What is ABC Quality?

ABC Quality takes the guesswork out of child care. Look to participating programs for a higher level of care and focus on healthy development.

If a provider is in ABC Quality, the state’s voluntary quality rating and improvement system, expect the highest quality services. Every program that has earned a rating does more than provide the basics. Having a letter rating (of any level) is proof a program goes above and beyond to provide the kind of child care children need to thrive.

 

How Ratings Work

Child care quality ratings are based on evidence-based criteria and aspects of the program that support the healthiest child development. Programs are evaluated and earn ratings from A (the best) to C (better than average). Simply having an ABC Quality rating means a program exceeds expectations for the care they provide to children. Every ABC Quality program must be current on first aid/CPR, complete 15 hours of pre-service training or complete Early Child Development 101 and confirm adherence to the ABC Quality Code of Ethics.

  • A+ and A score the highest on quality standards.
  • B+ and B score higher on quality standards.
  • C meets quality standards beyond licensing requirements.
  • P is part of ABC Quality but awaiting quality rating.
  • E is a legally exempt center-based program open less than 4 hours daily or on school holidays that serves children age 5 and up. (Family child care home and/or group child care home providers cannot be exempt.)

Licensed, Registered or Exempt?

To operate legally in South Carolina, child care providers must hold a valid license, be registered with DSS or be exempt by limited operations. Visit Find a Provider for quality ratings, visit reports and more.

Licensed/Approved Provider

  • Meets basic requirements for health and safety child care
  • DSS licensing professionals can visit unannounced once per year

Registered Faith-Based Provider

  • Sponsored by a religious organization or church
  • Meets basic requirements for health and safety child care
  • DSS licensing professionals can visit unannounced once per year

Licensed Group Child Care Home Provider

  • Must be licensed by DSS
  • DSS licensing professionals can visit unannounced once per year

Registered Family Child Care Home Provider

  • Must be registered with DSS; licensing optional
  • DSS licensing professionals can visit unannounced once per year

Exempt Provider

  • Only operates less than 4 hours per day or on school holidays
  • Serves children age 5 and up
  • ABC Quality can visit once per year

 

ABC Quality Group Size and Caregiver Guidelines

Child safety matters when providers follow ABC Quality’s group size and adult-to-child ratios. They make sure children get the one-on-one attention they need to feel safe and experience healthy development.

 Age

 Adult:Child

 Group Size

 012 months  1:4  8
 1224 months  1:5  10
 23 years  1:7  14
 34 years  1:11  22
 45 years  1:13  26
 56 years  1:15  30
 69 years  1:18  36
 913 years  1:20  40

 

Defining Quality Standards

ABC Quality has child care quality standards that are based on evidence-based practice, field research and consultation. They also incorporate input from educators, child care providers, and local, state and national early care and education experts. The standards are used by child care programs for teacher orientation, parent communication, and for quality self-assessment.

Infant & Toddler

Preschool

School Age

 

 

 

 

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