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South Carolina 4K First Steps

4-Year-Old Kindergarten at Aspire Academy

We are thrilled to share our partnership with South Carolina First Steps 4-year-old Kindergarten program at our Lexington and Columbia Academies. With this partnership, we are able to provide FREE educational services to ten children, in a small-group setting at each location.

What’s even more exciting is that we provide a year-round program for our 4K students. Our program runs August – July, Monday-Friday from 9:00am – 3:30pm.


Space is limited so we encourage families to register early.

Required documents needed to apply: birth certificate, Medicaid card or proof of income, two proofs of residence, and SC immunization record.


Aspire Academy also provides a discounted rate of $50.00 per week for our 4K families who need care before and after the program. Our hours of operation are 7:00am – 6:00pm.


Lexington Academy (#2):
320 South Lake Drive, Lexington, SC 29072

Columbia Academy (#3):

1535 Lorick Avenue, Columbia, SC 29203

To qualify during the 2024 – 2025 school year, your child must:

  • Be 4 years old on or before Sept. 1, 2024,
  • Be eligible for the free- or reduced-price lunch program or Medicaid, AND
  • Live in one of the following school districts: Aiken, Abbeville, Allendale, Anderson 2, Anderson 5, Anderson 3, Bamberg 1, Bamberg 2, Barnwell 19, Barnwell 29, Barnwell 45, Berkeley, Calhoun, Cherokee, Chester, Chesterfield, Clarendon 1, Clarendon 2, Clarendon 3, Colleton, Darlington, Dillon 3, Dillon 4, Dorchester 4, Edgefield, Fairfield, Florence 1, Florence 2, Florence 3, Florence 4, Florence 5, Georgetown, Greenwood 50, Greenwood 51, Greenwood 52, Hampton 1, Hampton 2, Horry, Jasper, Kershaw, Laurens 55, Laurens 56, Lee, Lexington 2, Lexington 3, Lexington 4, Marion, Marlboro, McCormick, Newberry, Oconee, Orangeburg 3, Orangeburg 4, Orangeburg 5, Richland 1, Saluda, Spartanburg 3, Spartanburg 4, Spartanburg 6, Spartanburg 7, Sumter, Union, Williamsburg and York 1.
  • Your child may qualify if you live in one of these districts :Anderson 1, and 4, Beaufort, Charleston, Dorchester 2, Greenville, Lancaster, Lexington 1, Lexington/Richland 5, Pickens, Richland 2, Spartanburg 1, 2 and 5, and York 2, 3 and 4.
    Recent changes in eligibility allow age and income eligible students living in those districts to enroll in the full day, tuition free First Steps 4K classes in our participating PILOT centers! Participating PILOT centers may serve eligible 4K students residing in all school districts of SC. Slots are limited in the identified PILOT centers


SC First Steps Program is not day care or child care; but rather a full day four year old kindergarten program housed in faith based and private child care settings due to limited space in the districts public schools.

The SC First Steps to School Readiness partners with high-quality private for-profit, private non-profit, and other eligible providers to expend four year old kindergarten programs through the year. Programs will focus on the developmental and learning supports that children must have in order to be ready for school.

Long term gains in: Cognition, knowledge, Social & Independence skills, and motor skills. All of which leads to academic success.

The 4K First Steps program at Aspire Early Learning Academy operates from 9:00am – 3:30 pm Monday – Friday. Our program provides students with a full academic year beginning in and operating through July, providing students with year-round education.

There is no cost to enroll in the full day 4K First Steps program. The 4K program is Monday – Friday from 9:00am – 3:30pm.

If you need before and/or after care, the weekly tuition fee is $50.00, which is submitted to Aspire Early Learning Academy.

Our programs do not currently provide transportation.

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