City of San Francisco Launches Early Learning Scholarship System

After several years of planning, San Francisco’s new Early Learning Scholarship (ELS) system rolled out on July 1. The Office of Early Care & Education is funding Children’s Council and Wu Yee Children’s Services to provide an array of supports to child care providers in our community, as we all work together to implement this new system.

For more information on supports being offered by the Office of Early Care & Education visit their website or call 415.355.3670.

For more information on supports being offered by Wu Yee Children’s Services visit their website or call 415.677.0100.

Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about the Early Learning Scholarship payment system:

You may also find this sample Early Learning Scholarship Payment Explanation PDF helpful.

Here at Children’s Council, our team is on stand-by to answer any questions you may have about the ELS system.

Call or click on the names of our staff members below to send us an email.

Family Child Care Quality Network Coaches support ELS child care providers with: 

Eva Cen 415.343.3312
Mae Feng 415.276.2964
Yvette Gaines 415.276.2919
Roberta Gonzalez 415.343.3382
Lidia Saavedra 415.343.4673
Mandy Yee 415.276.2959


Subsidy Provider Coordinators support providers with: 

Natalia Estay 415.343.3382 (Spanish)
Noel Sanchez 415.343.4752 (Spanish)
Melissa Yan 415.343.4733 (Cantonese)
Cui Wen Zhang 415.276.2954 (Cantonese & Mandarin)


Cocoa Support Experts support ELS Reserved providers with: 

Emily Kraybill 415.343.3358


Food Program Specialists support providers with: 

Carmen Chan 415.343.3303
Julisa Nunez 415.355.6286
Venus Savea 415.276.2903

If you are a family interested in an Early Learning Scholarship, apply to the waiting list at or contact Children’s Council at 415.276.2900.


More About the Early Learning Scholarship System

Overall, the new system brings many innovations. The Early Learning Scholarship system…

What Parents Need to Know:

The Early Learning Scholarship (ELS) system consolidates a patchwork of early care and education subsidy programs into Early Learning Scholarships.

Families have a choice of nearly 400 child care providers across the city, all of which are participating in quality improvement efforts.

Families apply for Early Learning Scholarships through San Francisco Child Care Connection (SF3C) administered by Children’s Council.

Families will experience more seamless services:

What Providers Need to Know:

Pre-qualified child care providers will be paid higher rates to reflect the cost of providing quality child care.

The process for interested providers to qualify to become an Early Learning Scholarship-qualified provider is now closed. The San Francisco’s Office of Early Care and Education will decide when the process will we reopened to include new providers.

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