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A new child care service opens in downtown SLO



The child care options in SLO County are limited, and a pair of sisters is hoping to make a dent by being a provider of the service to San Luis Obispo parents.

Downtown Baby is owned and operated by Sophie Crisp and Robin Rose. The two told New Times through an email that they had always envisioned opening an early learning center.

WATCHFUL CARE Sophie Crisp (left) and Robin Rose (right) have created a safe, sustainable, and comfortable child care facility for working parents. - PHOTO COURTESY OF LAUREN HARGREAVES PHOTOGRAPHY
  • Photo Courtesy Of Lauren Hargreaves Photography
  • WATCHFUL CARE Sophie Crisp (left) and Robin Rose (right) have created a safe, sustainable, and comfortable child care facility for working parents.

They really wanted to make their dream a reality after they understood the growing demand for infant care options in their community.

"All child care in our area is great. There just simply isn't enough," Crisp and Rose said in the email.

Downtown Baby has two locations—its first location was established in Shell Beach, and the facility cares for newborns through school-aged children. The duo expanded on their business in February by opening a SLO location that looks after newborns through children the age of 2.

"Our new facility is centrally located in the downtown's professional district and provides a much-needed resource for modern working parents," Crisp and Rose said.

Their services are different from the rest because, Crisp and Rose said, they're guided by a relationship-based model for supporting early development. Their philosophy is rooted in cultivating positive relationships and an environment where children feel safe and are nurtured. Those surroundings, the duo believes, result in a successful foundation for learning.

"Understanding developmental milestones and each child's interests guides us to help children reach their goals. We have combined traditional methods of teaching, such as Montessori and Waldorf, to create a unique and modern program," they said.

Another aspect of Downtown Baby that the sisters pride themselves on is the physical environment they've created. The atmosphere is described as modern with a minimalistic style, which includes an abundance of natural light, neutral tones, and soft comforts of home.

A lot of the items used by the children have been carefully handpicked from around the world. It allows the children, Crisp and Rose said, to be influenced by culture and art.

"For example, our music instruments are fairly traded, supporting low-income artisans and their families with fair wages and other important benefits. We also support family-owned businesses in America by purchasing handcrafted toys and artwork," they said.

The sisters also take measures to keep children in their care healthy by choosing eco-friendly cleaning supplies, essential oils, air purifying plants, organic bedding, and wooden toys that are naturally colored with vegetable dyes.

In addition, all their wood furniture is responsibly sourced, made in the U.S. and Greenguard gold certified (a certification program that helps buyers identify and trust that interior products and materials that have low chemical emissions and improve the quality of air in which products are used).

Crisp and Rose said their favorite part about the business has always been working hands-on with children.

"But the most exciting thing about launching this business has been dreaming up the perfect environment for children and seeing all the small details make a huge impact in the eyes of the children," they said.

To learn more about Downtown Baby or to sign up for Crisp and Rose's service, visit

Fast fact

The Atascadero Printery Foundation is seeking volunteers for upcoming events and ongoing activities as part of the effort to continue moving forward with the Printery's rehabilitation. At the fourth annual Dancing in the Streets event Aug. 17, the Printery will have a water and info booth. The foundation needs volunteers for setup, takedown, and to man the booth. On Sept. 15, the foundation is hosting Barnyard Bingo at the Printery, and it's in need of folks to work the food and drink booth, create the bingo grid, set up, clean up, and to join the planning committee. There are always ongoing volunteer opportunities at the Printery, including publicity volunteer to submit press releases; administrative volunteer to write thank-you notes for business donations and sponsorships; and building and grounds maintenance on every third Sunday of the month from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information, visit or call (805) 466-1961. Δ

Staff Writer Karen Garcia wrote this week's Strokes and Plugs. Send tidbits to [email protected].

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