Kindergarten Readiness

The Need | Data | Key Factors | What We’re Doing

The Need

Early childhood learning sets the foundation for school success. Children exposed to quality early learning are able to capitalize on their cognitive and behavioral skills to succeed in kindergarten.

The Kindergarten Readiness network has agreed upon the following vision to guide the network’s efforts:

Kindergarten Readiness involves children, families, early care
and educational environments, schools and communities.

  • Families and caregivers encourage the physical, social and emotional, cognitive, and language development of children.
  • Early Childhood practitioners partner with children and their families using evidence-based, child-centered, and developmentally and culturally appropriate curricula and practices.
  • Communities create a system for access and support resources and institutions that will promote and support the development of the whole child. 

All are necessary so that all children will experience kindergarten success.


The Data
Percentage of Kindergartners NOT Proficient in Vocabulary
Percentage of Kindergartners NOT Proficient by Subtest
Percentage of SC 4 Year Olds Not Enrolled in Publicly Funded Pre-K
k chart 1
Key Factors
  • South Carolina ranks 39th in the nation in child well-being, according to KIDS Count, a project of the Annie E. Casey Foundation. While this is an increase from the previous several years’ rankings, far too many children still don’t have a clear pathway to success. This disadvantage starts at birth, where, of the 9,500 births in 2015 in the tri-county region, 42% were covered by Medicaid.
  • More than 36,000 children live in poverty in the region, and more than 13,000 of those live in an area of concentrated poverty. Families who live in poverty may not be able to afford to send their children to Pre-K.  That means children begin school already in a disadvantaged position.
  • Children’s early years form the foundation for their academic and social success, and those that start kindergarten developmentally behind tend to stay behind. All children, especially our most under-resourced, need equitable access to early learning opportunities, high-quality childcare, a consistent medical home and early intervention for developmental issues so they can start school ready.
  • 2 in 3 (4,066 of 6,070) under-resourced 4 year olds were not served by a publicly funded early childhood education program in 2014.
What We’re Doing

TCCC created the Kindergarten Readiness Network, which is convened by Trident United Way, that has gathered and used data to understand child development issues present in the local community. The group continues to show strong leadership in identifying and engaging partners, with plans to undertake specific projects with the input and involvement of families, caregivers and other service providers.

  • To learn more, contact Kate Buckholz, Trident United Way’s Education Innovation Director,  at  or 843.740.9000.

Proficient in Social &
Emotional Development

Kindergarten Readiness
Network Partners

“Children who enter school with early skills, such as a basic knowledge of math and reading, are more likely than their peers to experience later academic success, attain higher levels of education, and secure employment. Absence of these and other skills may contribute to even greater disparities down the road.”

Child Trends