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Programs Child Development Center

Child Development Center

Child Development Center
High Quality and Educational Childcare

During the first five years of life, children are busy learning skills, making connections, and forming relationships that affect their adult lives. Under the guidance of qualified teachers, Thornwell Child Development Center provides an educational program that emphasizes growth in all developmental areas—social, emotional, physical, cognitive (intellectual), and spiritual—as a holistic, interrelated process.  Each child, each teacher, each parent is accepted as a person of worth, value, and respect.

Thornwell Child Development Center is committed to developmentally appropriate teaching methods and techniques.  Play is the language of children and the foundation of quality preschools.  Through play, the developmental needs of young children are met.  Using developmentally appropriate practices, Thornwell teachers support and promote optimal development in the areas most important to young children:  establishing a sense of trust and safety; developing a sense of autonomy with connectedness; realizing a sense of empowerment and worth; forming an appreciation of diversity among people; constructing the foundations of morality and social responsibility; and having opportunities for meaningful play.  The learning environment is rich, varied, warm, stimulating, and safe for young children’s healthy development.

Serving Families in Clinton, South Carolina

Thornwell Child Development Center is licensed by South Carolina Department of Social Services (DSS Licensing # 23194) and operates under the applicable federal, state, and local laws.  Thornwell Child Development Center is enrolled in the South Carolina Advocates for Better Care (ABC) program, SC’s quality childcare rating system, following the standards and guidelines for high-quality care and education. Thornwell Child Development Center partners with SC First Steps 4K and SC Association of Community Action Partnerships(SCACAP) Early Head Start. We offer our programs at little to no cost for qualifying families.


We’re here to help you navigate the process and understand which program is right for your child. To apply, simply follow the links below to get in touch with one of our enrollment specialists, or call our office for more information: 864-938-2160. 

Our programs include:

Early Head Start

Early Head Start is free childcare for infants and toddlers (0-36 months) for those who qualify.

Thornwell 3K

Thornwell 3K is enriching, free childcare for three-year-olds for those who qualify.

SC First Steps 4K

Thornwell’s 4K program goal is to get 4-year-old children ready to learn in school. The program is free to qualifying families.

Thornwell’s 4-Year-Old Kindergarten Program (4K)

Thornwell’s 4K program is based on motivation and positive interactions aimed at promoting self-control, following instructions, cooperation, and other learning skills. The goal of the program is to get children ready to learn in school. Thornwell’s 4K program is free to qualifying families and is made possible through Child Development Educational Program (CDEPP) funding with South Carolina First Steps. Other students may attend for tuition.

Children aged 4 years old on or before September 1 are eligible to apply.

Our 4K program is offered during normal school hours (7:30 am – 2:30 pm) with an after-school option available (2:30 pm – 5:30 pm) and includes meals.

Thornwell’s Early Head Start Program
What is Early Head Start Childcare?
  • Free childcare for infants and toddlers (0-36 months) for those who qualify
  • Family support services
  • Resources – free diapers, wipes, formula, and nutritious meals

Who is Eligible?

  • A family who receives public assistance (SSI / TANF)
  • A family who is experiencing homelessness
  • Families with foster children
  • Families who meet income guidelines
  • Families with a child who has a diagnosed disability (IFSP)

Please note that applications are accepted throughout the year, and families with greater needs are served first. Transportation for the program is not provided.

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