Finally – With the court cases resolved, a new city department created, staff hired, and a robust planning process involving 1565 residents completed – San Francisco’s new Department of Early Childhood has just released the plan and budget for its “Universal Childcare for San Francisco Families Initiative.” The measure was passed in 2018, creating a $150K annual fund from a gross receipts tax on commercial rental receipts over $1M. Link to Legislative summary and full legislation passed by voters

This newest and largest local voter-approved funding stream in San Francisco is added to $23M from the early care portion of the city’s Children and Youth Fund (passed in 1991) and the Preschool for All fund (passed in 2004). This means that San Francisco’s 44 thousand children ages 0 – 5 benefit from over $218 M annually – the largest local investment in early care (per population) in the country. 

The funds will be used for the following priorities:
·       All San Francisco families (based on families of 4) making up to $152k a year will be eligible for full childcare subsidies. The waiting list, which for decades has numbered in the thousands, will be eliminated - permanently.
·       All early care providers (center and family based) will earn a minimum of $28 per hour through increased salaries, stipends, and other teacher incentives.
·       26 Family Resource Centers will receive funds to provide families with basic needs and parent support.
·       Over $70 M will be allocated in just the first year to facility expansion and improvements, including and especially much-needed infant/toddler spaces.
·       In collaboration with the school district, a Kindergarten Readiness Index will be fully implemented, that, among other things, will evaluate the goal of ensuring race is not a predictor of child outcomes.
·       There will be universal screening for child health and wellness.