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SC EOC report finds state-funded, full-day 4K improves Kindergarten Readiness

Mon, 03/11/2024

South Carolina four-year-olds who participate in a state-funded, full-day 4K Child Early Reading and Development Education Program (CERDEP) are more likely to demonstrate readiness on the Kindergarten Readiness Assessment (KRA), according to the South Carolina Education Oversight Committee’s annual CERDEP evaluation and report.

“State-funded 4K is beneficial for kindergarten readiness for pupils in poverty, which is the target population of students identified as at-risk pursuant to Section 59-156-110 of the SC Code of Laws” the report states.

The EOC’s evaluation included 57,804 kindergarten students who were enrolled during the 2023-24 school year. Of those students, 34,878 were designated as pupils in poverty (students who are transient, a runaway, in foster care, homeless, or have been Medicaid-eligible or qualified for SNAP or TANF services within the last three years).

Of the designated pupils in poverty, 14,294 participated in CERDEP during the 2022-23 school year. Of those students, 37% demonstrated readiness on the KRA – an assessment used to determine if a child entering a SC public Kindergarten/5K classroom has the knowledge and skills to meet South Carolina’s kindergarten academic standards.

Of the pupils in poverty who did not participate in CERDEP, only 27% demonstrated readiness on the KRA.
The report also assessed state-funded, full-day 4K’s impact on preparing students with disabilities for kindergarten.

It was found that 19% of students with a disability who participated in CERDEP demonstrated readiness on the KRA, compared to 16% of students with disabilities who did not participate in CERDEP.

South Carolina's investment in state-funded, full-day 4K continues to grow as does the number of students participating in CERDEP. $106,698,962 was spent on 4K for the 2022-23 Fiscal Year, which was the largest investment to date.

“The EOC commends the General Assembly in prioritizing 4K education through increasing
funding to help prepare our state’s children for kindergarten.” EOC chairperson April Allen said.
The EOC is charged with evaluating CERDEP in accordance with Provisos 1.48 and 1A.26 of the
2023-24 General Appropriations Act.

To continue improving state-funded, full-day 4K – the EOC recently recommended that $14.1
million of funding be used to expand CERDEP to accommodate more students as well as
providing Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling (LETRS) training for early
childhood teachers and assistants.

The EOC has also requested access to data regarding students who attend half-day CERDEP to
more thoroughly evaluate CERDEP’s impact.
If interested in finding a publicly funded program for your preschooler, visit

Click here to read the EOC’s State-Funded Full-Day 4K annual report.