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Child Development Education Program (CDEP)
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The Child Development Education Pilot Program (CDEPP) was established in annual budget proviso starting in 2006 as a pilot program for children residing in the plaintiff districts in the school funding lawsuit, Abbeville County School District et al. vs. South Carolina. On June 11, 2014, Governor Nikki Haley signed Act 284 (Read to Succeed); section 2 of that act codified the Child Development Education Program (CDEP). Section 59 156 110 states, “There is created the South Carolina Child Early Reading Development and Education Program which is a full day, four year old kindergarten program for at risk children which must be made available to qualified children in all public school districts within the State.” The South Carolina Early Reading Development and Education Program (CERDEP) required providing funds first to eligible children in the state’s eight trial districts in the Abbeville County School District et al vs. South Carolina. With remaining funds, the program expanded to the plaintiff districts in Abbeville County School District et al vs. South Carolina and then expanded to eligible children residing in school districts with a poverty index of ninety percent or greater. 

The South Carolina General Assembly has expanded the funding for many of the state’s at-risk 4-year-olds to have an opportunity to attend a full-day educational program. In 2016–17 the original districts entered the eleventh year since implementation in 2006; the expansion districts of 2013 entered their fifth year; and the districts added in 2014 entered their third year.

Section 59-156-110 mandates that in CDEP classrooms districts will provide (1) a comprehensive, systemic approach to reading that follows the State Reading Proficiency Plan and the district’s comprehensive annual reading proficiency plan, (2) successful administration of the readiness assessment; (3) the developmental and learning support that children must have to be ready for school; (4) parenting education, including educating the parents as to methods that may assist the child; and (5) identification of community and civic organizations that can support early literacy efforts.

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