Bright Start provides comprehensive early intervention, case management and speech therapy services to individuals with special needs and developmental delays so that children, teenagers and adults can achieve their greatest potential.
Founded on March 1, 1999 by Beth Bunge and Teri Todd, Bright Start was the first private company to offer Early Intervention services in South Carolina. Beginning with a staff of two serving the Columbia area, Bright Start has since grown to a staff of more than 100, serving families throughout the state.
Bright Start currently serves 21 counties in South Carolina, including the metro areas of Columbia, Charleston, Greenville, Spartanburg, Anderson and Rock Hill.
Speech services are available to all who qualify between the ages of 0-10 years of age.
History of Bright Start
Beth and Teri each worked for the SC Department of Disabilities and Special Needs (DDSN) prior to starting Bright Start March 1, 1999. They worked in Early Intervention Services and Quality Assurance. Beth has degrees in Early Childhood from Ohio State and Teri has her degree in Social Work from Winthrop. Utilizing their experience with young children and expertise with the EI system and the State Agencies, they joined together to start Bright Start, LLC, the FIRST private Early Intervention company in South Carolina. They opened their first office in a small restored home in downtown Columbia.
Beth and Teri had full caseloads in Richland and Lexington counties almost immediately, with referrals coming from BabyNet and DDSN. They enjoyed the swift rise to full time early intervention and business ownership but needed to hire another Early Interventionist soon after. Within the first few months they hired 4 more EIs and have since grown to an EI team of 67+ including supervisors, trainers, and a State Director, Beth Deason, covering multiple counties throughout the state.
In 2001 they made a decision to expand services from the Early Intervention population of birth to 6, to serve individuals in need of Case Management. This was important to create a continuum of services for the Bright Start families. The Case Management team grew from 1 Case Manager in 2001 to 24+ Case Managers throughout the state today.
In 2011 they saw the need for Speech Therapy services and added the opportunity for families to choose Bright Start for their Speech needs. Bright Start currently serves children in the low country and the Midlands of South Carolina.
In 2014-15 Bright Start hosted an amazing Leadership Academy. They accepted staff who were interviewed and awarded the chance to be part of the Leadership team. Those chosen staff members completed a 10 month Leadership training to gain Leadership skills and learn how to improve themselves personally and professionally to enhance the Mission and Values of Bright Start. Because all staff are leaders, everyone at Bright Start completes the Leadership Academy and that program is the foundation of Bright Start’s culture.