PASOs’ Early Childhood Initiative

Read the joint Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems (ECCS) and PASOs Report on Latinos in South Carolina and Early Childhood

Why does early childhood matter?

  • About 9.5% of all children under age 5 in South Carolina are Latino.
  • Latino children often face greater risk factors than other children, including poverty and low levels of parental education. While parents want to do the best that they can for their children, they are hindered by a system that is difficult to navigate and a lack of information and resources in Spanish.
  • The early years matter for children, because 700 brain connections are being formed every second in the first few years of life, which builds the brain structure needed for learning and success later in life. These connections are especially formed through interactions with adults.
  • Differences in vocabulary size start to emerge when children are 18 months old based on the education and income levels of children’s families. By age 3, children with college-educated parents know 2 to 3 times as many words as those whose parents did not complete high school.
  • By the time these children reach school, they are already behind their peers unless they have access to other educational opportunities in their earliest years.
  • Studies have shown that quality early childhood programs have a huge impact, both for children and their families, and for society. For every dollar invested in young children, we see returns of $4-$9 dollars from reduced special education, welfare, and crime costs over time.

What is PASOs doing?

PASOs Early Childhood Initiative is designed to promote Latino child well-being. It began because of requests from parents in PASOs prenatal classes who wanted to know more about caring for their children after they were born. Parents want to raise happy, healthy children who are prepared to succeed in school, but don’t know about available community resources or have good access to information.

Through the Early Childhood Initiative, PASOs is creating a plan to reach families with the tools and knowledge they need to successfully raise children from ages 0-5. Focus areas include:

  • Health care
  • Early education and childcare
  • Social, emotional, and mental health of the child
  • Parenting education
  • Family support

PASOs will address these focus areas through resource navigation assistance, capacity building for organizations that work with Latino families, and family education sessions that cover topics such as early education, early childhood development stages, and stimulating activities to encourage child brain and motor development.

Contact information

For more information about the Early Childhood Initiative or to partner with us, contact:

Maria Martin


Local Resources