Cuisine & Community

Last Friday, at Enter the Cafe, Wu Yee’s Young Professional Network premiered its first event. It was an evening discussion exploring family, food and cultural identity. We were honored to have the following panelists share their stories of childhood influences on their culinary careers, and how diverse communities have shaped their cuisine:

Luis Villavelazquez, Former Executive Pastry Chef of ChinaLive

Luis Villavelazquez has been named one of the Bay Area’s most talented pastry chefs by San Francisco magazine and noted as one of San Francisco’s five top pastry chefs by 7x7 magazine. Luis’ love affair with the restaurant industry began at a young age. He grew up around his mother’s workplace, Sally’s restaurant, located in Potrero Hill, where fresh baked pastries were served daily. With experience in both savory and sweet sides of the kitchen, Luis brought inventive flavor combinations and beautiful presentations to the decadent dessert offerings at ChinaLive.

Kasem Saengsawang, Chef/Co-Owner of Farmhouse Kitchen

Chef Kasem “Pop” Saengsawang opened Farmhouse Kitchen with his wife and business partner, Iing Chatterjee, in 2015. Challenged to create a fun, contemporary food experience merged with the traditions of his childhood, he presents a daring interpretation of Northern Thai food at Farmhouse Kitchen, with locations in San Francisco, Oakland, and Portland. His passion for food can be attributed to his childhood experiences of taking daily trips to the local market with his grandmother in Loei, Thailand.

Nigel Jones, Chef/Co-owner of Kaya Jamaican Food + Rum Bar

Nigel Jones is a chef, restaurateur and entrepreneur committed to sharing the rich foods of his native Jamaica and the African diaspora, while creating sustainable opportunities for people of color. In partnership with Daniel Patterson’s Alta Group, Nigel is the co-owner/executive chef of Kaya, his first restaurant in San Francisco proper. He is also the chef/co-owner and general manager behind Oakland’s beloved Kingston 11, a Jamaican restaurant opened in 2013.

Thank you Chefs Luis, Kasem and Nigel for your insights on the many connections between food, family and community. Also, thank you to Enter the Cafe for hosting the event in your amazing space!


Wu Yee’s Young Professionals Network (YPN) is a growing team of volunteers that seeks to engage the broader community in Wu Yee’s mission. The YPN engages in a variety of outreach and events, from advocacy for early childhood education to fundraisers and hands-on volunteer activities. Any professionals committed to contributing their time and talents to support Wu Yee are welcome to join us. Please fill out this Volunteer Questionnaire and we will be in touch with future opportunities.

Speak up for SF’s kids, families and educators!

 Wu Yee teacher, Dolores Leon with Wu Yee children at on the steps of SF City Hall during 2018 Walk Around the Block ECE rally.

Wu Yee teacher, Dolores Leon with Wu Yee children at on the steps of SF City Hall during 2018 Walk Around the Block ECE rally.

The city of San Francisco has recently received a $415 million windfall and is currently deciding how it is to be spent. San Francisco had over $415M of Educational Revenue Augmentation Fund returned, $181M of which will go to General Funds — with little restriction on how it's spent.

We need this funding to go towards making high-quality early care and education available for all San Francisco families and to guarantee all San Francisco teachers and caregivers receive wages that will ensure a well-trained, stable and quality workforce.

While June's Prop C for Early Care & Education (ECE)  funds are held up in a lawsuit, this funding could be used to start promised program implementation — make sure funding starts flowing to ECE now. Decisions for the use of windfall funds are underway. Send messages (email and letter!) to your SF supervisor today and tomorrow, December 3rd and 4th. Our kids, families, and educators can’t wait! See sample messages below.

Thank you for taking action to support SF kids, families, and educators!

Please write a letter or email and send as many messages as you can to SF Supervisors by tomorrow, Tuesday, December 4th.

Who’s your supervisor?
Find your Supervisorial District
Find your Supervisor's name & contact info

Write your own message or use samples below.

Key points:
- Prioritize Child Care & Education in SF windfall spending.

- No less than $30M to bridge our wait for June’s Prop C Child Care & Education funding.

- San Francisco’s ECE providers have identified educator compensation as their top barrier to
increasing services.

Email/letter sample:

Download the Word Docs linked below for ready to print letters or cut & paste email messages here.

