Marion County First Steps partners with SC DSS to offer childcare scholarships – Florence, South Carolina

Florence, South Carolina 2020-09-16 23:16:59 –

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MARION, S.C. (WBTW) – Marion County First Steps partnered with South Carolina DSS to offer 28 slots for child care scholarships in Marion County. The scholarship will go to working parents of kids from birth to 3 years old. Those funds can be used at any childcare center that has a ‘B’ or higher according to ABC Quality standards.

Spencer Scott, Marion County First Steps Executive Director, says these scholarships will help both parents and daycare businesses.

“What we found is that our families don’t have daycare and unfortunately because of the coronavirus some of daycares in Marion County are closed,” Scott says.

“Because if you have a daycare in the home from 1 to 6 kids, you are eligible to receive that scholarship. That means you’re going to get paid each week, each month, by the year for that child. So you’ll be guaranteed to receive those funds for one year for that child. So it helps them stay in business as well,” Scott continues.

Parents must be in school or working along with other requirements in order to receive the scholarship funds.

“Parents just have to come in and do a preliminary application and once that preliminary application is approved they will fill out a DDS application that is sent down to Columbia and Columbia will make the final decision of approval for those scholarships,” Scott says.

Scott says the organization is also looking to add board members in hopes of helping out more families.

“We’re asking businesses to help donate to Marion County First Steps to expand the number of children we can reach in Marion County. We are limited because each scholarship costs us $3,500 and with that $3,500 we are able to serve 28 kids,” Scott says.

“If we can the business community to get behind this and educate our youngest leaners in the community then they will be better off by the time they reach the 1st grade in school and they will not be behind.”

Remember, parents interested in participating for the Child Care Scholarship program will need to fill out a pre-application to see if they meet scholarship requirements. Parents who would like to apply can call 843-629-0202 to schedule an appointment.  

Marion County First Steps is also currently looking for board members who are business owners and healthcare providers, as well as those who in faith-based communities. People interested in serving as a board member can call 843-629-0202. 

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