The History of SCECA

Founded on March 29

In 1950, the Columbia Preschool Council invited all the preschool teachers in the state to a meeting to hear Dr. Jimmy Hymes. Strong interest was expressed in forming a statewide group. A committee was appointed and representatives were sent to a meeting in Nashville. This meeting resulted in the formation of the Southern Association on Children Under Six. The South Carolina Association on Children Under Six was formally organized at a meeting at Winthrop College on March 29, 1952. Seventy-five charter members were present.

As you can imagine, the greatest undertaking in those early years was gathering the teachers of preschool children. A small band of faithful persons worked diligently and the organization has constantly grown ever since.

The first two annual meetings were at Winthrop College, then in Spartanburg, Columbia, and Charleston. In addition to the annual meetings, there were annual workshops in connection with the State Social Work Conference. The annual conference has been held in various locations throughout the state and continues to offer high-quality interest session leaders as well as keynote speakers.

Leadership for our organization has always been strong and deeply committed to the goals and principles of SCACUS.

As has been pointed out, SCACUS and SACUS were organized at the same time. The growth and development of the two organizations has been parallel, and they have mutually benefited from close affiliation. Many SCACUS members have served in leadership positions of SACUS. South Carolina always has one of the largest delegations at annual SACUS meetings.

Membership in SCACUS has grown consistently over the years and the organization continues to be a forerunner in the field of early childhood education.

In 1992, the name of our organization was changed to the South Carolina Early Childhood Association following the name change of the Southern Early Childhood Association. Our purpose was also expanded to serve children through the age of eight and their families.

More information concerning historical information about SCECA can be obtained from the Historian.