Early to learn, early to rise

aka Wu Yee   |   San Francisco, CA   |  https://www.wuyee.org


We're committed to the future of San Francisco, and that means investing in the children, families, and communities that need it most. We provide quality child care options and a pre-school education to children from families living at or below the federal poverty line. We also work to uplift their families and communities by providing access to public benefits and child care small business licensing support.

Ruling year info


Chief Executive Officer

Ms. Monica Walters

Main address

827 Broadway

San Francisco, CA 94133 USA

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NTEE code info

Child Day Care (P33)

Ethnic/Immigrant Services (P84)

Family Services (P40)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Over 40 years ago, after the Immigration Act of 1965 was passed, our founders found themselves and other families in Chinatown in situations where both parents were working and there was no access to child care for when the parents had to work. They knew this was not tenable for the families and their community, so they advocated at the city, state, and federal level to get funding to start child care facilities and to offer mental health services, resource & referral services, home visiting, and more. That work in Chinatown was so successful and so needed that it grew into 12 neighborhoods including the Tenderloin, Hunters Point, Bayview, and beyond. We see the need for quality child care in all communities where parents work hard to lift themselves out of poverty. However, child care services remain underfunded and teacher wages remain stagnated. This means that we have to advocate for the improvement of the whole system so our children can have a safe, nurturing space to grow.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Child Development Program

The Child Development Program provides full-day, year-round services to children ages 0-5 and pregnant women through Early Head Start, Head Start, and state subsidized child care and child development programs. These programs cater to low-income families, including families with children with disabilities. Currently, our centers are located in the Tenderloin, Chinatown, Western Addition, Bayview/Hunters Point, OMI, Potrero Hill, and Visitacion Valley neighborhoods of San Francisco. Our Child Development Program reflects the cultural, linguistic and ethnic diversity of our communities.

The Child Development Program provides comprehensive services, integrating aspects of parent involvement, education, health, mental health, nutrition, and social services. Children are allowed to learn through exploration, with opportunities to engage in activities and explore toys that are developmentally-appropriate. Parents and staff develop learning plans to address individual children's development.

Population(s) Served
Infants and toddlers

The Family Services Department partners with families by providing culturally and linguistically appropriate services to promote positive parenting, child care access, self-advocacy, and family economic self sufficiency.

Through our Resource and Referral (R&R) and Joy Lok Family Resource Center, the department supports families through different family developmental stages.

Population(s) Served
Infants and toddlers

Wu Yee Children's Services provides education and support to providers of early childhood care and education. Our programs support the highest quality of care for children in all three settings where they receive care: licensed family child care homes, licensed exempt settings, and center-based care. We distributed $12 million last year, directly to providers, through our Provider Services Department.

Our education programs include trainings, workshops, and on-site technical assistance. For license-exempt and family child care providers, a series of topics are covered throughout the year ranging from basic health and safety to licensing regulations and sound business practices to early childhood development and managing difficult behaviors. We assist families and providers in finding and providing appropriate care for children with special needs.

Population(s) Served
Infants and toddlers

Where we work

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

We know that children who receive a quality pre-school education are better prepared for kindergarten and see more success throughout their academic and adult careers. Key skills learned in pre-school, such as lining up, class room familiarity, socialization, and explorative play help children adjust more easily to school environments and have more positive formative experiences with education.

This means that children who get the right start have a chance at a brighter future. Unfortunately, not all families are able to pay for pre-school and many children find themselves without access to a nurturing early learning environment. We aim to provide a place for those children to get the early education that will set them on the path to success.

Poverty is often generational, and a quality pre-school education is the first step in breaking the generational cycle.

We also aim to support the parents and families of our children by offering access to and help getting public benefits.

Finally, we aim to raise not just our children and parents, but also their communities. We do this by providing family based child care provider small business support. This means that families who run child cares through their homes are able to access licensing support and other support programs to improve their services and better serve their communities.

Our goal is to raise children, families, and their communities out of poverty through the many touch points of the child care ecosystem.

