COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Information and Resources

Dear families and early learning partners,

The viral outbreak of COVID-19 (coronavirus) has created deep concerns for our families and community both locally and beyond. We understand the uncertainty of the situation and that a lack of clear information regarding city agencies’ responses can increase anxiety and frustration.

The Mayor has instructed OECE, and all other city departments, to provide public information in direct coordination with City officials. We hope this communication provides helpful information about mitigating the spread of the virus and OECE’s current approach related to emergency child care, program closures, and funding.

We will continue to update this page as new information becomes available.

Jump to Information for Families.

 

Information and Resources for Programs

Give2SF Emergency Operating Grant for FCCs

The San Francisco Office of Early Care and Education (OECE) is administering $1 million from the Give2SF COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund to extend a Family Child Care (FCC) Emergency Operating Grant. The FCC Emergency Operating Grant is available for City-funded FCC operators experiencing financial hardship due to mandatory, statewide shelter-in-place and school closures caused by COVID-19. These funds are intended to offset revenue losses incurred during shelter in place.

Small FCC awardees will receive a one-time $5,000 grant and Large FCC awardees will receive a one-time $10,000 grant. Grant awards can be used to cover operating expenses such as retention of staff, rent or mortgage, taxes, utilities, food, and any other expenses related to typical operation of your program.

Learn more and Apply!

 

Workforce Resource Library

There are numerous resources and support programs available to San Francisco’s early educators including financial, health, housing, legal supports, and more. OECE, in collaboration with First 5 San Francisco, has compiled a virtual resource library listing and categorizing these resources.

View Workforce Resource Library

 

Shelter-in-Place Policy Guidance

Updated May 26, 2020 – The most recent update to the City and County of San Francisco’s Department of Public Health’s Shelter in Place Order signals a shift for early care and education programs. Up to this point, early care and education programs were allowed to remain open only to serve the children of essential workers and others permitted to work under the Shelter in Place order. However, starting on June 1, 2020 child care programs can open to serve all children regardless of parental work category or status. 

OECE recognizes this shift in public health guidance will take time to implement. Those programs currently funded by OECE and operating as part of the Emergency Child Care system for Essential Workers can continue through June 30, 2020.

For ECE sites closed over the past few months, we understand the reopening process will take time to implement safely and in accordance with all public health and licensing guidance. OECE will maintain current funding levels for all city-funded enrollments (including PFA) through June 30, 2020.

In accordance with the San Francisco Controller’s Office policy, as a condition of payment, the City reserves the right to re-designate as “essential” services that were previously deemed “non-essential,” and the City may additionally require non-essential workers in City-funded programs to perform essential work. The City also reserves the right to renegotiate funding, including reductions if certain budgeted expenses will no longer be incurred as a result of the public health emergency.

Below are several additional resources to further clarify current policy guidance:

Funding and Reimbursement Guidance:
Health and Safety Guidance:

 

Reopening Resources

Whether you are planning on reopening or are already open, there are many requirements, policies and recommendations to implement in order to operate your program in a healthy and safe manner. OECE has compiled reopening resources, guidance, and requirements on the page linked below.

View Reopening Resources for Programs

 

Information and Resources for Parents & Families

The most recent update to the City and County of San Francisco’s Department of Public Health’s Shelter in Place Order states that on June 1, 2020 child care programs can open to serve all children regardless of parental work category or status. As such, OECE’s Emergency Child Care Program will end effective June 30, 2020. OECE, in collaboration with First 5 San Francisco, Children’s Council of San Francisco, and Wu Yee Children’s Services, is working with families currently enrolled in the Emergency Child Care Program to assist in enrollment transitions.

 

How will child care spaces be prioritized?

All early care and education programs must continue to follow strict social distancing and health and safety requirements including maintaining smaller class sizes and stable groups. As such, programs will not be able to serve as many children in-person as they were able to prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Based on guidance from the Mayor’s Office and SF Department of Public Health OECE and our partners will recommend that programs prioritize enrollment for the following populations:

  1. People experiencing marginalization, systemic inequity, and health inequities:
  1. After prioritizing the at-risk populations described above, the next prioritization group should be:
    • Four-year-olds from low-income households in order to provide opportunity to experience on-site quality instructional support one year prior to kindergarten.

 

For more information on enrollment prioritization please see OECE’s Guidance on Enrollment Priorities for City-Funded Early Care and Education Programs document: English | Spanish | Chinese

 

How can I get help enrolling my child?

If you need help finding child care or financial assistance in paying for child care, San Francisco has two resource and referral agencies funded by the Office of Early Care and Education (OECE) and the California Department of Social Services. Contact either for assistance:

Children’s Council of San Francisco

445 Church Street
San Francisco, CA 94114
Resource and Referral Line: 415.343.3300

Wu Yee Children’s Services

880 Clay St., Floor 3
San Francisco, CA 94108
Resource and Referral Line: 844.644.4300

 

Collaborating with your provider

The need for partnership with family members has never been more important.  Parents, educators, and children must all rely on each other to stay well.  Most parents, like most staff, will have mixed feelings about sending their child to care.  Please talk with your provider, ask them how they are working to keep your child healthy and safe. Early care and education programs are provided training and technical assistance to support their practice and follow the protocols designed to keep children and educators healthy.

 

Risk Acknowledgement Form

Each parent or guardian must determine if they are willing to take the risk of enrolling their child in childcare, including if additional precautions are needed to protect the health of their child and others in the household. They should particularly consider the risks to household members who are adults 60 years or older, or anyone who has an underlying medical condition. Parents and guardians may want to discuss these risks and their concerns with their pediatrician or other health care provider. More information about COVID-19, MIS-C, and those at higher risk for serious illness is available on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/.

Per the Health Directive, each program must require parents/guardians to sign a Risk Acknowledgement to ensure they have the information needed to make this decision.

 

How to Stay Informed

The status of COVID-19 in San Francisco and the Bay Area is changing rapidly, and the City is on top of all developments. To stay informed, check the online resources below for up-to-the-minute updates, call 3-1-1 for guidance regarding COVID-19 public health safety information, and sign up to receive official updates from the City & County about COVID-19 via text message by texting COVID19SF to 888-777.