Childcare is frequently advertised on community forums like craigslist sfbay.craigslist.org/sfc/kid/ but before trusting your child to anyone's care make sure they have the proper accreditation and licensing. Verify that the center is approved by the NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children - Phone : 1-800-424-2460 or http://www.naeyc.org). The Bureau of Child Care is a San Francisco institution that regulates child care services (public and private) operating within San Francisco City. Children's Council is an excellent resource to find childcare and local resources.
Childcare for newborns may be more difficult to find as there are more restrictive child care rules. Law dictates that one adult must be responsible for no more than three babies. The blog, blogs.urbanbaby.com/sanfrancisco/, gives helpful hints on raising a baby in the city as well as referrals to local businesses.
Some families run day cares from their home as they are stay-at-home moms themselves. By law, they must have a license and posses some basic CPR training. Depending on the facilities, they may have restrictions on how many children they may care for. These facilities tend to be cheaper and more flexible than bigger day cares. They usually cost $8 to $15 an hour or $40 to $60 a day. Per month costs are usually between $800 and $1400 a month. The site, local.sanfrancisco.com/Daycare, can help locate the daycare for your family.
Pre-School programs are often held at public elementary schools. They provide childcare while beginning to educate. Private Daycare is also available, and is usually more expensive. Different programs may operate in half day periods or full day care. Public schools and government try to keep the costs of these programs down, but pre-school for 1-2 year old's is usually $800 to $1200 a month with older children costing between $700 to $1000 a month.
Bay Area Kid Fun offers local listings for pre-schools.
Babysitting is usually done by a neighbor or acquaintance for lower pay than a professional facility. Young women, often in high school or college, offer their services on craigslist or community boards. Prices and skill levels vary greatly along with prices, but it is best to hire someone with some CPR skills and references. Prices may range from $7-12 an hour per child.
Baby-sitters at Sitter City can help locate a baby-sitter for your family.