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Financial Assistance for Children Ages 0-5

ELS Child Care Payment Assistance

About Early Learning Scholarships (ELS)

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.

What Parents Need to Know

Eligibility

Effective July 2023, the San Francisco Department of Early Childhood (DEC) increased early care access for middle-income families. DEC revised its income eligibility ceiling for families from 85% of the State Median Income (SMI) to 110% of the Area Median Income (AMI). This revised policy will provide more opportunities for San Francisco families to have access to quality early care and education services.


Income Requirements

Families with children under 5 years old and income under 110% of the Area Median are eligible to apply for the ELS program. Families may be eligible regardless of immigration status.

Gross (pre-tax) monthly income eligibility:

1-2$10,571
3$11,887
4$13,208
5$14,267
6$15,321

Once families are in the program, they are eligible to stay in the program until they reach 110% of Area Median Income. See the Family Income Eligibility Table (effective July 2022).


Category One (Top Priority) 
  • Children who are clients of Family and Children’s Services (FCS) or are at risk of abuse, neglect, or exploitation
  • Children eligible through the Emergency Child Care Bridge Program for Foster Children
  • Children experiencing homelessness
  • Children of domestic violence survivors

Second priority for enrollment is given according to lowest income first for families earning up to 110% of the AMI.


For more information, please visit
DEC’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
  • Give Community Resources to families who needed


Fill out the form below, and one of our Family Service Specialists will reach out to you to ask more specific questions about your family’s needs.

Thank you!

We have received your form submission and a member of our team will reach out to you.