Dear Supervisor [your supervisor's name],

Download Letter 1:
There are not enough early childhood educations programs in San Francisco. Too many parents must choose between leaving the workforce because of early education costs or leaving San Francisco. Expanding child care services must be a priority for the San Francisco windfall funds, and educator compensation has been identified by child care service providers as their top barrier to increasing services.

San Francisco voters passed the June ballot measure to increase child care services — don’t keep us waiting. Support a bridge fund for child care services now.



Download Letter 2:
It’s great to hear about San Francisco’s windfall because Early Care & Education can’t wait! We have a waiting list of families wanting our services, but can’t expand because we can’t find enough educators. I urge you to help us attract and keep teachers now by securing no less than $30M of windfall funds to increase teacher compensation. Bridge the gap while we wait for Prop C ECE funds.

I am a child care educator in San Francisco and provide services to [ ] children and [ ] families.

Thanks for recognizing early care & education as a priority!



Operation Warm

Operation Warm, whose mission is to provide brand-new coats to children in need, partnered with volunteers at Lazard to distribute 60 coats to preschoolers and toddlers from Wu Yee’s Generations, Little Sprouts, and Lok Yuen Child Development Centers. An additional 140 coats will be distributed to children at other Wu Yee Child Development and to our Home-Based program participants.

A very special thanks for keeping us warm to Operation Warm and to the volunteers from Lazard!

Speak Up for Immigrant Families!

 Playtime at Lok Yuen Child Development Center

Playtime at Lok Yuen Child Development Center

In September 2018, the current administration proposed making it harder for immigrants to come to the United States or remain in the U.S. if they have received or are likely to receive public benefits such as food aid, public housing or Medicaid.

The suggested rule from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) would expand immigration officers' ability to deny visas or legal permanent residency status to immigrants if they have received legally entitled, taxpayer-funded benefits. These include, but are not limited to, Medicaid, the Medicare Part D low-income subsidy, Section 8 housing vouchers, and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), commonly known as food stamps.

By penalizing families and individuals for their use of legally entitled essential services, the proposal threatens the healthy development of millions of children. The proposal stokes fear in the immigrant community and dissuades them from utilizing vital services. In a time when approximately one in four children in the United States lives with at least one immigrant parent, this proposal inevitably threatens our future. Wu Yee’s Joy Lok Family Resource Center has observed a decline in families applying for public benefits due to this fear, even before the proposed DHS rule change was announced.

According to the DHS, the proposed rule change would affect more than the 382,000 people per year who obtain permanent residence while already in the United States.  The U.S. State Department would likely change its own regulations to match those of the DHS when the proposal becomes final. This would affect hundreds of thousands of people living abroad who obtain U.S. permanent residence each year through the State Department.  Families who are concerned should first consult with an immigration lawyer (here are some resources) before stopping services.

Currently, the proposed rule is still in draft form and policy decisions regarding immigrants using legally entitled public benefits within the U.S. have not changed.  Now is the time to use your voice to be an advocate for immigrant rights! The DHS has allowed a 60-day period for public comment, ending on December 10, 2018. The DHS will read and consider every comment made in the 60-day period.  Speak up now on behalf of immigrants and submit your comments to

#GivingTuesday - Adopt a Classroom


#GivingTuesday is a global day of giving that harnesses the collective power of individuals, communities and organizations to encourage philanthropy and to celebrate generosity worldwide. Following Thanksgiving and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday, this year’s #GivingTuesday will take place on November 27th and will kick off the giving season by inspiring people to collaborate and give back to their communities.

Founded in 2012 by the 92nd Street YMCA – a community and cultural center in New York City − #GivingTuesday inspired millions of people to give back and support the causes they believe in. Since then, over $300 million has been raised online to benefit a broad range of organizations, and much more was given in volunteer hours, donations of food and clothing, and acts of kindness.

This year, Wu Yee Children’s Services is proud to announce our new campaign for 2018's #GivingTuesday on 11/27: Adopt a Classroom.

The details:

Wu Yee provides safe, quality early learning environments for the children who need it most. Help us design and build new classrooms to encourage lifelong learning at Westside Child Development Center. Westside CDC is located within the full city-block sized Westside Courts housing complex, which is undergoing necessary repairs and renovations.  Many families we serve experience housing instability and Wu Yee provides a safe refuge where children can explore, learn and grow. Now is a perfect opportunity to update Westside's classrooms with all new furniture, including a science/discovery area, a writing/language area, a music/listening area, and a dramatic play area. We are improving on and adding to specific zones and areas that facilitate different types of play and learning. Adopt a Classroom and help us to raise $15,000 for new furniture to help all kids grow, explore, and learn! 

