StartSMART Resources

Below, we have provided a variety of helpful links to local and national resources, as well as additional resources for parents, providers, and business members within the community.  Select the menu link to view the corresponding section.

Local Resources

Florence 1 Schools Preschool Program

Florence School District One offers free preschool for 3 and 4 year old children. Sign up began in February 2021. Children must be 3 or 4 before September 1. Some programs require that children be Medicaid eligible. Answers to specific questions regarding preschool can be obtained by calling the Office of School Readiness at (843) 673-1129. There are multiple ways to get involved with StartSMART and we encourage every business, individual and parent to lend a hand to ensure that our community's future scholars build strong foundations to ensure their educational paths.


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Florence 1 Schools Home Visiting Program

Florence School District One offers bi-monthly and bi-weekly home visits for children ages Birth to 4 years of age. Call (843) 673-1129 for more information. Home visits include answers to parenting questions, educational books and educational toys.


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Pee Dee Community Action Agency Head Start

Head Start offers free preschool for 3 and 4 year old children. Call (843) 678-3414 for additional information.

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Florence County Library System

The library is located at 509 South Dargan Street. Literacy calendars, story time and virtual story times are available. Call (843) 292-7382 for additional information.

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Pee Dee Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Assault

The Crisis Center is located at 220 South Irby Street in Florence, SC. They offer 24-hour crisis intervention and support services to victims of sexual assault, family violence and child abuse. Satellite Crisis Centers are located in Darlington, Hartsville, Marion, Dillon, Bennettsville, Chesterfield and Kingstreet. Call (843) 669-4600 or (800) 273-1820 for additional information. Sexual Assualt Prevention Services provides 24-hour crisis intervention, individual and support group counseling, medical/legal/criminal justice advocacy and accompaniment, information and referral to victims and their families through 24-hour crisis lines and crisis centers. Call (843) 669-4694 for additional information.

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Lighthouse Ministries

Lighthouse Ministries offers free diapers and essential supplies, parenting workshops, financial assistance and budgeting skills classes. Call Veyonder Brown at (843) 629-0830 for additional information.

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Department of Social Services Voucher Program

This organization offers child care funding assistance to low income working parents. They also offer activities that make programs more available and affordable. They also rate child care centers by quality indicators. Call (800) 763-ABSC (2223) for additional information.

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HopeHealth provides high-quality health care to children and their families. The services include a billingual pediatrican, infectious disease pediatrician and primary care. Pediatric practice specializes in short wait times. A discount pharmacy is on-site. Call (843) 667-9414 for additional information.

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South Carolina Early Childhood Association

The South Carolina Early Childhood Association (SCECA) is a statewide organization designed to promote public understanding and support of early childhood development initiatives and policies throughout South Carolina.


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South Carolina First Steps

The South Carolina First Steps program offers child care scholarships to families needing a little extra help and a great deal of additional school readiness information for parents with children ages 0-5. Call Spencer Scott at (843) 662-1482


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BabyNet offers in home therapy and educational specialist services to children from Birth to age 3 who have special educational needs. It is a fantastic resource for parents who need more hands-on help with their child’s development. BabyNet matches the needs of infants with the professional resources available in their geographic location.


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SC Childcare Services

SC Childcare Services offers a wealth of resources to assist parents in finding the perfect childcare provider for their child. The site also provides resources for childcare providers including licensing and training information.

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National Resources


StartSMART is a certified partner of Text4Baby, the first mobile program designed to promote maternal and child health through text messaging. Text4Baby sends informative text messages about important pregnancy and early childhood topics such as prenatal care, labor signs, nutrition, and safe sleep. Text messages are available in English and Spanish.


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Zero to Three

Zero to Three is a national nonprofit organization that provides parents, childcare providers, and policymakers with knowledge and resources to encourage healthy development in young children. Zero to Three’s website contains articles and information that parents of young children are sure to find useful.


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Raising Healthy Children

The National Center for Disease Control (CDC) created a helpful webpage entitled “Raising Healthy Children.” This helpful guide divides children by age groups and offers great tips that will assist new parents for years to come.


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Is Your Child Ready?

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The School Foundation
320 W. Cheves Street, Suite 175 | Florence, SC 29501
843-662-9996 tel | 843-662-9866 fax

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