Our Plan

Our Plan: Provide Preschool for All SSF!

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Yes on Measure DD! Preschool for All South San Francisco

Measure DD, also known as the Early Care and Education for All South San Francisco campaign, solves the affordable child care shortage in South City by creating a sustainable, high-quality public Preschool for All program.

Under Measure DD, the City of South San Francisco will cover the costs of preschool and early care, without complicated means testingfor every child aged 2.5 to 5 years old whose family lives or works in South City

Measure DD will also fully fund South City’s trusted early care and education (ECE) programs—including Parks & Recreation programs, centers, in-home care providers, and family child care providers—so that they can sustainably expand enrollment, and pay their skilled workers fairly.

Frequently Asked Questions

Simple: we’ll ask South City’s biggest commercial property owners to pay their fair share.

Preschool for All can be entirely funded through a modest parcel tax ($2.50/square foot) on the largest commercial parcels in town (25,000+ square feet), the majority of which are big biotech companies.

Measure DD will raise tens of millions of dollars in new revenue that will go to a dedicated Early Care and Education for All Fund. This fund will be used only for the universal preschool program, which will be directly administered by the City with civilian oversight and full public transparency.

The City of South San Francisco’s tax expert says that, once commercial office buildings in the pipeline are completed, Measure DD will raise $68 million dollars annually, with a projected surplus. And if there’s ever a shortage of funds, families who are low-income will be be first in line.

No. Small business owners and homeowners won’t pay a cent for Preschool for All.

Measure DD is a modest tax affecting only large commercial office parcels over 25,000 square feet. Non-office commercial sites like grocery stores, warehouses, and restaurants will not be affected by Measure DD. And if an unintended parcel (such as a mixed-use parcel) would be affected, the city manager always has discretion to set the appropriate tax rate, or to exempt the parcel entirely.

The parcel tax rate of $2.50 per square foot is modeled on East Palo Alto’s Measure HH, which passed in 2018 with nearly 80% in favor—and hasn’t slowed down commercial office developments at all. In fact, a study commissioned by the City of South San Francisco determined that Measure DD will incentivize redevelopment in South City, especially of low-density parcels.

Importantly, the guarantee of universal preschool in South City will help our small businesses attract and retain employees. That goes double for South City’s struggling preschools and child care providers, who will receive funding to pay their skilled workers 230% of the local minimum wage.

Yes! All Measure DD–funded preschools, child care centers, and family child care providers will be registered with the State of California, and must comply with California’s strict Health and Safety Code.

Measure DD will fully fund the already-existing early care and education programs that South City families have loved and trusted for years. The civilian Oversight Committee—which must include a parent and child care provider—will hold regular public hearings on the Preschool for All program and conduct regular independent and public evaluations of the program. And of course the City of South San Francisco always has the power to enact and enforce new standards above and beyond those required by the State of California.

You can also rest assured knowing the 4Cs (Child Care Coordinating Council) of San Mateo County—which has 50 years’ experience referring families to affordable, quality child care—endorses Measure DD as a great solution for all South San Francisco.

After Measure DD passes in November 2022, the Preschool for All program will begin by July 1, 2024.

Before the program launches, the City will perform a comprehensive needs assessment—with extensive public input—and review applications from all centers and providers who wish to participate. The City will have total discretion to monitor and set its own standards, even above and beyond the standards set by the State of California. The City also has the power to conduct trainings and make visitations to ensure consistent quality across the program.

Parents and guardians are free to choose the participating centers or providers that work best for their children.

In order to give working families as many choices as possible, Measure DD funds a “mixed delivery system”—meaning the Preschool for All program includes public and non-profit providers, both small and large. All current centers and providers—such as Siebecker (Parks & Recreation), parent co-ops, and family day cares—are encouraged but not obligated to participate. 

South San Francisco will take the time to do Preschool for All the right way, so no child will be left out or left behind.

Investing in South City’s youngest residents provides huge benefits to the whole community.

