SFRPD Playground Permit Request: Child Care Programs

This Form is to be Used by San Francisco-Based Child Care Programs to Request a Permit for Nonexclusive Use of a Park/Playground from the San Francisco Recreations and Parks Department.

Historically the Community Care Licensing (CCL) Division has required child care programs to provide on-site open play space for kids in their programs. After years of negotiations with the CCL, the San Francisco Office of Early Childhood has been able to obtain a San Francisco only waiver to allow child care programs to apply to use public playgrounds belonging to the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department.
If you are applying for permit to use a SFRPD park or playground, you must meet and agree to these minimum requirements:
  • Program must be based and operating in San Francisco
  • Serve a maximum of 50 children - Programs with a capacity above 50 children that held an 2023 SFRPD Child Care Permit will continue to be accommodated. 
  • Must provide $1M per occurrent / $2M aggregate liability insurance coverage listing SFRPD as additionally insured
  • Must apply for a playground within half a mile walking distance of your ECE center. 
  • Understand that, if approved, your permit will be for NONEXCLUSIVE use – ECE centers must share the space with the community and any other permitted users.
  • Understand that the maximum number of children allowed at a session at any one time will be dependent on the size of the playground space. Generally, the maximum will be between 12 and 16 children at any one time but some playgrounds may not be able to accommodate as many and others may accommodate more. In addition, specific times may be set to accommodate multiple groups. Please submit an application to obtain feedback about what can be permitted.
  • Some SFRPD playgrounds may not be available for use by ECE centers under this permit program due to existing permits previously approved for SFUSD and/or SFRPD classes and programs. In addition, some SFRPD spaces may require a summer schedule variance due to the addition of SFRPD summer programming. This summer scheduling will be negotiated between SFRPD and the ECE center permitted to access the space.
  • This permit does NOT cover any specialty programs for the preschoolers like tot soccer, tot music, tot dance, etc.. These specialty programs can request use by season. More  information is available here
  • Understand that any permit issued is valid until the end of the calendar year only. It is the responsibility of the ECE Center to submit a new application for the next calendar year at least 90 days prior to the requested start date. Although priority will be given to current permit holders (as long as the program does not violate any park/permit rules and remains in good standing,) SFRPD cannot 100% guarantee that the same playground will remain available indefinitely (e.g., park maintenance/renovations, park closure.) In these circumstances SFRPD and the Department of Early Childhood (DEC) will help the program look for alternative spaces if the playground were to become unavailable, but no guarantees are made.
  • Permits are available on weekdays only between the hours of 9am and 3pm. Centers may request up to 2 hours maximum per day and may be broken up into 2 separate hours but must be complete prior to 3pm. Each child should get one visit to the park daily so if broken up into two hours then the children going to the playground must be different for the second hour (i.e., no morning and afternoon sessions for the same group of children).
  • Being approved for a permit from SFRPD is a prerequisite for applying for an Open Space Waiver from CCL. However, please note that permit approval from SFRPD does not guarantee approval of the Open Space waiver from CCL for the same space.
  • Some playgrounds have reached their capacity to accommodate preschool groups. Be sure to inquire about availability for NEW centers prior to entering into lease agreements. 
  • Additional SFRPD expectations:
    • ECE centers are expected to report any graffiti and/or damage to SFRPD as soon as possible
    • The permit does not allow the center to use the SFRPD park as an emergency/disaster gathering location
    • No art projects are allowed
    • There is no fee for the permit but there is a requirement for the center to add the City to their $2 million liability insurance (specific language and required limits will be provided later)
    • No litter/trash to be left at the park/playground
    • Please limit food (outdoor time should be focused on play, not snacks)
    • No amplified sound
    • Additional permits are required for picnics, events, field usage, etc.
While SFRPD is not able to guarantee automatic annual renewal for any spaces, we will give priority to returning permittees in good standing, subject to park maintenance, special events and community considerations.

DEADLINE: You Must Apply for a Permit at Least 90 Days Prior to Your Requested Start Date. Any Permits Issued Are Valid Until the End of the Calendar Year. PERMITS ARE ALWAYS REQUIRED PRIOR TO USE. NO EXCEPTIONS.

General Information

Do your program participants and staff get dropped off and picked up in the park? *
Are you required to obtain an Open Space Waiver for your program for the Community Care Licensing Division? *
STOP DO NOT FILL OUT THIS FORM: Please submit the correct Program Request Form by season. Information and the applications are located at this page:
Advanced Reservations | San Francisco Recreation and Parks, CA ( 
STOP DO NOT FILL OUT THIS FORM: Do Not Fill Out this Form as you are bringing fewer than 12 children to the park for outdoor time and will use it on a space available basis.