Examples of how your contributions can improve a preschooler’s learning:

Heavy-Duty Toddler Dress-Up Center: $329.00

Built to withstand years of use, the laminate unit features safe, rounded edges and corners, plus a shatterproof acrylic mirror. It holds tons of outfits—with plenty of toddler-safe costume hooks, plus 3 cubbies on top for accessories like hats. 

Play & Explore Color-Changing Light Center: $279.00

This wooden center features a heavy-duty acrylic panel with a beveled edge—plus a big, LED-illuminated surface that displays 4 vibrant colors…and stays cool to the touch even after extended use.  This super-sturdy light center creates a safe and inviting space where little ones can build with blocks, explore color and light.

Help Yourself Bookstand: $189.00
This sturdy wooden bookstand puts kids’ favorite books right at their fingertips! It features 5 rows of overlapping shelves that store books neatly and accessibly—encouraging young readers to help themselves.  

Wu Yee at SF's Preschool Fair

San Francisco’s Office of Early Care and Education (OECE) hosted a free event for parents and care-givers of young children to explore the diverse array of preschool and financial aid options offered by Family Child Care (FCC) homes and centers throughout San Francisco. Wu Yee Children’s Services represented its FCC homes, Child Development Centers, Family Resource Center, and Resource and Referral (R&R) Network. All centers and FCC homes at the OECE Preschool Fair accept San Francisco’s Early Learning Scholarship. To determine eligibility for the Early Leaning Scholarship and to learn more, click here.

Elementary school Principals visit Wu Yee

 (left to right) John Yehall Chin Elementary School Principal Allen A. Lee, Generations Center Manager, Cindy Hwang, Regional Manager Jenny Yu, in the Generations yard which overlooks John Yehall Chin Elementary School

(left to right) John Yehall Chin Elementary School Principal Allen A. Lee, Generations Center Manager, Cindy Hwang, Regional Manager Jenny Yu, in the Generations yard which overlooks John Yehall Chin Elementary School

October is National Head Start Awareness Month and National Principals Month, a fitting time for elementary school principals from all over San Francisco to visit Wu Yee’s Head Start Child Development Centers.  Principals from Gordon J. Lau, John Yehall Chin, Malcolm X, and Monroe Elementary Schools visited Wu Yee’s Generations, Lok Yuen, Kirkwood, Bayview, and Southeast Child Development Centers.

According to the National Head Start Association, more than 400,000 children nationally enter kindergarten from Head Start programs each year. The Head Start program has supported and tracked each child’s social, emotional, and academic progress and health. Compared to peers, Head Start “graduates” are more likely to finish high school, go to college, be employed, and enjoy good health. Relationships between elementary school principals and Head Start directors, administrators, and teachers set the stage for children’s long-term success. These visits by neighborhood elementary school principals help bridge the transition between preschool and kindergarten.   

John Yehall Chin Elementary School Principal Allen A. Lee visited Generations Child Development Center. One of the challenges Principal Lee sees is parents think of early childhood educators as babysitters and not part of kindergarten readiness. He believes that education starts at the beginning and parents need to be more involved and take responsibility for their child's education even in preschool. He spoke about how some children have Individualized Education Plans (IEP) and come to San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) for meetings and services, but some parents don't truly understand the reason and meaning behind the IEP. He said, “it's not about giving the parents or grandparents more work or a headache. We have to educate the parents what the goals for the children are and the importance of those goals.”

Wu Yee's 2018 Wine & Dine Benefit

 Wu Yee Children’s Services’ Board of Directors

Wu Yee Children’s Services’ Board of Directors

Thank you to all who helped make Wu Yee’s 2018 Wine & Dine Benefit a great success! As a result of our attendee’s generosity, and that of the Host Committee and Sponsors, we raised over $100,000 for San Francisco’s families, children, and educators. Guests were treated to modern Jamaican cuisine from Kaya Jamaican food +Rum Bar and VIP wine tasting at Bluxome Street Winery.

A huge thank you to donors who sponsored teachers to attend the event, guests who participated in the card tear drawing, played the wine ring toss game, bid on live auction lots, and especially those who contributed to our Fund a Need: The Early Childhood Education (ECE) Career Pathways Program.

