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Re: Full-time preschool needed in Oakland ASAP
My son is in Broadmoor Preschool Co-op in San Leandro. It is play-based and we love it. It is not full-time and you have to work 1 day a week, so I don't know if it would work for you. I know there are spots open in the morning class (age 3-4 I believe). You can find them online at broadmoorpreschool.org. Good luck! bricia
Re: What's it like in the Coop world?
I'm the President of Broadmoor coop in San Leandro. I can't speak for the two coops you asked about, but I'll be happy to answer some of your questions.
'' My question is whether not having more than one or two 'daily' teachers is tough on the kids or not. ''
Well, first of all, we have two directors/teachers who are hired by the coop in addition to the parents. The kids know them as the teachers. They're the ones that run circle time and are in charge of the classroom. In this way it's no different than any other preschool.
'' Do the children get used to having lots of different grownups around all the time? ''
Yes, in fact they quickly learn who's mommy or daddy is who's. They even learn our names as well as all the kids names. Our parents rotate through stations, and the kids know which grown-up is doing which project. They also know they can approach any of the grown-ups if they get hurt or if there's a conflict.
'' Also, I'm conflicted about whether all the time required of the parent in the coop is a benefit or a detraction - I see that there's the obvious financial benefit, but what's it really like to attend so many meetings and 'work weekends'?''
The extra meetings are definitely a big time commitment but there's no question in my mind that they are a benefit- certainly not a detraction. They're technically the adult education part of the coop and consist of the directors and guest speakers talking about many child-rearing issues. At our coop the parents plan the curriculum, so there's a lot of interaction in addition to working in the classroom-- and that means that the parents form a tight-knit community rather quickly. We are still in quite close contact with a good number of the families that my older son went to school with; in fact, he will often call a friend from preschool before he'll think of a friend from elementary school. We also have a babysitting coop which works wonderfully. The kids all know each other from school and they know and are comfortable with the parents too, so for them getting babysat is just like a playdate.
'' I'd love to hear why you joined a coop, or why you've left a coop. ''
I joined our coop because I loved the philosophy. We've been in a ''regular'' preschool and a daycare with a ''preschool curriculum'' and there's just no comparison. Art projects are process, not product oriented. The kids are allowed to explore and be creative. When you have five parents and a teacher, you're less concerned with keeping order or the kids making a mess. Of course, all schools are different, so I'd suggest you go visit the one's you're interested in.
FYI, most of the coop schools belong to the East Bay, and then California Council of Parent Participation Nursery schools ( http://www.ccppns.org/ ) which are umbrella organizations. There are networking nights and the amount of communication between schools is increasing, so there's an exchange of ideas out there.
Hope this Helps. ---Sophie
My son goes to Broadmoor Parent Cooperative Nursery School in San Leandro. It's just off of 580 and close to the Oakland border. Phone number is 510-569-5327.
There are two classes, a morning class for 3-year olds (starting at 2yr 9mos if potty trained) and an afternoon class for 4-year olds. It meets four days a week for 2 1/2 hours a session. Parents work one day a week in their child's class and there is a brief meeting afterwards for parents who worked. The cost is $67 a month. The coop has been around for over 60 years and it is technically run through the San Leandro Adult Ed program so the parent/s is registered for a "class" and the children are the "lab subjects".Twice a month there is an evening class which is required where they teach aspects of education and plan curriculum. Each parent also has a "committe job" which helps the school run and is required to do a certain number of maintenance hours. There's also a fund raising requirement that was waived this year because we had a super-high enrollment and didn't need the extra money.
It doesn't have to be the parent who works. You can pay someone to do it, another relative can do it, and some of the other parents are willing to be paid subs. If two parents are registered they can trade-off responsibilities. So, for example, I work in the school, do the scholastic book orders as my commitee job, and my partner attends the classes and did the maintenance hours.
I really like the philosophy of the school which is very experiential, stressing process over product. There are two "directors" who each work 2 days a week as the teachers and run circle time. There are five "stations" and the parents rotate which station they work in. When it's your day for cooking you must purchase the foodstuff so that is also a hidden cost which comes once every five to six weeks. Each week has a theme to guide curriculum but you plan your particular area for a day and are free to do what you want, regardless of theme.
I haven't seen any other coops so can't compare. All I can say is I've loved being part of this one. My son has made some great friends and we've also met many parents in the area. Sophie
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