Cares 2.0

Fall 2021 CARES 2.0 Stipend Applications are Now Closed.

The application deadline was October 31, 2021. For updates on application processing please see below.


Processing Timeline: 

November 2021  

Approved emails will be sent- We will begin sending out approved messages on November 5th.  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.

If you receive a denial message, it is your responsibility to reach out to your employer and discuss the dispute of eligibility with them directly. It is at the discretion of your employer to confirm that you meet the eligibility criteria to receive the stipend. Your employer must contact the CARES 2.0 team directly as soon as possible if your denial is overturned.

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 December 1st please contact us at or 415-355-3668.

December 2021

Paid Emails will be sent- These emails are going out at the same time to all approved applicants in the first week of December. Please allow 30 days from your paid email to receive your stipend. These emails will have your finalized stipend amount.

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 December 10thth 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 2019-2022 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?

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and shelter-in-place orders in San Francisco for most of 2020, the CARES 2.0 eligibility criteria was modified to address teaching staff that were providing distance learning support or whose direct time was otherwise impacted. Now that the ratios and group sizes have been restored, we are reverting back to the original criteria.

To be considered eligible for the fall 2021 CARES 2.0 stipend program you must be employed by an eligible Early Learning Scholarship (ELS) or Preschool for All (PFA) program that is currently operational. List of eligible programs can be found below.

All applicants are required to submit an application each round (spring and fall) via the CA ECE Workforce Registry and it is their responsibility to ensure their profile information and the W9 on file is up-to-date.

  • For returning applicants:

    You will be approved for the fall 2021 stipend as long as your employment is being maintained by an eligible program and your employer can verify your employment via the CA ECE Workforce Registry.

  • For new applicants:

    You are required be working with children (birth to five) in an eligible program for at least 20 hours a week and will need to submit a W-9 form for payment. Transitional Kindergarten (TK) and Out of School Time are not eligible settings for this stipend program.

Note for employers: All CARES applicants will need to be verified on the California ECE Workforce Registry. As a funding entity the San Francisco Office of Early Care and Education reserves the right to request copies of payroll information and employee work schedules to verify employment if necessary.

For support with Employer Administration on the CA ECE Workforce Registry please contact the Help Desk at Children’s Council or 415-343-4669.

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 with a link to a required survey that the applicant must complete.
  3. After completion of the survey is confirmed a CARES 2.0 team member will review the application information and verify employment and eligibility
  4. An approval or denial email will be sent based on the employer’s verification
  5. 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
  6. 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