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2023 Annual Impact Report

close up on happy toddler outside at street festival

The San Francisco Department of Early Childhood (DEC) is committed to giving every child the best possible start in life and making the city a great place to raise a family. Since publishing the Department’s first Strategic Plan, DEC has already begun introducing innovative programs that are making a huge impact.

Read on to learn more about how DEC makes San Francisco an even better place for families.

Ingrid Mezquita

A Note From Our Executive Director

This year, we marked a historic investment in young children and families in San Francisco. The San Francisco Department of Early Childhood is at the national forefront of early childhood services, providing unprecedented resources to children, families, and our system of care.

DEC, in its first year of operations, has implemented bold initiatives. More families are eligible for free high-quality early childhood education, our early educators are being better compensated, and we are reaching families in new and exciting ways including supporting more family-friendly events and investing in a mobile-friendly app to provide free developmental screenings, and that is just the beginning. 

We are working closely with our community partners to weave together family, community, and system support so that all children who grow up in San Francisco have a strong, nurturing foundation of health and learning. We believe supporting all the adults involved in a child’s life and focusing on the unique needs of our youngest children and their families are essential.

After all, being on the cutting edge is baked into the history and the future of San Francisco. Together, we are recovering from the challenges of the last few years, and our momentum is growing stronger. I am proud of our early childhood strategies’ impact on children and families in our city and excited about bold new possibilities.

—Ingrid Mezquita, Executive Director of the San Francisco Department of Early Childhood

In FY 22-23 DEC invested...

mom with daughter sitting on grass in a park reading
in workforce compensation
$ 0 M
in ECE tuition
$ 0 M
father holding smiling toddler daughter at street festival
in new child care facilities
$ 0 M

Our Impact by the Numbers

0 +

more children eligible for free early care and education


child care sites added to Early Learning San Francisco network


new early care and education facility developments creating space for 552 more children

0 %

reduction in number of families on the waitlist for subsidized early care and education

0 %

increase in infants and toddlers enrolled in free high quality early care and education

0 %

increase in salaries of 892 educators working in the highest need centers

$ 0

average annual wage increase for 1,632 educators through stipends


children screened for developmental delays or special needs


parenting classes, playgroups, events, and other activities to over 11,000 children and families at Family Resource Centers

Our Strategies

In our first year, DEC has made investments and created initiatives that support children, as well as the adults in their lives, through multiple avenues. Having this multi-generational approach ensures that the impact we are able to create is reinforced in the families we impact. 

Learn more about DEC’s impact through the initiatives and investments below.

Young girl playing with art supplies outside

Targeted Investments to Clear the Waitlist

Early childhood can go by in the blink of an eye, which means children and families do not have time to spare on a waitlist for early care and education. DEC made targeted investments to get children off the waitlist and into classrooms to ensure a strong start to their education and development.

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