I am writing to provide an update on some changes we are making to the referral process to address recent concerns you have expressed from your members. On behalf of OECE, I am hoping you can share this information with your networks, and continue to provide feedback to see if these improvements make a difference. Through our Integrated Services grantees, Wu Yee and Children's Council of San Francisco, we anticipate releasing 150 ELS vouchers over the next two weeks using this new process. Please forward this message to any other partners or stakeholders who might benefit from it.
Given feedback we've heard from the field and our desire to make more effective matches between low-income families and ELS providers with vacancies, we are making improvements regarding how to allocate ELS vouchers to best support families in our growing ELS system.
We will begin testing a system that targets more ELS voucher funding to high priority zip codes in which ELS programs have reported ELS voucher vacancies using
. Families receiving ELS vouchers will still be able to select an ELS program of their choice, but by targeting families living in the zip code of these reported vacancies, we anticipate more families will be directed to ELS programs that have reported vacancies - speeding up the enrollment process for both family and ELS programs.
As ELS voucher funding is available, the order of offering vouchers will be as follows:
After giving ELS vouchers to highest priority families (siblings, CPS/At-risk of CPS involvement and homeless), half of vouchers that remain will be given to families living in priority zip codes with reported vacancies, and the other half will be given according to lowest income/longest on list. This approach will allow us to test a new way of trying to match our highest-need families to available spaces. We hope it will speed up and enhance the quality of referrals and matches.
What does this mean for me?
If you have vacancies and would like to fill them with ELS voucher funding, report your vacancies using the online form at
. Families receiving vouchers are still able to choose the ELS program they would like to enroll with. Also, referrals given to families feature ELS programs who have reported vacancies through
at the top of the referral list.
Director, Office of Early Care and Education
Assistant - Maya Castleman