Size Small Toddler School (Berkeley, CA)
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Size Small Toddler School (Berkeley, CA)
- Owner: Bari Nelson
- Phone: 510 526-8747
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Neighborhood: North Berkeley/Albany
- Zip: 94708
- License #: 010210818
- Capacity: 12
- Ages: 2-3 year olds
Re: Any preschool openings or short wait lists?
Size Small Toddler School in the North Berkeley hills is a lovely small home-based
preschool for 2- and 3-year-olds. They might still have openings for the fall. The
owner, Bari Nelson, has been doing working with small children for years. There are 12
kids with Bari plus an assistant teacher. Check for previous reviews on BPN. Both my
children (now 6 and 9) went there and had great experiences. It's a cheerful
environment, they do lots of art projects and have fun. Give Bari a call at 526-8747.
I've heard only glowingly wonderful things about Bari Nelson's Size Small
Toddler School in Berkeley. Can anyone comment specifically on the
diversity of the families/students?
My daughter was there 7 years ago but it probably hasn't
changed--diversity is fairly low. Most of the kids come from the
surrounding neighborhood, or their parents had a car to get them
there. It's near a bus line, but I don't believe it's open enough
hours to make it worth while taking the bus. If you want diversity, I
suggest you look for a similar place in a neighborhood with greater
diversity. Otherwise, it's a great school and Barri is an amazing
We're looking at Size Small Toddler School for our
two-year-old. There are past reviews, which are great, but
I'm wondering if folks out there have further comments. Any
areas of concern? Twelve two-year-olds sounds like a lot --
does it feel too busy, or does it still feel intimate?
I'm looking for a play-based school with free choice but
predictable routines, where there's a focus on supporting
children's social and emotional development. I want a
setting that recognizes children need structure and support
at certain times of day (meals, transitions, etc.) and that
doesn't feel chaotic for the kids.
Thanks so much!
We had a great experience at Size Small (Bari's). My son went for 1 & 1/2 years.
Twelve 2 year olds does seem overwhelming, but not to Bari and her great
assistant Cynthia. The day is very scheduled as far as inside play, outside play
and mealtimes, which is great for little kids, they know what to expect. But
during inside and outside play time the kids get to choose from lots of different
areas and types of activities. During inside play time there is always an art
project going on, puzzles, home-made play dough, and 2 fully stocked play
areas. Her backyard is great too. There is everything a 2 year old could want to
do. I think the most impressive part to me was how Bari & Cynthia are able to
get these little kids to sit and eat together! It is so cute seeing them all sitting,
eating their snack or lunch and listening to stories.
Overall, a great experience.
I cannot say enough great things about Size Small School. All three of my
children attended this program and each one had a tremendous experience. I
think one of the secrets of success of the place is how the kids felt like they had
tons of choice time all within an overall consistent daily structure. There was
plenty of free play and socializing as well as art projects and other age
appropriate activities. Pick-up time seemed miraculous to me: all the kids
gathered at picnic tables listening to a story and having a snack. One of the
consistent events of the day providing a nice transition home. Pictures of my
three boys taken during this lovely experience still hang in my kitchen. Our
family still talks about cozy, loving and fun Size Small School--the perfect first
I've heard great things about Size Small, run by Bari Nelson,
in the Berkeley Hills, but I haven't seen any current posts on BPN.
I'd love to hear from former/current parents about this school.
My daughter, now in first grade, was at Bari Nelson's toddler
school for a year. Bari is utterly organized and terrific, and
has been doing this for MANY years. I would recommend her
without reservation. One bonus is that she is totally up on all
the local preschools and was a great resource when we (and the
other parents) had to make that momentous decision.
It was just one year out of our daughter's life, but it made a
big impression on all of us. We're still in touch with many of
the families who were at Bari's that year. Some of those
families have since sent younger siblings to Bari's.
Our 2 year old son has been at Size Small this year and has had
a wonderful time. Bari is a very consistent, caring and
creative teacher and her assistant Cynthia could not be
sweeter! There is wonderful outdoor space where the kids play
every day, she has every imaginable toy and each week two
rotating new toy ''stations''. He comes home with art projects
each week -- different things every time. She always does fun
ideas for the seasons -- cute Valentine's, fun leaves and
painting in the fall etc. and has all sorts of different ideas
with rollers for painting, gluing different thread spools,
popsicle sticks, making necklaces etc. She makes new play dough
each week a different color etc. He loves it there and talks
about his friends and Bari and Cynthia all the time --
sometimes even crying and hiding when I come to pick him up.
I canmt say enough of great things about Bari Nelson and her
Size Small preschool.
My son Sergei went to Bari for 2 years. Itms very warm, loving
and creative place for any child, full of toys and great
activities for kids. Barry is simply wonderful, very nurturing,
all kids just love her; she really takes time to know each
child and family.
Her place is great for kids, extremely clean and safe, with
very nice outdoor area. The kids do really amazing art and
crafts daily, there is a music teacher that comes once or twice
Bari has been working with kids for more than 20 years, she is
very experienced and can offer a lot of advice for new parents.
