CARES 3.0 Spring Application Period is April 1-30, 2024

What is CARES 3.0?

The Compensation and Retention for Early Educators Stipend (CARES 3.0) is the newest iteration of a stipend program designed to support the early educators of San Francisco who are working within the network of City-funded settings. This new iteration of the CARES program considers the percentage of our priority population being served by programs and places each program into a tier (see table below). The stipend amount is then determined by each educator’s education level and experience, considering degree, early education units obtained, and CA ECE permit level.

To see the tiers and which educators are eligible for CARES 3.0, visit the Workforce Compensation page.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible?

  • To be considered eligible for the spring 2024 CARES 3.0 stipend program you must:
  • Be employed by an Early Learning Scholarship (ELS) or Preschool for All (PFA) program that has been deemed eligible by the Department of Early Childhood 
  • Work directly with children for at least 20 hours a week

A list of eligible programs and their tier information can be found using the links below:

(Links include list of all CARES 3.0 eligible programs with Business name, License Number, Tier)

Pre-ELS programs are not eligible for CARES 3.0 stipends.

Note for employers:

All CARES applicants will need to be verified on the California ECE Workforce Registry. As a funding entity the San Francisco Department of Early Childhood 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.


Note for SFUSD EED applicants: 

Only the following classifications/positions working in eligible PreK settings are eligible:

  • Paraprofessionals – C Series, A01 and S10
  • Substitute teachers and substitute paraeducators

Hours worked in Out-of-School Time and TK settings cannot be counted toward eligibility for CARES 3.0

Stipend Amounts

Here are a few examples of how to determine your stipend amount:

Teacher A: Green tier FCC Owner/Provider, works full time and has 12 core units verified on the CA ECE Workforce Registry (no permit on file) is eligible for $7,540 per round

Teacher B: Blue tier FCC aide, works part-time and has associate teacher permit verified on registry is eligible for $5,000 per round

Teacher C: Orange tier educator, works as lead teacher FT and has a verified MA degree in a related field with 24 ECE units verified on the registry is eligible for $5,000 per round

The tables linked below reflect the stipend amounts for each tier and the information required to be verified by the CA ECE Workforce Registry.

How to Apply

Applicants are required to apply for each stipend round (Fall and Spring), and it is the responsibility of each applicant to continuously check their email for updates and communications from the CARES 3.0 team and ensure their profile information and the W-9 on file is up to date.

Guide for Applying to CARES 3.0

Stipend Process

  1. Login to the CA ECE Workforce Registry and submit a CARES 3.0 Application (Please take time to review the application guide for step-by-step instructions)
  2. After the application is submitted, a confirmation email will be sent to the applicant (if you do not receive this email, please reach out to the CARES team)
  3. A CARES 3.0 team member will review the application information including employment, verified documents on file, and program eligibility
  4. An approval or denial email will be sent after the application period closes
  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 your projected stipend amount within two weeks of the closed application period
  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

Tier Determination and Payroll Verification Policy Notice for CARES 3.0 Spring 2024 

Financial Advisory Resources

Reporting and Tax Requirements for Small Business Employers

Contact Information

Questions about your eligibility? 

Contact the CARES 3.0 team:

Questions about employer administrative access or your registry account? 

Contact the Help Desk at Children’s Council: or 415.343.4669

Questions about your uploaded transcripts and documents?

Contact the CA ECE Workforce Registry (323) 645-2631 – Los Angeles

(855) 645-0826 – Toll Free or submit a request, and someone will get back to you shortly.