Downtown Berkeley YMCA
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Downtown Berkeley YMCA
Re: Gyms or Exercise Clubs for the whole family
Well, we love the Berkeley YMCA, but I can't say that we've compared to other
places. We just moved here from San Luis Obispo, so EVERYTHING is better
around here for a family with kids, but this place is especially nice. When we
joined, while we are essentially paying for just two adults, it was clear that
our children were members too, and the developmental and physical programs are
really nice for them. I love it there, including the childcare.
I'm hoping to go back to working out at the downtown Y and am
considering taking my 3-month old twin girls to the childcare program.
Does anyone have any recent experience and/or advice on this? How safe
does it seem for little babies? What is the cost? Any times better
than others? Thanks!
I started taking my daughter to the Y when she was 8 weeks
old and loved it. I only went for a few months (I went back
to work and couldn't go anymore) and I haven't been since
05/07 so my info may be out-of-date. At the time you could
pay by the hour or sign up for a monthly unlimited rate.
The staff is caring and attentive and I never felt worried
leaving her there. If my daughter was really fussy they
would come and get me rather than letting her cry the whole
time I was gone. It was so nice to be able to have a few
moments to myself and to take a shower in peace!
i have taken both of my kids there, beginning as infants.
they are now 5 yrs old & 7 mo. i've been using it for the
past 4-5 years. my kids really like it, even the baby. the
staff is consistent and caring. they keep the under 2 group
in a separate area from the older kids. if you go during
really busy times, like on weekday evenings, it may appear a
bit chaotic, but it is really ok. as far as cost, they just
raised their prices & i think this is the only thing i don't
like about childwatch as the fees are more than my monthly
membership! i believe it is now $2.50 per 1/2 hr or you can
pay a monthly flat rate of $45 and bring them as much as you
want. (the fees are per child.) if you are going to bring
the kids at least 3-4 times a week it is better to do the
love the berkeley Y
I started my kids in the Y's childcare when they were 9
weeks old. The staff there is great. I feel very secure
leaving my kids there. They tend to hold the babies a lot,
which I like. Every time I have come to fetch my kids, the
babies are being given one-on-one attention. I do recommend
that, if your children take bottles, that you bring one for
the staff to use.
As for the best times...well, I find that it gets packed
immediately after the weekday babygym gets out around 10 am.
A lot of moms come to babygym and then immediately take
their kids to childwatch. I'd probably avoid those times if
I wanted to be sure there was space.
Feeling Guilty That I Don't Work Out More
I've been bringing my baby to the Berkeley Y childwatch
since she was 8 weeks old. Overall, I am really pleased--all
the staff are responsible and seem to genuinely care about
all of the children. I would suggest specifying if you have
any concerns or requests--for example, if your baby can't
yet support his/her head, make sure to tell them not to put
him/her in the swing, and leave your carseat there as an
alternative. The first few times you bring your baby, I
would suggest checking on him/her every 30 minutes or so,
depending on how comfortable your baby is to new
environments with lots of noise. The busiest time is 10 a.m.
-12 p.m., especially on weekends.
I took my daughter to the downtown Berkeley Y childwatch
starting when she was about 3 months old (she's now two). I
felt it was a very safe and attentive environment (and I was
a nervous new mom). The nice thing is that if your child is
crying a lot and not settling in, the staff will come get
you. And the cost is very reasonable - only a few dollars
per hour per child. I recommend that you give it a try!
One thing I'd like to mention about the Berkeley Y Child Watch. I used to
love dropping my 2 year old off there. Until unforeseen circumstances caused
us to miss the entire month of December and part of January. Then I realized
that for 6 weeks, my child had not been sick at all. I would have
appreciated child watch a little better had they been more of a follower of
their own rules about not allowing kids in when they were sick. My son,
before December, was often sporting a cough or runny nose. And sure, I took
him to the gym because hey, he's not THAT sick, and they never turned me
away. When I was finally slapped in the face with the fact that it was
indeed the gym causing him to be sick, I stopped taking him. He's happier
and I don't have to constantly drag him around with a cold. Me? If I'm able
to, I will go in the morning before hubby goes to work. It's just not worth
the germs. And please, I'm not saying the Y is any worse than any other kid
place. It just frustrates me that people drop off their sick kids because they are
paying for it, and the Y takes the sick kids because they are getting paid
tired of the snot
The messages on this topic on the website aren't recent. I wanted to find out from
parents of infants who are using the Oakland YMCA childwatch and/or the Berkeley
YMCA childwatch what their experience has been. I have a 4 month old and have been
thinking about joining.
