Reflecting on 40 Years

Dear Wu Yee Community,

This year is both one of action and one of reflection for me. To all of our recent and longstanding supporters, thank you for being part of our journey! We wouldn't be where we are today without you.

As Wu Yee Children’s Services celebrates 40 years of serving children and their families it has also been tirelessly advocating for Early Childhood Education (ECE) on the city and state level. As California prepares for next year’s budget, we are addressing the inequities in teacher’s wages which continue to grow, the difficulty in finding quality and affordable childcare, and the challenges faced by working families under the weight of the exorbitant cost of living in San Francisco.  As part of the CA Coalition for Equity in Early Care and Education (CCEECE), Wu Yee is shouting from the rooftops: This Is Unacceptable!

I am fortified by stories of Wu Yee’s humble beginnings, when in 1977  parents, grandparents, social workers, and community leaders saw an unfilled need and worked long hours finding creative ways to serve Cantonese speaking children at a temporary center in the Inner Richmond. While the agency has grown into a citywide organization with 12 child development centers and a comprehensive range of services throughout San Francisco it continues to hold true to Wu Yee’s original guiding principles: to serve and support those who need quality early care and education in a linguistically and culturally diverse manner, and to ensure that families throughout San Francisco find the support they need.

Unfortunately, there are still hundreds of thousands of working families in California who need access to ECE without enough spaces to accommodate their children.  As the early education funding drought continues in California, Wu Yee has been proactive in joining other early education agencies state wide to urge the governor and the legislature to invest in California’s future by making ECE available to more children, providing teachers with a living wage so agencies retain excellent teachers, and to assure quality facilities for the children. If the State of California is serious about addressing income inequality, intergenerational poverty, the appalling high school drop-out rate, and even the cruel path to incarceration—we must first be serious about whether we fully fund Early Care and Education in California.

So you can see, 2017 is both a year of action and reflection. The many common threads between 1977, when the founders of Wu Yee fought to provide a much needed service to an underserved community, and the present are not lost on us including threats to cut Federal funding, anti-immigrant sentiment and antagonism towards minorities. We will not be deterred and will continue to “shout from the rooftop” until we are heard. Like our founders we stand strongly committed to the diverse range of families in San Francisco who struggle to raise their families in the city by the bay.

Warm regards,

Monica Walters CEO

Monica Walters

Week of the Young Child 2017

The Week of the Young Child is an annual celebration to recognize that we all have a responsibility to enhance opportunities for children. This year's WOYC will be celebrated from April 24-28, and there will be workshops, rallies, and events for San Francisco families throughout the entire month of April!

Whether you are an ECE teacher or administrator, a parent or an advocate, come join us and The California Coalition for Equity in Early Care & Education as we rally to advocate for more funding for early care and education in California!

Join us for pre-rally sign making parties:

  • Wednesday, April 19, 4-5 PM at 729 Kirkwood Ave, San Francisco
  • Thursday, April 20, 5-6:30 PM at 827 Broadway Street, San Francisco
  • Friday, April 21, 12-2 PM at 888 Clay Street, San Francisco

Sign up here

Join us at the rallies:
Monday, April 24 at Sacramento Governor's Mansion
10-10:30am: Meet up at the Governor's Mansion (16th and H Streets)
10:30-11am: March Together to the State Capitol
11am-12noon: Early Childhood Advocacy Rally at the Capitol (Area 27)
for Our Children, Our Dedicated Teachers, Our Working Parents, 
and Our Community Non-Profits

Friday, April 28 at San Francisco City Hall
10am: Walk Around the Block

Sign up here
Tell the Governor and the Legislature:
1. End the Current Budget Funding Drought for ECE.
2. Increase Funding by $800 Million for:
* Fair Pay for Teachers and Staff
* More Early Childhood Education Slots for Working Families
* Safe, Decent Facilities for Our Children.

Volunteer Day at Kirkwood Child Development Center


Each year thousands of University of Southern California (USC) alumni gather across the globe to make a difference in their communities. Members from the San Francisco USC Asian Pacific Alumni Association gathered on Saturday, March 11, 2017 for USC Alumni  Day of SCervice at Wu Yee Children’s Services Kirkwood Child Development Center in the Hunters Point neighborhood.

USC alumni were joined by Wu Yee staff who spent the day beautifying Kirkwood Child Development Center which involved a general exterior clean-up and planting flowers.

Through the efforts of all volunteers on USC Alumni Day of SCervice, we ensure our children have a welcoming and positive environment to learn, play, and grow in.

Wu Yee would like to thank the USC Asian Pacific Alumni Association and everyone who joined us in on this day of service!

If you would like to get involved with Wu Yee, please email for more information.

The Chinese Exclusion Act Documentary Shown at CAAMFEST35

In 1882 the first significant law restricting immigration into the United States was passed by Congress and signed by President Chester A. Arthur. The Chinese Exclusion Act prohibited Chinese laborers to come to America, didn’t allow Chinese immigrants who left to visit family to re-enter the country, and forbid Chinese nationals to become citizens of the United States. The Act existed for 60 years before it was repealed by congress in December 1943 — two years after China became a U.S. ally in World Word II.

For many, the history of discrimination towards Chinese immigrants in the United States is a reminder that globalization, immigration, labor, and civil rights issues have always been a part of the American experience which still resonates to this day. The decades of injustices that continued after the repeal of the Chinese Exclusion Act gave rise to activists, social workers and parents, like our founders who established Wu Yee Children’s Services to address the challenges faced by new immigrants in Chinatown.

On Sunday, March 19, 2017, the Center for Asian American Media CAAMFEST35 will present The Chinese Exclusion Act by documentary filmmaker Ric Burns and Li-Shin Yu at the Castro Theater in San Francisco at 7:00 PM.