Very special thanks to our Protector Sponsors: RONY Commercial Maintenance, LLC and Sutter Health, CPMC. Good Neighbor Sponsors: Heffernan Insurance Brokers, North East Medical Services, Universal Paragon Corporation, Kaiser Permanente, Martin Building Company, Boston Private Community Investment, Portsmouth Plaza Parking Corporation, USI Insurance Brokers, and Thompson Builders.

Thank you to our In-Kind donors: Adventure Cat Sailing Charters, Alamo Drafthouse and Cinema, BATS Improv, Beach Blanket Babylon, Bi-Rite Market, California Academy Of Sciences, ChinaLive, David Lei,Disneyland, Farmhouse Thai Kitchen, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco/de Young Museum, Gott's Roadside, Pacific Whale Foundation, Pier 39, SF MOMA, Carolyn Sha, Urban Putt, Monica Walters, Wine Kitchen, Xian Yun Academy for the Arts/Kathy Munderloh, Cost Less Inventory Services, Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy, LLP, Justice Grace Vineyards, Silver Oak | Twomey, Springboard Wine Company, Wine Kitchen, and Wu Yee’s Board of Directors.

Last but not least, much gratitude to our dedicated volunteers. We couldn't have done it without you!

On behalf of San Francisco’s children, families and educators, we truly appreciate your contribution. if you weren't able to attend, you can still contribute to support the ECE Career Pathways Program.

Please feel free to share photos on our Facebook page.

Click here to see more photos.

Save our Early Care and Education (ECE) Career Pathways Program

 Dolores Leon, Liz Garcia, and Stephanie Rivera

Dolores Leon, Liz Garcia, and Stephanie Rivera

Wu Yee Children Services is excited to announce the fundraising focus of its Wine & Dine Benefit:  the Early Care and Education (ECE) Career Pathways Program.

The ECE Career Pathways Program is a way to jump-start a career in the growing field of Early Childhood Education by offering transitional aged youth (18-24) experience by helping them obtain all necessary education and permits and providing mentorship and career coaching to become early childhood educators.     

In collaboration with Jewish Vocational Services (JVS), and City College of San Francisco (CCSF), Wu Yee Children’s Services’ ECE Career Pathways Program blends the expertise of all partners to offer a unique program in the Early Childhood Education field.

 Dolores Leon representing Wu Yee at the 2018 Walk Around the Block rally at San Francisco City Hall

Dolores Leon representing Wu Yee at the 2018 Walk Around the Block rally at San Francisco City Hall

Last year, Stephanie Rivera and Dolores Leon, both mothers with children attending Wu Yee Child Development Centers, were working low-wage jobs and struggling to provide for their families when they were invited to apply to the program. Wu Yee’s ECE Career Pathways Program helped Stephanie and Dolores gain the skills, confidence, and education they needed to begin their ECE careers.   

“At first, I was very quiet.  I didn’t ask for help or stand up for myself.  But I've learned to be more assertive. This training has made me a better student, teacher and mother.”  
- Stephanie Rivera

 Stephanie Rivera with her children at Wu Yee’s Westside Child Development Center

Stephanie Rivera with her children at Wu Yee’s Westside Child Development Center

Upon completion of the program, after participants have obtained the required permits, received career coaching, including resume building and mock interviews, and finished a hands-on 50-hour internship at a Wu Yee Child Development Center, they are ready to accept a position as an Assistant Teacher or Associate Teacher.

Currently, Stephanie and Dolores are both substitute teachers for Wu Yee Children’s Services. Wu Yee has hired 6 new teachers from the program. At a time when San Francisco is facing a citywide teacher shortage, we need this program to build up our educator workforce.

We invite you to attend Wu Yee’s Wine & Dine Benefit on October 17, 2018 at Bluxome Street Winery and support programs like ECE Career Pathways, which are essential for meeting the needs of our children and families. If you are unable to attend this year’s event, you can support the program by making a donation at

Games and Prizes at the Wine & Dine Benefit

At the Wine & Dine Benefit, there will be plenty of chances to win many great prizes including a pack of five (5) one-day park hopper passes to Disneyland and Disney's California Adventure  theme parks, over 40 bottles of wine from wineries such as Justice Grace Vineyard's Soliditary Wines and Silver Oak Winery's Cabernet Sauvignon.

Wine Bottle Ring Toss: Tiers of wine bottles will be arranged for a ring toss game. Buy rings, aim for the bottle(s) you want, and bring home the bottle(s) your ring lands on.  Yes, it's like the carnival game, but with better prizes!