What have you liked/disliked? In particular, how have you seen staff respond to babies
who are crying or experiencing separation anxiety? Can someone explain the role of
volunteers in the childwatch and whether that's at both Oakland and Berkeley.
Thanks in advance
I recently joined the Berkeley Y and have left my 8-month old at Childwatch on
four different occasions over the last week and a half. I was quite anxious
about leaving my daughter with people she doesn't know and how she would do
without me there. We haven't left her with anyone other than family. So far,
we have had a great experience at Childwatch. The staff and volunteers in the
infant area are very hands on. They are right there on the floor with the
babies playing with them. I have gradually extended my workouts to give my
daughter (and me)
a chance to get adjusted. My daughter has only cried once toward the end of
her time when another baby got to close to her and scared her. I guess she
was crying for a few minutes. (They come and get you if your baby cries for
more than 5 minutes and cannot be consoled). I am getting more and more
comfortable leaving her. It makes me feel good that she gets excited when we
get to the Y. I cannot say that there's anything that I don't like about the
place (I wouldn't leave my daughter if I did). I hope this helps. I know its
anxiety provoking, but just remember, your health is important too. I can
tell you that its really been great to get back to working out on a regular
basis. I have more energy to play with my very active baby. Shauna
I left my daughter at the Berkeley Y childwatch a few times, and
I thought they did a great job. She was a pretty anxious kid,
and wasn't in daycare yet, but they engaged her really well, and
they've got lots of activities for the full range of ages. The
only thing that I didn't like (and the reason I didn't leave her
there regularly) is something they may have changed by now,
since I noticed the director is different than when I first went
there: I had asked what they do if they see a kid is sick, and
the director at the time said, ''Well, we encourage them not to
bring in their kids sick, and they're not supposed to, but we do
have to be nice to the members too.'' Hopefully the person who is
the director now would give the right answer to that question
(i.e., sick kids are not allowed, and if we find out that kids
are sick after they've been dropped off, we call the parents
back). I had considered the Oakland Y, but it's really small
and really boring for the kids. Club One also has a child care
option. It looked pretty good, and friends of mine said their
kids liked it, but the Berkeley Y looked like the most fun for
the kids. They even take the kids into their kindergym area too
I have been using the Berkeley Y childwatch for 4 years and it rocks!! There are
many things I find challenging about the Y in general (parking, 'cave' like building
that isn't particularly inspiring a space for me), but the childwatch keeps me coming
back. The staff and volunteers are attentive and caring and do a great job. I began
brining my younger son when he was a newborn, and he was held and cuddled, and
it seemed to be a treat for the person who got to hold him the whole time. I can tell,
now that he is almost 2, and will soon move to the 'big kids' section of the room,
that the infant staff are quite bonded to him, and one even asked me recently ''how
much longer do we get him for?'' We go often enough that the staff know my kids,
and they're greeted by name when we arrive. The one thing I would say is that when
it is very crowded, it can be a little over-stimulating in the room, but as a whole I
think the Childwatch is phenomenal and very affordable. Also, the security is great. I
recently went to the El Camino Y in Mountain View, which I LOVE as a facility, but I
found that compared the Berkeley, the childwatch was really sub-par in terms of
staf quality, attentiveness, and check-in/check-out security
Love Berkeley Y Childwatch
Hello, as the family director of the Berkeley YMCA, I love it when people ask
for feedback about our programs. It really helps us improve our services.
