First Steps grant expands childcare access in Spartanburg, Kershaw.


South Carolina's First Steps program has awarded grants totaling $900,000 to convert public facilities into pre-school learning centers to Spartanburg's Highland Community Partnership and the town of Kershaw Partnership.

The grant, made possible through $1 million allocated by state legislators to the Child Early Reading Development and Education Program earlier this year, seeks to remedy the "child care deserts" affecting 42% of the state's population, according to a news release.

Spartanburg's $300,000 grant was gifted to the Bethlehem Center in Spartanburg at a press conference May 20. The soon-to-be daycare center at 400 Highland Avenue was donated to the city of Spartanburg and managed by community nonprofit the Bethlehem Center. It is expected to open this fall with a First Steps 4K room and bus transportation.

"Community leaders in Spartanburg and all across the state have come together to envision what it would look like if the public sector and the private...

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