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SC BOO$T Program Provides Millions in Wage Bonuses to Child Care Professionals

Contact: 803-898-7602

SC BOO$T Program Provides Millions in Wage Bonuses to Child Care Professionals

June 5, 2024 – Since the launch of SC BOO$T, a federally funded pilot program offering one-time wage bonuses to South Carolina’s child care professionals, $6.1 million in bonuses have been distributed to 6,671 child care professionals in South Carolina.

The success of SC BOO$T highlights the agency’s ongoing dedication to strengthening the child care workforce by ensuring that professionals in the field receive additional financial support while caring for the state’s youngest citizens.

SC BOO$T was launched on February 12, 2024, by the South Carolina Department of Social Services (SCDSS) SC Endeavors program in response to data indicating low wages for the early childhood workforce. This has a direct impact on turnover and providing high-quality environments for children and families.

“We have already received so many positive comments on the impact of SC BOO$T,” said Melissa Starker, SC Endeavors Director. “Child care teachers and directors tell us it is helping them increase wages, in turn helping with retention. It’s not too late for eligible early childhood professionals to apply to the SC BOO$T program.”    

Child care professionals are also sharing impact stories including:

  • “The bonus will help motivate teachers I think to continue working in child care and it will show them that the state is recognizing that there is a struggle to keep teachers in child care.”
  • “This will help those of us who are living paycheck to paycheck to be able to save or help with more bills. We love what we do, but the compensation isn’t always enough.”
  • “This bonus will help me to continue providing quality care to our greatest asset- the children. Thank you, DSS, for working collaboratively and thinking outside the box to help the child care industry!”

SC BOO$T is open to individuals who work in a DSS-regulated program, have been employed within the same program for six months or more, and are in a direct care position. To be eligible, applicants must have verified employment within the SC Endeavors Registry, current Career Ladder level, and must complete the salary/wage information in the registry. Direct care staff must earn $24 per hour or less, while directors or family/group providers must earn no more than $30 per hour.

SCDSS is using federal ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) supplemental funds for this one-time pilot program as allowed under federal guidelines. Data obtained from this one-time benefit could be used in potential program development and future funding requests to the South Carolina General Assembly.

Child care professionals can still apply for SC BOO$T. For more information about the program, visit Professionals who have questions about SC BOO$T can contact SC Endeavors at 864-250-8581 or email


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