Developmental, physical, hearing, speech assessments & referrals:
• Golden Gate Regional Center is for infants and toddlers who are at high risk of experiencing development delay, or with a delay in at least one area of development (415) 546-9222
• San Francisco Head Start and Early Head Start offers programs to help educate parents about healthy development of children www.sfheadstart.org,(415) 405-0500
• UCSF/SFGH – Multidisciplinary Developmental Assessment Center provides comprehensive developmental assessments to children under five and ensures they receive appropriate services and early intervention. (415) 206-4444
There are a variety of childcare options available to families in San Francisco. You can find care by a zip code, program, in-home care or a childcare facility. Be sure to interview the childcare providers, visit the day care center and ask questions. Some centers offer financial assistance.
• Children’s Council Resource & Referral, (415) 343-3300
• Wu Yee Referral Child Care Service, (415) 391-4956
• Florence Crittenton Services (FCS), (415) 567-2357
• San Francisco Unified School District Child Development Program: Children must be three years old to be enrolled, (415) 750-8500
• Community Care Facilities Licensing Division of the Department of Social Services (DSS): licenses both day care centers and family day care homes, (650) 266-8843
• San Francisco Head Start/Early Start provides early childhood education and other services to low income children and families in San Francisco through its center-based and home-based programs as well as through the delegate and partner agencies with which it works. (415) 405-0500
Ask for support, questions or referrals
• California Pacific Medical Center’s Newborn Connections, (415) 600-2229
• Nursing Mothers Counsel, (415) 386-2229
• Bay Area La Leche League Referralsm (650) 363-1470
• Women Infant Children (WIC), (415) 575-5788
• St. Luke’s Hospital, (415) 626-2229
• Black Infant Health Improvement Project: African American women who are pregnant or w/children up to one year old . They also offer social support groups and parenting classes, (415) 776-4457
• DayOne Center, (415) 440-3291
Taking care of your kids' teeth and gums is extremely important to their overall health. These clinics or referral agencies can provide free or low-cost services:
• University of California, San Francisco, offers The Community Dental Clinic, a student-run dental clinic providing free care for San Francisco's homeless population.
• San Francisco Department of Public Health Dental Services has a referral resource list of San Francisco dental facilities.
Parenting can be a joy and can also be very challenging. One of the best supports can be sharing experiences with other parents and professionals. The following are some organizations that hold classes and support groups or provide information.
• SF Family Support Network (415) 437-4654
• The Family Ambassador Bayview Project www.edgewoodcenter.org (415) 682-3276
• Day One: A Center for New and Expectant Parents (415) 440-3291
• Mamas & Papas (LGBT parenting) (415) 981-1960
• Parents Place: A comprehensive family support service that offers workshops, play groups, development groups, and more (415) 359-2454
• Natural Resources (415) 550-2611
• Parents of Multiples (415) 440-8946
• Family Connections (415) 715-6746
• Parents’ Support Network (PSAN), (415) 307-9526
• Golden Gate Mothers Group www.ggmg.org
• Childhood Matters radio show Sundays 9–10am 98.1 KISS-FM
• Nuestros Ninos radio show in Spanish – Sundays 8–9am KLOK 1170AM
• City College of San Francisco Department of Child Development and Family Studies Child Observation classes offer free developmental classes for parents and infants through preschool (415) 561-1921
San Francisco is fortunate to have created a strong, neighborhood-based network of family resource centers (FRC) that meet the everyday needs of parents/caregivers for “community” and are also hubs of a wide range of resources. First 5 San Francisco funds FRCs as key vehicles to reduce parents’ isolation, strengthen their parenting skills, and facilitate constructive relationships between parents and their young children. Each FRC is unique but offers a similar menu of services including parent education and support, information and referral, parent-child play groups, early literacy programming, and community social events.
• Asian Women’s Resource Center (mainly for Chinese-speaking families), (415) 788-1008
• Compass Community Services (providing services for homeless or at-risk families), (415) 644-0504
• Edgewood Center for Children and Families, (415) 865-3000
• Good Samaritan Family Resource Center (mainly for Spanish-speaking families), (415) 824-9475
• Instituto Familiar de la Raza (mainly for Spanish-speaking families), (415) 229-0500
• Portola Family Connections, (415) 715-6746
• San Francisco Child Abuse Prevention Center, (415) 668-0494
• South of Market Family Resource Center, (415) 820-3508
• Visitacion Valley Community Center, (415) 586-6998
• Wu Yee Joy Lok Family Resource Center (mainly for Chinese-speaking families), (415) 391-4890
• YMCA Urban Services–OMI Family Resource Center, (415) 406-1370
• YMCA Urban Services–Western Addition, (415) 202-9770
Health and Health Care
This is the age where kids start to be more independent and are also taking more and more responsibility for their own health and well being. It's an important time to educate your children about the importance of eating well, getting enough sleep, and exercising to stay healthy.
