An Important Announcement from CEO Monica Walters​

June 25, 2024

Dear friends and partners in early care and education for children,

I am writing to share important news. After some reflection, I have decided to retire from the position as Chief Executive Officer at Wu Yee Children’s Services, effective December 2024. For the next six months, I will closely partner with the Board, staff, and agency partners to ensure a smooth transition to new leadership, and help find a new CEO to continue our mission to stand up for San Francisco’s children right from the start.

Together we have accomplished so much in my twelve years here, and I feel fortunate to have been part of a community touching thousands of children and families each year. The time has come for me to enjoy time with family, travel and other aspirations.  

When I came to Wu Yee in 2012, I joined a vital organization providing child care and early education to some of San Francisco’s most challenged communities. With an annual budget of $12 million, Wu Yee responded with cultural sensitivity to the needs of kids growing up in our city’s immigrant and non-English-speaking families. But the gap between services available and the demand from families in neighborhoods like Bayview-Hunters Point, Excelsior, Visitacion Valley, and Oceanview was also significant. At the same time, we saw that to ensure an equitable future for children from low-income neighborhoods, to raise them to the same achievement levels as other kids, we needed to increase our support for families with toddlers and infants, build new classrooms, and deepen our comprehensive approach. Our expansion reflected a strong commitment to create opportunities through inclusive, multilingual, multicultural and multiracial enrollment and programming. Today, Wu Yee’s budget is approaching $100 million. I am proud of our work to serve more families throughout the city, recognizing that early child development starts at the very beginning of life.

I am grateful to Wu Yee staff members, community partners, volunteers, and families for their devotion to this cause. As a team, we expanded into new communities by adding new sites, new programs in high-need corridors, prenatal support, and we will continue broadening our impact by launching a professional apprenticeship for early childhood educators. Of many highlights during my time at Wu Yee, I am especially proud of standing together with San Francisco colleagues and parents to pass the ballot measure known as Baby Prop C. With support from this proposition, Wu Yee managed millions of dollars in new child care subsidies that transformed access to quality early learning for thousands of hard-working San Francisco families. It also paved the way toward improved teacher compensation, new childcare facilities, and better access to early care programs and services.

I am also proud of our team efforts during the Covid emergency, when Wu Yee rallied to open San Francisco’s first emergency child care center, serving the families of essential frontline workers, and distributing meals and supplies to hundreds of families each week.

While my decision to leave is bittersweet, I passionately believe in a resilient future for Wu Yee. Our board leadership and senior management team are dedicated professionals committed to our vision. Together with our tremendous staff across all departments, Wu Yee has emerged as an effective, compassionate organization widely recognized for our efforts to strengthen the systems of care in San Francisco.

It has been a blessing to be part of the Wu Yee Children’s Services family. I will always be a champion of this organization, and will lend my hand to support this work.

With deep appreciation and heartfelt respect,

Monica Walters
Chief Executive Officer