 “The 60 years of national exclusion, racialized ordinances, and hate crimes, is more important than ever to bear witness to,” writes Stephen Gong, Executive Director of CAAM, on CAAMFEST35 website.

The Chinese Exclusion Act is also part of CAAM’s “Who is American?” educational and community outreach campaign that will aim to reach high school and college students to learn more about this significant piece of U.S. and Chinese history.

The two-hour documentary, which will also broadcast on PBS in May 2017, includes interviews with scholars and experts including Erika Lee, writer and professor at University of Minnesota; Jean Pfaelzer, writer and professor at University of Delaware; and Renqui Yu, historian and professor at State University of New York. As well as testimonies from those who came to the U.S. as “paper sons.”

Both filmmakers Rick Burns and Li-Shin Yu are expected to attend the showing along with producer Robin Espinola.

View The Chinese Exclusion Act official trailer here.

Buy tickets for The Chinese Exclusion Act showing at Castro Theater here.

Happy Human Day! 人日快乐!

We hope your year of the Rooster is off to an auspicious start. According to ancient Chinese mythology, each of the first 6 days of the new year represent the creation of a different animal. On the 7th day, called renri (人日) or “human day”, humans were created. Traditionally, it is a day to gather and celebrate friends, family, and community. This year on renri, February 3, we would like to honor our humans, all those who fought for human rights before us and for each and every person’s right to dignity and justice. 

The Lunar New Year is a time to give money in red envelopes, lai see, to children, sending good wishes and luck. 

Renri celebrates the "birthday" of all humans, and we invite you to celebrate with us by making a lai see gift to wish our children and families joy and prosperity at

恭喜發財,新春大吉!祝大家雞年行大運!據中國傳說,在新年首六日,每天代表了不同動物的生日,而第七日即人日是代表人的生日。根據傳統習俗,所有社區親朋戚友會聚首一起慶祝這天。今年人日是二月三日, 我們想要表彰我們人類,所有那些為人權, 個人尊嚴和正義奮鬥的人。


人日是祝賀眾人的生日,我們邀請大家和我們一起慶祝!可從以下網站 為我們的家庭及孩子們派利是,祝賀他們身心健康,前程似錦。

Happy Year of the Rooster from Wu Yee Children's Services! 恭喜發財,新年快樂!

In Chinese culture, the year of the fire rooster begins tomorrow, January 28. Fire represents upward motion and the rooster represents physical and moral fortitude. This is an anniversary year for us to honor our beginnings from serving the Chinese working, immigrant parents in Chinatown four decades ago, to present day, serving children and families throughout San Francisco - steadfast and committed to overcoming barriers so that children are healthy, families can thrive, and communities stay strong.

Lunar New Year is celebrated over 15 days, with each day dedicated to practicing various customs like visiting different family members and honoring our ancestors. 

The celebrations begin tonight, on the Lunar New Year Eve, when many families will gather for dinner, enjoy festive decorations in red, symbolizing good fortune and joy, and yellow or gold, also symbolizing good luck, and give red envelopes with money to children. Firecrackers bid goodbye to the old year, and welcome in the new year. Wu Yee's offices and centers are closed to observe the holiday, and we wish you and yours a safe, healthy, happy, and prosperous Year of the Rooster!


A Tribute to Our Founders

As we approach Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, I reflect on Dr. King’s iconic speech given in front of the Lincoln Memorial and how it set the stage for the formation of our organization.

A little over a decade after Dr. King‘s famous I Have A Dream speech, Wu Yee Children’s Services was formed by a committed group of social workers, parents, teachers, grandparents, who worked tirelessly alongside the directors of the Chinatown Child Development Center and Chinatown Community Children’s Center to address the overwhelming need for childcare services for immigrant, working families. They formed The Association of Children’s Rights, which later became Wu Yee Children’s Services, to provide the much needed child care and resource and referral services that still exists today.
When Wu Yee was incorporated in 1977, there was strong anti-immigrant sentiment and antagonism toward people of color, propelling Wu Yee to establish a multicultural curriculum to help immigrant children retain their own cultural roots as they prepared to integrate into mainstream schools.
Although controversial at the time, Wu Yee’s multicultural curriculum included sharing holidays with Japanese, Latino, and Asian Centers around San Francisco, recognizing that every culture plays an important role in the community. Wu Yee served as a safety net for families, many of whom experienced hostility from others in their daily lives.
Building on our founders’ progressive vision, Wu Yee continues to deliver a diverse range of services throughout San Francisco to expecting parents and young children, including: early education, health, mental health, nutrition, and family support services. 
Wu Yee means "protector of children" in Cantonese, and protecting the rights of San Francisco’s children to be safe, healthy, and happy is always at the heart of Wu Yee's mission. By ensuring that children are well-supported we ensure the growth of thriving families and strong communities—especially those with diverse populations.

In memory of Martin Luther King, Jr., we thank our founders for having the bold vision to celebrate individuality and diversity while fighting for equality for all children. In the words of Dr. King, “We cannot walk alone. And as we walk we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back... I say to you today, my friends, though, even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up, live out the true meaning of its creed:  We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal."
Thank you Catherine Ko, Ruth Yee, Miranda Li, Yan Wong, Siu Yip Wong, Alice Lau, Stella Chan, Karen Chin, and Sai Ling Chan Sew and countless others for paving the way for our children today.

We have come a long way, but there is much more work to be done.  Until everyone is truly equal in dignity and justice, we will not be free. What are your dreams for your children?  Share with us at #WuYee or @WuYeeOrg.

With gratitude,

Monica Walters
Chief Executive Officer