With most votes counted and approval of Local Measure C likely, we truly have cause to celebrate. San Francisco has shown, once again, we lead the nation in our commitment to babies, young children, and their families. The passage of Measure C brings with it the promise of universal, affordable, high-quality child care in San Francisco.
As the leader of a City department whose sole purpose is to improve the lives of children ages birth through five and their families, I am overjoyed for the opportunity Measure C represents. The law provides significant new funding to tackle pressing challenges for our city: high-quality early care and education that was out of reach for vast segments of our community, inadequate wages for early educators far below livable levels, and the lack of services and supports to help all children realize their full potential.
As we venture forth into this new era for children in the city, we must put, as Measure C states, “babies and families first.” The Our Children Our Families Council, led by our Mayor and Superintendent, recently approved a five-year goal to ensure all children enter kindergarten with the academic and social skills needed to succeed in school. As nearly four in ten entering kindergartners currently lack this preparation, we must act quickly and do everything in our power to meet this goal. Measure C provides us with a way forward: resources dedicated to expanding opportunity for high-quality early care and education, vital support for early childhood professionals, and comprehensive services to address the myriad challenges of our young children and their families face.
I wish to express my heartfelt gratitude to Supervisors Jane Kim and Norman Yee, who quite literally put babies and children first and led the charge to pass Measure C.
First 5 San Francisco and I stand ready to partner with our Mayor-elect, London Breed (a heartfelt congratulations to her as well), the Board of Supervisors and the Office of Early Care and Education to make the implementation of Measure C a monumental success – a beacon for the rest of our state and nation when it comes to the care and education of our babies and youngest children.
Ingrid Mezquita, Executive Director