In order to thrive, children need nurturing, responsive relationships and a supportive learning environment, both within and outside the home.

Program Description

For infants, toddlers and preschoolers, the quality of care they receive is crucial to their healthy development and eventual readiness for school. Child care providers strive to provide that type of quality care, but often lack the resources that are commonly available to publicly-funded early childhood programs, such as educational materials, on-site professional development, and other support. First Steps’ Child Care Quality Enhancement (QE) is intended to produce measurable improvements in the quality of care provided to young children. Participating child care providers must serve a significant percentage of at-risk children, and are selected through a competitive process that equires a strong level of commitment to the QE process.

Program Components

  • On-site Technical Assistance (TA) at least twice monthly
  • Equipment and materials funding
  • Integration with locally available training, provided by First Steps and other partners
  • Workforce Development
  • Coordination with community partners
  • Pre/post assessments of the classroom environment and teacher-child interaction, using nationally-recognized observational tools for infant/toddler and preschool settings (ITERS,ECERS,FCCERS).

Congratulations to the Kershaw First Steps QE participants for 2014-15:

Child Care Provider Pre/Post Improvement
Beathesda Christian School From 4.89 to 5.1

QE by the Numbers, 2014-15

Child Care Providers Served 6
Number of TA Visits Provided 106
Number of Child 0-5 Enrolled in Provider Classroom 186

Having a Kershaw County First Steps technical assistance provider observe, provide feedback and offer strategies helped to sustain our classroom status. - Marie Steward, Lil Angels Daycare

 Quality Child Care


Why Training Works

Universally, child care centers and providers who participated in First Steps Quality Enhancement trategies showed significant increases in pre/post scores of assessed child care quality.
First Steps Evaluation
High Scope Educational Research Foundation, 2009

Program Results 14-15

  • Provided 114.5 hours of technical assistance to child care providers
  • Provided $3000 in materials grants to participating child care providers

Thanking our Partners

  • Kershaw County Library
  • United Way of Kershaw County

United Way Community Partner