Greenville First Steps believes parents play the most visible and essential role in ensuring a child starts school feeling healthy and ready to learn. But for many parents in our area, the resources and opportunities to help children get ready aren’t easily accessible—or even available at all.
That’s why Greenville First Steps partners to promote school readiness initiatives by enhancing the work that worthwhile agencies like local schools, state agencies, churches, non-profits, and neighborhoods are already doing in our community.
A “ready” family embraces their role as their child’s first and most important teacher. We support families by nurturing steady and supportive relationships that ensure safe home environments, promote good health, and foster curiosity and excitement about learning. Check out our feature resources for families:
“Ready” educators provide children and families with high quality instruction and surroundings that address the child’s learning and development needs. Staff are trained and proficient in early care and education standards, and programs are sensitive to individual differences and cultural values. Check out our feature resources for educators:
A “ready” community accepts school readiness as a priority and supports families in their role as their child’s first and most important teacher. Businesses, faith based organizations, health care entities, social services, community groups and local governments all work together to support children’s education and long-term success. Check out our feature resources for communities:
This 7-week summer enrichment program is a partnership between Greenville First Steps and Little Steps. It provides educational, social, and community resources to teens during the summer who are either pregnant or new mothers. Program participants rotate through classes focusing on educational tutoring, labor and delivery, infant care, nutrition, peer group counseling, and parenting.
Through partnerships with Greenville Health System, Greenville County Library System, and Greenville County School District, BABYSTEPS provides these classes along with transportation, and childcare for the children of these new mothers.
One of the biggest challenges for new parents is finding affordable quality child care so their family can return to school or work. Greenville First Steps and the United Way of Greenville County provide resources to help families overcome this barrier, reducing the number of those who resort to low cost, often unsafe, options for their children.
The scholarship program provides childcare vouchers to teenage parents and young working families so that they can enroll their child in a safe, nurturing environment. Since 2010, over 500 families have participated in the program and nearly $2.7 million in scholarship funds have been awarded.
Funding priorities include teen parents who are currently enrolled in Greenville County Public Schools, participants in the Greenville Nurse Family Partnership program, and low-income families who plan to return to work.Center Locations More than 20 providers have been approved as centers for the Greenville First Steps’ childcare scholarships. At this time there is a waiting list, but we encourage families to apply both to be part of a center and for a scholarship. For the instructions to apply and a full list and a map of the centers, please CLICK HERE.
Nurse Family Partnership (NFP) is a nurse home visitation program, with 30 years of longitudinal research, that is designed to improve the health, well-being and self sufficiency of low-income, first time parents and their children. Home visits span a 2 ½ year timeframe and begin prenatally and continue through the second year of the child’s life. Visits range from weekly to every other week but can be altered if the nurse feels there is a need for more visits. Bachelor’s degree-level nurses utilize guidelines, clinical consultation, and intervention resources to implement the programs in a way that is adaptable to each family.
Locally, NFP is a partnership between the Greenville Health System and Greenville First Steps. In 2010, it expanded to serve 125 families and in 2011, an additional 50 families were added to the program. Funding is provided by the Duke Endowment (7 year commitment), Greenville First Steps, the United Way of Greenville County (3 year commitment) and the Children’s Trust of South Carolina. Additional funding was provided through Hollingsworth Funds, the Community Foundation of Greenville and Greenville Women Giving.
To learn more about this proven program, visit the Nurse Family Partnership National Service Office website here.
Project Pinwheel is a collaborative project to help spread the good news of the work being done in our community and to promote the little things every family can do to help keep children safe and secure. Project Pinwheel is made up of over 200 partners, including childcare providers, the YMCA of Greenville, A Child’s Haven, Greenville Health System, the United Way of Greenville County, Pendleton Place for Children and Families, Greenville County School District, and our incredibly engaged faith community. The county-wide campaign is sponsored by our generous business community and local individual donors.
Did you know? Pinwheels are a symbol of healthy, happy childhoods. This uplifting image draws the attention away from the problem of abuse and neglect to the solution of effective prevention. Pinwheel gardens are a visible reminder of the work our community is doing to support children and families. In 2014, over 35,000 pinwheels were planted by children, families, and community members. That’s one pinwheel for every child under the age of six in Greenville County.
Thanks to a partnership with Spin(a)tours, you can tour different areas of a typical, high quality child development center and kindergarten; a safe, engaging home environment; and various learning excursions.
Childcare Center Tour
When visiting a childcare center, here are some things to keep in mind:
What does a nurturing, engaging home look like? Thanks to a partnership between Greenville First Steps, Safe Kids Upstate and LiveWell Greenville, the following virtual home tours provide safety tips, paired with healthy and engaging activities.
There are all kinds of great learning opportunities throughout the community, but how can your child get the most out of these experiences? The following virtual tours provide tips and insight into what various locations have to offer.
Read Greenville is a community wide awareness program designed to help spread the word about the importance of reading daily. Through a collaborative partnership with local organizations, Read Greenville educates the community about the importance of literacy, provides strategies and ideas for engaging children and adults, and gives the tools necessary to create a literacy filled world for our residents. Greenville First Steps encourages all families to read to their children daily. Whether it is a child's favorite book that you've read 300 times or a magazine that came in the mail, find time every day to sit together and explore the world of reading.
Tips for Reading to Your Children