Head Start

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
CEO

Help us write more San Francisco success stories

“I love Wu Yee. I’m so grateful. I don’t know what I would do without it.”

A single mother of three, Tala has two children at one of Wu Yee’s child development centers in Bayview/Hunters Point, and another child in elementary school.

Every morning is a timecrunch for Tala, who first drops off her son and daughter at Wu Yee and then heads over to her oldest daughter’s school, all so she can get to her job as a medical receptionist by 8:30. 

Before hearing about Wu Yee’s Head Start program from a coworker, Tala struggled to find enough hours of care for her children during the day. Sometimes her mother could watch them, sometimes she’d have to take them into work with her. The Head Start programs she did qualify for only allowed her children to have care for five hours each day. Because of these restraints, Tala could only work limited hours and had difficulty making ends meet. Now enrolled at Wu Yee, Tala’s children receive extended hours of care, and she can work full-time. 

“I’m very appreciative of everything,” she said. “Being the sole provider is so difficult. But I do appreciate the help I get. I love the staff here. I’m pretty comfortable with them. They talk to me, they greet me, see if I’m okay, because they know my situation. I don’t know what I’d do without this program.”

Without access to child care assistance, a single parent like Tala, working full-time at California’s minimum wage would spend nearly half of her income on full-time, center-based care for just one preschool-aged child. Child care assistance allows parents like Tala to succeed on the job by reducing the chances that she’ll have to miss work or cut back on her hours. 

Each family’s situation is unique, and we want to continue to provide the care and services that fit their needs. Demand for subsidized child care far exceeds supply – in San Francisco, there are over 2,000 infants and toddlers on waiting lists for care. We want to continue to provide high-quality early child care, building a foundation for children’s success and helping lower-income parents find and keep jobs. But our funding only goes so far.

Your donation will go directly toward funding Wu Yee’s programs, which directly impact the lives of San Francisco’s children and families through center-based child care, family child care homes, home-based programs, child care subsidies, child care resource and referrals, the Joy Lok Family resource center, public benefits assistance, and training and support for child care providers.

With your help, we can write more success stories for San Francisco’s families. 

Join Wu Yee's growing team!

Wu Yee Children’s Services is looking for dynamic and  passionate individuals to join our growing team. Are you interested in building a brighter future for children and families in San Francisco?

Wu Yee is rapidly expanding to meet the demands for child care, family services and child care provider support in San Francisco, and we're looking to fill a variety of critical roles throughout our organization. As a member of our highly-diverse team, you'll get the opportunity to foster the future success of our city's children and families.

ABOUT US:

Wu Yee delivers a comprehensive range of Child Development, Family, and Provider Services — including Early Head Start, Head Start, and State Preschool programs, the Joy Lok Family Resource Center, Single Stop benefits assistance, child care Resource and Referrals, child care subsidies, child care provider training, a food program for child care providers, and the Family Child Care Quality Network (FCCQN). For more information, visit our About page. 

CURRENT OPENINGS:

APPLY TODAY:

If you or someone you know are interested in joining our dynamic team, please visit our Careers Page or contact Wu Yee's Recruiting Specialist, Stephanie Guinasso, at stephanie.guinasso@wuyee.org.