The General Assembly first created and funded the Child Development Education Pilot Program (CERDEP) by a budget proviso in Fiscal Year 2006-07. In 2014 the General Assembly codified the program in Act 284 and renamed it the South Carolina Child Early Reading Development and Education Program. CERDEP provides full-day early childhood education for at-risk children who are four years of age by September 1.
Both public schools and non-public childcare centers licensed by the South Carolina Department of Social Services (DSS) may participate in the program and serve eligible children. The South Carolina Department of Education (SCDE) oversees implementation of CERDEP in public schools and South Carolina Office of First Steps to School Readiness (OFS) oversees implementation in non-public childcare settings, including private childcare centers and faith-based settings.
In 2018-19, over 36,000 four-year-olds, or 62.5 percent of all four-year-olds in our state, lived in poverty. Nearly 16,500 of these children participated in either CERDEP or Head Start; therefore, at a minimum, 48 percent of four-year-olds in poverty in South Carolina received a full-day, publicly funded, education program.
The EOC documents that another 7,908 four-year-olds in poverty received either full or half-day early education programs offered by: local school districts who were not eligible to participate in CERDEP or who chose not to participate; and non-public centers operating in non-CERDEP districts for which the child’s district of residence could not be determined. With these additional children in poverty served in either a full or half-day education program, approximately 70 percent of four-year-olds in poverty received some, publicly funded educational program.
To read the latest EOC’s Report on State-funded, full day 4K, go to https://www.eoc.sc.gov/sites/default/files/Documents/4K/REVISED-FY2018-19%20%20FY2019-20%20State-Funded%20Full%20Day%204K%20Report%20As%20of%20021120.pdf
Contact Dana Yow, SC Education Oversight Committee (EOC), at 803-734-6148 with questions.