Palmetto Pre-K


What is Palmetto Pre-K?

Palmetto Pre-K is a statewide initiative to serve families of 3- and 4-year-old children and system navigators with a parent portal to check eligibility, locate and access the free public Pre-K programs in the state, support families through the transition to kindergarten and provide high-quality trainings to early childhood professionals serving 4-year-olds.

What are the three pillars of Palmetto Pre-K?

Palmetto Pre-K Online Portal
Families are able to go to determine their eligibility for free (publicly funded) preschool and locate high-quality educational programs in their neighborhoods and near their workplaces. The web tool matches eligible preschoolers with an appropriate program slot.

Palmetto Pre-K Transitions
Family-friendly, accessible guidance and navigational tools to help parents and caregivers successfully support their children’s transition from Pre-K to kindergarten. Efforts will include additions and new features on the Palmetto Pre-K and First Five SC websites. The  SC PreK to Kindergarten Transition Plan: Family Engagement,  was developed by the Palmetto Pre-K Transitions Workgroup, which is comprised of state early childhood system leaders, state agency personnel, educators, administrators, community and family advocates, and other stakeholders. The Plan demonstrates the state's collective capacity and commitment to ensure that every child and family has the resources needed to learn, flourish and thrive. 


Palmetto Pre-K Jamboree
The top-flight professional development conference offered annually to preschool teachers and administrators throughout South Carolina. A planning committee with representatives from the four agencies that provide publicly funded preschool in South Carolina (Department of Education, First Steps 4K, Department of Social Services, and Head Start Collaboration Office) collaborate to plan the day. Past conferences have offered top-notched sessions such as, Conscious Discipline, ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences) Awareness, Powerful Play, Meaningful Early Learning Literacy Experiences and SC Early Learning Standards in 4K. 

Fall 2022 Palmetto Pre-K Jamboree - Rooted in Research: Embracing the Whole Child

Calling all teachers and supporters of 4-year-olds in South Carolina-- please join us for the 2022 Fall Palmetto Pre-K Jamboree, a FREE virtual professional development. Any and all Pre-Kindergarten teachers, support staff, and administrators are invited to join to help prepare for a fantastic 2022-2023 school year!

Find the most up-to-date information on the Fall 2022 Jamboree page.

How did it come about?

In a historic collaboration, the SC Department of Education, Head Start, SC First Steps and the SC Department of Social Services envisioned, created, developed and launched the portal. The funding for the development process was provided through the Preschool Development Birth-5 Grant. The portal was officially launched in February 2020 and work continues to fully develop the site to include all locally funded Pre-K opportunities.

The public's understanding of funding for the state's preschool programs has often been misunderstood. The graphic above shows how South Carolina's public preschool programs are funded. 

Palmetto Pre-K Partner Agencies:

“The project described was supported by the Preschool Development Grant Birth through Five Initiative (PDG B-5), Grant Number 90TP0080-02-01, from the Office of Child Care, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.”

Shareable Palmetto Pre-K Resources

Palmetto Pre-K Flyer

Palmetto Pre-K flyer (Spanish)

Palmetto Pre-K Poster

Palmetto Pre-K Bookmark in English and Spanish

Palmetto Pre-K radio spots (English and Spanish)

Palmetto Pre-K video spots (English and Spanish)

We are Palmetto Pre-K logo

Palmetto Pre-K logo - The Palmetto Pre-K logo can be added to a website as a reference for parents. (link to

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