The SLO County YMCA received a grant from The Community Foundation of San Luis Obispo Disaster Support Fund to support Camp CARE (Childcare Assistance in Response to Emergency), a safe CDC-compliant day camp for essential workers. Camp CARE currently provides care for children grades K – 6th at C.L. Smith Elementary in SLO. In response to growing need, a second camp location is being planned for South San Luis Obispo County and a future North County location is anticipated.

“Camp CARE is a lifesaver for me as a single Mom working in an essential service industry with three elementary school age kids,” said Laura, a parent of Camp CARE participants. “People like me really rely on the school system and the YMCA after school programs for childcare, and to have it all suddenly taken away has been beyond difficult. Having an option like Camp CARE at a reasonable cost to parents is wonderful asset for our community during these difficult times!”

Thanks to the support of the community and The Community Foundation Disaster Support Fund, the program is offered at a low cost to families, $25 per day or $15 per half day, and additional financial assistance is available. Monica Grant, CEO of the SLO County Y, stated, “Our Community Foundation has been a key partner of our Y in supporting our commitment to youth development. This grant ensures our ability to respond to a critical current need”.

The SLO County Y has been a leader in providing afterschool childcare programs and day camps for youth in the county for over 30 years. Camp CARE is run in collaboration with SLCUSD, SLO County Office of Education, CAPSLO, SLO County Public Health, and LMUSD.

The Y follows SLO County Public Health and CDC guidelines in running this and future childcare programs in regards to staff ratios, social distancing, health monitoring, and sanitization.

The Y is currently hiring leaders for Camp CARE. Employment applications are available online at Parents in need of care can register online at, or email for additional information.