Our areas of focus are Children’s Health & Nutrition, Financial Support, Family Resources, and Education. Our programs support children, families, and educators in early childcare.

Health and wellbeing are crucial aspects of early childhood development, both physical and mental. We prioritize children’s nutritional health, and provide nutrition planning and meal reimbursements.
We also provide mental health consultations to our program participants; we facilitated mental health consultations for hundreds of children, parents, and educators each school year. Our approach to health is holistic in its areas of focus, both physical and mental, and in its coverage of people, from children to those in the education community.

Quality and Environment
Our high quality learning environments consistently exceed childcare center standards and provide the best possible places for children to learn. In evaluating our Childcare Centers, the Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) score provides a framework for building strong statewide early care and education systems, and is the gold standard of early childhood education evaluation. Whether a child is learning in one of our official centers or family small business homes, they are receiving an exceptional experience.

Financial Support
We achieve our mission to support children and families who are the most in need primarily through our financial support programs. Our child care subsidies include early learning scholarships which enable hundreds of children to receive quality care and families to work. As the first and largest Early Head Start program in San Francisco, we financially support the highest number of low-income children as they enroll in school readiness programs.

Parent and Family Education
Our family resource center assists families in applying for and maintaining public benefits, and generates referrals to connect our families to quality childcare programs throughout the city. The FRC also hosted parent education workshops and support sessions, and family playgroup sessions and events throughout the year. We believe in parental self-advocacy and education, empowering parents to be the best leaders and teachers for their children.

Our Children’s Centers
Our Child Development Centers are the heart of our organization, with 12 centers across the city serving children aged 0 to 5. Every center operates full-time and year round.
In addition to our centers, Wu Yee is also the city’s leader in supporting family child care small businesses that operate within the home. The quality improvement network is part of a citywide effort to make early education equitable for all families with young children, especially under resourced families, and we are proud to take part in this initiative.

We have been influencing community leaders and members alike to prioritize our mission since we were founded in 1977. We provide the most comprehensive services of any organization in San Francisco for pregnant women and children ages 0 to 5, including programs for integrated education, health, nutrition, mental health, and family support services. We partner with many city, state, and federal funders and organizations to provide these services.

Wu Yee has decades of experience running programs with highly-qualified staff who are passionate and representative of the diverse multicultural communities that they serve. Over 50% of our program staff are proficient in a language other than English, namely: Cantonese and other dialects, Mandarin, Spanish and Tagalog. Over 84% of our educators have a bachelor’s degree, whereas the State of California requires at minimum an associate’s degree for early childhood educators. Additionally, our leadership team and Board of Directors have the experience and commitment to advocate for the importance of quality early education for all San Francisco children.

Since 1977 Wu Yee has grown from a single center to San Francisco’s largest provider of Early Head Start and Head Start services. We have served tens of thousands of children, families, and child care educators and helped create hundreds of quality child care slots in FCC homes. In addition, we have advocated for increased reimbursement rates and for the advancement of early care and education in San Francisco and the state. By providing empowering development programs and competitive salaries, our initiative works towards eliminating the stigma educators have towards early childhood education and increases talented investment in our youth. We strive to equip our city with a nearly overqualified workforce to meet the needs of our children, so that no child is left waiting to learn.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Paper surveys, Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Case management notes, Constituent (client or resident, etc.) advisory committees, Suggestion box/email,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?



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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


Connect with nonprofit leaders


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Connect with nonprofit leaders


Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Board of directors
as of 08/29/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. Jim Chappell

Sharon Donovan

City College of San Francisco

Raymond Delacruz


Albert Lee

Charles Schwab

Cindy Yang

SoMa Equity Partners

Catherine Ngo

Anchorage Digital

Dean Marotta

Bank of the West

Victoria Chin


Milu Maggin

Sonya Thomas


Blanca Cendejas

Kaiser Permanente

Jackson Chin

Bob Daoro

Baker Tilly

Samira Khan


Diana Phole

Myovant Sciences

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 8/19/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data


No data

Sexual orientation

No data


No data