What Services Are Provided
The SFUSD Early Education Department
We provide programs for your infants and toddlers, your preschool child, and your school-age child from grades TK through 5th grade.
We also have an Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) program.
We serve over 4,000 children in our infant/toddler, preschool and school-age programs. Our children reflect San Francisco’s rich ethnic, cultural and linguistic diversity. In our program, children range in age from 6 weeks to 10-11 years of age (infant/toddler through fifth grade).
Our Centers and Services
Types of Service ― We provide part-day preschool education (3 hours and 45 minutes); part-time preschool education and child care (4 to 6.5 hours); full-time preschool education and child care (6.5 to over 10 hours); school-age out-of-school-time care (3 to 4 hours) and full-time care during winter, spring and summer breaks.
Subsidized Care ― The California State Department of Public Instruction provides aid to low-income families with identified needs to obtain child care for their children in publicly funded early education departments. The lowest-income families with regulatory needs have priority to receive the subsidized care.
Tuition-Based Care (full cost) ― Families who do not qualify for subsidized care can pay a full fee (referred to as "tuition") for care in the Early Education Department. Tuition-based families do not have to meet a need requirement. While tuition-based and subsidized children are in the same classrooms and receive the same services, their fees and registration requirements are different.
All schools serve children and their families five days a week. Schools operate from 7:30 AM to 6:00 PM.
Our core program funding is provided by the California Department of Education Child Development Division, the San Francisco Unified School District, the Federal Child and Adult Care Food Program, and parent/guardian-paid tuition. Enhancement funds include: Preschool For All, Head Start, and Foundation Funds. Each of our funding sources has regulations and compliance rules that we are required to follow.
Our early education schools (EES) with Pre-K programs and some school-age programs are licensed through the California State Department of Social Services (DSS). We must follow all of the regulations for providing a safe, healthy and quality learning environment and program. Some of our after-school programs are located at SFUSD elementary schools and classrooms are exempt from licensure.
Our Teaching Staff
Our schools bring together an exceptional staff which reflects San Francisco’s cultural and linguistic diversity. Many become the “extended family” of our children, even after students have entered elementary, middle and high school. Our teaching team includes: Site Managers responsible for directing each school’s programs, teachers certified in early childhood education, and paraprofessionals who assist and are part of the instructional team in the classrooms. We offer a professional development program that teaches innovative instructional strategies and promotes excellence among our entire staff.
The Early Education Department embraces essential principles of child development aligned with the California Preschool Learning Foundations and the 12 principles of child development of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). Our preschool programs use one of the following four district-approved educational approaches that are recognized by NAEYC and California Development of Education as valid, high quality and sustainable approaches to the education of young children. We selected these approaches because the four are well suited for preschool students, developmentally appropriate, attuned to individual uniqueness, and responsive to the social and cultural needs and context of our students. Read a more detailed description of our four educational approaches.
Our Support Services
Our support staff also supports your child’s health and learning. Our nurse practitioner provides in-School observations concerning your child’s health. If your child needs to see a doctor, the nurse practitioner, as well as the site manager, can refer you to a healthcare agency. The EED Support Services staff also includes a team of social workers. They help children and families develop skills to cope with social or emotional difficulties. They also assist by providing a link to community resources, observing children with special needs, and coordinating meetings with parents/guardians. All staff receives ongoing asthma and lead poisoning training.
Our Child Assessment Process
Monitoring your child’s progress in the classroom is important. The teaching staff maintains ongoing assessments and documentation of your child throughout the year. The staff shares this information with you through parent-teacher conferences at least twice a year (more often if you wish). At these conferences, the teacher will discuss with you your child’s progress and ways in which you can support your child’s growth at home. You will also have an opportunity to share with the teacher any concerns and ideas that you have about your child’s development and care.