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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 supports being offered by the Office of Early Care and Education visit OECE’s website or call 415.355.3670.

What Early Educators Need to Know

OECE pre-qualified 268 family child care homes and 111 centers to care for children receiving Early Learning Scholarships (ELS) through an application process. Both Family Child Care and Center early educators who were pre-qualified by OECE are paid a higher rate to reflect the cost of providing quality child care.

  • Early educators caring for children with Early Learning Scholarships, state or federally funded subsidies will receive this higher rate.

  • Early educators caring for children with state/federal subsidies (i.e., CalWORKs, Alternative Payment, Title 5, Head Start) will receive an “ELS-Gap” payment to make up the difference between the amount the state/federal government pays early educators and the cost of providing quality care.

  • Early educators participating in the ELS Program have committed to continuous quality improvement and to meeting specific quality standards, including a Tier 3 rating on the Quality Rating Improvement System by 2020.

  • All ELS early educators will receive coaching and professional development to enhance their quality of early education and care. Family Child Care early educators receive support through one of two Family Child Care Quality Networks (FCCQN's) administered by Wu Yee Children’s Services and Children’s Council San Francisco. Centers will receive support through SF Quality Connections.

How to qualify

The process for interested early educators to qualify to become an Early Learning Scholarship participant is now closed. If you are interested in being notified of OECE’s funding opportunities in the future, please fill out the mailing list form. If you encounter any errors or would like to be removed from this list, please contact OECE’s Budget and Contracts Liaison Carlo Manaois at carlo.manaois@sfgov.org or call (415) 355-3676.

Our Scholarship Specialists are committed to helping Family Child Care early educators receive timely and accurate ELS payments.

Scholarship Specialists support early educators with: 

  • Understanding monthly voucher payment

  • Payment calculation and payment dates

  • Updating program paid holidays

Lorinda Cheang: call 415-230-7518 or email lorinda.cheang@wuyee.org

Connie Cheng: call 415-230-7584 or email connie.cheng@wuyee.org

Early educator resources

Attendance Sheet Deadlines and Payment Schedule

Early Learning Scholarship FAQs: English, Chinese, Spanish