Especially since most members are more willing to give honest feedback in an
anonymous fashion. So thank you for asking the question. If you ever want to
speak to me directly, never hesitate to email or call. A couple of things I
can tell you from a policy standpoint for the Berkeley YMCA (Oakland is a
1) our staff:infant ratio is very low - 1 staff for every 2 infants, and if an
infant is requiring 1 on 1 care that is taken into consideration before
signing in more children
2) our staff are trained to deal with separation anxiety and especially why it
happens (the reasons vary for different developmental stages). One important
fact about separation anxiety is that even very young children can sense if
their parents are uncomfortable or nervous, so we encourage new parents to
come visit with their child first so that they are confident and ready before
dropping off. We always come get the parent if the child is not easily
3) we tend to have about 25% volunteers and 75% paid staff on each shift. So,
about 1 volunteer with every 3 staff. Both volunteers and paid staff receive
a background check, fingerprinting, etc. No staff or volunteers are ever left
alone with children, and volunteers must always have staff supervision as paid
staff have CPR and First Aid training as well as other mandatory trainings.
I am happy to provide more information if you would like. Just let me know.
Thanks again, Eden 510-665-3238
Re: Pool and gym with childcare
We've been very happy with the Kidwatch program at the downtown
Berkeley Y. Lots of other good programs for kids, too. Only
complaint I've heard is that sometimes there are too many kids
and you have to wait for someone to leave before your kid can go
it. But mine are older and that's never been a problem for us.
We're huge fans of the Y and its youth programs.
The downtown Berkeley YMCA's childcare is great! It's always
staffed by great people, my son always has a good time there,
and at $3.00/hr, you can't beat the price.
The most recent posting about the childcare at the Berkeley YMCA is dated 2003. I am
curious about more recent experiences as I consider joining to take advantage of the
child care for my ten month old son while I go to yoga classes. My son is very social,
and might enjoy being around other babies/toddlers in a social setting, but I am not
totally comfortable with the idea of leaving him there. How have you found the child
care for babies/toddlers 10-15 months? Any differences between weekdays and
i have left my daughter at the Berkeley Ymca chidwatch since she
was about 4mo old and she is now 22mo....i definetely recommend
their service...emma loves it there now...she,s had periods
where she was not happy to be left there butthe staff really
tried to make her happy and comfortable being there, it,s a
great service.....i have experienced the staff to be very caring
and it has been my only way of getting some time for myself so i
am very thankful the childwatch exists....so i,d say...go for
it...we love it!!
We have liked the Berkeley YMCA childcare since our son was 8
weeks old. He is now 11 months and still goes. The place is
always clean - there are usually plenty of workers (usually the
ratio is 1:1 or 2:1 for the little ones except at some really
high demand times). There are some great activities for kids of
all ages there - and I was surprised at how big the childwatch
rooms are. They take the older kids to kindergym sometimes for
some more activities.
They also have a policy that if your baby cries for more than 7
minutes (i think 7) they come and get you. This really comforted
me when we first started going.
I also think it is great to join the Y because you can take your
child swimming just about any day (they have the little kid time,
''tiny waves,'' in the shallow heated pool 6 days a week). And
using the kindergym when the weather is bad was great to get my
son some exercise
I can't comment on weekend vs. weekday, but my husband brings our
son almost every Tuesday to the childwatch at the Berkeley Y, and
my son loves it. I haven't in a while, but I used to bring him
there while I worked out. I think there was one time that I
brought him, when he cried so much they had to come get me, but
that was when he was having lots of separation anxiety in
general, so it wasn't specific to the childwatch. When you bring
your child in, you have to write where in the gym they can find
you and when you will be back - it's a very organized system.
And from what I can tell, most kids there are happy and they have
plenty of volunteers in there to hug and care for anyone that's
unhappy. If they simply can't get a kid to stop crying, they come
They also have a nice big space, well-thought-out rules and
suggestions, lots of good toys, and sometimes they take toddlers
and older into the Kindergym area where they can run around and
bounce off the walls to their hearts' content.
