Events & News

Happy Hearts Learning Ladder Grand Opening

March 1, 2021


Marion County First Steps (MCFS) would like to congratulate Mr. & Mrs. Jerome Foxworth for having their grand opening of Happy Hearts Learning Ladder on March 1st, with a ribbon cutting at 10AM. The Marion Chamber of Commerce and Mayor Ashley Brady hosted the event and welcomed Mrs. Diane Foxworth to the Business Community of Marion County.

MCFS Executive Director, Spencer R. Scott, noted this isn't Mrs. Foxworth’s first rodeo. She started as a home childcare provider and expanded to a full operating center, including afterschool and extended hours to address the needs of the community. Happy Hearts Learning Ladder will be hiring 4K teachers and assistants. Executive Director Scott stated Marion County First Steps will assist with the 4K process, assessments, and trainings, as well as offer scholarships for children birth to 3 years to attend the newly renovated facility. MCFS Literacy Coordinator, Beryl Collington affectionately known as "Ms. B," raved about the remodeling of the facility, professional staff, and the love and care Mrs. Foxworth exhibited throughout the center. Collington will continue to provide books and storytelling to the child at the center.

If anyone is interested in touring, attending Happy Hearts Learning Ladder, and/or receiving FREE 4K or a scholarship for a child under 4 years of age, please contact Mrs. Foxworth at 843-430-0134.

Childcare Scholarship Pre-Applications are OPEN!

July 15, 2019
Marion County First Steps is accepting pre-applications for childcare scholarships until JULY 25, 2019. You don't need to travel all the way to Florence to fill out your application! Please find the FY20 application at this link!
Once you are done, you may fax the application to 843-629-0054. Alternatively, you may mail this to:

ATTN: Childcare Scholarship Application
Marion County First Steps
415 South Coit Street
Florence, SC 29501
If you have any questions, please call the Marion County First Steps office at 843-629-0202.
Thank you to everyone who supports our cause of ensuring that the smallest citizens of Marion County are ready to succeed!

Danielle Stanley - 2019 Childcare Provider of the Year

April 22, 2019

Ms. Danielle Stanley is the winner of the 2019 Child Care Provider of the Year, awarded by Marion County First Steps. Ms. Stanley earned a Bachelor of Science degree at Coker College, majoring in Psychology, and is currently working on a Master of Arts Degree at Coker College. A love for children inspired her decision to work in early childhood education. “I was interested in little kids. I didn’t have kids, but I wanted to be a part of children’s lives!”

She currently works at Troy-Johnson Learning Korner and has been in the early childhood field for 17 years. For 10 of those years, she has been the 4K Lead Teacher at Troy-Johnson’s Learning Korner; Ms. Stanley states that 4K is her favorite age group to work with, as she enjoys being a “brain builder” and being able to help children learn and grow up to be the best they can be. She feels that is the most rewarding part about what she does. Director Jacquelyn Troy-Johnson stated that she has watched Ms. Stanley go through a metamorphosis during her time at the center; “she came in as a caterpillar, [and] now she flies like a butterfly.” Troy-Johnson states that Ms. Stanley has “truly empowered” the children, and she feels blessed to have her as a part of their school family.

Being an early childhood provider does come with its difficulties at times, and that each child who comes in is coming from a different background. “There are different behaviors as children come from different home environments. There needs to be an understanding that all children are not the same,” Ms. Stanley says. When asked if she could give advice to those who would like to have a career in early childhood, she answered that her best piece of advice is “to give the best that you can give because the children are our future.”

Terrific Toddlers Baby Contest - 2018 Winners

April 9, 2018

In celebration of NAEYC's Week of the Young Child, we would again like to recognize the King and Queen of our Terrific Toddlers Baby Contest. 


Jayden Grissett

Born June 16, 2014 | Son of Tinika and Corey Grissett

Jayden is four-years-old. He enjoys sports and playing outside. Ever the curious child, you can find him going on adventures while exploring in his yard.


Jordyn Williams

Born January 31, 2018 | Daughter of Tameka and Joseph Williams

Jordyn, the beautiful daughter of Joseph and Tameka Williams of Latta, South Carolina is a bundle of sweetness, energy, charisma, and intelligence. She is the granddaughter of Joe Willams, James Brockington, and the late Celestine Williams who proudly served as a child care provider in the Latta area. Jordyn’s little brother, Joseph Williams, Jr. [Trey], in addition to family and friends across South and North Carolina, all love her. Currently she attends McGill’s Bundles of Joy Childcare Center.


Congratulations again to our King and Queen, and we thank everyone who participated, donated, and attended our crowning ceremony. Stay tuned for the 2019 Terrific Toddlers Baby Contest! Be sure to follow us on Facebook for other upcoming events!

Marion County Annual Meeting

December 12th, 2018

Marion County First Steps (MCFS) held its annual FY18 meeting at the AC Robinson Resource Center on December 12 at 9AM. MCFS is a non-profit that offers assistance to low-income families and helps provide financial assistance to send children to experienced day cares. MCFS’s vision is that every child in Marion County will be prepared for success in school. Executive Director Spencer R. Scott started off the meeting with an overview of last year’s accomplishments.

Last year, MCFS provided 33 children with scholarship assistance so their parents could work or attend school with the Child Care Scholarship Program. The Child Care Training Program provided 33 early childhood staff with high quality training. 11 childcare classes were sponsored by MCFS. MCFS provided 20.75 hours of training for childcare staff to meet recertification requirements. The Quality Enhancement program provided 54 hours of technical assistance to childcare providers, and 23 children were enrolled in provider classroom. Finally, the Literacy Program provided 3,969 books for 507 children, and 20 facilities participated in the Literacy Program.

He then awarded a certificate to Katie Godwin, whose daughter, Officer Farrah Turner, was fatally wounded in the October 3rd ambush. The certificate stated that First Steps has created The Farrah Turner Scholarship Award, which will be given to a child from birth-to-three years of age who meets the First Steps requirements. The scholarship is valued at approximately $5,200 per child.

First Steps also revealed their winners for the Terrific Toddlers Baby Contest. The King was Mr. Jayden Grissett, son of Tinika and Corey Grissett. The Queen was Miss Jordyn Williams, daughter of Tameka and Joseph Williams. The King and Queen were both given a crown and will be on future promotional material for First Steps.

Musical performances were given by McGill’s Bundles of Joy, Sugar Bear Day Care Center, Pleasant Grove Academy, Agapeland Day Care Center, and Little Promises. The meeting concluded with a special guest, Mickey Mouse, for the children.

For information related to Marion County First Steps, please contact Spencer R. Scott at 843-629-0202.

© Marion County First Steps

(843) 629-0202