Emergency program provides discounted childcare to South Carolina's essential workers


Due to limited funding, South Carolina will stop accepting Essential Worker discounted childcare applications this Friday, May 8. Essential workers are asked to submit applications for childcare assistance by 5:00 p.m. this Friday. So, if you are eligible -- act quickly!

We are proud to support essential workers like you! YOU are our community's heroes, and help keep us healthy and safe during this challenging time. Now let us be there for you.

If you are an essential worker in need of childcare, we can help you with South Carolina's new Childcare Assistance program.  

Discounted childcare for essential workers
As part of the CARES Act, The state of South Carolina is providing financial assistance for childcare for essential workers. This means South Carolina will pay for a portion of your childcare through August 30, 2020. Essential workers will only be responsible for a weekly co-pay. 

Who qualifies?
Families can receive financial aid for childcare through August 30, 2020 if they:

  • Working at an essential business (as defined in the SC Executive Order)
  • Need childcare to continue to work

How do I get started?

    1. Contact us immediately if you need care! For a listing of schools, try our Location Finder.
    2. Complete a Childcare CARES Application.
    3. Email the completed application to DSS at christi.jeffcoat@dss.sc.gov. In the email, include your first and last name, phone number, and the occupation/business where you work.
    4. DSS will contact you once they've processed your application. This could take up to 15 days.

If you have additional questions about this program, please contact Christi Jeffcoat at the DSS office at 803-898-2741 or christi.jeffcoat@dss.sc.gov

Help spread the word
Many essential workers in need of quality, affordable childcare don't know about this new program. Help other essential workers get the support they need by spreading the word today.


Online Resources

Find a schoolLocation Finder

Learn more > South Carolina Childcare Assistance Program FAQs

Download > CARES Childcare Application 

Read > Listing of Essential Staff Occupations


Complete Listing of Essential Staff Occupations 

List obtained from SC DSS website

  • Emergency Services
    Police officers, paramedics, EMTs, firefighters, 911 call center workers, county and city jail staff 

  • Healthcare and Public Health Workers

  • State Government Programs
    Essential staff who are required to report to work

  • Financial Services (essential in-office staff)
    Banks, lending offices 

  • Food and Agriculture
    Grocery store employees, pharmacy employees, some restaurants, farmers, food processing employees, food and beverage service staff

  • Gas Station Workers

  • Childcare Workers

  • Mechanics

  • Water and Wastewater Employees

  • Energy
    Utility workers, engineers, telecommunications 

  • Chemical Section
    Lab workers, pharmaceuticals, distribution facilities

  • Transit Services
    City bus drivers

Find a School  

With nearly 30 open schools in South Carolina, there's a Sunshine House near you!

Location Finder


How do I know if I'm an Essential Worker?

For a full list of essential businesses, read the SC Executive Order.

Essential Businesses List

Find Your Sunshine House