Learn. Play. Grow.

State and county-funded preschool programs for SLO County families. 

8 preschool locations throughout SLO County.

Important Dates


A new school year begins!


Early enrollment begins following State priority guidelines

May - June

Enrollment for upcoming school year continues until class capacity is met


Enrollment may continue throughout the school year if class capacity is not met

Explore State Preschools in SLO County

High-quality, no-cost preschool services

SLOCOE’s Early Learning Centers provide high-quality, no-cost preschool services to families and children ages 3-5 years old in San Luis Obispo County. There are a total of 8 Center locations, which include Atascadero, Grover Beach, Nipomo, Oceano, Paso Robles, and San Miguel.

The Early Learning Center Preschool Programs are funded by the California Department of Education and First 5 of San Luis Obispo County.

For 3-5 year-olds of low to moderate income families in SLO County

Administered by the San Luis Obispo County Office of Education

“My daughter has built safe and caring relationships with peers and teachers. She has opportunities to learn through play with the curriculum that teachers provide in the classroom. I am grateful my daughter has this early learning experience, preparing her for later school success.” 

- Karley, mother of a three-year-old ELC preschool student

What Your Child Will Learn

Social Emotional Development

Our curriculum enhances children's confidence, empathy and social relationship skills.


Art can connect students with their own culture as well as with the wider world. Here, children will engage in chalk art, water art, collaging, and painting.

Cognitive Skills

Children will develop an increased attention span, understand cause and effect, learn to ask questions, and more. 

Language and Literacy

In our classrooms, children enjoy books, a language-rich environment, and storytime, all of which enhance a child’s skills in reading and writing.

Physical Health

In the classrooms and on the play ground, children engage in all sorts of physical activities which help them learn, grow, and play.

Motor Skills

Our program will enable and challenge children to perform gross motor skills such as running, jumping, and skipping and fine-motor skills such as stringing beads, drawing, and cutting with scissors.

Other Benefits for Children and Families

Dental and Vision Screenings

Family Engagement & Parent Education

Parent Advisory Council

CACFP Child Nutrition Program

Raising a Reader Program

For Schools

Interested in Starting a Preschool/Early Learning Center?

Partner with San Luis Obispo County Office of Education and Early Learning Centers to learn how we can help you get started with everything from staffing to funding.

Call (805) 782-7275 or complete this form.


Where are the Early Learning Centers located?

  • San Miguel-Lillian Larsen Elementary
  • Paso Robles- Paso Robles First 5 Education Center
  • Paso Robles- Marie Bauer Early Ed. Center
  • Paso Robles- Winifred Pifer Elementary
  • Atascadero- San Gabriel Elementary
  • Grover Beach- Grover Beach Elementary
  • Oceano- Oceano Elementary
  • Nipomo- Nipomo High School

What are the program hours?

Programs run Monday-Friday for 3 hrs./day, hours vary per classroom. All Centers have AM classroom sessions. Marie Bauer, Grover Beach, and San Miguel also offer a PM classroom session.

How old does my child have to be to enroll in the program?

  • 2023-2024 school year: Children whose birthdates are between 9/2/2018-12/1/2020 are age-eligible.
  • 2024-2025 school year: Children whose birthdates are between 9/2/2019-12/1/2021 are age-eligible. **Note: Children enrolled in Transitional Kindergarten may be enrolled in part-day State Preschool for Extended Learning and Care.

Does my child need to be potty-trained to attend?

Yes, children should be fully potty-trained by the time of enrollment.

Does my family qualify for the program?

3 and 4-year-old children may be eligible for part-day State Preschool if the child/family meets one of the following:

  • The family is a current CalWORKs aid recipient
  • The family is income eligible (up to 115% of the SMI)
  • The family is experiencing homelessness
  • The child is a recipient of child protective services or has been identified/at-risk of being abused, neglected, or exploited
  • The child has a disability and an active IFSP/IEP
  • Families who have a member of their household who is certified to receive benefits from Medi-Cal, CalFresh, the California Food Assistance Program, the California Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, the federal Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations, Head Start, Early Head Start, or any other designated means-tested government program

How do I enroll my child?

Complete the interest form on this page. Beginning after Spring Break, families will receive an email/phone call to sign up for an enrollment appointment based on State Priority guidelines. Early enrollment will begin in late April and continue through the summer months.

1st priority: 3 or 4-year-old children who are recipients of child protective services or who are at risk of being neglected, abused, or exploited (a written referral from a legal, medical, or local social service agency will need to be provided.)

2nd priority: Once the 5% set-aside for children with exceptional needs is filled, 3 and 4-year-old children with exceptional needs from families with incomes below the income eligibility threshold.

3rd priority: 3 or 4-year-old children not enrolled in a state-funded Transitional Kindergarten program. (Prioritized based on family income ranking order)

4th priority: After all otherwise eligible children have been enrolled, children from families whose income is no more than 15% above the income eligibility threshold.

After all otherwise eligible children have been enrolled in the first through fourth priority categories, Children enrolled in TK may be enrolled in the State Preschool for extended learning and care.

Are there any fees associated with this program?

No, the SLOCOE’s Early Learning Centers are fully funded by the State of California and First 5 of San Luis Obispo County. All enrolled families will receive a no cost, high-quality program.

Who can I contact for more questions?

Please contact our administrative assistant, Marisol Espino, via email at mespino@slocoe.org or at (805)782-7275

early learning centers in san luis obispo county

Early Learning Centers is a program of the San Luis Obispo County Office of Education

© 2024 San Luis Obispo County Office of Education

 Office of James J. Brescia, Ed.D.

 3350 Education Drive, San Luis Obispo, CA 93405

 805-782-7275      Policies