Community members who want to open a child care business in San Luis Obispo but may not have the means to do so will soon be able to apply for grant funds to get started.

The City of San Luis Obispo is investing $54,000 in a new pilot project at CAPSLO to increase the number of SLO-based child care options within the next year, which has been a long-time need.

“Our community needs more affordable child care options if we’re going to encourage parents to return to work and fill critical staffing vacancies in businesses and organizations in San Luis Obispo,” said San Luis Obispo’s Economic Development Manager Lee Johnson. “Ultimately, this pilot program supports our Major City Goal for economic recovery, resiliency and fiscal sustainability and addresses an established need here.”

The pilot program called “Direct Support for Family Child Care Start-ups” will be managed through CAPSLO’s existing Child Care Initiative Project. Up to 10 new child care businesses will be able to apply for $5,000 grants funded by the City, which can be used to start a child care business, eliminate barriers to licensure, and accelerate the creation of additional quality child care slots.

“Our local businesses are struggling to fill staffing vacancies because of the lack of child care options here, threatening the economic stability of the city,” said CAPSLO’s Children Services Manager Shana Paulson. “Child care businesses are largely women-owned businesses and in the City of SLO, nearly half are minority owned. In the first year of this program, we want to see 80% of participants create at least six new child care spaces – or four if they’re only serving infants or toddlers. Future programs could support expanding capacity of existing child care businesses including child care centers.”

More information about Direct Support for Family Child Care Start-ups will be provided by CAPSLO in the coming months. For more details, visit