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South Carolina Department of Social Services

V. Susan Alford, State Director  

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What is the Purpose of the Division of Early Care and Education?

The Division of Early Care and Education manages all state and federal child care programs, and serves as the single point of contact for federal child care dollars in South Carolina. The mission of the division is to make child care more available and affordable to parents, and to increase the quality of care for all children in the state.

What Programs and Services are Offered?

  • Child Care Licensing ensures the health and safety of children in child care facilities subject to laws and Licensing regulations. Licensing includes Fire and Health Safety.
  • The ABC Quality Program is SC’s Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS). It is a voluntary program that helps providers achieve high standards of quality in caring for the children they serve.
  • The SC Voucher Program makes payments to child care providers to care for children from low-income families so their parents can work.
  • Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) gives meal reimbursements to eligible child care and adult care providers for serving nutritious meals and snacks as a part of their program.
  • The Center for Child Care Career Development is the professional development system for South Carolina’s child care workforce.
  • The Head Start Collaboration Office is funded through a federal grant and includes a Collaboration Director, who encourages partnerships between Head Start and other agencies involved in the care and education of young children.
  • The Social Services Block Grant Program provides federal funding to states to support social services programs that help protect children and fragile adults. The money for these grants is given to each state based upon their population numbers. DSS uses the money to fund needed services, with many of them being provided through local community agencies and organizations.

How to Apply?

For information on how to apply for any of the programs and services listed above, please visit the Division of Early Care and Education website.

Hotlines

  • To Report Child or Adult Abuse and Neglect call your local county office:
  • For information on SNAP benefits, contact DSS CONNECT at 1-800-616-1309 or any local DSS office during normal business hours.
  • To report Vendor/Retailer/DSS Employee Fraud
  • Report State Agency Fraud (Office of the Inspector General)