By the way - I highly recommend joining the Y. It's a fabulous
gym (the Women's Fitness Center is SO great). I have often taken
advantage of the classes for myself and for my son, and almost
never been disappointed - and my son has loved every single class
I've signed him up for
The Berkeley YMCA Childwatch is great. I've been using it for 7 years
for my 7 year old
son and my two year old daughter. I don't know what I would without it
being an on
and off again stay-at-home-mom. It is very organized and the people
attentive and engaged with the kids. Some have been there the whole
time that I have
been using it. I can't recommend it enough!
>From a YMCA Junkie
We've been using it for our 5-year-old 3x a week including weekends.
It has always been well-staffed and is very well organized. Nice big
space with something for every kid. I highly recommend it.
Re: Gym with Infant Care
I would give the Berkeley Y another look. I have put both of
my children in Childwatch since the first was four months old
and have been very happy with it. They have a low staff to
child ratio and if you go regularly you will get to know
someone who really relates to your baby. The Y has so many
classes and a great facility for you.
I would recommend a visit so that you can see for yourself.
Also, if you do decide to use Childwatch, go out of your way to
get to know the staff, I think that makes all the difference.
Hello! I am the Family Director for the Berkeley YMCA. I'd
love to speak with you or encourage you or anyone with questions
to come down for a tour. We have done extensive remodeling of
both our physical space, drop-off procedures, staff training and
more. We did have ''growing pains'' a few years ago, and some of
those posts were written shortly before the pains prompted the
remodel and additional infant room. You can reach me at 665-
3238 or the email below. Thanks!
I love the childcare facility at the Berkeley YMCA... it is an
amazing place with an incredible staff and an amazing selection
of toys. My daughter loves it there and I've been going there
since she was 8 weeks old. (She's 18 months now.) Definitely
check it out! I'm sure you could spend an hour hanging out in
there before deciding to join. The women's fitness center is
wonderful, and supportive and friendly and I really enjoy the
pilates and Yoga classes. Not to mention all the free kindergym
classes and tiny waves open swim for young kids. They also give
out financial aid which helps moms who are home with their kids
and not making extra money....
-- Love the Berkeley Y
I'm a member of the downtown Berkeley YMCA and there are many mommy &
baby classes offered each week, but I believe your child has to be under one.
I've taken several of the classes there and I highly recommend the Karuna class
that's from 11 to noon every Friday.
I'm thinking about joining the Berkeley YMCA mainly because of
the child watch service they have. I'm concerned, though,
because my child has severe food allergies (dairy and peanut
are the worst)and I'm pretty sure I will not have THAT peace of
mind leaving my child there while I do my classes. Do any of
you have any experience with this, any advice? Can you
recommend an alternative to the Y? I'm mostly interested in
taking yoga classes, but since a monthly pass to yoga class
aroud here is about $80, I thought it would be better to join
the Y and get some other benefits from it. Thanks
We use the Y Child Watch regularly for our 4yo and have
never had a problem. I've found that if you approach
whoever is on duty and give them your specific requests,
they are very good about it. For example, they will often take
a group of kids to the kindergym, we prefer our son stay in
childwatch and they have always respected this. Once when
we picked him up, we were told he wanted a snack that one
of the staffers had, but would not give him anything without
clearing it with us first. I think if you emphasize the severity
of your child's allergies (EVERYTIME YOU VISIT), there
shouldn't be a problem.
I really want to recommend Berkeley Y Childwatch for your child
with severe food allergies. My son has gone to their program for
over three years and the staff is sensitive and knowledgable
about food allergies. When you first bring your child in, bring
a list of foods that they should be careful of - and make sure
to send safe snacks with your child.
I have spent a fair amount of time in Childwatch (trying to get
my girl to stay) and have not seen issues with snacks. There
are clearly posted signs that forbid ''problem'' foods, i.e.
peanuts, raisins, etc. Also, any food that is left for the
children is clearly marked with their names. A friend of mine
once put grapes in her daughter's snack and she was told when
she came back not to bring them again. All that points to a
pretty good awareness for food allergies/safety.