Card Tear Raffle: Buy a card from a deck of playing cards. Each card has a 1 in 52 chance  to win a pack of five (5) one-day park hopper passes to Disneyland and Disney's California Adventure theme parks!

The evening culminates in a live auction featuring stays in Maui, Hawaii and Lisbon, Portugal, a year of exciting and creative date nights, and a fund-a-need auction benefitting Wu Yee's teacher training program.  

See you on Wendsday, October 17, 2018 at Bluxome Street Winery!

September Events at the Joy Lok Family Resource Center

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In preparation for the new school year, the AT&T InspirASIAN group, Northern California chapter, donated backpacks filled with school supplies. Many thanks to AT&T InspirASIAN group, Northern California chapter!

Families from the Joy Lok FRC visted North East Medical Services' (NEMS) Stockton Street clinic and participated in a oral health workshop and dental screening for the kids. A huge thank you to NEMS!

Families at Joy Lok’s Baby and Me Playgroup have a space to share their feelings around motherhood, learn baby lullabies, baby sign language, baby nutrition, home safety, quality child care, and even baby massage. One session dedicated to Ask the Doctor where UCSF pediatric residents are invited to meet with the families and answer their questions around anything baby related. Most of the moms are from Joy Lok’s pregnant mom support group. We feel so fortunate to have them come back with their newborns to join in the playgroup!

Stay tuned for more happings at the Joy Lok FRC!

A Perfect Pairing: Wu Yee Partners with Chef Nigel Jones of Kaya SF for its Wine & Dine Benefit

Nigel Jones is chef and co-owner of Kaya SF, a Jamaican restaurant in partnership with Daniel Patterson’s Alta Group, located in the heart of San Francisco's dynamic downtown.  For him, food is all about community and diversity -- one reason Chef Jones and Kaya are partnering with Wu Yee Children’s Services for its Wine & Dine Benefit.  

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The Wine & Dine Benefit is Wu Yee’s premier fundraising event and happens on October 17, 2018, at Bluxome Street Winery in San Francisco’s SOMA district.  Doors open for a VIP wine tasting at 6:00 pm, general admission is at 6:30 pm. The event features a vibrant live auction along with entertaining games and prizes.  

“I want to lift up my community and other people of color,” said Chef Jones. His lively menu and colorful drinks attract people of different ethnic and cultural backgrounds to come together in his Market Street restaurant, “one of the most recognizable streets of San Francisco,” he said. Jones revels in seeing Kaya’s customer base as being inclusive of the African-American, Asian, and Latino cultures.

Additionally, he fosters opportunities for people of color to work in the restaurant industry at all levels of employment.  “I am making sure our business practices reflect what we want to see in our community. Diversity exists from the people working in our restaurant to the people enjoying its food, drinks, and atmosphere.”

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“When people talk about food being spicy, they mean ‘hot’, but in Jamaica spicy means ‘flavorful.’  We use a lot of herbs and spices, and we season our meats, desserts and drinks. Everything is on the flavorful side.” Chef Jones will showcase Kaya’s Jamaican cuisine with dishes such as jerk chicken and oxtail, along with plates that spotlight the influences from different cultures, like Mapo tofu and Singaporean crab.

As a father of two, Chef Jones recognizes the importance of quality early care and education for working parents. When he returns from a long day at work, he is comforted to know that his child was cared for in a safe and nurturing environment.. the experiences the child has “whether it's love, attention, nurturing or [obstacles]” set the stage for who they will be as an adult.  

When he thinks of the way his two year old daughter looks at the world, he is inspired to approach his work with the wonder and natural curiosity that children possess. He asks of himself and his staff, “How do we maintain that freshness and desire to learn about everything?  The menu, our customers, our community. I think that young children can teach us how to stay curious.”

“Both the parent and the child are in a better place because of the services that Wu Yee provide.  It's a great thing,” he said. Chef Jones and Kaya are excited to be part of the Wine & Dine Benefit in partnership with Wu Yee. “I know that people are going to come and want to support the amazing work Wu Yee is doing for San Francisco’s children and families.”

About Wu Yee
Wu Yee Children’s Services connects diverse families throughout San Francisco to high-quality early care and education programs that meet their unique and individual needs. The phrase "wu yee" means "protector of children" in Cantonese, and children are at the heart of everything we do. Our mission is to create opportunities for children to be healthy, for families to thrive and for communities to be strong.

