What is the Child Care Scholarship program?

The Child Care Scholarship program makes child care more affordable for families by making all or a portion of provider payments directly to child care providers so parents can work or attend school or training. Provider payments are received promptly, often 3–4 days after online submission, and participation unlocks access to grants and other support through ABC Quality.

The Child Care Scholarship program helps families afford child care so parents can work, go to school, or get job training.  More than 1,900 child care providers across the state are enrolled to accept scholarships.

How to Qualify

Qualifying South Carolina families may have access to child care scholarships from the South Carolina Department of Social Services (DSS). The primary scholarship program at this time is known as COVID-300

What Families Need to Know

To qualify for a COVID-300 child care scholarship, parent(s) or guardian(s) must:
  • have a child or children between birth and 12 years of age
  • work at least 15 hours per week or attend school or a training program
  • have a gross income below 300% of the federal poverty level; for a family of four this would be up to $83,250 annually
Other Ways to Qualify:
  • Households with essential workers may also qualify for child care scholarships starting in 2023.
  • Child care scholarships are available to support children ages 13 to 18 in certain circumstances: those who have disabilities, developmental delays or who are in foster care.

Ready to Apply?

Child care scholarship eligibility requirements and online applications are available in the DSS Benefits Portal.

Child Care Scholarship Applications

Have questions?

If you have child care scholarship or eligibility questions, please email scchildcare@dss.sc.gov for assistance. 

Contact Information

Child Care Operations Center
Hours: Monday - Friday, 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM, Closed on State Holidays
Client Number: (800) 476-0199
Provider Number: (800) 262-4416
Complaint Line: (800) 763-2223

Mailing Address:
Child Care Scholarship Program
P.O. Box 100160
Columbia, SC 29202-3160