COVID-19 Info for Families

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.

What will child care look like when programs reopen and what are the risks?

The need for partnership between providers and families 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. City funded 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. For more information on the creative ways early educators are incorporating health and safety practices into their programs visit our ECE Reopening Tips page or check out our blog.

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

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 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:
  2. 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 the document linked below.

Guidance on Enrollment Priorities for City-Funded Early Care and Education Programs

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

How to stay informed

The status of COVID-19 in San Francisco and the Bay Area continues to change 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.