Payment Assistance for Early Educators

Early Learning Scholarship (ELS)

Financial Assistance that Supports the ECE Workforce

NOTE: This page is for Early Learning Educators. If you’re looking for child care payment assistance, click here.

On July 1, 2017 the San Francisco Department of Early Childhood (DEC) 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 400 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 DEC to administer the ELS program; to provide an array of supports to child care educators 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 San Francisco Department of Early Childhood visit DEC’s website or call 415.355.3670.

DEC-qualified family child care homes and centers to care for children receiving Early Learning Scholarships (ELS) through an application process. Both family child care and center early educators who were qualified by DEC 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 can request to receive coaching and professional development to enhance their quality of early education and care from First 5 San Francisco. Click here to request coaching. Centers will receive support through SF Quality Connections.

DEC is accepting applications for January 2023. If you are interested in applying to become a qualified ELS Early Educator or in obtaining more information about the process, join ELS online or email your questions to JoinELS@sfgov.org.

If you are a current ELS-qualified early educator, stay informed by signing up for OECE’s Funding Opportunity mailing list.

If you are a current ELS-qualified early educator, call or email one of our staff members below for assistance.

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
  • Monthly attendance sheet assistance


Lorinda Cheang: call 415.230.7518 or email lorinda.cheang@wuyee.org
Connie Cheng: call 415.230.7584 or email connie.cheng@wuyee.org


Erika Briseno-Pena: call 415.230.7516 or email erika.briseno-pena@wuyee.org

Early Learning Scholarship Educator Resources

The ELS Educator Resource and Forms Google Drive contains documents including: Attendance sheet deadlines and payment calendar, ELS-PFA Operating Guides, Family free and Proration relief policy, Reimbursement rates, Provider paid closure days form, Provider W-9 form.

Please submit attendance sheets to ELSPayment@wuyee.org or mail to address:

880 Clay St., Fl 3,
San Francisco, CA 94108
(Attention: Subsidy Department).

Reporting Vacancies

Please report all vacancies to Early Learning SF. It is San Francisco’s early care and education eligibility list. ELS providers report their vacancies in the system and receive referrals for families that are eligible for financial assistance.

For assistance, please contact Wu Yee Resources and Referral department at 1-.844.644.4300 or The Help Desk at Children’s Council at 415.343.4669.

For CareConnect Digital Attendance submission assistance, please contact MCT Technology at 909.396.0599 or support@mcttechnology.com.

CareConnect Digital Attendance Resources

Online Submission Video Tutorial from Desktop

Online Submission Video Tutorial from Mobile App