Policy Strategies & Innovations Link copied!

Innovation Name Innovation Type Innovation Subtype Features at a Glance Strategy Summary
South Carolina State Sales Tax Dedicated Funding Streams Sales Tax

In 2021, this sales tax was a source of over $50 million in funding for pre-K

In 1984, South Carolina enacted the Education Improvement Act, which dedicates 1 percent of state sales taxes to education programs, including grants to its pre-K program for four-year-olds. In 2021, the state dedicated over $50 million from sales tax funds to expand pre-K services.

learn more: south carolina encyclopedia


South Carolina State House. (2019). Executive Budget State of South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster.

Education Commission of the States. (2018). How States Fund Pre-K.

South Carolina Early Childhood Integrated Data System Infrastructure Systems Data Systems

Early Childhood Integrated Data System

The South Carolina Early Childhood Advisory Council's Data Governance Work Group has hosted the SC Early Childhood Integrated Data System (ECIDS)since its creation in 2018. ECIDS currently linking data on early childhood programs and services provided to children under 6 in the state on two specific initiatives. First, the South Carolina Early Learning Extension is adding early childhood services data (e.g., Head Start Grantees, Child Development Education Pilot Program, Vouchers, etc.) from multiple agencies and programs (e.g., The Department of Social Services, Department of Education, First Steps, and Head Start) and the state’s K-12 Statewide Longitudinal Data System through unique identifiers. Second, using data from South Carolina’s Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Office, the Palmetto Drive to Five Data Dashboard is linking individual data on services for children and families (e.g., Medicaid, SNAP, TANF, Head Start, and First Steps) to create an unduplicated count of children across agencies. The ECIDS data linking system will eventually become a warehouse that stores consolidated data.

The system was created by legislation in 2018 under §63-11-1725, and is funded by federal grants, including the Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems (SLDS) Grant and Preschool Development Grant–Birth Through 5 (PDG B-5).

Learn More: SC Early Childhood Integrated Data System

Justia US Law. (2018). South Carolina Code Section 63-11-1725 (2018) - Advisory council.
New America. (2023). Early Childhood Integrated Data Systems: A South Carolina Case Study.

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Demographics Link copied!

State population

5,282,634 Source U.S. Census, 2022

Rural %

32.1% Source U.S. Census, 2020

Urban %

67.9% Source U.S. Census, 2020

Number of children age 0-4

282,964 Source KIDS COUNT, 2021

Poverty levels – children 0-8 below 200% poverty

44% Source KIDS COUNT, 2021

Median family income among households with children

$71,900.00 Source KIDS COUNT, 2021

Unemployment rate

3.3% Source U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, December 2022

Unemployment rate of parents

3% Source KIDS COUNT, 2021

Children under age 6 with all available parents in the labor force

68% Source KIDS COUNT, 2021

Children living in households with a high housing cost burden

25% Source KIDS COUNT, 2021

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Child population by race and ethnicity Source KIDS COUNT, 2021

Race and Ethnicity

  • American Indian and Alaska Native (.5%)
  • Asian (2%)
  • Black or African American (29%)
  • Hispanic or Latino (10%)
  • Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander (.5%)
  • Two or More Races (4%)
  • White, not Hispanic or Latino (54%)
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Political Landscape Link copied!

Source: Ballotpedia 2023

Early Childhood Education Programs Link copied!

Public pre-K program name

Education Improvement Act Child Development Program (EIA 4K) Source: NIEER 2023

Public pre-K program name

Child Early Reading Development and Education Program (CERDEP) Source: NIEER 2023

Universal or targeted pre-K policy

Targeted Pre-K Policy (4-Year-Olds) Source: NIEER 2023

Universal or targeted pre-K policy

Targeted Pre-K Policy (4-Year-Olds) Source: NIEER 2023

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Percent of 3-Year-Old Children Enrolled in Public Early Childhood Education Programs Source 2021


  • 3-year-old children enrolled in state-funded public pre-K (0.40%)
  • 3-year-old children enrolled in Head Start (12%)
  • Other/none (87.6%)
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Percent of 4-Year-Old Children Enrolled in Public Early Childhood Education Programs Source 2021


  • 4-year-old children enrolled in state-funded public pre-K (43%)
  • 4-year-old children enrolled in Head Start (6%)
  • Other/none (51%)
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Workforce Link copied!

2017–2019 Median Hourly Wages Source CSCCE 2018, 2020


  • Child care workers
  • Preschool teachers
  • Preschool or child care center directors
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Funding Sources Link copied!

Federal and State Early Childhood Education Funding (in millions) Source First Five Years Fund, 2022

Funding source

  • Head Start and Early Head Start Funding ($126.7)
  • CCDBG & Mandatory Funds ($137.3)
  • CCDBG State Match ($7.6)
  • CCDBG COVID Relief Allocations – CARES, CRRSE, ARPA (CCDF & Stabilization) ($954.6)
  • State-Funded Pre-K ($98.2)
  • MIECHV ($8.2)
  • IDEA Part C ($9.7)
  • IDEA Part B, Sec 619 ($11.1)
  • TANF Early Learning and Care Expenditures ($31.9)
  • Preschool Development Grant Birth through Five ($14.5)
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Funding acronyms: CCDBG: Child Care and Development Block Grant; CARES Act: Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act; CRRSE Act: Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations; ARPA: American Rescue Plan Act; CCDF: Child Care and Development Fund; MIECHV: Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program; IDEA: Individuals with Disabilities Education Act; TANF: Temporary Assistance for Needy Families

The COVID Funding Cliff

All federal COVID relief allocations, including funding authorized by the CARES, CRRSE, and ARPA bills, must be fully spent by September 2024. An analysis from the Century Foundation shows this loss of funds could cause more than 3 million children to lose access to child care nationwide – including more than 49,000 children in South Carolina.