Mom Groups & Childcare in SLO

Becoming a new mom or coming from a different city can be exciting and a little nerve wrecking at the same time. Knowing the experience first hand, here are some resources you can check out to find other moms to relate to or find a place for your child to thrive. 

Mommy & Me Classes That Cost Money

Central Coast Aquarium in Avila Beach

During certain seasons, the Central Coast Aquarium would plan an educational program for kids ages 2 - 5 years old. For 2024, it's called Big Fish Little Fish and the program is meant for parents and their little kids.

It takes place every first Monday from 10AM - 11:30AM. They ask that you register for events online. I've visited the Central Coast Aquarium a few times and even chaperoned at a field trip here for kindergartens. See pictures that I took at Central Coast Aquarium. Address: 50 San Juan St, Avila Beach, CA 93424

Five Cities Swimming School

Located in Arroyo Grande, they offer Mommy (Parent) & Me swim classes for babies and toddlers 3 years old and under. Five Cities Swimming School is also a great swimming school for kids of any age. My kids have taken swim classes here during the summer between the ages of 3 - 6 years old and the instructors are so silly to the kids; so they had really enjoy coming here as they were getting introduced to being in the water! Address: 425 Traffic School Rd., Arroyo Grande, CA 93420

Pacific Flips

Located in Grover Beach, this gymnastics center has preschool open play twice a week during the school year. Each open play session is 1 hour long. You can drop in and pay or pay for a discounted pass that is applicable for multiple visits. Address: 1554 W Grand Ave, Grover, Beach, CA 93433

KT's All Star Gymnastics

Located in Santa Maria (not San Luis Obispo county but close), they have mommy and me classes for age 1 through 3 years old. (Pretty much as soon as they can start walking.) This is great for active toddlers. The plus side of their location is it's inside an indoor mall so you can do a little shopping after the mommy & me class! Address: 237 Town Center E, Santa Maria, CA 93454

Performance Athletics Gymnastics

Located in San Luis Obispo, there are mommy & me type classes for babies and toddlers by age groups. Baby gymnastics is a great way to help the littles with their fine motor skills. Address: 4484 Broad St., San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

Playtime Discoveries

Located in Atascadero, Playtime Discoveries focuses on preschool learning with mommy & me for toddlers 12 months through 4 years old. Address: 7600 Morro Rd., Atascadero, CA 93422 

Fitness through Kennedy Clubs

Kenny Clubs has a few locations around San Luis Obispo County. Most of them have a pool. The Atascadero location has family swim hours and they actively post on their social media for these upcoming new schedules.

Cali Kids Fitness 

They have parent & me classes all over including: Arroyo Grande, Oceano, Paso Robles and other places in San Luis Obispo county. Classes are grouped by age and focus on early gymnastics. They don't have a main fitness club center and hosts these classes at recreation centers, community centers, etc.

Central Coast Gymnastics

Located in San Luis Obispo, California, Central Coast Gymnastics is renowned and has two buildings! They also have many kids for babies and toddlers too. Look into their schedule. They also have a monthly kids night out where the parents can drop off the kids for a very reasonable flat price. It also includes play, pizza and snacks. They also have regular spring, fall and summer camps. Address: 21 Zaca Ln, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

Mini Melodies

Mini Melodies have classes for little ones and their accompanying adults to sing, play and/or dance at community parks throughout SLO County including the following cities: Los Osos, San Luis Obispo, Templeton and Nipomo. Check out their website to see the latest schedule.

Kids Programs That are Run by Local Governments

All of the public libraries in San Luis Obispo County have free storytimes where you sit with your little ones and usually a craft follows after that. The public libraries often host and sponsor other free programs throughout the year like pyjama drama, special seasonal events and musical activities. See the story time schedule. The recreation departments around SLO County are also very active with many having special programs for toddlers and their parents.

Little Rangers Program

At the Oceano Dunes Visitors Center near the beach, Pismo State Beach rangers also organize a free Little Rangers Program for ages 2  - 6 years old through out the year! My kids really enjoyed their educational program when they were younger. Here a couple of pictures that I took from our visit there during their Little Rangers program below.
See the event list page to see the upcoming date for the next one.

Oceano Dunes Visitors Center is located by the beach at 555 Pier Ave., Oceano, CA 93445

San Luis Obispo Recreation

You can go on the San Luis Obispo County Recreation & Community website to find local community resources and free things to do as a family. Often times they plan free events like an Easter egg hunt at Meadow Park or other events at parks around the area.

Pismo Beach Recreation

Every year the Pismo Beach Recreation plans events throughout the seasons. You can also find local community classes for kids and adults, as well as upcoming fun and free events like Easter egg hunts, family-family concerts and outdoor movies nights.

family-friendly things to do page to see all upcoming events

Grover Beach Recreation

If you live in the Grover Beach area, check out the Grover Beach Recreation Programs to find affordable local community classes like Tiny Tots (preschool type program for ages 2.5 - 5 years old), kids and adults and local upcoming events. Many of their events are usually held at Ramona Park or the Grover Beach Community Center.