Support Wu Yee’s programs by attending the Wine & Dine Benefit. Tickets to the are on sale now at

Wu Yee’s Home-Based Program

 Claudia and her son, Mateo

Claudia and her son, Mateo

Wu Yee Children’s Services’ Child Development Department offers a Home-Based program as an at-home approach to caring for one’s child, in addition to center based and Family Child Care homes.  For current and expectant parents and caregivers, home visitors make weekly visits to a family’s home and offer connections and referrals to family resources such as health care, job training, and housing, a individualized family service plan, addressing each family’s unique needs, and educational resources about children’s physical, mental, and emotional development.  

Sang Nim, a Home Visitor with Wu Yee’s Home-Based program, thinks it is important for Home-Based families to have an advocate to help them navigate San Francisco’s varied systems such as public transportation, obtaining health care, and job placement. “Our families are determined to make it in San Francisco, a challenging city, and we want to give kids all the best opportunities,” he said.  

Claudia, mother of Mateo, struggled with postpartum depression after her son was born.  She took advantage of her home visitor’s referrals to help her cope and stay positive. Claudia’s home visitor also helped her find a job, know her rights, and give her son a chance to play with other kids in the Home-Based program at bi-monthly socialization playgroups, and  field trips to places like libraries, parks and community organizations

 Eva and her daughters, Genesis and Litzy

Eva and her daughters, Genesis and Litzy

Eva, mother of twin girls, Genesis and Litzy, is thankful to her home visitor for providing emotional and moral support, and for her children's’ social development.  “They were very attached to me at first, but now they like to play with other kids,” she said.

For more information on the Early Head Start Home-Based program, please call (415) 230-7500, or email Donna Dizon, Home-Based Program Manager at We have multi-lingual caseworkers (English, Spanish/Español, Chinese/繁體中文, Tagalog and Burmese) to assist families.

Transitions and Celebrations

This August marked a transition to preschool for children in Wu Yee’s toddler classrooms and a transition into Kindergarten for preschoolers.  These promotions, as well as the end of the program year, were celebrated at End of Year Celebrations at each center and program.

 Jimmy and his mother, Jacqelyn

Jimmy and his mother, Jacqelyn

Children, family and friends gathered in the YMCA gym at Bayview Child Development Center, and were treated to interactive music from children’s musician, Mr. Rado, temporary tattoos, and making beaded crafts, along with cheering along the children in their homemade graduation caps.  

Jimmy attended preschool at Wu Yee’s Bayview Child Development Center and is now a Kindergartener at Rosa Parks Elementary School.  According to his mother, Jacqelyn, the teachers at Wu Yee have greatly helped prepare Jimmy for Kindergarten. By being able to socialize, knowing the right time to play outside, have a snack, and listen quietly and follow instruction, “he has changed tremendously,” she said.  During his time at Bayview, “we felt welcomed into the Wu Yee family,” said Jacqelyn. Jacqelyn and her son have learned and grown so much. “He knows where to go and what is expected of him. We are so grateful to all the people at Wu Yee.”

 Josselyn with her mother, Jessica

Josselyn with her mother, Jessica

The Chinatown Infant Center End of Year Celebration featured Lion Dancers and drummers from Lion Dance Me, a San Francisco based program that uses students from local high schools.  Children, friends and families enjoyed the performance, examined the colorful lion heads, and played on the drums.  

Josselyn transitioned from Wu Yee’s Chinatown Infant Center to preschool at Wu Yee’s Potrero Hill Child Development Center.  According to her mother, Jessica, Josselyn had learned a lot, and become more sociable and hands-on. “ My hope is that she is on track with developmental milestones and problem solving, she said. Jessica is also thankful to the empathetic and nurturing staff and teachers at Wu Yee’s Little Sprouts.  

Wu Yee’s twelve Child Development Centers opened their doors for the new program year today, with many new and returning faces, and many children transitioning to new classrooms or even new centers.

Wu Yee send their best wishes and good luck to Jimmy, Josselyn and all of Wu Yee’s children!

Stand Up For Your Right to be Counted

 State Assemblymember David Chiu (D- San Francisco) and Mayor London Breed with leaders of San Francisico immigrant advocacy organizations.

State Assemblymember David Chiu (D- San Francisco) and Mayor London Breed with leaders of San Francisico immigrant advocacy organizations.

