Realizing Employment and Creating Hope (ECE REACH)
 Assisting Latinas in enhancing their knowledge, skills, and practice in child growth and development in ECE (Early Care and Education) settings, both in their roles as parents and professionals.

A Latina-focused Early Childhood Apprenticeship Program in San Francisco.

ECE REACH (Early Care and Education, Realizing Employment And Creating Hope) is a groundbreaking Latina-focused workforce development initiative jointly pioneered by Felton Institute and MEDA (Mission Economic Development Agency).

Through a collective impact approach, ECE REACH offers an accelerated career pathway, tackling historical barriers to employment for Latina mothers in San Francisco’s Mission, Excelsior, and Bayview neighborhoods. This transformative program not only provides an entry into birth-to-eight professional roles but also delivers comprehensive academic, financial, career, and wrap-around client support, ensuring the success of Latina participants entering the ECE (Early Care and Education) field.

ECE REACH is empowering Latinas to take charge of their professional and personal lives, creating a brighter future for themselves, their families, and their communities.

Program Overview

Building on Felton's proven expertise, ECE REACH replicates the success of the original REACH program, emphasizing a two-generation approach. This holistic method serves both children and their parents, resulting in improved academic and economic outcomes.

Training Program Structure

  • Cohort-based training program for 30-45 students-clients
  • Graduation with 12 core ECE units plus 50 days of work-based learning for an Associate Teacher (AT) credential
  • Entry-level position in birth-to-eight ECE Center Based, FCC setting, or formation of an ECE Cooperative (promotoras)

Who We Serve

The ECE REACH program is designed to empower first-generation college and immigrant Latina mothers. Our two-generation approach considers the needs of both children and their parents.

Participant Demographics

  • Youth (high school and/or 18-24 years old) and parents (24 and above)
  • Low-income, immigrant, Latina
  • Monolingual Spanish, limited English
  • Housing insecure and un- or underemployed
  • Residing in the Mission, Excelsior, and Bayview (MEB) neighborhoods

Our Services

Academic and Vocational Support

  • Academic support services through Foothill College
  • Job Readiness Training (JRT) classes with vocational preparation
  • Work Experience placements: On-site and off-site stipend internships

Leadership Development and Support Services

  • Leadership development opportunities and community services
  • Monthly "leadership meetings" for skill enhancement
  • Mentoring through internships with experienced Lead Teachers
  • Follow-up services for participants post-completion

Financial Capability and Housing Navigation

  • Services provided by MEDA (Mission Economic Development Agency)
  • Assistance for housing insecurity, including shelter access and rental relief
  • Financial literacy workshops and vocational/career guidance post-program completion

Program Components

ECE Apprenticeship

  • Student supports: ECE and ESL academic courses, work-based learning, mentorship
  • Wrap-around client support: Workforce development, financial capability, and affordable housing navigation services
  • Two-generation approach: Enhancing knowledge and skills in ECE settings for both parents and professionals

Program Benefits

  • Entry into birth-to-eight professional roles
  • Foundational core knowledge and competencies in child development
  • Core knowledge and competencies for early care and education professionals

Latino Educator Pipeline

  • Addressing the need for a new Latino educator pipeline
  • Supporting incumbent workforce toward degree attainment
  • Cultural Placekeeping Initiative

Apply For Our Next Cohort

In this program, you will be offered academic courses, a paid internship, mentorship, training, and job placement.

Download our Recruitment Flyer (in English / In Spanish) to learn about program offerings, participant benefits, and job placement opportunities.

Apply today for this unique and exciting career opportunity by filling out our ECE REACH Recruitment Survey!

For more information contact:

About the ECE REACH Apprenticeship Pilot


Embarking on a mission to tackle the early childhood educator crisis in San Francisco County and ensuring the development of a new educator pipeline that resonates with the linguistic and cultural needs of the children we serve!

In January 2023, Felton Institute, in collaboration with Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA) and Foothill College, proudly launched the ECE REACH Apprenticeship Pilot. The choice of an apprenticeship program for ECE REACH is deliberate, aligning with the program’s objectives to elevate skills in Early Childhood Education (ECE) for participants in San Francisco’s Mission, Excelsior, and Bayview districts. Embracing a two-generation approach, the program targets both children and parents, leading to enhanced academic and economic outcomes.

With three tiers, the apprenticeship model acts as a gateway, providing entry points into birth-to-eight professional roles and facilitating degree attainment for the existing workforce. By concurrently addressing the needs of newcomers and those already in the workforce, ECE REACH fulfills the evolving demands of the ECE community. The program’s comprehensive support services accelerated career pathway, and community-responsive approach directly align with its overarching goal of empowering the ECE workforce, breaking down historical barriers to employment, and emphasizing a holistic career path over a job-centric focus.

The Unfolding Odyssey:

Through our collective impact and two-generation strategy, we’ve paved the way for the ECE REACH Tier I apprenticeship pilots. Crafted as an accelerated, entry-level career pathway, this groundbreaking program is specifically designed to empower Latinas, who have historically faced barriers in postsecondary education and employment.

Vision Transformed:

ECE REACH not only provides foundational support but also ensures that Latinas, both as parents and professionals, enhance their knowledge, skills, and practices in child growth and development within ECE settings.

Nurturing Success:

More than a program launch, it’s a commitment to nurturing dreams and championing success! The ECE REACH program is dedicated to fostering growth and empowering our participants as they embark on this transformative journey.


Service Area: San Francisco’s Mission, Excelsior, and Bayview (MEB) neighborhoods

Realizing Employment and Creating Hope (ECE REACH)
Located within Felton Institute’s Family Developmental Center (FDC)
Address: 2730 Bryant Street, 1st Floor, San Francisco, CA 94110
Program Email:
Main Office Phone: (415) 282-1090 ext. 509

For more information, please contact:

Elodia Villasenor, MPH, Family Support Director
Office Phone: (415) 282-1090 ext. 516

Yohana I. Quiróz, Ed.D., Felton Institute Chief Operations Officer (COO),
Division Director, Children, Youth, Family and Transitional Age Youth Services (CYFTAY)

Felton Institute’s ECE REACH (Early Care and Education, Realizing Employment And Creating Hope) is operated in collaboration with MEDA (Mission Economic Development Agency) and Foothill College.

We are grateful to the California Workforce Development Board’s (CWDB) Workforce Accelerator Fund (WAF), and Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Act (WIOA) for their support and an 18-month grant to launch the inaugural ECE REACH apprenticeship program.