South Carolina Legislature



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Agency Goals & Strategic Plan

At the highest level, an agency's goals logically and naturally derive from the agency's mission statement. Goals state what the agency wants to accomplish over the next two or three years. They provide the basis for decisions about the nature, scope, and relative priorities of all programs and activities. Agency actions should facilitate the attainment of one or more goals.

Below are links, by year, to Excel documents that include details about the agency goals, objectives in the agency's strategic plan, and the programs that help the agency accomplish its strategic plan. Also included is an overview of the agency's strategic plan at the time the Subcommittee was meeting with the agency. This information was provided by the agency in its Annual Restructuring Report, Program Evaluation, Request for Information, or Accountability Report.

In the Strategic Plan Details Excel document, details of the goals are on one tab and details for each objective are on separate individual tabs. The Objective tabs include the person responsible for ensuring the agency accomplishes the objective; amount spent to accomplish it; performance measures; potential negative impact to the public if the agency does not accomplish it; any external or internal reviews or audits which relate to it; and the entities with whom the agency is currently working in order to accomplish the objective.

The Agency Programs and Related Objectives Excel document includes a list of the agency's programs, a description of the program, the legal standard requiring the program and the objective in the strategic plan that the program helps to accomplish.

Click on any of the links below to go to the applicable part of this webpage:

Strategic Plan Overview

[NOTE: The First Steps Board of Trustees is engaged in a strategic planning process through which new strategy and objective language, measures and timelines will be established over the coming months for implementation in FY17. The Strategies and Objectives listed below reflect the current operation of the agency.]

Goal 1 - Increase access to quality early childhood programs and resources.

  • Public Benefit/Intended Outcome: Children, families and programs will demonstrate measurable growth as a result of participation in high-quality early childhood interventions. These specific outcomes vary by program area. For example, children participating in First Steps 4K program will demonstrate measurable improvements in their language and literacy competencies; adults participating in parent education programs will demonstrate measurable improvements in their parenting and interactive literacy behaviors.
  • Responsible Employee: Julia-Ellen Davis, Interim Director (Responsible less than 1 year)

  • Strategy 1.1 - Expand the availability and quality of the First Steps 4K Program in private preschool settings.

  • Objective 1.1.1 - Increase the number of students and eligible preschool providers participating in the First Steps 4K Program.

  • Objective 1.1.2 - Ensure on-site monitoring and technical assistance of First Steps 4K providers twice monthly.

  • Objective 1.1.3 - Ensure that the early literacy competencies of all First Steps 4K providers are assessed using the Teaching Strategies GOLD as required by law.

  • Strategy 1.2 - Implement High Quality parent education and home visitation strategies (Parents as Teachers, Countdown to Kindergarten, etc.) in communities identifying these services as a need.

  • Objective 1.2.1 - Ensure that home visitation clients are served within model best-practice guidelines related to the intensity and duration of services.

  • Objective 1.2.2 - Ensure that 60% or more of home visitation client families possess two or more school readiness risk factors.

  • Objective 1.2.3 - Measure client family outcomes using the Keys to Interactive Parenting Scale and Adult-Child Interactive Reading Inventory.

  • Strategy 1.3 - Implement child care quality enhancement strategies in communities identifying these services as a need.

  • Objective 1.3.1 - Ensure that quality enhancement client centers are served within First Steps' guidelines for intensity and duration of services.

  • Objective 1.3.2 - Increase the quality of client centers as measured by the Early Childhood Environment Rating Scales.

  • Strategy 1.4 - Enhance the quality and timeliness of BabyNet service delivery and payments.

  • Objective 1.4.1 - Increase staffing designed to improve response time for incoming BabyNet clients.

  • Objective 1.4.2 - Improve the functioning and compatibility of the BRIDGES BabyNet data system.

  • Goal 2 - Enhance leadership development and capacity building.

  • Public Benefit/Intended Outcome: By enhancing leadership capacity throughout South Carolina's early childhood infrastructure, providers - including the local First Steps Partnerships will be better equipped to support the needs of high-risk children and families, leading to early school success.
  • Responsible Employee: Julia-Ellen Davis, Interim Director (Responsible less than 1 year)

  • Strategy 2.1 - Support the needs and governance capacity of local First Steps Partnerships.

  • Objective 2.1.1 - Complete site visits to each local partnership by August 1, 2015.

  • Strategy 2.2 - Develop and distribute parent-friendly means of communicating the importance of early childhood development.

  • Objective 2.2.1 - Develop and distribute an interagency description of the ready five year old.

  • Objective 2.2.2 - Launch a community education initiative designed to promote the school readiness in South Carolina.

  • Goal 3 - Strengthen interagency accountability and public-private collaboration.

  • Public Benefit/Intended Outcome: By strengthening interagency accountability and public-private collaboration, First Steps will support South Carolina in maximizing its public and private investments in young children and their families, leading to greater efficiencies and improved client outcomes.
  • Responsible Employee: Julia-Ellen Davis, Interim Director (Responsible less than 1 year)

  • Strategy 3.1 - Improve interagency communication and collaboration.

  • Objective 3.1.1 - Seat and convene a collaborative interagency group comprised by First Steps and DSS staff designed to clarify and coordinate regulatory and quality enhancement efforts supporting SC child care providers.

  • Objective 3.1.2 - Convene the Chairmen's Summit on Early Childhood Education, as a collaborative interagency effort comprised by each of the entities serving on the First Steps Board of Trustees.

  • Strategic Plan Documents & Previous Strategic Plans

  • Strategic Plan Details (Excel Spreadsheet) (2015-16)
  • Agency Programs and Related Objectives (Excel Spreadsheet) (2015-16)
  • Compare to the Goals of other Agencies (Excel Spreadsheet) (2015-16)

  • Responsible Employee Explained

    The Responsible Employee for an agency Goal may have different teams of employees to help accomplish the goal. The Responsible Employee is the person who, either alone or in conjunction with a team and appropriate approval, determines the strategy and objectives necessary to accomplish the goal.

    The Responsible Employee for an agency Objective may have employees or teams of employees to help accomplish the objective. If it is a small agency, it may be the same person responsible for the overarching goal. The same person is not required to be responsible for all the objectives. The Responsible Employee has some level of decision making power as this person, in conjunction with the team and appropriate approval, sets the performance measure targets and determines the plan for how to accomplish the objective.

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