Bernice and Joe's Playschool (Oakland, CA)
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Bernice and Joe's Playschool
- Owner: Joseph & Bernice Humbert
- Phone: (510) 638-3529
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Neighborhood: Mills College
- Zip: 94605
- License #: 010214258
- Capacity: 26
- Website: http://www.berniceandjoe-playschool.com
- Ages: 2 - 5 years
I am looking at Bernice & Joe Playschool as a possible program for my
4-year-old son next year and would like to hear about some recent
experiences with the program.
Are the staff stable or is there high turnover? How have you experienced
the approach to discipline? Is there a balance of play and structure (too
much chaos or rigidity)?
What kinds of kids would recommend this program for?
Thanks for offering your feedback!
Hello, I am a very happy parent at Bernice and Joe's Playschool. My daughter
has been attending since she was just short of three, and she loves it. (She's
now 4.5). She goes full time, 5 days a week.
You asked: Are the staff stable or is there high turnover?
Staff is stable. The just let a new teacher's aide go, but only after 3-4
months of things not working out. She seemed nice. In my experience, staff have
only left for maternity leave. The current staff is terrific -- we love Anna,
teacher-Bernice, and the assistant Rebecca. And of course Joe and Bernice have
been around for 31 years, which is real stability.
How have you experienced the approach to discipline?
If a kid does something wrong, they gently sit down and engage them in a
dialogue. In the few cases where my daughter has done something wrong, they've
talked to me about it. When another kid does something that involves my child,
they tell me about it. What ever they do, it must be working because the kids
all seem happy and like they all get along.
Is there a balance of play and structure (too much chaos or rigidity)?
I think so. Every morning, they have a different array of toys set out for the
kids in the kitchen, often on a theme. They do projects, but not too many. My
daughter is really into drawing so she brings home reams of paper, but other
kids do what they want to (dress up, etc.). There are two circle times which
are structured, but lots of time for play. And of course the outdoor space is
What kinds of kids would recommend this program for?
I think this is a good school for all sorts of kids. I've seen very shy kids
and very outgoing kids do well. It really is a play based program, but my
daughter is writing the names of most of her classmates and seems on the verge
of reading, so it's definitely not limiting her learning.
In short, we are very happy. Joe and Bernice has fostered a community of happy
parents and children. My daughter says she likes all of her friends, playing
''castle,'' painting, drawing and ''going green'' (which she explains to me is
keeping our Earth healthy).
I am looking for a diverse preschool in East Oakland for my
gender-variant child and our queer family. If necessary we could
go farther from home, but I'd like to stay nearby if possible. I
am only interested in play-based programs and programs where
child/adult interactions are informed by the principles of
positive discipline (generally). I really hope for a school
where my child will learn a lot of Spanish. It's important to me
that my child has lots of time to play with and explore the
natural world and I can't imagine that a school with a TV would
be right for us. I am interested in everything from co-ops to
five-day programs, mostly I'm just looking for someplace that
feels right where my little one can grow.
Looking for the Moon and Stars
Check out Bernice & Joe Playschool, off 580 at Edwards. Seems
to have all you're looking for (except maybe a lot of Spanish!).
My three kids are in a wonderful preschool in East Oakland - off
Edwards. Bernice and Joe Preschool. It is completely play based.
Loving and compassionate teachers, great atmosphere, and good
community of parents. It's a very accepting school. The
discipline is kind and understanding. I am constantly amazed at
what my kids come home with. I have heard from lots of parents
that their kids were well prepared for kindergarten. They have
been in business for 25+ years. It is a home with an amazing
backyard complete with a boat, space ship, garden, and play
house. We are more than happy there.
Happy preschool parent
I am looking for more recent reviews of Bernice and Joe's
Playschool. I really like the outdoor space.
Are the teachers nurturing, well trained etc? I
used to teach preschool myself and is hard to find a preschool
that meets all my requirements. Any suggestions of other
schools from teachers like myself would be greatly appreciated
want the best
Our 4.5 year old son has been at Bernice and Joe's Playschool for two
years and our 2 yr old daughter is on the waiting list to begin as
soon as possible). We have been very satisfied with the school
overall. Bernice and Joe are loving teachers who really tune in to
each individual child. There has been a lot of changes in teachers in
the time we've been there and they are still looking for a director,
but the two teachers who have been there the entire time are WONDERFUL
and I like the new staff they have now as well. One thing I do like
about the school is they seem to nip staffing problems in the bud,
making sure that the teachers agree with their philosophy. I am amazed
when I talk with other parents at more pricey schools because they
seem all have their own unique set of problems. I think the low-key,
shabby atmosphere of the place weeds out ''power parents'' so the
parent community is approachable, fun, and easy-going. Our kids are
thriving there. Discipline wise, I've had good experiences. I have a
very energetic, spirited child and they have been good about telling
me daily when we have behavior issues and we all work together to
solve them. They do use timeouts but mostly their discipline is very
gentle and loving. Sometimes, with my son, I think he might need MORE
strict discipline, but we've managed to overcome some big hurdles. The
school also provides Spanish, gymnastics and music once a week
(outside teachers come in). Overall, we love our school and would
recommend it but keep in mind that everyone is different.
