Child Care Scholarships

Currently, more South Carolina households than ever are eligible for scholarships from the South Carolina Department of Social Services (DSS) to help with the costs of quality child care. The newest scholarship offering is known as COVID-300.

Who can apply for a COVID-300 child care scholarship?

To qualify for a COVID-300 child care scholarship, parent(s) or guardian(s) must:
  • have a child or children between birth and 12 years of age
  • work at least 15 hours per week or attend school or a training program
  • have a gross income below 300% of the federal poverty level; for a family of four this would be up to $90,000 annually
Other Ways to Qualify:
  • Households with essential workers may also qualify for child care scholarships starting in 2023.
  • Child care scholarships are available to support children ages 13 to 18 in certain circumstances: those who have disabilities, developmental delays or who are in foster care.

How much is available?

If you qualify and are approved, tuition will be provided in direct payments to your child care provider for up to 52 weeks. A scholarship may cover all or a portion of child care costs. The child care scholarship amount you are eligible for will be determined by factors including your provider’s tuition rate, their ABC Quality level and your child’s age.

Where can it be used?

Payments will only be made to licensed, registered or exempt ABC Quality providers. Why? Children in ABC Quality-rated programs are more likely to experience high quality child care in a setting that’s suited for their needs. See if your provider is part of ABC Quality.

Scholarship Applications

Are there other categories of scholarships for child care? 

Yes. Funding to offset the cost of child care is available through other programs and categories such as TANF, homeless, dual language learners, and others. For more information, contact the Child Care Operations Center at (800) 476-0199.

Learn more about the Child Care Scholarship program, apply for a child care scholarship, or contact the Division of Early Child Care and Education for details.

View the Child Care Scholarship Program brochure in English or Spanish.

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