Overall, I think that Childwatch is a nice service and a good
value. As stated in earlier messages, spend the time up front
to get to know the staff and let them know specifically what
your child needs. There is a tendency to leave the children
that seem OK until they are crying, but if you make sure that
someone engages with your child before you leave that seems to
I had similar concerns with the Child Watch Center and eventually
stopped using them as a result. Once I came into the center to see my
child under the plastic picnic table eating crumbs off the
not-too-clean carpet. Not only had I informed a staff person but had
also place a tape sign on my son's front and back saying ''no wheat''.
Plus he had his own food. The excuse I got was, ''We tried several
times to keep him from the crumbs.'' Mind you, the people who
volunteer to work with children love them and wish to do their
best. Too often, I thought, their skills were inadequate for the tasks
My experience was 2+ years ago, however, and I trust that Eden (who
runs the place) has taken to heart the many suggestions parents have
Go to the berkeley YMCA child watch location & talk to the people that
work there. Tell them you are concerned because of food allergies,
and that you won't have peace of mind leaving your child there while
you do classes. I bet they would be willing to pay special attention
that your child doesn't get into anyone elses food. Maybe your child
can have super cool blue colored masking tape on his back with his
name on it (instead of the regular tan masking tape they use for all
the kids right now). Something simple like that would surely work.
The Y is a great place, and great people work there, especially in the
child watch area.
Good luck -
I am a member of the Berkeley Y. In child watch, peanuts are
not allowed. There was a boy with severe peanut allergies whose
mom used to put a piece of tape on him saying, ''No peanuts.'' I
recommend that you call the head director of Child Watch, Eden
O'Brien-Brenner and talk over your concerns with her. One of my
children also has a very bad reaction to dairy products, and he
has never had a problem at the Y. The most risky time is when
they are toddlers and then to want to ''graze'' on any food in
sight. You could request that a toddler be kept in the 2 and
under room, which is away from the snack area. You could also
ask about less busy times and try to go then. Good luck!
Happy Y Member
I have been using the Y's childwatch for 4 years and have been
volunteering there for the last few months as well. I have to
say I have always been very impressed with the staff's vigilance
about snacks. They always tell first time parents what not to
bring and are especially strong about peanut products. Just as
an example of their caution, the other day, when the Y was
giving out granola bars as some kind of promotion, the staff of
Childwatch posted a big sign just inside the doors saying the
free bars were not allowed as they contained peanut products.
That said, the problem isn't with the staff but with parents. I
often see people sending their kids with snacks that are on
the ''verboten'' list, but we can't always catch it because they
are often inside lunch bags, etc. However, the staff is also
very good about not letting kids eat outside of the designated
snack area so even if they do manage to bring some kind of
offending snack, it doesn't get out of the snack area.
Here's my recommendation: go to the Y, use Childwatch, give
your kid a snack before she goes or after she leaves, when you
put a nametag on your child put another tag on her that
says ''HIGHLY ALLERGIC TO PEANUTS AND DAIRY,'' then inform two of
the staff members that she should not go into the snack area
under any circumstances. If you do this, I think you can feel
confident that she will have a safe and happy time at
I wanted to thank everyone for their positive comments, and
reinforce the message that we are always open to feedback. Our
staff and volunteer team is always working to improve. Our goal
is to provide a safe and fun environment for children and
parents. Please feel free to contact me directly if you wish.
Eden O'Brien-Brenner, Family Program Director, Berkeley YMCA.
510-665-3238. You may also visit our website at baymca.org.
I'm interested in hearing from those of you who have recently taken your
infants to ChildWatch at the Berkeley YMCA. I took my sleepoing 4 month
old to ChildWatch the other day and I was a little alarmed. I wasn't
acknowledged by staff. I finally had to ask where I should put my son. I
was told that I could put my infant in the infant toddler room but that
no one was in there right now -- all the staff were in the front room --
so it was suggested that it might be better to leave my son in the main
room. That should have been a no brainer. Then one of the staff finally
said s/he would sit in the infant toddler room. The whole experience
felt very odd to me. It did not inspire a lot of confidence in the
service and I spent my workout feeling uneasy about whether my son was
being well cared for. I cut my workout short and went to pick up my son.
