Compensation and Wage Augmentation Grants for Economic Support (C-WAGES)

C-WAGES was a compensation program jointly funded by the Office of Early Care and Education, the Department of Children Youth and Their Families, and First 5 San Francisco. C-WAGES implementation began in FY 12-13 in response to continued support from the early care and education community to increase compensation, similar to, but an enhanced version of the Wage Augmentation Guarantees for Entry Level Staff (WAGES +) program, initially approved in July 2000. The C-WAGES program ended in FY 16-17, with the creation of OECE’s streamlined funding model, the Early Learning Scholarship.

The center version of the C-WAGES program provided funding to licensed centers to support wages based on job title and education level, as well as medical insurance and retirement contributions for classroom staff, moving the compensation package closer to living wages. There were 36 center employers representing 85 centers with a budget of over $10 million in FY 15-16.

In the C-WAGES FCC program, with simultaneous participation in the FCC Quality Network (FCCQN), over 230 licensed FCC providers accessed business supports in a per child reimbursement based on quality score, funding to support wages of Teachers and Teacher Assistants based on job title and education level, enhanced per child reimbursement rate based on quality for children receiving targeted child care subsidies and linkages to enhanced resources and support by Family Child Care Quality Network staff. Between 225-250 licensed FCCs and approximately 80 Teachers and Teacher Assistants participated in FY 15-16.

In order to participate in C-WAGES, programs had to meet these criteria:

  • Be located in priority neighborhoods, determined by voucher subsidy utilization of early care and education services by families (FCCs)
  • 25% of enrolled children must be from families with incomes below 75% of the established State Median Income (SMI)
  • Must participate in San Francisco’s Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) and maintain established thresholds of quality
  • Participate in the CA ECE Workforce Registry [administrators and classroom staff – center and FCCs and their paid employees]