WHEREAS, child care is also known as pre-school, early care and education, child development, school-age child care, and day care, but for consistency, will hereafter be referred to collectively as "child care"; and

WHEREAS, considerable public investment in research in the neurological, behavioral and social sciences has led to major advances in understanding the conditions that are critical to the future success of children; and

WHEREAS, some of the most consistent findings in scientific literature link the quality of child care that children receive to a positive effect on early learning, cognitive and language development, greater academic success, and a decreased likelihood of drug and alcohol use and other problem behaviors; and

WHEREAS, scientific evidence supports the premise that wise public investment in child care can increase the likelihood of favorable results for children, as well as a return to the community in the form of increased earnings; and

WHEREAS, a coordinated child care system will eliminate fragmentation by establishing linkages that maximize resources and promote more effective planning to assist families in accessing affordable quality child care when they need it; and

WHEREAS, State Department of Education is the state entity responsible for establishing curriculum and academic standards for school child care programs; and

WHEREAS, the South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (SCDHHS) is the administering agency for the provision of federally and state-subsidized child care services and the promotion of quality child care programs.

NOW, THEREFORE, I do hereby designate the South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services as the lead agency for child care to:

  1. Coordinate all current state child care expenditures and programs to increase the efficiency and impact of these resources consistent with the state's child care priorities.

  2. Administer all new funding sources of child care funds and programs to leverage the state's financial and programmatic resources for maximum efficiency and impact.

  3. Establish and administer the South Carolina Child Care Coordinating Council. The purpose of the Council is to utilize statewide child care expertise and interest groups to share information, exchange ideas, provide input on state plans and develop and coordinate strategies to improve the child care system. The director of the South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services or his/her designee shall chair the sixteen member Council that will be comprised of the following agency and organization directors or their designees:

    South Carolina Department of Education
    South Carolina Department of Social Services
    South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control
    South Carolina Department of Disabilities and Special Needs
    South Carolina Head Start Collaboration Office
    South Carolina Office of First Steps
    South Carolina Office of the Governor

    The Council membership will also include one representative from the Success by Six programs, a member from The Alliance for South Carolina's Children, one representative from the faith-based community service organizations, and at least one member representing child care providers, with the remaining members to be selected by the Council.

  4. Develop a statewide system for monitoring and providing technical assistance to child care providers that makes optimal use of the state's resources to improve the quality of child care.

  5. Develop a state child care strategic plan that delineates goals, objectives, strategies, timelines, principal partners and resources to support and expand accessible quality child care. The plan should build on existing planning initiatives and be submitted to the Governor no later than July 1, 2002, and revised annually thereafter.

This Order shall take effect immediately.



Last Updated: Tuesday, July 7, 2009 at 10:33 A.M.