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Re: How to Find Childcare
All I can say is--Bananas! (A free child care resource, referral, and support
service). They are the goddesses of those needing help in figuring out
"how-to" do anything re: childcare. Their focus is Alameda County--because
that's where their funding comes from--but El Cerrito squeaks in a bit around
the edges. Set aside a couple of hours and go there if you can (to get your
"how-to" talk & handouts and have time to look through cards of
family/center/in-home providers). Call them if you can't. They won't find
childcare for you but they'll give you the tools to find it for yourself.
(Caveat: there are no quick and easy solutions, but there are good
You will get better info and be less
frustrated if you _visit_ Bananas, rather than call. They have a card for
each provider, showing approximate location, which you can match up to the
maps they have there. This is really important if you are trying to find
daycare on a specific travel route. Also, remember that you may look at
things differently after your child arrives, and you have developed specific
concerns/issues that are important to you and to him/her. I looked at
places when I was pregnant that seemed fine, but I felt differently after my
boy was born, so I felt like I had to re-visit and re-interview some places,
just to be sure. So...it doesn't hurt to get on more waiting lists than you
need, and turn down their offers of a spot later.
RE: parenting classes
You should check Bannanas... They offer short topic related classes
from time to time. They are usually free, and taught by really good folks.
They have a calendar at: http://www.bananasinc.org/
Bananas offers great parenting classes. They are either free or at a very
reasonable price. Bananas is located at 5232 Claremont Ave., Oakland, Ca
94618. Phone number 658-0381. It is easier to write to them or go to their
agency than to make a phone call. This is a very popular agency and the phone
line is always busy. Their newsletter, which cost about $5 a year, has
great referrals for classes, workshops, activities for children, etc.
Re: Therapist for Step parenting issues (Feb 1999)
There is a drop-in stepparent support group that
meets the first Thursday of every month 7:30-9:00 pm
at Bananas on Claremont in Oakland. I believe the
phone number is 433-9404, but check a Parents' Press
to be sure. The moderator, Anthony, is a stepfather,
father, and professional counselor. He is very
knowledgeable and does a good job of running the group.
I attended for about a year until my son was born.
I haven't been able to make it back since (he's 15 months
old now). One drawback to the group is that
attendance was very irregular. Only three people
came on a regular basis, me and a couple (who
also now have a toddler and aren't able to make
And, yes, being a stepparent can be very hard. I've
been one for about 5 years now. If you want to talk more
about it, please feel free to send me e-mail.
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