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I'm a teacher and want to put my twins in a preschool next school year that
offers full days but that closes in the summer, or offers a separate summer
program, so that I don't have to keep them in care when I'm not teaching.
Does anyone out there have a recommendation?
You didn't mention where you live, but my twins went to
Preschool in Albany, and loved it. It is a full day 8:00-5:30 program.
The summer is a separate session. It's a very sweet place.
Cedar Creek Montessori's (http://cedarcreekmontessorischool.com/)
summer program is week by week. You can participate (and pay for) as
much or as little of the programing that works for your family. They
also have early start time, which is great for a teaching schedule.
My daughter attends the
Montessori Family School in Berkeley. They
follow the ''academic'' year, from September to June, and then have
summer session separately. What's great about how they run the summer
program, aside from the wonderful topics they cover and how much fun
they have (of course), is that you can register for each of the weeks
individually, as opposed to having to register for the entire month or
As a teacher, I'm sure you will love the way the school is
child-centered. Children dictate much of what they do and when, and
they can interact with students in the different classes. Also, the
classes are mixed ages 3-6, so that siblings can be in the same
classes together (those that aren't twins of course
I really can't say enough great things about the place. I believe they
are having an open house coming up, maybe in November? The website is
I've toured many preschools in Berkeley, and this was unlike any other
program I had ever seen!
We are moving to Orinda this fall, and have 2 sons, aged 4
and 2, currently in a FT preschool in Oakland. Our oldest
will start kindergarten in 2011 at Sleepy Hollow and the
youngest will start preschool next month 3 or 4 days per
week from 8:30- 5:30. Can any working parents recommend
Lamorinda preschools that allow for full days?
Our son went to Fountainhead Montessori,
and we all loved it. As far as I know,
it's the only f/t preschool in Orinda, but I may be wrong about that. The teachers
are kind and patient, and seem to instill a real love of learning in the kids. We
were only there for a year and a half (before our son went to K), but saw no
turnover in administration or staff - I think may of them have been there for
years. It's not cheap, though! - my only complaint.
Our daughter went to the Old Firehouse School in Lafayette,
which we loved. She had a wonderful experience there. She
is 10 now, but at the time, that was one of the few full
time preschools we were able to find in the Lamorinda area.
Happy Old Firehouse Mom
Hello! I am starting to do research on preschools for my 19
month old. Unfortunately, I have some strict time
constraints: I need three days a week 7:30 drop-off and 5
ish pick-up. It seems like the schools that I am interested
in have later drop-offs (Sheffield, Monteverde, Heart's
Leap, etc.)I am looking for a smallish mostly play-based
school that also has some structure and planned activities
(art/music/langauge), a lot of outside time and has a
strong emphasis on socio-emotional development in S.
Berkeley or N. Oakland. Any advice would be greatly
appreciated. I'm looking for fall of 2011.
You must call Lydia's daycare and preschool at 510-697-
9523. She is fabulous! My 20 mos old is thriving and she
does full days. Located near Piedmont Ave./Oakland
Kaiser/Harrison St. near right off of 580.
I would encourage you to check out A Child's Garden,
Christian Montessori school. They take children as young as
18 months, have a fun curriculum for toddlers through first
grade. Both of my children attend, my youngest started when
she was two. My eldest has completed kindergarten and is
now almost done with first grade. Dorena has been very
flexible with scheduling and works hard to meet the needs of
working parents. Your scheduling needs seem to be be well
within the realm of what she accommodates.
A Child's Garden, in Albany
Check out Cornerstone Children's Center on Channing in
My son currently goes to Shu Ren International School's Preschool program.
It is a play-based, theme-oriented program all taught in Mandarin. Even the
kids without any Chinese re-inforcement at home are now speaking
Mandarin. My son has loved going to school since he started there over a
year ago and he will be in their kindergarten class next year. My second son
will be in the pre-K program next year too. They are currently located in
Berkeley on University, but this fall will be moving to South Berkeley/ North
Oakland area. Their schedule runs from 8:30am to 3pm, but they have free
care from 7:30-8:30am and they have extended care to 6pm. If you are
interested, just give them a call to schedule a tour so you can see for yourself
what a great school this is.
Their website is www.shureninternationalschool.com.
