Cares 2.0

Spring 2021 CARES 2.0 Stipend Applications are Now Closed

The application deadline was April 30, 2021. For updates on application processing please see below.


Processing Timeline:  

May 7-14 

An approved email will be sent to the email on file in your registry account. Receiving this email indicates your employment has been verified by your employer to receive the stipend and we have your W-9 so we can begin processing your payment. 

These automated emails can sometimes go to a junk folder or be blocked by your email carrier. If you have not received your approval email by May 14 please contact us at or 415-355-3668. 

May 17 

Paid Emails will be sent- Please allow 30 days from your paid email to receive your stipend. These emails will have your finalized stipend amount and will be sent to the mailing address on file. 

These automated emails can sometimes go to a junk folder or blocked by your email carrier.If you have not received your Paid email by May 24 please contact please contact or 415-355-3668. 

What is CARES 2.0?

The Compensation and Retention Early Educator Stipend (CARES 2.0) was created in partnership with First 5 San Francisco to support early educators in San Francisco.

The Office of Early Care and Education is set to distribute $30 million between 2019-2021 to educators employed at city-funded licensed family child care and center-based programs in San Francisco.

A series of community roundtables and workgroup sessions with early educators and community stakeholders helped identify eligibility criteria and guidelines for CARES 2.0, ensuring that:

  • Stipends are distributed twice a year 
  • Equal stipend amounts are awarded to all recipients 
  • Eligible educators work directly with children for at least 20 hours a week

Who is eligible?

CARES 2.0 eligibility criteria has been updated to respond to different needs and circumstances during this time. Many programs have adjusted their services to respond to the Covid-19 crisis. In an effort to stay true to the original intent of the stipend, which is compensating and retaining teachers, we hope that these temporary updates will continue to support and value early educators working directly with young children.

To be considered eligible for the Spring 2021 CARES 2.0 stipend you must be employed by an eligible Early Learning Scholarship (ELS) or Preschool for All (PFA) program that is currently operational.

  • For returning applicants:

You will be approved for the Spring 2021 stipend as long as your employment is being maintained by an eligible program and your employer can verify that you will be returning to the classroom when it is safe to do so. This includes educators who are currently being furloughed, on leave, or being utilized in a different capacity due to ratio limitations.

  • For new applicants

You must be working with children (virtually or in-person) for at least 20 hours a week and will need to submit a W-9 form for payment.

All programs eligible for CARES 2.0

How to Apply

Step-by-Step Guide for applying to CARES 2.0

Stipend Process:

  1. Login to the CA ECE Workforce Registry and submit a CARES 2.0 Application (Please take time to review the application guide for step-by-step instructions)
  2. After the application is submitted a verification email will be sent to the applicant and a CARES 2.0 team member will review the application information and verify employment and eligibility
  3. An approval or denial email will be sent based on the employer’s verification
  4. If approved, we will verify that all W-9 information is on file, matches the registry information, and will send an approval email with stipend amount
  5. Once the stipend check is printed and sent we will send a paid email notifying the applicant that their check is on the way.

Support & Resources

For questions about your eligibility or application support please contact the CARES 2.0 team.

CARES 2.0 Email:
CARES 2.0 Phone: 415-355-3668*

For questions or support with creating a California ECE Workforce Registry Account please contact the Help Desk at Children’s Council.

Help Desk Email:
Help Desk Phone: 415-343-4669*

*Currently both the OECE-CARES and Children’s Council numbers are functioning as voicemail boxes and are being checked regularly.

Financial Adviser Resources