Surveying the Early Child Care Landscape in the Tri-County
You may have seen some of the local statistics:
- In Berkeley, Charleston, and Dorchester counties, 60% of children are entering school without the social and emotional development they need to be prepared to learn.
- 90% of brain development occurs during the first five years of life, yet nearly 90% of public investment in children occurs after age five.
- Over 60% of children in the Tri-County are not proficient in reading in the third grade, a key indicator of high school graduation and career readiness.
So, what does it take to get every child ready to learn by day one of kindergarten? Quality and affordable child care is a good place to start. Child care is the primary place children in our area receive care, development and educational support. The first five years of a child’s life is an absolutely critical timeframe for development. A supportive environment matters. “With less than 50% of the child care programs in the Tri-County area participating in quality initiatives, there is great potential in this area to improve the child care landscape and, thereby, child outcomes,” says Dr. Vasanthi Rao from the University of South Carolina.
Our community can address child care together. Zip code by zip code, child care options differ in terms of quality and affordability. For example, not all registered child care providers meet standards of quality. Looking at the big picture supported by zip code-level data, Trident United Way, its partners and volunteers are committed to creating bold community change.
Research points to connections between quality child care and workforce development, health outcomes, and school readiness. United Way’s funded partners see these connections firsthand. That’s why the Kindergarten Readiness Network is invested in developing resource hubs for families with young children. (In partnership with Tri-County Cradle to Career, Trident United Way is facilitating the Kindergarten Readiness Network, aligning community partners and volunteers committed to ensuring every child has the skills needed to succeed in kindergarten.)
Together, Trident United Way and its strategic partners are committed to identifying and addressing our community’s most pressing needs, for our neighbors today and the Tri-County community of tomorrow.
Learn more about kindergarten readiness and Trident United Way.