Children & Families Charter Amendment sent to November ballot

Wu Yee’s Chief Executive Officer (right), Monica Walters, speaks on the importance of investing in San Francisco’s early childhood education at City Hall on July 8, 2014.

Wu Yee’s Chief Executive Officer (right), Monica Walters, speaks on the importance of investing in San Francisco’s early childhood education at City Hall on July 8, 2014.

San Francisco, CA (July 8, 2014) - “If we want families to stay, grow and thrive here in San Francisco,” said San Francisco Mayor Edwin M. Lee at a City Hall press conference on July 8, “we need to do more and that is why this November, we will ask San Francisco voters to renew the Children and Youth Fund and the Public Education Enrichment Fund – all without raising property tax rates.”

Mayor Lee and all 11 members of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors support a proposed Charter Amendment for the November 2014 ballot which will extend the Children and Youth Fund (formerly called the Children’s Fund) and the Public Education Enrichment Fund (PEEF).

The changes to the Children and Youth Fund would include an increase to the amount of property tax the City sets aside for the Children and Youth Fund; funding for services for youth and children facing challenges related to homelessness, poverty, substance abuse, recent immigration, foster care, and being Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Questioning. Changes to the PEEF would include an allocation for universal education (Preschool for All) for three to five-year-olds and funds to develop more services for children from birth to three.

Monica Walters, Executive Director of Wu Yee Children’s Services, talked about the importance of early education for all. Walters also served as a representative for the Child Care Planning and Advisory Council (CPAC) of San Francisco.

“We are truly making history today, said Walters. “We are choosing to provide greater insurance for our youngest residents, birth to five, to have access to quality early childhood education and safe and nurturing care, while also helping their parents to work, continue their education and pursue their goals.”

“Without this important investment in our early care and education,” she continued, “infants, toddlers and preschoolers are not prepared for school, and their parents are not supported, and our entire community suffers.”

The Children and Youth Fund was created by voters in 1991, and it sets aside a portion of the property tax to increase services for children under 18-years-old, which includes child care, health services, social services, education programs, job training, cultural programs, delinquency prevention services and recreational and extracurricular programs.

In 2004, voters created the PEEF, which disburses funds to the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) for arts, music, sports, library programs, peer resource teachers and health and wellness centers.

These funds, dedicated to fill a critical need for children and youth, can make a huge difference in the future of the city.

“Today,” Walters said, “as we ask ourselves the question: How are the young children doing in San Francisco? Today we can say with far greater certainty they are doing well.”

About Wu Yee Children’s Services

Wu Yee Children’s Services was founded in 1977 by social workers and parents concerned with the challenges facing new immigrants in Chinatown, and has since grown into a city-wide agency supporting and serving families throughout the city. Wu Yee specializes in early childhood education, family support services, referrals to quality child care, and training and support for child care providers.