There are many resources available for free or low-cost medical treatment.
• San Francisco Free Clinic. Patients must be without health insurance of any kind and are seen by appointment only. To make an appointment, please call (415) 750-9894 between the hours of 1pm and 4:30pm, Monday through Friday. Located at 4900 California Street, at 11th Avenue. No fee for medical services.
• San Francisco City Clinic is a drop-in clinic providing free and low-cost diagnosis and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases, and information about condom use and other STD prevention methods. Provides confidential, low-cost, convenient drop-in services to all people over the age of 12, regardless of their ability to pay. Their staff speaks English, Spanish, Russian, Cantonese, Mandarin and Tagalog.
• San Francisco Community Clinic Consortium offers ten partner clinics for low-income, uninsured, and medically underserved people per year.
• Free and Low-Cost Health Care Services in San Francisco. San Francisco residents who do not qualify for any health care coverage programs can get free or low-cost health care services at more than 25 clinic sites across the City. Services vary by clinic site, and may include medical, dental, and vision care. Individuals with incomes below 500% of the federal poverty level (approximately $73,000 for a family of 3) are eligible for services on a sliding fee scale or for free care.
• The Pediatric Asthma Clinic at San Francisco General Hospital helps families learn more about what may be causing or triggering asthma in their child and what they can do to control the asthma.
• San Francisco Free Medical Chart: download Free Medical Chart in English and Spanish. The chart outlines services provided, eligibility, and location for several health centers and clinics. Some services include urgent care, TB testing, and more.
Quick Category Searches for Ages 0-5
• Search Activities (Active Fun, Classes, Entertainment, Celebrations, Sports and Fitness)
• Search Adventures (City Sights, Museums, Out of the City, and Parks)
• Search Community (Neighborhood and Community Organizations)
• Search Family Finds (Stores, Services and Restaurants)
• Search Out of School Time (Camps)
• Search Parent Resources (Parenting Classes, Resources, etc.)
If your child will be enrolling in a San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) school, the district's website has a lot of important information and resources for parents.
Resources include: enrollment information, information about individual schools, and instructional calendars. Many of the SFUSD documents are also available in Spanish and Chinese. Call (415) 241-6000 (menu is available in Spanish and Chinese after English menu).
• Parent Involvement School is the center of your child's world. It's very important that you as a parent stay involved in and informed about how your child is doing academically and socially. It's also very important that you get involved with your child's school. Even if you only have a day or two a year it makes a big difference to the school and makes it more likely your children will succeed. The San Francisco Unified School District's Parent Relations Department and Parents for Public Schools have information about how to get involved. Also check with your child's school, PTA, or Parent Club.
• Health and Nutrition All children must be immunized before they can begin school.
• SFUSD Immunization Guide. Immunizations are available at public health centers or from your pediatrician.
Classes and Sports
Every experience your child has at this age has a huge impact on how their brains develop and ultimately how ready they will be for school. San Francisco has many opportunities to help you keep your little one involved and active.
Looking for activities?
• San Francisco Recreation and Park Department has many free or low-cost programs for kids including tiny tots, parent child classes, and more. To learn more about Rec and Parks registration process and how to register online visit www.sfreconline.org or call 831-6800. If you don't have access to a computer you can sign-up at the main office or at designated centers, call for more information.
• Randall Museum Tree House Toddler Exploration Zone www.randallmuseum.org (415) 554-9600
• YMCA of San Francisco offers parent/child programs (415) 777-9622
• Noe Strolls www.noestrolls.com is a website with lists of local playgroups
• San Francisco Public Libraries www.sfpl.org offer baby-toddler lapsits and story times. Simple stories, songs and fingerplays are a great way to introduce your baby, toddler, or preschooler to the building blocks of reading. All programs are free.
• Parents Place (415) 359-2454
•SFkids.org has more information and listings of programs on our Sports and Fitness Pages and our Classes Page.
• The Savvy Source for Parents has a comprehensive and detailed listing of preschools in San Francisco. There are over 130 schools reviewed by about 700 parents on this great new site. There is a $35 fee for a year's membership, which is probably all you will need to find that perfect fit.
• Trustline: This is a free service that lists babysitters and nannies who have passed a background screening and who have no "disqualifying criminal convictions in California."
• Parenting information for 0-5 years: California Children & Families Commission offers information in English and Spanish.
• Talking Playhouse: Find language and behavior support here for families with autistic children.
• Zero to Three: Here is a website just for the younger set.
• The Childproofer will point you in the right direction for specialty safety equipment.
• La Leche League offers breastfeeding support to new and experienced nursers.
• NewDads.com: This is a Boot Camp for new dads!