Since 1999, the Anderson County First Steps Partnership has focused on Healthy Start, Family Strengthening and Parenting, School Transition, and Early Education programs and services. The Partnership is composed of representatives from education, business, health, parents of young children, and the faith community who want every child in Anderson County to enter first grade healthy and ready to succeed. First Steps helps link pre-school children and their families to needed resources and services across the county.
Anderson County First Steps works collaboratively to ensure that all children start school ready to reach their highest potential with engaged support from their parents, caregivers, and communities.
We will be successful when all children reach their highest potential.
From prenatal development through age five, our focus and priority are young children and their families and caregivers.
We cultivate positive, supportive, respectful, and reinforcing interactions between people that shape development, build community, increase success and productivity, foster learning and growth, and affirm the unique value of individuals, caregivers, parents and children.
We ensure all people have the opportunity and resources to be successful and that all voices are solicited and heard.
We ensure that our programs and services are culturally-responsive, inclusive, and developmentally-appropriate and are delivered with fidelity to the model being implemented. Our products, services, and operations are marked by excellence.
We produce meaningful and measurable outcomes.
Key Messages from South Carolina First Steps
First Steps is here for South Carolina’s children during the most critical stage of their development, from birth through age five. Parents and communities rely on First Steps to ensure that their children have what they need to thrive: a nurturing and safe home, opportunities to learn and grow, quality care and education, and when necessary, early intervention and mental health services.
With a presence in every county of the state, First Steps is reaching more children than ever before. In FY22, First Steps directly served 57,435 infants, toddlers, and preschoolers – 55% more than the previous year.
First Steps is proven to get children ready for school. A 2019 study found that children who received First Steps local partnership services were 74% more likely to score at the highest level on the Kindergarten Readiness Assessment.
First Steps is both a state agency and a 501(c)3 nonprofit. This model provides the stable base of funding and public accountability of a state agency, with the grassroots necessary to build trust with families, raise additional funding, and mobilize volunteers in support of our mission. In FY22, local First Steps partnerships leveraged $21.5 million from sources outside of state government. That’s $1.49 for every state dollar invested.
Our investments are working, but they are reaching too few children. In South Carolina, nearly half of all young children live in poverty or low-income households. In FY22, we were able to reach 37% of them, but only 5% of children in need received the more intensive services that deliver the greatest impact.
First Steps has a formula that works. With more strategic investment and permanent reauthorization, we can expand our reach, increase our impact, and ensure that all children have the opportunity to reach their highest potential.
For questions about our local Anderson County Programs, please contact:
Anderson County First Steps Partnership Office
Your support and contributions will enable us to meet our goals and improve conditions. Your generous donation will fund our mission.
Anderson County First Steps
107 Broadbent Way, P.O. Box 41, Anderson SC 29625
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