Proud B&J parent
Re: Good preschools in Oakland
Check out Bernice and Joe Playschool (www.berniceandjoe-
playschool.com). I think it has everything you are looking
for. Our twins thrived there from age 2 to 5.
Re: Preschool near Oakland Zoo/Mills/San Leandro
While I do not personally have a child enrolled in this
pre-school, I am a neighbor of Bernice & Joe, of Bernice & Joe's
Playschool. I know their space. I can attest to their having
the most amazing outdoor play space I have ever seen! They seem
very loving & caring and the families who drop off seem very
content. You may want to check them out online:
They are located on Sunkist Drive, off 580 at Edwards Avenue.
Hi- I checked out Bernice & Joe Playschool in Oakland (off of
580's Edwards Ave) and I think it looks good for my son but
would love any additional info on the school itself, teachers,
program- whatever, good or bad, please!
We did not have a good experience. It was our first preschool experience
and I was won over by the great yard. Our two year old daughter didn't nap
well and they wouldn't help teach her to or have another alternative
for her at nap time. They would say ''she said NO to the teacher''...
like that was some kind of a shocking statement from a two year old.
At the end of her day when I was there to pick her up, Joe would go
through a list of all her ''bad'' deeds right in front of her. And I wouldn't
hear about anything positive.
The last straw was that after 7 months there, I discovered that they didn't
know my daughter could talk. This is a kid who was talking in 3 word
sentences at a year old.
Recently we had a visit to Bernice and Joe's Playschool in
Oakland. Wondering if anyone out there has feedback on the
school? We thought it was lovely but would like to get some
feedback from parents and kids who have attended the school.
We had a great experience at Bernice & Joe's, but our
twins ''graduated'' last year. The school has gone through big
changes since then. . . the retirement of one of the founders
(Bernice), hiring of a new director, and changes in teaching
staff. That being said, the place is wonderful and has a great
reputation for ''community.'' I would recommend talking to parents
of children currently in the school. Ask Joe to give you phone
numbers of members of the Parent Involvement Committee.
Re: Preschools for Vegetarian Children
Bernice and Joe Playschool is off 580 at Edwards and serves
vegetarian lunch and snacks. They take kids ages 2 through 5.
We have been very happy there.
My 2 1/2 year old twins go to a preschool part-time called Bernice & Joe
Playschool. It is located off the Edwards Ave exit which is right off 580,
not far from the exit to the Oakland Zoo. They offer part-time and full
time. My children love it there! It's located in the owners former residence
so the kids feel right at home.
I've had three kids at Bernice and Joe's Playschool -- my five year old,
who just started kindergarten, and now my two-year-old twins. I really love
it. The outdoor space is incomparable, the kids have a lot of choices and
just enough structure to ease them into the world of school. (My oldest
"graduated" with all the skills she needed for kindergarten -- in English
and Spanish.) Best of all, the directors have really solid, progressive
values. My experience is that kids feel safe, respected and free to be
themselves, and parents feel a real sense of community and family.
I had a son who went to Bernice and Joe's for nearly two years.
He is not an easy kid, very active and bright,
but Bernice and Joe had enormous difficulty with him and even more
difficulty communicating with us. When we finally got Bernice to discuss
with us the issues, she diagnosed our son over the phone as "hyperactive".
When I asked her to elaborate and to tell us next steps she was
unable to make either concrete suggestions or back up her
phrasing. I picked him up one day and they
had completely ostracized him from the rest of the group for meals. When I
asked Bernice how often this happened she said "not often", which
Bannana's who I had gone to for help and I concluded was pretty
frequently. This form of punishment was never discussed with us. There are
a number of occasions where it was clear he had been labelled as the bad
kid and the source of all problems there.
Although we cannot say if my son
never will be diagnosed as ADHD, when we discussed this with pediatricians
and the developemental pediatricians, they said it was almost never a
diagnosis that they were willing to make on a three year old, and in their
opinion was certainly not an accurate label for our child.
Hi all. The playschool to which my almost-2-year-old daughter goes
two mornings a week has some openings in the fall, so I thought I'd
recommend them to you all...
The name of the place is Bernice and Joe's Playschool. They take
toddlers (~2) to preschoolers. The place is just off 580, at the
Edwards exit. The most striking thing about it is the beautiful
grounds -- two big treed lots -- you would never know you were
near a fairly busy street in Oakland. There's a big homemade
rocketship, and a real boat, and a vegetable garden, etc. etc.
Bernice and Joe are excellent with the kids. I won't go on here.
Please give me a call or send me email if you'd like to know more.
Or of course you can contact them directly, 638-3529.
this page was last updated: Sep 10, 2011
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