School Readiness Superheroes: Doctors, Nurses and Early Intervention

While there are still some fun summer weeks ahead, you’ve probably noticed the aisles of new school supplies in all the stores. New crayons, lunchboxes, and glue sticks are certainly one way to get ready for school. But what is true “school readiness?”

We’re glad you asked because that’s what Pickens County First Steps is all about — creating a community where children are ready for school.

It takes a team to get each child ready for school. And YOU — as parents, coaches, librarians, health care providers, teachers, childcare workers {and others} — are a critical part of that team.

We want to celebrate our fantastic school-readiness team right here in Pickens County. Each week leading up to school, we’ll have a post here on a blog, shining a spotlight on some of our superheroes who are helping kids become ready learners. Our hope is that you’ll become connected with those in our community, learn more about what they do, and pass their services along to those in your circle of influence.

What a simple and everyday way to make a difference in the lives of children and family right where we live!

superhero team



This week’s superheroes: doctors and nurses, early interventionists

Research shows that the first five years are a critical time in every child’s life. Early development plays a significant role in how he or she will perform in school and even later in their adult life. If parents, caregivers, or doctors have concerns about a child’s abilities to think, talk, see, hear, play or move, it’s important that early intervention services are available.

Early intervention usually occurs when a child sees their doctor for well child visits. Doctors look for certain developmental milestones and when those are not being met, specialized help may be needed. This is one of the reasons why regular well visits are so important.

In South Carolina, health care providers may refer young children to BabyNet, an organization under First Steps that matches the special needs of infants and toddlers who have developmental delays with the professional resources available within the community.

Anyone (a parent, doctor, caregiver, teacher or friend) can make a referral to BabyNet. The earlier a baby or toddler receives help, the better!

Early intervention helps families adjust to their child’s delays or disabilities and allows children to reach their full potential. It also great increases the probability that a child will be ready for school on time.


Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) is a national program with over 37 years of evidence-based support. First Steps is the state’s sponsor agency for NFP, a home visitation program connecting first-time, low-income mothers with registered nurses beginning in pregnancy.

Home visits can begin prenatally and continue through the second year of the child’s life. Visits range from weekly to every other week but can be altered if the nurse feels there is a need for more visits. Bachelor’s degree-level nurses utilize guidelines, clinical consultation, and intervention resources to implement the programs in a way that is adaptable to each family.

Programs like BabyNet and Nurse-Family Partnership alleviate parents’ financial burden and give them the peace of mind that their child is getting the early intervention he or she needs.

“I think my child might be delayed, what do I do?”

Contact Gloria Kohler, Pickens County First Steps (PCFS) Early Steps Identification Coordinator, at 864-654-3000 or via e-mail at [email protected]. Gloria will help you determine if your child will benefit from a FREE developmental screening.

If the screening determines that your child shows signs of developmental delay(s) and might qualify for early intervention services, PCFS will refer your child to Baby Net for further evaluation.

“I’m interesed in home visitation through Nurse Family Partnership. What next?”

Contact Elena Huston at (864)295-7601. You may also visit the local NFP website. Clients must be a first-time mother before 28 weeks in pregnancy, WIC and/or Medicaid qualified, and live in Greenville, Pickens, or Oconee Counties.

Want to learn more?

To make a BabyNet referral within Greenville or Pickens Counties or simply to get more information, call 864-331-1451 or 864-331-1450. You can also visit their website or send an email to [email protected] for assistance.

For more information on the superheroes in your area, click here for the BabyNet central directory.


Connect with us in the comments section or through our communities on Facebook and Twitter. Pickens County First Steps is also on Pinterest. Find great ideas for nurturing the young children in your life!

Want to know how YOU can help promote great childhoods in your community? It’s easy. SHARE our posts with your friends!  Use the social media buttons at the bottom of this post. Together, we can make a difference.

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Special thanks to Greenville County First Steps and their School Readiness Guide for providing content and graphics. 

By Marian Vischer, Communications Coordinator
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