Every 10 years, the U.S. Census Bureau gathers data to account for every person in America. This was written into the Constitution. The census is a tool for determining population changes in the United States and making federal policies accommodating for those changes. The next census is scheduled for 2020 and the Department of Commerce proposed including a question on citizenship.

State Assemblymember, David Chiu (D- San Francisco) and Mayor London Breed, together with leaders from San Francisco advocacy organizations, urged San Franciscans to submit public comment in opposition to the proposed citizenship question on the upcoming 2020 Census.  Assesmblymember Chiu, Mayor Breed, and community leaders are concerned the question about citizenship would discourage census participation and lead to a large undercount of minority populations.

"Everyone who cares about living in a free and fair democracy should raise their voice and show opposition to the citizenship question," said Assemblymember Chiu.  An undercount in California and San Francisco will result in an inaccurate representation of minority populations and will lead to a massive loss in federal and state funding.  Essential industries such as education, health care, housing and infrastructure will be negatively affected by an undercount in the 2020 Census. The Census Bureau's Chief Scientist warned of lower response, higher costs, and a less accurate census if the citizenship question is included. Including a citizenship question puts the census at risk of a significant undercount, especially among hard-to-reach population groups that already are fearful of answering government surveys, according to the Bureau's own research. The public should not be asked to answer, or pay for, a census that does not meet scientifically sound standards.

The U.S. Department of Commerce is requesting public comment on the addition of a citizenship question.  Public comment will close on August 7th. Submit your comment here.

Para información del Censo 2020 en español, visite:


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Playmaker Program

 Cheryl Horney, Wu Yee Children's Services Child Development Program Director, together with her team following a Playmaker retreat in San Francisco.

Cheryl Horney, Wu Yee Children's Services Child Development Program Director, together with her team following a Playmaker retreat in San Francisco.

Cheryl Horney, Wu Yee's Child Development Program Director and her team of educators, recently participated in a Playmaker retreat in San Francisco. The signature program of the Life is Good Foundation, the Playmaker Program supports people who dedicate their careers to helping children heal from the devastating impact of early childhood trauma.

According to the website,

"We provide retreats, tools, and on-going coaching to more than 10,000 childcare professionals (that we call Playmakers) working in schools, hospitals, and social service agencies across the US and Haiti.  We help these professionals transform their care settings into optimal environments for kids to learn, heal, and thrive."

Cheryl wrote about her early experiences in the Playmaker Program, saying, " I was fresh out of college, working with preschoolers who had spent their earliest years in homeless shelters or had been impacted by trauma. I had just gotten started, but I was already beginning to question if I had what it takes to stay in this field and truly help our most vulnerable kids."  

Read her entire article here.


Chinatown Improvement Projects

In order to make San Francisco's Chinatown a safer place for thousands of residents and visitors, the San Francisco Department of Public Works has implemented projects focused on advancing safety and vitality, while maintaining Chinatown's distinct historic character. 

Two Chinatown improvement projects celebrated their culmination today, with Lion Dance performances by Lion Dance Me and speeches by city officials: Broadway Chinatown Streetscape Improvement Project, and Chinatown Alleyway Renovation Program - Spofford Street.  

According to the project's website, 

"The Streetscape improvement project provides a safer and more pleasant walking experience, with new paving, streetlights, street trees, and street furnishings inspired by the unique history of the neighborhood. The work converts the current arterial to two lanes of traffic in each direction. Bulb-outs, raised crosswalks, and special intersection treatment will improve pedestrian visibility. New street trees, bike sharrows, seating, and new streetlights enhance the public realm design."

"Spofford Street is receiving a major upgrade through a partnership between Public Works and the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission. Spofford received stormwater-collecting planters, new pedestrian street lighting, bench seating, raised crosswalks on Clay and Washington streets and ADA-compliant concrete pavers. The project is funded through the voter-backed 2011 Road Repaving & Street Safety Bond."

Wu Yee's Chinatown Infant Center - Little Sprouts and many of its administative offices are on the same block as the majority of improvements on Broadway Street, and Wu Yee's Lok Yuen Child Development Center has an entrance on Spofford Street, so the improvements are most welcomed by Wu Yee's staff and families.

Coverage of the events will be shown tonight at KTSV 26 at 7:00 and 10:00 pm.



