Early Educator Salary Support Grant

What is the Early Educator Salary Support Grant?

Through the Early Educator Salary Support Grant, DEC provides grants to early care and education agencies. Agency administrators, working in collaboration with their teachers and DEC, administer the grant funding to increase eligible educators’ salaries. Teachers receive an ongoing wage increase in their paycheck directly from their employer.

Only educators at Green Tier center-based programs are eligible for this grant. To see the tiers, visit the Workforce Compensation page.

Who is eligible?

DEC will award grants directly to center-based programs with 50% or higher of subsidy-eligible child enrollment. Eligible staff at these programs include:

  • Early educators who are involved in direct classroom teaching activities at least 50% of their scheduled hours in City-supported ELS center-based programs.
  • Other early education-related positions that provide direct support to children, families and/or teachers. Examples include Home Visitors, Behavioral Therapists, Inclusion Specialists.
  • Compensation increases will depend on position/title, permit level, education (degree and ECE units), and whether full-time or part-time, among other factors as defined by DEC.

How are degree and ECE units, and permit information verified for educators?

  • Educators are required to have their transcripts and permit information uploaded to their Registry account and verified by the CA ECE Workforce Registry. Degrees related to early education and ECE units will be taken into consideration when determining funding amounts for each educator. It is critical to have the documents and information in your registry profile reflect the most up-to-date information, including recent classes and uploading transcripts. 
  • Unofficial transcripts are accepted.
  • For information about uploading transcripts to the registry please visit: https://www.caregistry.org/_participant_resources/Education-TrainingSubmission_ENGLISH_10.28.20.pdf

How are the grant funds be disseminated to eligible educators?

DEC awards grants directly to programs. This means teachers at these programs do not receive their compensation through a CARES 3.0 stipend, but instead receive a wage increase in their paychecks from their employers.

Grant Amount

The DEC Early Educator Salary Support grant requires a minimum hourly “living wage” of $28 an hour for teachers in the classroom. However, depending on the title/position, education background, permit level, and agency policies, wage increases may vary for each eligible teacher.

The grant also requires agencies to provide hourly wages comparable to non-credentialed Transitional Kindergarten teachers at SFUSD for those lead teachers with equivalent educational qualifications and permit levels. The matrix below shows the minimum hourly wage benchmarks for classroom teachers based on educational attainment and/or teacher permit level.

Minimum Hourly Compensation Requirements

Educational Attainment & CTC Permit Levels Minimum Hourly Compensation Requirements for Assistant Teachers Minimum Hourly Compensation Requirements for Lead Teachers
Less than 12 ECE Units and/or Assistant Permit $28.00 $28.00
More than 12 ECE Units and/or Associate Teacher Permit $28.00 $28.00
24 ECE Units including core courses Plus 16 GE units and/or Teacher or Master Teacher Permit $28.00 $28.00
AA Degree which includes: 24 ECE Units with core courses plus 6 Administration Units plus 2 Adult Supervision Units and/or Site Supervisor or Program Director Permit $28.00 $32.44
BA Degree w/ 12 ECE Units or above and Teacher Permit or above
*BA Parity Comparison: SFUSD year 1 Intern/Emergency/Non-Credential TK-12 teacher w/BA and CTC Permit
$28.00 $36.88
MA Degree in Child Development or closely related field (subject to verification and DEC approval) and a Program Director Permit
*MA Parity Comparison: SFUSD year 1 Intern/Emergency/Non-Credential TK-12 teacher w/ BA + 60 units
$28.00 $39.27

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes. All educators who meet the baseline eligibility of working in the classroom in a Green Tier ELS program for at least 50% of their scheduled time are eligible for receiving a salary increase. The minimum hourly ‘living wage’ required is $28 an hour for teachers in the classroom.

The estimated and final salary amounts supported by the Early Educator Salary Support Grant are based on what is verified on the CA ECE Workforce Registry. It is critical to have the documents and information in your registry profile reflect the most up-to-date information. It is your responsibility to upload documentation and keep personal, education, and other information up to date. Green Tier centers will have an opportunity to update staff information during the year and report any changes, including staff educational qualifications (e.g., additional ECE units, new teacher permit level, degree attainment, etc.) DEC will fund agencies to adjust applicable teacher wages accordingly. 

Individuals who have completed college or university course work at an institution in a country other than the United States must obtain a complete evaluation of foreign transcripts. This includes any early education units obtained outside of the United States. For more information on transcript evaluation visit the Commission on Teaching Credentialing Website.

For information, workshops and permit appointments please contact CCSF’s Child Development and Family Studies Department at (415) 452-5605, visit MUB 249 at the CCSF Ocean Campus, 50 Phelan Ave., San Francisco or visit their website

DEC is working with early education agencies eligible for this grant to ensure a successful roll out of this historic compensation initiative and will be monitoring the implementation. This requires a shift in the organizational operations for all agencies administering this grant. We understand that many of you have waited a long time for this opportunity and are eager to benefit from the results, and we are committed to ensure that DEC and its community partners deliver your compensation increases per the established guidelines and agreed upon timeline.