And their number is (510) 981-0320.
Good luck in your search. I remember how hard it is.
Christine, Shu Ren Mom
I am looking for a preschool or preschool-like childcare for my son who will turn 3
in February. It looks like I need to start applying now in hope of finding something
for fall 2010, though I would love to start him in January if at all possible. I had no
idea it would be such a challenge! I am looking for:
* Full day: Must accommodate typical 8-9 hour work day.
* Less than $1,300/month
* Location within Berkeley or Albany
(live near Ashby BART, work near Gilman Ave/Target/UC Village)
* Less than 6 month waitlist, if possible
Does such a thing exist?
I've and applied to waitlists for two schools (well, one was just verbal, so I don't
know If I'm really on the list).
If you can recommend a school, or if you know about full-day options that have
upcoming open houses, I'd love to hear from you!
Try the Child Education Center in Berkeley.
http://www.childeducationcenter.org/index.shtm My son went
there for three-and-a half years. (It's also a daycare that
starts taking children at age 3 months.) He just started
kindergarten and is doing fabulously thanks to the great
preschool experience he had at CEC. Other CEC moms tell me
their kids are also doing in great in kindergarten. It's a
play-based school with lots of fun extra classes and activities
(capoiera, music, dance, etc.). They are serious about
supporting kids' emotional growth while preparing them for
kindergarten in a really fun way. Give them a call. I think
there is no waiting list at the moment (although this may have
I recommend Child Education Center in Berkeley, on Browning
Street, which is very close to University, and San Pablo. It's a
very sweet school with classes for all ages from infant to preK.
I have two girls who both went there for a year. The teachers
are wonderful, and it's a very warm and loving environment for
kids. The teachers each have their way with the kids, many of
them are funny and help to humor the kids out of sad feelings
about mom and dad dropping them off. They go on field trips,
gymnastics classes, and capoeira, swim classes in the summer.
Darlene is the director, and can be somewhat hard to get a hold
of for a tour. That is just because she's very busy. Leave her
a message, but if you don't get a reply, stop by the school and
you may get a tour on the spot. Their website is here:
Best of luck to you!
I didn't see your original post, but there are a couple of
openings at my daughter's preschool -- JCC of the east bay:
The school is open to both Jewish and non-Jewish families (we
aren't Jewish and have been very happy there). Feel free to ask
any questions about the school.
We are seeking a pre-school starting July/August as a preference
for our 2 year old but will consider a daycare that has several 2
year olds. Looking for the Berkeley area but would consider
kensington, albany, and parts of oakland. It's been difficult to
find one during this time period because most are already full.
We just decided that our full time work schedules were getting
too difficult for the small home based daycare our son is at.
The JCC of the East Bay in Berkeley has a really great preschool
which accepts 2-year-olds. Our daughter is just finishing up
there (she's 5), and has a wonderful experience.
- Happy JCC East Bay familiy
My daughter's home based Montessori pre-school in the Grand Lake
neighborhood of Oakland has one opening this summer and at least
one for the fall. The openings are for kids aged 2-5.
Learning Children's House has 12 children and 3 teachers. We are
very happy with the loving, nurturing care that our daughter gets
there. Call the director, Agnes at (510)834-8196.
I didn't see the original post, but our son is at
Nursery and we LOVE it. they have several branches, but our son
is at the Kensington one. Can't speak highly enough about it as a
full-time option. most parents work full time, enriched program
goes all day (rather than just 'childcare' in the afternoon. they
also provide lunch which is a huge benefit for working parents.
it's great. they may be booked for next year, though - it would
be worth it to look into it...
Our son is 16 months and we are starting to think about
preschools in a year or so... We live in North Berkeley and would
love to have him somewhere nearby. I went to a Montessori
preschool and kindergarten and loved it, and am thinking I'd like
similar for him, but we need a program that can provide full time
care (seems like most run from 9-2 or so). Does anyone have any
recommendations for a preschool that fits this bill?
Thanks so much for your input.
has full time. My son will begin in Sept and
I was very pleased with the program. I had looked at 5 other
preschools/home daycare. They offer full and part day programs
between the hours of 7:30A.M.-5:30 P.M. Monday-Friday, year round.
Please call Brianna at 307-4365 or email her at
email@example.com for more information.
