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Parents in Richland County have options when it comes to finding a great public Pre-K program for their four-year-olds.

pre-k registration time

Public School 4K

Richland County school districts offer a range of child development and pre-kindergarten programs, many of them free for families.

Program availability and registration requirements vary by district. Click the school district names below to learn more about the pre-kindergarten programs they offer.

First Steps 4K

4k first steps
Click image above to check your eligibility and to find a participating center near you.

There are 31 private child care centers in Richland County that offer free four-year-old kindergarten through a partnership with SC First Steps. To qualify during the 2021-2022 school year, your child must:

  • Be 4 years old on or before Sept. 1, 2021
  • Be eligible for Medicaid, free- or reduced-price lunch program, SNAP/TANF recipient OR be experiencing homelessness, transiency, or in foster care
  • Be a South Carolina Resident

Still not sure if pre-kindergarten is right for your child?

The long-term benefits of high-quality early education were studied in the Perry Preschool Project. The graphic below highlights just a few of the differences they found between people who attended preschool and those who didn’t.

positive effects of early education
Infographic created by Column Five for Rasmussen College. SOURCE: