“Baby” Proposition C

Dedicated Funding Streams

  • Property Tax

San Francisco, California

In 2018, 51% of San Francisco voters approved Proposition C (“Baby” Prop C), a Commercial Rent Tax for Child Care and Early Education. The proposition authorized an additional tax on commercial property and leases with annual gross receipts over $1 million; nonprofits and other small businesses are exempt. 85% of the revenue generated by this tax is designated for child care and early education. The remaining 15% is deposited in the city/county General Fund for other city-approved uses. The tax is expected to generate approximately $146 million annually to support child care and early education; these funds may be used to:

  • Support quality early care and education for children under the age of six in San Francisco families at 85% or less of State Median Income (SMI);
  • Support quality early care and education for children under the age of four in San Francisco families earning up to 200% of the Area Median Income (AMI);
  • Invest in comprehensive early care and education services that support the physical, emotional, and cognitive development of children under the age of six;
  • Increase compensation (including but not limited to wages, benefits, and training) of care professionals and staff in order to improve the quality and availability of early care and education for children under the age of six.

San Francisco Office of Early Care and Education. (2021). Baby Prop C Fact Sheet – Legal Uses and Allocation.
Children’s Council San Francisco. (2021). Children’s Council Celebrates the Passage of Prop C by CA Supreme Court.”

Connections to Key Early Learning Study at Harvard (ELS@H) Findings:

Stable, robust funding is essential to expanding and improving early education. Unlike K-12 education, early education has historically been supported through a fragmented – and largely insufficient – set of federal, state, and local funds. Research suggests there is a need for more accessible, affordable, and high-quality approach to early education across the mixed-delivery system – and for better financial and professional supports for the educators who serve children and families each day; creating dedicated funding streams can therefore help states and cities address these needs and achieve these goals.

Findings from the Early Learning Study at Harvard (ELS@H) show:

  • Families rely on a range of formal (e.g., Head Start, center-based care, public pre-K) and more informal (e.g., home-based, relative care) early education settings; when choosing a setting for their child, families balance many logistical constraints and personal preferences.
  • But for many families – and especially low- and middle-income families – early education choices remain tightly constrained due to issues of affordability and supply.
  • No one early education setting type is inherently of higher quality than another; children develop and learn well in every setting type, and in the study, all setting types showed room to grow in quality.
  • Early educators play a critical role in supporting the well-being of young children and families across setting types.
  • Yet their pay, benefits, and other professional supports are often inadequate in light of the job demands and their cost of living.
Learn More about ELS@H Findings

Learn more about San Francisco

Context matters. Visit the San Francisco profile page to learn more about the city landscape.

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  • The city population is 815,201
  • The number of children under age 5 is 4.40%
  • The median family income among households with children $187,400.00