Every year they host an annual Mother & Son event in May (this particular event is not free)! Read my thoughts and reviews about Mother & Son Dances.

Oceano Recreation

If you live in Oceano, you can visit the Oceano Community Center to find recreation programs and Parent Participation programs for residents of South County of SLO. These Parent Participation are often free!

Oceano Community Center is where you can find many recreational activities for the South County part of SLO County. 

Childcare & Preschools Programs

Childcare and preschool can be costly. The great thing is, there's a lot to pick from in SLO County. I find that city-run (government funded) and parent participation programs (parents sits with preschool child) are more affordable. Here are the top choices for the area below! (Check each place for pricing as they may have increased.)

Cooperative Preschool - COOP

The Co-Op Preschool is for children ages 3 - kindergarten (mainly 3 and 4 year olds) with and without a parent present. They follow the California Preschool Learning Foundations and foster school readiness skills. Credentialed teachers facilitate meaningful, play-based curriculum designed to nurture the whole child, including social, emotional, language, and academic development. There are 3 different options: San Luis Obispo 3 year olds, San Luis Obispo 4 year olds, and Morro Bay 3 -4 year olds. Depending on the programs you pick, they are affordable compared to other places. All of the programs are 3 hours per day. With this low rate, parents are expected to volunteer either once a week or every other week in the classroom, depending on the program your child is enroll in. See the details of their Cooperative Preschool programs.

Play and Learn Preschool

This program is for 3-5 year olds at the Elm Street Community Center in Arroyo Grande. Children are introduced to colors, numbers, letters, reading readiness, verbal skills, socialization, music and nature. Call 805-473-5474 for more information. My older son attended their Kindergarten In Training Program while he was a preschooler. Read about our experience. For 2024, I don't see that they list this in their city catalog anymore so check with the City of Arroyo Grande to get more details about the next session. Address: 1221 Ash Street, Arroyo Grande 93420

Child Development Resource Center (CDRC) of Central Coast

The CDRC is a non-profit program for kids ages 2 - 5 years old. It's a school readiness/transition program for children entering kindergarten. You pay by the month. Part time preschool here is from 8:30AM - 12:30PM and includes breakfast and lunch. There are toddler rates and preschool rates. More details. Address: 1720 Bishop St., San Luis Opisbo, CA 93401

Head Start of California State Preschool

Head Start Preschool is for ages 3 - 5 years old. These programs are entirely free and for lower income families only. There are also Early Head Start programs for ages 6 weeks - 2 years old that are also entirely free and great for working parents of low income families. Although they are called preschool, they have extended care (full time). Take advantage of this if you're working and need childcare. Sometimes there is a waiting list so the sooner you apply, the better your chances of letting your children utilize these programs. That way, you don't have to spend more money than you have to, especially if you are already running thin. 

Orfalea Family and Asi Children's Center

Orfalea Family and Asi Children's Center is a program for infants through kindergarteners. Priority for this program goes to Cal Poly Students but anyone can utilize this great program. Rates are by day. Cal Poly students pay a cheaper rate than the public rate. Check out the Orfalea Family & Asi Children's Center website for more details. 

United Methodist Children's Center (UMCC) Preschool

UMCC is a preschool with extended day options for ages 2 - 5. They have a toddler program and regular preschool program. Both Toddler and Preschool programs run from 9AM - 12PM. Extended hours go on until 5:30PM for an extra cost. To see more details, go to the UMCC Preschool website. Address: 1515 Fredricks St., San Luis Obispo, CA 93405

Newlife Preschool 

This preschool is located in Pismo Beach and runs from 9AM - 12:30PM and offers toddler classes and pre-k classes. They also offer full day care for an extra fee. Go to the Newlife Preschool website for more information. Address: 990 James Way, Pismo Beach, CA  93449​

Parent Participation Program under SLO

This program is especially great because you get to be there while your child is learning! WIth many different types of classes by age (from 0 months - 5 years old), this is like like a mommy and me program but with a preschool type regiment. Parent Participation is held in a preschool classroom setting and includes group circle time with music and movement, teacher-facilitated parent discussion groups and opportunities for creative indoor and outdoor play. These classes are located in three locations: San Luis Obispo, Los Osos and Morro Bay.  Classes for each semester range from $100 - $190 for the whole semester per child. Check out the Parent Participation website for fee information.

Parent Participation Program under Lucia Mar District (Cancelled)

There was also a separate Parent Participation program for ages 0 months - 4 years old in Oceano under the Lucia Mar District. So if you live in Grover Beach, Pismo Beach, Oceano, Arroyo Grande or nearby, these kids/preschool programs were really close! They are broken down by age groups. Even though the program couldn't continue on due to space problems, I had the privilege to experience this Parent Participation program before the pandemic. Read my review of my experience with Parent Participation.

