Greenville First Steps is a local non-profit that uses state, federal, and private funds to support programs to measurably improve school readiness outcomes for children. We achieve this goal by partnering with public and private organizations (including churches, schools, neighborhoods, childcare providers, and businesses). Our goal is to support families as their child’s first and most important teacher, to ensure children enter school on track and ready to succeed.
South Carolina First Steps was created by the legislature in 1999. Since our inception we have helped nearly 340,000 of South Carolina’s youngest children and their families get ready for school.
Nearly one in seven S.C. children are assessed as not ready for first grade. Research studies repeatedly show that children who arrive unprepared for first grade’s challenges have a difficult time catching up and succeeding throughout the rest of their school years. Many of these students drop out of school or do not find fulfilling, productive jobs after high school as a result of their slow start.
A child’s readiness is determined by many critical components including good health, nurturing parenting, and positive learning environments. High quality early learning experiences in the home, childcare, and school settings allow children to thrive at a time when the brain is most formative.
Our mission: To serve as a convener of early childhood champions to coordinate services to measurably improve the early childhood development of all children in Greenville County
Our vision: Families, early childhood educators, and community partners are equipped with the tools and resources needed to ensure children enter kindergarten ready to succeed.
Our values: Greenville First Steps Board of Directors and staff recognize the following values as key to achieving our goals:
More children arrive at kindergarten ready for success.
Greenville First Steps reports improvement in school readiness measure for rising kindergarteners at board identified elementary schools (using corresponding attendance area zip codes by October 2025.