Child Care

Health and Safety

Keeping your baby safe is your number one concern. Get expert tips on how to keep your child safe in your home and community. You play an important role in keeping your child safe — no matter how old he or she is. The links below provide information and tools to help protect your baby and toddler from injuries and violence.
Safe Kids South Carolina is led by Children’s Trust of South Carolina, which provides dedicated and caring staff, operation support and other resources to assist in achieving our common goal: keeping your kids safe. Based on the needs of the community, this coalition implements evidence-based programs, such as car-seat checkups, safety workshops and sports clinics, that help parents and caregivers prevent childhood injuries
This site has many links to related sites pertaining to child care, child health, special needs, and parenting. You can also find each states child care licensing regulations and the National Guidelines for Out of Home Care Programs – Health and Safety Performance Standards.
Keeping Babies Safe provides education, assistance, advocacy and leadership in the development of safer children’s products and practices.

Early Learning

Early learning occurs in the period before the preschool years, before children are old enough to enter kindergarten. Any number of activities and experiences exist to aid in the cognitive and social development of young children. SCPITC has a specific focus on early childhood care and education for infants and toddlers from birth to three years old. The logos below will link you to these programs.
The mission of the Natural Learning Initiative is to help communities create stimulating places for play, learning, and environmental education – environments that recognize human dependence on the natural world. We collaborate with educators, play leaders, environmental educators, planners, politicians, and all professionals working for and with children.
The Program for Infant Toddler Care believes infant care should be based on relationship planning — not lesson planning — and should emphasize child-directed learning over adult-directed learning. Rather than detailing specific lessons for infant/toddler care teachers to conduct with infants, the PITC approach shows infant/toddler care teachers ways of helping infants learn the lessons that every infant comes into the world eager to learn.
Child Care & Early Education Research Connections launched in 2004, promotes high quality research in child care and early education and the use of that research in policy making. Our vision is that children are well cared for and have rich learning experiences, and their families are supported and able to work. The website offers research and data resources for researchers, policy makers, practitioners, and others.
Zero To Three is a national organization dedicated to advancing the healthy development of infants and toddlers, this site offers cutting-edge research, demonstrated best practices, parenting tips, publications, and conference information.
WestEd offers information on all levels of education including the infant/toddler stage. It also has links to more specific content areas such as charter schools, math and science education and standards and assessment.

Quality Care

South Carolina wants the best for its children and that means ensuring a safe, nurturing environment in which they can grow up healthy and happy. As a parent, one of the most important decisions you will ever make is choosing the right child care (daycare), but making this choice can be confusing. That’s why the first step in choosing a quality provider is to look for licensed child care. Licensed child care providers are required to meet the basic health and safety needs of children, undergo background checks, and be inspected by the Department of Social Services (DSS).Visit to learn more. You can search child care programs by name to learn about their quality level, location, hours of operation, and more!
What You Want to See in an Infant Program

Group size is limited to no more than eight babies, with at least one teacher for every four children. Each infant is assigned to a primary caregiver, allowing for strong bonds to form and so each family knows who the “point person” is for their child. Teachers show warmth and support to infants throughout the day; they make eye contact and talk to them about what is going on. Teachers pay attention and respond to babies’ cues: They hold infants or move them to a new place or position, giving babies variety in what they can look at and do. Teachers also pay close attention and talk and sing with children during routines such as diapering, feeding, and dressing. Teachers talk, sing, and read to babies throughout the day, enabling infants to become familiar with language and ultimately to recognize words and sounds. Babies eat and sleep when they are most comfortable doing so. Babies have lots of supervised floor time, where they are free to move their bodies without being restricted in a piece of equipment like a swing, bouncy seat, or exersaucer. Teachers consider infants’ individual preferences for food and styles of eating. Teachers follow standards for health and safety, including proper hand washing to limit the spread of infectious disease. Teachers can see and hear infants at all times. Parents and teachers share children’s activities and development on a daily basis, building mutual understanding and trust. Teachers welcome parents to drop by the home or center at any time.
Learn more at NAEYC
How to Choose Quality Child Care

What are the hallmarks of quality child care? How do you select a good caregiver? ZERO TO THREE has established some basic principles—discussed below—which define quality care for infants and toddlers. More and more infants and toddlers are spending time each day in some type of child care setting. All children—especially infants and toddlers—need a child care setting where they can thrive with caregivers who understand how to promote their healthy growth and development. Young children need a schedule that is responsive to their needs, including appropriate stimulation and time to rest. They need to be talked to and played with. They need love and attention. And they need the opportunity to form the kind of comfortable, secure relationship with a caregiver that will nurture their healthy emotional development.
Learn more at Zero to Three
Selecting Quality Child Care

The South Carolina Child Care Resource & Referral (SC-CCR&R) is committed to helping parents find the best information on locating quality child care, early childhood resources in their community, information on state licensing requirements, and availability of child care subsidies. It also supports families in making childcare choices for their children to prepare them for school readiness and a bright future.Choosing child care is one of the most important decisions families make, but all too often they rely on word-of-mouth. Parents are a child’s first and best teachers, but those who care for children when parents can’t be are also extremely important for a child. When parents know they have left their children in a safe, loving, and stimulating child care environment that they can count on, they don’t have to worry while they are at work. Research shows that when parents know their child is getting the kind of care children need to be happy, healthy, safe, and ready for school they are more productive employees.
Learn more at CCR&R