Tiny Tots Enrichment Program (Grover Beach)

For ages 2.5 - 5 years old, The Tiny Tots Enrichment Program is a child-enrichment program designed to integrate advanced learning and social skills. The monthly rate is affordable compared to other preschools and you can pick form twice a week, three days a week, 4 days a week, or 5 days a week. Read my personal review of Tiny Tots as my little one attended this program! For more information, contact the Grover Beach Parks & Recreation Department at (805) 473-4580. Read more about the Tiny Tots program. Address: 1230 Trouville Ave, Grover Beach, CA 93433

Mom Groups in San Luis Obispo


This program is especially great because you get to be there while your child is learning! WIth many different types of classes by age (from 0 months - 5 years old), this is like like a mommy and me program but with a preschool type regiment. Parent Participation is held in a preschool classroom setting and includes group circle time with music and movement, teacher-facilitated parent discussion groups and opportunities for creative indoor and outdoor play. These classes are located in three locations: San Luis Obispo, Los Osos and Morro Bay.  Classes for each semester range from $100 - $150 for the whole semester per child.

SLO Moms Facebook Group

SLO MOMS facebook group is a big online group and you can join as long as you have a Facebook account. There are over 6,000 members there and growing! You can ask many other moms in the San Luis Obispo area there for advice and suggestions on anything. Link to SLO Moms facebook group page.

MOMS Club® of San Luis Obispo, CA

A MOMS Club organizes enriching activities for you and your children, during the day when you most need the support. It is a great way to meet other mothers who share your interests and concerns. They have monthly meetings with interesting speakers and discussion topics, regular park playdays, special "Moms Night Out" events, holiday activities, and community service projects. Find a MOMS Club chapter close to your home. I find that sometimes local chapters disappear after awhile so the best way to find a current local chapter closest to you is using the find a chapter link above. 

MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) 

MOPS is a national moms organization that has local chapters all over the US. Just in the San Luis Obispo county, there are 2 local chapters (may grow or shrink depending on the year)! They usually have 2 meetings a month and are held at local churches. To see one that's located closest to you, go to: MOPS Group Search or to save time, you can see details on all MOPS locations and see which one works for you. 

Mom to Mom Group at Grace Bible Church

Located in Arroyo Grande, moms meet every Wednesday during the school year from 9:30AM - 11:30AM. There's a fee to join this group or scholarships are available. Childcare is also available as well. Wednesday mornings for Mom to Mom gives you an outlet adult conversation, coffee and a potluck style breakfast, prayers, laughter, tears, and encouragement. All moms are welcome - foster moms, pregnant moms, toddler moms, preschool moms, elementary moms, moms of teenagers, and empty nest moms. Mom to Mom takes place every Wednesday, September through May, from 9:30-11:30 AM. Website info for Mom to Mom group in Arroyo Grande. Address: 100 Rodeo Drive Arroyo Grande, CA 93420

Stroller Strides and other Mom's Exercise Group

Run by Fit4Mom, there are currently 0 locations in SLO County. The local chapter ended their term but in the future if they are back, you can join this exercise group with your kids in their strollers. The work outs all take place at a park so it ends up like a playgroup after your 1 hour work out. The mommies get to exercise and then let the kids have some playground fun! See more details on exercises class for moms with kids in tow.


SLOCALKIDS was a mommy and me group that you could join for free in the SLO County area. This group no longer exists but there used to be thousands of local members on there so I suggest checking on every once in a while to see if a new mom group has been created near your area.

Free Preschool Options

Head Start is always a great free preschool and full time childcare program for low income families around the country because they are federally funded, but here at SLO County, there are also additional preschool options. 

Early Learning Centers 

There are 8 different Early Learning Center Locations in San Luis Obispo County. They are free preschool classes run 5 days a week, 3 hours a day and are wonderful programs for the kids ages five and under. They have to be potty-trained though. Early Learning Centers offer both a parent and child education program to low and moderate-income families. This program is funded by the California State Department of Education and First 5 of San Luis Obispo County. Breakfast and a snack are included each day for your children. Read my personal review of Early Learning Center. 

The Early Learning Centers program is administered through the San Luis Obispo County Office of Education. As part of the curriculum, parents are asked to volunteer twice a month. To see all 6 locations, including: Atascadero, Grover Beach, Oceano, San Miguel, Nipomo and Paso Robles, you can check out the Early Learning Centers website. Also, if they have enough funding by First 5, you don't have to be under a certain income bracket in order for your child to be accepted. Check with the centers to inquire more information on the year you'd like to enroll your child.

Go to the 'Family-friendly Events' page to find family-friendly things to do with your kids.