded the funds competitively based on South Carolina’s plan to establish the SC Early Childhood Integrated Data System by extending its existing K-12 data system to early childhood programs, and to make the information more accessible to the public. The work is part of a national effort to help states and educators better understand what works for students and facilitate research to increase student achievement and narrow achievement gaps. 

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