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Poll: SC voters mostly say state could do more for children

07/29/2014 4:28 PM

07/29/2014 4:29 PM

COLUMBIA A new poll says most S.C. voters support state investments in early childhood education and health programs and say the state is not doing enough for children.

One in three South Carolina voters think the state supports early childhood education and health to the extent it should, according to a new Public Policy Poll commissioned by the S.C. Institute for Child Success.

Slightly less, 30 percent, say children are prepared to enter kindergarten, according to the poll.

Meanwhile, 69 percent of S.C. voters support the state’s recent expansion of its free, full-day 4-year-old kindergarten program for at-risk children, while only 23 percent of voters opposed it.

Fifty-three percent of S.C. voters say children are not prepared to enter kindergarten, and 62 percent –– up from 56 percent last year in a similar poll –– say they support increasing investments in early childhood education and health programs.

The poll surveyed 581 South Carolina voters, self-identified as Democrats, Independents and Republicans, from July 25-27. Results have a margin of error of 4.3 percentage points.

“We are very encouraged that South Carolina’s citizens are increasingly supportive of investing in our state’s youngest children,” said Joe Waters, Vice President of the Institute for Child Success. “We applaud the General Assembly’s recent expansion of (4-year-old kindergarten), and we look forward to working with them to ensure quality early experiences and supports for families with children under 4. With 90 percent of brain growth happening during the first five years of life, it is critical that we not wait ... to invest in our future.”

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A blog from The State's political team of Cassie Cope, Jamie Self and Andy Shain. Email tips to Follow The Buzz @buzzatthestate. Follow Cassie @cassielcope. Follow Jamie @jamiemself. Follow Andy @andyshain.

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