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What are SC’s quality ratings and what do they mean?

Child _pouring

ABC Quality is a voluntary rating and improvement program that helps South Carolina parents find high quality child care. Child care providers can opt to participate in ABC Quality to demonstrate that they meet, exceed or surpass basic child care standards.

The program is administered by the Division of Early Care and Education of the SC Department of Social Services. The three rating levels — and what you can expect during child care experiences — are as follows:

Surpasses basic requirements: Level A and A+

Providers at this level meet and surpass Level C and Level B expectations and standards to the highest level.


  • Highest standards for teacher education and certification
  • Enhanced teaching and learning activities all day
  • Individualized learning based on children's abilities
  • Expanded health and safety policies
  • Family involvement opportunities

Exceeds basic requirements: Level B and B+

Providers at this level meet and exceed Level C expectations to a higher standard.


  • Active engagement between teachers and children
  • Learning activities based on child play
  • A well equipped, organized setting with multiple learning centers
  • A mix of indoor and outdoor learning environments
  • A posted schedule of regular meals, naps, and active play

Meets basic requirements: Level C

Providers meet mandated standards of child care and have demonstrated a commitment to quality improvement by participating in ABC Quality.


  • Compliance with health and safety regulations
  • Age-appropriate activities
  • Positive conversations between teachers, children and families

Learn more about child care quality

ABC Quality is a resource for South Carolina parents. Tap into important child care and development information that helps even the youngest South Carolinians thrive. Search for a child care provider or learn about the state’s voluntary quality rating system. ABC Quality is helping make child care experiences exceptional for South Carolina’s youngest citizens.

By ABC Quality Team on October 25, 2016