What is the Early Learning Scholarship program?
- ELS provides eligible San Francisco families who have children 0-to 5-years old with financial assistance to pay for quality early care and education.
- ELS participating programs are committed to continuous improvement and enthusiastic about caring for our city's youngest children.
- Prioritizes quality and continuity of care for children and their families.
What are the benefits of participating in ELS?
- Attract more families—ELS programs receive twice the referrals as those outside the system
- Access financial supports for environmental repair and renovation Access individualized coaching and professional development opportunities that enhance program quality
- Receive free, ongoing support from child development and/or business development specialists
- Secure higher reimbursement rates for serving low-income children Network with peers
- Connect with resources and supports, including mental health, renovation and repair funds, and workforce retention stipends
What am I committing to as an ELS provider?
- Enrollment in professional development to improve the quality of your program—for a list of upcoming workshops click here
- Participation in Professional Learning Communities (Bi-Monthly and/or Monthly
- Annual assessments and documentation of a quality improvement plan Implementation of tools/resources that enhance quality early learning Commitment to your own professional growth and development as an early childhood educator
- Use of the EarlyLearningSF.org database and fulfilling documentation requirements
How do I know if I am eligible?
- You are a licensed Family Child Care provider, and you are in good standing with licensing
- You are willing to open enrollment to low-income and moderate-income families
- You are willing and able to meet the Quality Standards, participate in a site visit and CLASS assessment
- You need to be able to participate in the ECE Registry and City’s Child Enrollment System
The ELS program is now accepting applications. You can attend or view an informational session to find out more about the benefits of joining the ELS program. You can access the meeting recording and presentation in the language of your preference here: https://sfoece.org/join-els/
How do I apply?
- Step 1: Attend or view the recording of an ELS informational session
- Step 2: Create a CA ECE Workforce Registry Account
- Step 3: Complete an application
- Step 4: OECE and First 5 will contact you regarding next steps
If you are interested in learning more about becoming an Early Learning SF (ELS) city-funded program, you can find the application and more information about the process here: https://sfoece.org/join-els/
However, any program can serve families with a state voucher. Click here to learn more about how to accept children with state vouchers. Click here to learn how to advertise your program to local families.
To stay informed of future City & County of San Francisco funded programs, add your name to OECE's mailing list to be notified of future opportunities. Or connect to a community group such as the Family Child Care Association of San Francisco (FCCASF) or the San Francisco Child Care Planning & Advisory Council (CPAC).