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Child care payment assistance 

Early Learning Scholarship (ELS)

On July 1, 2017 the Office of Early Care and Education (OECE) launched San Francisco’s Early Learning Scholarship Program (ELS). The ELS provides eligible San Francisco families who have children from birth to 5 years old with financial assistance to pay for quality early care and education. More than 320 Early Child Care and Education (ECE) Family Child Care Homes and Child Development Centers across San Francisco have been qualified to participate in this new program that prioritizes quality and continuity of care, supports the ECE workforce, and ensures that San Francisco’s youngest children, especially those who have the most to gain from participating, have access to high-quality early care and education.

Wu Yee Children’s Services is one of the agencies funded by OECE to administer the ELS program; to provide an array of supports to child care providers in our community and provide eligible San Francisco families who have children from birth to 5 years old with financial assistance to pay for quality early care and education.

For more information on support being offered by the Office of Early Care and Education visit OECE’s website or call 415.355.3670.

What Parents Need to Know

Eligibility

Income

Families with children under 5 years old and income under the 85% of the State Median are eligible to apply for the ELS program. Families may be eligible regardless of immigration status. Gross (pre-tax) monthly income eligibility:

Family Size Total pre-tax monthly income
1-2 $5,343
3 $5,802
4 $6,719
5 $7,794
6 $8,869

Once families are in the program, they are eligible to stay in the program until they reach 110% of State Median Income. See the Family Fee Schedule (effective July 2019).

Priority
In order to serve families with the greatest need in San Francisco, OECE has established the following criteria:

  • Siblings of currently enrolled children

  • Children who are homeless or involved in the child welfare system

  • Low-income* African-American, Latino and English language learners

  • Children with identified special needs or disabilities.

*Low-income is defined as a family’s income at or below 85% of the State Median Income.

For more information, please visit OECE's website to view the Operating Guidelines.

Contact us to see if you qualify

Our Family Service Specialists are committed to helping you access high-quality care that best meets the needs of your family.

Family Service Specialists support families with:

  • Verifying families' eligibility

  • Referrals to child care providers

  • Counseling about payment options for child care

Note: Eligible families on the waitlist for child care subsidies are not guaranteed assistance due to insufficient funding.

Please email ELSProgram@wuyee.org to see if you are qualified to apply for ELS subsidized child care.

Apply at Early Learning SF

Families apply for the Early Learning Scholarship Program through Early Learning SF (formerly SF3C) funded by OECE.