SCDSS Launches Wage Enhancement Program to Provide Supplemental Income to Child Care Educators and Staff


February 12, 2024 - South Carolina Department of Social Services (SCDSS) SC Endeavors program announces the launch of SC BOO$T, a pilot program that provides bonuses directly to qualified individuals employed in child care facilities in South Carolina. This is a unique chance for child care professionals to receive wage bonuses while doing the job they love using a limited, one-time source of federal money.

This pilot program was created in response to data indicating low wages for the early childhood workforce, which has a direct impact on turnover and providing high-quality environments for children and families.

“SC BOO$T is a significant step forward to support the early childhood workforce,” said DSS State Director Michael Leach. “By investing in our educators with this one-time, federally funded pilot program, we hope to attract and retain the best talent, ultimately providing high-quality child care that benefits children and families.”

SC BOO$T is open to individuals who work in a DSS-regulated program, have been employed within the same program for six months or more, and are in a direct care position. To be eligible, applicants must have verified employment within the SC Endeavors Registry, current Career Ladder level, and must complete the salary/wage information in the registry. Direct care staff must earn $24 per hour or less, while directors or family/group providers need to earn no more than $30 per hour.

Eligible position titles include teacher, assistant director, assistant teacher, co-director, director, floater, non-teaching professional staff, non-teaching support staff, primary care provider, aide, curriculum coordinator, and education coordinator. However, substitute, volunteer, and intern positions do not qualify.

Payment amounts are distributed per the SC Endeavors Registry Career Ladder level and are divided between two 6-month payments. If applicants continue to meet the eligibility requirements, the payment will be automated.

The overall goal of SC BOO$T is to reduce turnover rates by investing in the early childhood workforce as South Carolina hopes to provide high-quality child care environments for children and families.

SCDSS is using federal ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) Supplemental funds for this onetime program as allowed under federal guidelines. Data obtained from this one-time benefit could be used in potential program development and future funding requests to the South Carolina General Assembly.

For more information about SC BOO$T, please visit