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What We Do

Every child has incredible potential. We believe that supporting children’s growth, both physically and mentally, from before they’re born through their first five years of life is the key to unlocking their abilities and preparing them for success in school and beyond.

Investing in young learners and their families is a step towards a brighter future for all of us in San Francisco. DEC is San Francisco’s only department solely dedicated to supporting families and children during their first five years. Through our leadership, investment, and advocacy in early education, child health, and family support, we aim to create a city where every child can thrive.

When we say ‘every child,’ we truly mean it. For far too long, children have been negatively impacted by systemic racism, creating persistent disparities in access to the early childhood experiences and resources that support success. DEC is actively working to address racialized outcomes in kindergarten readiness and to advance racial equity across our system of care, by improving the user experience, accessibility, and delivery of all our funded programs and services.

Our Impact

Our vision is nothing short of every child in San Francisco having the best start in life, and all families feeling that our city is a great place to raise a family. See how we’re working toward those goals.

Our Initiatives

Learn how we are funding and leading initiatives to support San Francisco’s families through our three core strategies: 

  • Early Learning
  • Child Health
  • Family Strength

Policy Agenda

DEC works with institutions to help create and navigate local, state, and federal policies that enhance children’s health, knowledge, and well-being. Our policy agenda outlines what we are working towards on current and emerging early childhood policy issues.

Highlighted News and Updates