Striving to Ensure that Children from Birth to Age 5 Reach Elementary School Ready to Learn
Recognized as a leader in early care and education, San Francisco continues to pursue and promote innovative efforts to ensure that all families have access to high quality, affordable early care and education.
Revolutionary research on early brain development over the last decade confirms that the first five years of life are crucial to a child’s success in school and life. From the moment of birth, every child’s capacity to learn is shaped by nutrition, sensory and cognitive stimulation, stable, loving relationships, and early exposure to language and books.
Through numerous longitudinal studies, research shows that investments in early care and education pays big dividends. The rates of teen pregnancy, delinquency, special education and/or remedial supports, welfare dependency, and juvenile and adult incarceration are lower for those who experience high quality early care and education, thus saving significant tax dollars. The rates of school completion, post-secondary school participation, and employment are higher, preserving and expanding our social capital.
DCYF strives to understand and capitalize on how profoundly every child's capacity to learn throughout life is established in their earliest years. Children need high quality early learning settings and experiences to help them succeed in school and in life. In addition, families need child care so parents can work.
Such innovative efforts place San Francisco at the forefront of the early care and education field, but there is still work to be done to ensure that all of San Francisco’s youngest children get the care and education they deserve. In collaboration with the child care community and other City departments, DCYF will continue to work to increase the availability of licensed care for infants and toddlers, strengthen subsidies for low-income families and improve the quality and accessibility of care for all children.
Looking for child care or other services? Visit the DCYF Resources for Families page!
Early Care and Education Partners
Early Care and Education Initiatives