Healthy Children

As an Alliance, we want to make sure that every child in the state has healthy development. We have selected two indicators to track success: attendance to well-child visits and percentage of children not reading at grade level.

Scroll down to find information about these indicators, potential partners, and resources for improvement.

*Disparity Gap: The gap is higher for the disadvantaged group

Help improve the health and future of children in South Carolina today

The South Carolina Early Childhood Common Agenda

The Early Childhood common agenda focuses on three areas of improvement: quality of early care and education, stronger supports, and investment and accountability; all of which will contribute to the achievement of the SCHCC Goal Improve the health of children and foster the conditions to enable future healthy decisions.

Annual Reports Joint Citizens and Legislative Committee on Children

These annual reports analyze the situation of children in the state and each year focus on a diverse set of issues such as adverse childhood experiences, prevention of toxic stress, and early childhood language and literacy. The annual report also provides updates on the immunizations, safe sleep, obesity, trauma-informed practices, and response to sexual abuse initiatives.

Top 10 opportunities for alignment

The April 28th SCHCC meeting focused on the healthy development of children. A one-page summary of the top opportunities for alignment proposed by the group is available here.

Where to start?

  1. Look at the maps of well-child visits by ZCTA and reading at grade level in third grade.
  2. Identify a hot-spot in your area.
  3. Leverage relationships and become familiar with existing assets in this hot-spot area (a non-exhaustive list of assets available here and in the April 28 presentation).
  4. Select one or more of the strategies mentioned in this summary.

Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems – Connects agencies who work with children 0-8 years old. ECCS convenes stakeholders for the child’s health on a monthly basis. Their current focus is on the prevention and treatment of toxic stress in childhood. Contact Rosemary Wilson for information of how to join the collaborative.

SC Council on Competitiveness Early Childhood Taskforce – A collaboration of business leaders, educators, students, parents and policy makers transforming the public education system so that every student graduates prepared for careers, college and citizenship.

SC Joint Council on Children and Adolescents – Established by the state general assembly to promote and facilitate activities to improve quality, responsive and cost-effective services for children, adolescents and their families.

Spartanburg Quality Counts – Rates the level of quality in childcare programs to provide parents with a tool for choosing quality childcare.

Start Smart Initiative, Florence SC – A combination of resources for families and educators to improve student outcomes.

Tri-County Cradle to Career – In Berkeley, Charleston, and Dorchester counties with the goal of every child graduating from high school.

South Carolina Children’s Hospital Collaborative – The South Carolina Children’s Hospital Collaborative [SCCHC] is a nonprofit organization representing the four children’s hospitals in South Carolina. The Collaborative seeks to improve the health, safety, and well-being of children in South Carolina through a variety of advocacy, development, and quality improvement activities.

Local Services

BabyNet – Provides services for babies with developmental delays.

Family Solutions of the Low Country/Low Country Healthy Start – Helps families with preterm babies optimize their child’s health.

Head Start – Works to increase educational and social skills for low income children.

Help me grow SC – Connects families to community resources and early childhood information in Greenville, Pickens, Charleston, Berkeley and Dorchester counties.

Nurse Family Partnership – Provides support for at-risk mothers, from prenatal to the child’s second birthday.

Parents as Teachers – Provides curriculum and access to resources for parents from contraception to kindergarten.

PASOs Early Childhood Initiative – Focuses on the wellbeing of Latino children.

QTIP – DHHS program that works on quality measures and incorporating mental health into a medical home.

Reach Out and Read – Provides books and advice to parents during regular pediatric checkups.

South Carolina Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program – Provides voluntary, evidence-based home visiting services to at-risk pregnant women and parents with young children.

South Carolina First Steps  – The state’s comprehensive early childhood initiative in all 46 counties of the state.

Children’s Trust funded programs by county – Search programs funded by the Children’s trust by county


Local Tools and data

Department of Education PASS  – The Palmetto Assessment State Standards test that is administered in 3rd grade. 2009-2014 PASS test scores are available.

SC HealthViz – Provides greater transparency in the data that results from the administration and delivery of Medicaid health services in South Carolina.

Kids Count South Carolina – Provides data and trend analysis for what is happening for children in South Carolina. (SC County Profiles, SC Race/Ethnicity Profiles)

Child opportunity maps The metropolitan areas of Greenville, Charleston and Columbia now have child opportunity maps. Neighborhoods with darker colors have higher levels of opportunity for children than neighborhoods with lighter colors.

What works SC – A clearinghouse of efforts in South Carolina that aim to improve educational outcomes.


Learn more

Consequences of Toxic Stress During Early Childhood

The growing body of scientific evidence about the power of severe childhood stress and its ability to weaken the brain’s architecture and damage lifelong health is prompting leading pediatricians to call for a seismic shift in pediatric primary care. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), which represents 60,000 physicians, is planning a comprehensive public health strategy to identify and reduce toxic stress in their youngest patients. This is seen not only as a way to improve their patients’ health across the lifespan, but also as a means of improving the nation’s health—and economy.

Impact of Early Adversity on Child Development

Early and repeated stressful experiences have the ability to modify the architecture of the developing brain, and influence mental and physical health. Adverse experiences in early childhood such as poverty, exposure to violence, abuse or neglect are linked, among others, to depression, heart disease, diabetes and alcoholism in adulthood. Early intervention can decrease or reverse the impact of toxic stress.