When I arrived, he was awake, seemed content, and was being held by a
staff member who hadn't been there when I came in. I used to take my
oldest boy (now 2.5 yrs) to childwatch when he was a year or so old --
previous to the expansion-- I felt okay about ChildWatch at the time.
Does anyone have any experience they can share about their infants (12
months or less) and ChildWatch. I want to figure out if I want to leave
my child there while I work out or make alternate arrangements until he
is older. Thanks.
I know the post asked for recent experiences, but I
want to share a BAD experience my child had at Berkeley
YMCA child watch 3 years ago. My daughter asked to go
to the bathroom, and one of the adults opened the heavy
door for her. There was a baby crying continuously, so
the employee childcare person left to take the baby
back to his mom, leaving a volunteer in charge of 3
other kids. She FORGOT about my 4-year old, until
5-10 minutes later (or longer?) - by which time she
was hysterically crying. Although they fixed the door
so this exact thing could not happen again, it was
symptomatic of the lack of training and careful
attention to each child on the part of some volunteers.
Needless to say that was our last visit. The staff
were very defensive and dismissing of my daughter's
obvious upset - her eyes looked like she had been
crying for an hour. I recommend that you only consider
leaving a child there after connecting with a particular
person, and getting assurances that this specific person
would be responsible for your kid the whole time you
will be gone. Just leaving your child in what can
easily become a very crowded and stressful situation
without enough trained staff is in my view dangerous,
or at least asking for an upsetting experience.
My son is a little older now, but I did take him to
childwatch before his first birthday. I have mixed
feelings about the Y childwatch program--you really do
have to find someone and personally talk with them. I
usually spend a few minutes with both my child and the
caregiver. Still, I often found my son in someone else's
care when i get back, although he was supervised. Once,
however, he was in a corner out of view of the caregiver--I
did not like that.
FYI, I have boycott the Y childwatch and Kindergym since
December, because as colds and flu season approached,
every time we went there, my son would get sick the next
day: colds, pink eye, roseola. It just wasn't worth it.
I wish there was something that the Y childwatch staff
could do to keep the germ level lower (having parents
regularly help clean the toys; have a box of wipes to
clean hands going in and out; actually enforcing the no
fever rule), but it just doesn't seem a priority to
I have always heard good things about the ymca childwatch
but was not overly impressed when I tried leaving my
son there. I was also not greeted or made to feel
secure when leaving. The hardest part for him was
that the person I spoke with would finish her shift or
have a break and he would fall to pieces. When the
new staff member would come to get me from my workout
the information I had given regarding my son would not
have been passed on. I tried going and staying with my
son a couple of times but decided instead to work out
when my husband could be at home.
I had a similar feeling that there was no-one in charge
when i started taking my daughter to childwatch when
she was about 4 mo. old. It's true that the staff includes
volunteers and parents who don't work long hours there
and thus there is some turn over during the day. I think
it's also true that there are always some more senior
people in charge there at any given time. Overall I
like the people who work there and think they do a
caring and competent job.
After a few uneasy visits it finally began to work for
me when I started bringing my daughter in regularly
(1-2x/wk) and at the same time of day/week. I got to
know the staffthat worked those shifts and there were
specific people who took a special interest in my child who
I would seek out to leave her with, and who she became attached to.
I think it helps to be assertive and ask ''who's the
senior person in charge here?'' and then to clearly
communicate to that person or whoever is taking your
child any specific directions: he especially likes to
be held, he should have this bottle at 1 pm, please
find me immediately if he cries, etc.
Re: Informal dance/movement class for 3-year-old (March 2004)
Check out the Berkeley YMCA for ballet, tumbling, and hip hop
classes for toddlers and preschoolers. My 3 yr old son is
currently enjoying his hip hop class with Ms. Nancy.