SSF’s Child Care Master Plan determined that every dollar spent on early care and education (ECE) returns more than eight dollars in societal benefit. And decades of research show that providing high-quality ECE to low-income families is the best way to raise high school graduation rates, lower incarceration rates, and reduce unemployment.

Universal preschool not only gives our kids an equitable education now, but also improves everyone’s quality of life for decades to come.

Measure DD is a grassroots campaign led and funded by local parents, educators, child care providers, community organizations, and activists.

In 2021, our coalition of preschool teachers, public and private care providers, parents, union reps, and other experts and stakeholders in San Mateo County worked to draft a measure that would secure the funds needed to realize South San Francisco’s first-class Child Care Master Plan.

Our team of committed volunteers spent the first half of 2022 knocking every door in South City to gather the thousands of voter signatures required to qualify our citizens’ initiative for the ballot.

We accept no corporate donations. From the beginning, our campaign has been supported by the people of South San Francisco and greater San Mateo County.

The Yes on DD! campaign will continue to canvass South City through Election Day on November 8, 2022. Come volunteer with us!

Measure DD is endorsed by unions, elected officials, community organizations, and trusted community leaders.

We’re proud to have the full support of 4Cs (Child Care Coordinating Council) of San Mateo, as well as AFSCME Local 829 and UDW Child Care Providers United, the two unions who collectively represent all the preschool teachers and child care providers in South City.

Measure DD is also endorsed by a majority of the San Mateo Board of Education, including Chelsea Bonini, Hector Camacho, Jim Cannon, and Ted Lempert; and SSF Unified School District School Board President John Baker and Vice President Mina Richardson.

Measure DD is also endorsed by the San Mateo County Democratic Party, Peninsula Young Democrats, the SMC Latinx Democratic Club, Faith in Action Bay Area, and United Way Bay Area.

-> Check our complete list of endorsers to see everyone who supports voting Yes on Measure DD!

Nearly 6,000 South San Francisco residents signed the measure to be placed on the ballot this November.

More folks are joining us every day—so please consider endorsing us or volunteering with the Preschool for All SSF campaign!

Check out our Title & Summary and the full text of our initiative filing, which explains exactly how Measure DD will fund high-quality preschool for every child (aged 2.5-5 years old) whose family lives or works in South San Francisco.

We will win Preschool for All when a simple majority of South City voters vote YES on Measure DD on November 8, 2022. 

So let’s spread the word! Help reach voters by volunteering with Yes on DD campaign. We always need door-to-door canvassers, text bankers, and phone bankers, especially as we get closer to Election Day.

And of course, please DONATE to our grassroots campaign so we can cover big expenses like full-color, multilingual educational mailers to voters.

Our corporate opponents may be well funded, but we have the people on our side, because the whole community stands to win!

Measure DD will create a collaborative, city-wide Preschool for All program guided by three core principles: (1) early education is a human right, (2) workers deserve a living wage, and (3) wealthy corporations must pay their fair share.

Early Education Is a Human Right

Every child deserves a good start in life, regardless of their family’s ability to pay. 

Preschool for children aged 2.5 to 5 years old should be free at the point of service, just like our public K-12 school system.

Once South City’s broad range of preschool programs are fully funded, every child will be guaranteed a place, and every family can choose the learning environment that works best for their unique needs.

Workers Deserve a Living Wage

Preschool teachers and early childhood caregivers should be able to live in the neighborhoods they serve. 

In San Mateo County, the average full-time early care and education (ECE) worker barely earns enough to cover housing, let alone preschool for their own children.

To solve this inequity, we will raise the wage floor for ECE workers to 230% of South City’s minimum wage, and provide access to union representation and benefits.


Wealthy Corporations Must Pay Their Fair Share

South City’s biggest corporations can easily fund Preschool for All.

A modest new tax on the largest commercial office parcels in town will bring in tens of millions of new annual funds that will be directly invested in our youngest children. Providing preschool to working families is a smart investment in South City’s future—and wealthy corporations can make it happen with just a fraction of their huge profits. 

Hand-drawn illustration of 20 stick-figure people of different heights, body size, and color, all holding hands