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What is ABC?

ABC is a child care program which helps eligible families pay for child care services so that they can work or go to school or training. ABC also helps make quality child care services available and accessible to the families.

Families may choose care from a full range of public and private child care options - centers, schools, group homes, friends, and family.

The ABC Program encourages parents to choose regulated child care services. Child care providers voluntarily enrolled in ABC are reimbursed according to the quality of care provided.

There are 3 levels of regulated care in the ABC system:

Level A


Exemplary programs measured against rigorous quality standards. Facilities at this level meet better ratios, additional staff qualifications, and receive Environment Rating Scales (ERS) assessments.

Level A+ (Centers only)

  • Center-based programs meeting all level A required quality standards, receiving an average score of 5.0 on the Environment Rating Scales assessment, with each classroom observed earning at least a 4.0 on the interaction subscale.

Level B


Programs measured against quality standards beyond basic state regulations. Facilities at this level meet voluntary ABC standards.

Level B+ (Centers)

  • Effective 10-01-2012: Center-based programs meeting all level B required quality standards, earning a score of at least 90% in all age groups, with no ratio violations.

Level B+ (Family and Group Homes)

  • Family and group programs meeting all level B required quality standards, earning a score of at least 99%, with no ratio violations.

Level C


Programs meeting basic licensing regulations (health and safety).

Level C+ (Family Homes only)

  • Family homes choosing to go beyond basic registration requirements to become licensed.

Within Levels A and B, highest performing providers are recognized by A+ and B+ designations. At each level, programs receive regular on-site reviews to measure performance on the program standards for that level.

The ABC Program makes every effort to assist child care providers interested in improving the quality of care at their facility. For assistance, please contact the appropriate Program Monitor for your county.

Learn more about the benefits of enrolling in ABC.

Learn more about the enrollment requirements.

For more information on how to enroll in the South Carolina ABC Child Care Program, call 1-800-763-ABCD