Berkeley Montessori School (Francisco, almost at Shattuck)
offers care from 8am to 6pm. The regular ''school'' day is
roughly 8:45 to 3pm, but the aftercare is fantastic.
Check out the website: http://www.bmsonline.org and don't miss
the video of BMS teachers in their students words on the home
page. I'ts a pretty magical place.
Happy BMS parent
My family is relocating to Oakland from Boston this July. I am
coming to look at homes and preschools in mid-late May and am
anxious to find a preschool for my daughter. Since both my
husband and I work,I am looking for a full-time preschool (5
days/9-5 p.m), preferably year-round, but if they have summer
programs that could work as well. I have already contacted
some preschools, but many of them don't offer full-time hours.
I would be grateful for any feedback- I need to schedule
tours/visits in the next week or two for our trip out West.
My daughter goes to Lakeshore Children's Center (3534 Lakeshore
Avenue, 510.893.4048). It's a large preschool, 48 students
divided into two houses. Regular hours are 7:30 to 5:30, and can
be extended 1/2 hour on either end for an exta fee. The teachers
are all great and most have been with LCC a long time (one for
30 years). The school is play based.
I also looked at Beacon, which is a pre-K through 8 private
school. Hours are 7:30 am - 6 pm. Class size is 12 students. I
took the tour and while it seems like a great school, it didn't
seem to be a good fit for my high-energy daughter at that stage.
I am looking at their program for K on up, though.
I also looked at Beatie Street Preschool, which is very small at
15 students. I have friends whose kids have gone or are going
and they speak highly of it. I would have sent my daughter there
but they did not have any openings at the time--the downside of
is a similar small neighborhood preschool,
East Bay Academy and Starlite are sister schools, both quite
inexpensive, that offer full day care.
I know there are more; hopefully you will get some more
Beacon Day School located on the Oakland waterfront has openings
in our Early Childhood program (ages 3-5+).
At Beacon, children are encouraged to be children, to experience
the joy of learning through discovery and sharing. We nurture
children's intellectual, social and emotional growth while
providing a solid foundation for kindergarten and beyond.
Please call Admissions at (510) 437-2311 to schedule a tour and
receive further information.
Welcome to Oakland (soon)! You may want to look into Claremont
Day. We have been VERY happy with this preschool. Our son has
been there a couple of years and loves it. The teachers are
very loving and wonderful, it is very reasonably priced,
includes lunch, and is full-time if needed. There are three
campuses, two of which are in Oakland. Good luck!
Happy Claremont Day Parent!
My son completed his Preschool and Kindegarten at
Little Elephant Montessori
near Rockridge Bart Station in Oakland.
Both my husband and I work full time and our child was there
from 8:30AM to 6PM, M-F. Because of the long hours, we were
very careful in picking a school which offers an ''extended
home'' environment. Little Elephant was a great match for our
needs. Their kind and loving environment natured our happy and
confident little boy. My child will be entering 2nd grade next
year. When I count my blessings, I still count Little
You should go to their website: http://www.littleelephant.net
or call their Director, Natanya Moore: 510.597.1963
Our preschool, Rockridge Little School (RLS), has one last-
minute opening for a three year old, on a full or part-time
schedule. Before choosing RLS, we looked at several schools
in the area, and, after 3+ years at the school, I still believe
the quality of care at RLS is outstanding. The classroom
environment is very warm and relaxed, but also well organized.