Mama on the move
I'm trying to get some more information about the Berkeley YMCA
Babygym for babies 6 months plus. I've checked out gymboree lately
and wondering if the class is similar to it. Do you think younger
babies would enjoy, my son is almost 5 months. any information
about the class would be helpful.
I would strongly recommend putting your hard-earned money in the Y instead of
Gymboree. For about the same price as Gymboree, you can have full membership in the
Y (which will include your baby). I have been taking my baby to the baby gym since
she was about 5 months old. Every morning from 9:30 to 10:00, a teacher leads the
groups in songs, bubbles, movement, scarves, parachutes, etc. It's mostly designed
for toddlers, but once my daughter started walking, she wasn't into participating
in the circle, and instead just wanted to play on the mats, slide, ball-pit etc.
There are also open times where you can bring your child. There isn't much for a
non-crawler to do but watch, but that seemed to work for us. There is also a
bouncy-house and a climbing wall, for when they get older. If you join the Y, you
can also bring your child (free) to the open swim sessions Monday, Wed. and Fri. in
the warm pool, from 11-12. I started bringing my baby at 4 months, although I
think the ''official'' age might be 6 months. In addition, your Y membership lets you use
the adult facilities and the child care while you work out (2.50 per half hour for
childcare. It just seems like a better deal, AND you're supporting a very cool
Happy Y member
I'm looking for opinions on the Kids Club after school program
sponsored by the Albany YMCA. My daughter will be going to
Malcolm X and Kids Club is at the school site. What do they do
with the kids? I would appreciate anything you can tell me about
it. Thank you.
My son currently attends the YMCA Kids Club at Malcolm X. He has
participated since kindergarten and he is now in 3rd grade. The
program has a fun, caring staff. While we are still adjusting to
the losss of one of the teachers due to retirement, the
remaining staff members are all very enthusiastic and creative.
The teacher/student ratio is wonderful, and the mixed age
setting works well there. I think the kids that attend are all
just wonderful, and no one thinks twice about playing with
younger/older kids. Every day the kids have art activities,
physical play (great games such as ga-ga ball, and Star Wars),
board games and story times. The kids learn cooperative play,
and a homework time is available daily. In the past, the kids
put on wonderful plays written and directed by Nancy, and I
think that may continue. My son is still raving about the
program, and he thinks of it as the highlight of his day. I
would like to see a more diverse environment, but I don;t have
the answer to that. I think the program is excellent, especially
for younger children. My son has made some of his best friends
in the program, and he is NEVER bored.
My son attended after-school programs sponsored by the Albany-Berkeley
YMCA Kids Club from 1st-5th grades (1992-1996). The cost in 1996 for 5
days/wk. (2PM-6PM) was around $340.00 per month. This was pro-rated for
shorter months (December, Spring Break, etc.). I'm not sure if YMCA
operates Kids Clubs at every public school. My son's school (Emerson in
Berkeley) had one, but I think that there were some kids who were bussed
to Emerson after school from other schools. I was very happy with the
programs. The staff was very good and there was a wide variety of
activities available to the kids. The Kids Club office was run out of
the Albany YMCA, but the only time I ever had to go there was to
register him at the beginning of each school year.
Re: Yoga Class in El Cerrito (May 2004)
I'm 40 and I take a seniors yoga class with B.K. Bose at the
Berkeley YMCA. The class is a good mix -- people between 40-70,
half of the students men, and half of them women. Very
comfortable for those of us who arent so comfortable with our
New yoga fan
Re: Preschooler Yoga Class (2001)
The YMCA in downtown Berkeley has a great family yoga class for parents and kids
but I'm unsure if it's weekly. Ann
Re: Preschooler Yoga Class (2001)
The Berkeley YMCA was planning to offer family yoga that included small children
too. Call them at 848-9622. Community membership is possible if you are not a
full service member.
Re: Prenatal Yoga (1999)
Throughout my pregnancy
I went to the prenatal swim class at the Berkeley Y.
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