New R&R Facilities in the Bayview and Excelsior Districts

To better reach more families, Wu Yee Children's Services expanded its Resouces and Referral (R&R) service to locations in the Bayview and Excelsior districts.  Our Bayview R&R location is housed in the Southeast Community Facility at 1800 Oakdale Avenue and is open every Thursday from 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm.  Our Excelsior location is housed in Portola and Excelsior Family Connections at 60 Ocean Avenue and is open the first Thursday morning of each month.  

Wu Yee's Child Care Resource and Referral (R&R) Program supports families in their search for affordable, quality child care by providing parent education, referrals to child care services that meet family needs and navigation of the child care financial aid system.  All of our services are offered free of charge and all information is kept confidential.

Walk-ins are welcome but appointments preferred.  Child care is provided to clients bringing their children.  Please feel free to call (1-800-644-4300), email us at or visit us in person. We would love to meet you!

2018 Wu Yee Staff Retreat

All Wu Yee Child Development centers, programs, and administrative offices closed on Friday, July 13th for a staff retreat. Nearly 200 Wu Yee staff came together to reflect, connect, and brainstorm new ideas and solutions to make Wu Yee a more healthy and inclusive workplace. Wu Yee staff members attended the day-long retreat held at San Francisco State University and facilitated by Kevin John Fong, of Elemental Partners.  A cultural translator and racial healing practitioner, Kevin works to provide clarity, alignment and integration to cultivate healthy and prosperous communities.  

Some ideas and solutions included better communication between programs and departments, flexible time off for self-care, and more team-building activities.  This activity was inspired by the World Cafe model, created by Juanita Brown and David Issacs. The model uses seven design principles of conversational leadership to engage people as "solutionaries" on a particular topic. 

The "Wu Yee Cafe" activity gave many participants the chance to interact with co-workers in a setting outside of a typical workday, and brought out feelings of trust and good intentions.  Lena Yu, Joy Lok Family Resource Manager said, "think about what we can do differently for our workplace by being our best selves".  

Along with small group activities and meeting and networking with other Wu Yee employees, leadership at Wu Yee acknowledged all staff for their hard work and for the following anniversary milestones:

10 years of service   

King Lam
Cindy Hwang
Cindy Wong
Mellisa Mai
Conny Zhu 

11 years of service

Merced Sanchez-Rocha
Emily Guo
Jean Kwong
Helen Li
Stevgen Wong
Carmen Zhen

12 years of service

Yu Ling Huang
Sophia Lin
Agnes Leung

13 years of service

Kitty Wu
Alyson Suzuki
Lisa Li 

14 years of service

Lauren Chan

15 years of service

Lisa Lim
Eva Huang

16 years of service

Amy Wu

17 years of service

Fion Chan
Paul Chow
Annie Lee
So King Szeto
Doreen Hong 

18 years of service

Karen Wong
Lorinda Cheang
Connie Ho
Jian Feng Xie
Sara Yang

19 years of service

Louise Yan
Angel Kwok
Cindy Li

21 years of service 

Sara Ng
Amy Li

22 years of service

David Lo

23 years of service

Linda Lim
Karen Ho

The retreat concluded with closing remarks from Monica Walters, CEO.  "The most important thing I can do is come up with creative and constructive ways to meet you," said Monica.  Kevin echoed Monica's sentiment saying, "we must cultivate joy and respect in everything we do and everywhere we go."  

Make a gift to SF's kids and families


Dear Wu Yee Community, 

     On June 3, Wu Yee Children’s Services celebrated International Children’s Day with a festival at the Bayview Opera House by that brought over 600 children and families from diverse backgrounds together to enjoy an idyllic afternoon in the sunshine. Children took the lead in playing, learning and exploring in a safe and nurturing environment. Activities included interactive music, arts and crafts stations, a pop-up-playground where children direct building structures using materials like cardboard boxes and tape, a bicycle-powered smoothie station, and nutritious meals served by local food trucks.


     At Wu Yee, we recognize that each individual is unique, yet there is a common thread that binds us together, a commitment to create better opportunities for San Francisco’s children and families. Wu Yee Children’s Services takes a stand to create an inclusive community where all children and families can feel safe, nurtured and supported. Our goal is for every child to have the stability they need to achieve their greatest potential and be a light for their families and communities.

     Please join us in taking a stand and creating an inclusive community for all. Contribute to Wu Yee and become part of creating better opportunities for San Francisco’s children and families. Make a gift today so that we can begin a new fiscal year on July 1st with strength and renewal, and with a solid foundation to move forward toward our shared mission of healthy children, thriving families and strong communities.

Warm regards,




Monica Walters, CEO