I donmt have to worry that my childrenms needs (physical,
emotional or social) will ever go unattended or slip lunder the
radar.n The schoolms educational approach is play-based, with
a great focus on interacting with others, and I am thrilled to
find that my initially shy child has grown increasingly
confident in her social and emotional self. Imve also observed
that the RLS classrooms work well for many different kinds of
kids because the teachers pay special attention to the
temperament and personality of each individual kid, so the
experience can be successful for that particular child. Wemve
seen a great variety of enrichment opportunitiessmusic, dance,
drama, language, and great parent participation (which is
welcome, but not required). Feedback from the teachers is also
excellentsany behavioral or developmental issues (or potential
issues) were always brought to my attention in a timely,
positive and supportive manner. In our experience, all the
teachers have worked very well as a classroom team, each with
something special to offer the kids, but note that Jackie, head
teacher in the 4 year-old room, is truly exceptional-- a gem if
ever there was one! As we prepare to move on to kindergarten,
we are deeply appreciative of the time our child spent at RLS,
and the individual attention she received there. (While it
wasnmt our familyms focus, we are also completely confident
that she has honed the lacademicn skills necessary to join a
kindergarten class.) One final, noteworthy thing about RLS is
that neither the parents or the children are asked to fundraise
for the school. The focus stays on the kids, and the RLS
community enjoys social events without pocketbook pressure. I
highly recommend this school, and I am planning to send my
youngest child there next year. www.rockridgelittleschool.com,
RLS mom of two
We are working parents so need a preschool that has daycare like hours (pick up time
of 5:30 or 6). Our daughter is 2 1/2 and we are on the Via Nova wait list but I've
realized maybe I shouldn't be putting all of our eggs in one basket. We love our
daycare and she gets plenty of stimulation there but she can't stay there forever.
I've procrastinated long enough but my main problem is that I can't seem to find a
preschool that stays open past 3pm.
Our daughter has been going to CEC (Child Education Center)
Berkeley for nearly 1 year, she has just turned 3.The hours are
7.45-5.45. She loves it and asks to go to pre-school at the
weekends. She loves all her teachers as well. They all have to
get a hug and a kiss before she leaves. They have great art
projects and lots of play room. It is a very mixed racial
environment which we really like. The teachers are all very nice,
and loving. They go on a lot of outings. She learns an incredible
amount of general knowledge there- we are continually being
astounded by new topics she introduces. I really like that
children of all ages from 3months - 6 years meet on a large
playground in a well controlled environment. We would would not
take her out of this school now. Plus every few months they have
a kids nite out on a friday- where they see a movie and do art
projects until 9.00 The only downside is that the billing and
administration sometimes gets mixed up- however they have just
announced that they are in the process of hiring a permanent
Take a look at Claremont Day Nursery
- there is one on College
Ave and one on Woolsey in Berkeley. They stay open until 6pm
and also serve a hot lunch. Most of the parents there are
working parents and a lot of the kids do get picked up right at
closing. My son has been there for almost 2 years and we love
happy claremont mom
Claremont Day Nursery
is great for working parents, including
(among other things) the all-day hours and warm lunch provided.
Claremont Day Nursery, AKA Claremont Kids. We've been there for
a year and a half and love it. Big bonus -- meals and snacks
provided. Open from 7:30 to 6. http://claremontkids.com/
We have a similar situation and my son has thrived at The Model
School in Berkeley. It is located at Prince and Telegraph. The
director is amazing, the staff are friendly and loving and
creative, the parents group is a fun community, and it is just
all around a great preschool. Their tuition is reasonable and is
structured for working parents: you make your own schedule for
anything between 15-50 hours per week! They are open from (I
think) 7:30am-6pm. There may be a wait list, but it is well
worth it. Hope you find the right place. The Model School is
worth checking out.
Claremont Day Nursery
is our salvation! They are open 7-6, and
most of the kids go full time. We go to the Kensington branch,
off Colusa circle, which we love. It is a very stimulating
environment, and he is learning a lot. I'm sure the Claremont
and College branches also have those hours, but you might want
to check (you didn't say where you were).
Eli S.'s mom
Growing Light Preschool
in Kensington has working parent hours.
They also provide childcare (at an additional cost) during the
school breaks. You noted that you are on the wait list for Via
Nova. Just thought I would mention that VN closes for about 5
weeks out of the year (Christmas, Summer and Spring vacations)
and DOES NOT provide any additional childcare.
-working single mom
Grand Lake Montessori
has extended hours--I think it's from 7 am
to 6 or 7 pm. The basic school day is from 8:30 to 3:00 but many
children stay later and it is an ''all day Montessori'' program,
not just ''after care''.
Hi, You might want to consider getting on the wait list at
Aquatic Park Nursery School
in addition to Via Nova, which both
have great reputations! Our son goes to Kensington Nursery
School, which is a wonderful play-based co-op program with
full-time option for working parents. If you're near Via Nova,
however, KNS may be a haul for you as it is for us. I love the
KNS location in terms of trees and wonderful play areas - - lots
of room for the children!
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