My son is 6 now and still wants to visit her. He really loved
If you want more information, you can contact me directly:
I gotta tell you, Bari Nelson's (Size Small) is Berkeley's best kept pre-school secret.
Well, Bari is very well known and loved by all alumni (and a GREAT place to return to
for trick or treating), but she runs an amazing pre-school program out of her home
nestled on a quiet street in the Berkeley Hills. Both of my children went through her
program and completely thrived! We tried to convince her each year to extend the
age limit, but alas, our kids do grow up.
Let me give some of the highlights:
* Excellent child:caregiver ratio, and the layout of Bari's place allows for excellent
attention at all times.
* Bari's home is a clean, well lit, bright and cheery environment for the kids.
* AMAZING art projects. Bari is a real pro. We still have many of our kids' projects
from Bari's adorning our home.
* Bari is incredibly loving, nurturing, playful (she looks great in fireman outfits!),
funny (great sense of humor with the kids).
* Bari is respectful and supportive of all parenting styles and will work with you to
ensure smooth transitions for your children and help with family issues (new baby,
potting training, etc).
* There is a wonderful, consistent routine with indoor play that involves changing
play centers and art projects every day, a fun train room and library nook,
playdough table (great colors) followed by outdoor play in her gorgeous
yard/garden. Kids can harvest tomatoes when ripe, play in the sandbox, grassy
area, swingset. Bari has great outdoor actvities on hot days (like boat washing &
sprinkler fun). She takes little walking field trips (my kids still remember walking
past the cow mailbox).
* Lunch is absolutely adorable, and before the kids go home they get nutritious
popsicles (juice or yogurt).
* Bari brings in community members & an amazing singing/movement teacher for
the kids for diversity.
I can't say enough good things about Baris! In fact my kids (7 and 4 now) still ask
when they can go visit Bari!
Hope that provides you with a bit more up-to-date information!
My older daughter went to Size Small for 2 years and my
2.5-year-old son currently attends and we have been very happy
with it. It's in a woman's home, and there are 12 kids there a
day, 2- and 3-year-olds with two teachers. The environment is
very warm and inviting and very clean, and there are many toys to
choose from. Bari Nelson has been running the school for years
and has always had a nice assistant teacher working with her.
Every day there is a fun art project and there is an outdoor play
area in the back yard. When the weather is nice they do water
play, bubbles, shaving cream etc. The hours are 8:30-1:30, which
is a good chunk of time and the teachers assist with potty
training if that is what your child is doing. We couldn't be
happier with the program. Apparently Bari has openings still for
We think Size Small is great. We are current parents and we're
very happy with Bari and her assistant Cynthia. They are both
very warm and caring and highly experienced with these ages (2-3
year olds). They really care about and know each kid, although
their ratio can be up to the maximum, 1:6.
My daughter is at Size Small now and I gush about it at every
opportunity. Bari and Cynthia are caring, creative, and
responsive, and--though I'm the most paranoid mommy in the known
world--when my daughter's at school I don't worry about her at
all. When we discovered that she has a severe food allergy, Bari
and Cynthia were ready to deal with it. The art projects are a
lot cooler than you would think possible; there's an endless
supply of great toys and books; the music teacher is wonderful;
the kids are neat; and, the outdoor play area has everything you
could want. My daughter enjoys every day there and has made
notable progress in learning how to be a friend. As soon as her
baby brother is old enough, he's heading to Size Small, too.
Size Small Toddler School has a few openings available for
children aged 2 and up. Hours are 8:30-1:30
Contact: Bari Nelson berkeleybari at yahoo.com or 526-8747
I enthusiastically recommend Bari Nelson's daycare for 18 mos to 3 year
olds in the Berkeley Hills. In the words of my 2 year old, who has just
started to talk, "Fun at Bari's House." I think that says it all!
Bari may have an opening right now because a family just moved away from
the area. She will welcome your visit to her amazing toddler-oriented
home. Her phone number is 526-8747.
My just 3-year old twins, a boy and a girl, currently attend Bari's. They
have had a great experience there and so have we. They look forward to
going, they love both teachers, and also enjoy the music teacher who comes
weekly and sometimes twice a week. There seems to be very little conflict
among the kids, and there are lots of fun, creative and varied activities to
do. Lots of art. Bari and Tasha are both warm and caring, and care to be in
tune with the kids each day. We have been very happy there.
My son has been at Bari's for 1.5 years now. I can't imagine a better place for him. Bari gets to
know each child's individual needs (and the family's, too!), and tends to them. She creates a nice
routine for the kids, with both indoor and outdoor time. She has different art projects each day,
and puts out different toys each day, too. And there are a ton of toys and books, of a great variety
and all very clean. The kids all get to know each other and have real fun together. I can't say enough
good things about her care, but the best is that Bari is truly loving with all of the kids.
We loved Bari's family day care and only wish we could have had our son
there longer (had we known about it earlier, we would have). She's loving,
attentive, very skilled with children, reliable, well organized, playful,
you name it.
this page was last updated: Jul 14, 2012
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