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Re: Looking for a Kensington preschool
Welcome to Kensington! This is a wonderful community, as small town as you can get around here. I promise you and your children will make lifelong friends. I have there children and have attended Mills college children school, step one on spruce, and Claremont day at the colusa circle.
While nothing can compare to the campus and true Reggio curriculum at Mills, I can enthusiastically recommend Claremont day as a wonderful place to send your kids. My two youngest attended and thrived and in spite of very different personalities were well prepared for kindergarten.
At Claremont they had both the experience of small classes organized by age and lots of social time with the group. Music is huge! They sing like birds everything from teaching songs to traditional holiday songs (it is hard to find a place that celebrates traditional holidays anymore) and teacher Bianca choreographs amazing dance performances. Supplemental classes like gymnastics and Spanish are also offered
On top of all this Claremont day is well priced, has a working parents schedule (never closed for work days or arcane holidays) and serves a hot lunch. Can you imagine not having to pack a lunch?
Feel free to contact me for more details or about life here. Hope to run into you at the Arlington some Friday night. Susannah
I read the 10+ years of reviews in the archives for Claremont Day preschool in Kensington, and they are overwhelmingly positive. I also visited the site today and got a good feeling - the staff and kids seem happy. Does anyone have any recent concerns with or other feedback about the school? Just trying to cover all bases
Re: Preschools in Albany area that potty train students
Try Claremont Day, the one in the Colusa Circle. Your grandchild would start with the kids who are 2-3 while being potty trained but would then likely move to the 3 years old class. satisfied parent
Re: Seeking full time preschool for my 2 year old
I didn't see the original post, but our son is at Claremont Day 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... Amy
Re: Inexpensive Preschool for 2 yr old in Berk/Oak
My son has been going to Claremont Day Nursery in Kensington since last September, and absolutely loves it. Their rates are pretty reasonable ranging from $620 part-time to $1075 full-time, they serve a hot lunch as well as two snacks during the day, and their hours (7am-6pm) is very conducive to working parents. The teacher turnover rate is very low and even though the children are split up into age-based classrooms, all the teachers and caregivers know every child in the school. They follow a play-based preschool program and we are very happy with our son's progress and development here. Please feel free to contact me if you need more information.
Re: Preschool where my son won't be the token black kid
You should consider Claremont Day Nursery in Kensington, just off the Colusa Circle. ''Kensington?'' I hear you saying. But yes, this is a great little gem of a preschool, with a very diverse group of kids. First of all, the head teacher and on-site manager is an African-American woman who has been a teacher there for more than 30 years. My kids absolutely adore her. They give her a hug and tell her they love her every day before leaving. She has an incredible way with kids, and was great with my two wild boys. Her daughter now also teaches there, and I think has developed into a great teacher. Aside from the teaching staff, there are several African-American children. I am not sure how many -- not a lot -- but definitely more than 1 or 2. There are also Latino kids, lots of Asian kids, and lots of European kids (whose parents may be affiliated with UCB, I suppose). I regularly hear French, German, and Italian being spoken by parents during pick-up time. There are also kids with two Mommies, although I am unaware of any kids with two Daddies. There are professional parents, and parents who pick their kids up in the delivery truck they drive for work. Definitely a place of diversity. My son's best friends at the school are a little boy from France, and a little girl who is half Asian and half African-American. Loves Claremont Day
Re: Preschool where my son won't be the token black kid
Try Claremont Day in Kensington. It's VERY diverse, both students and staff. It's wonderful. Francesca
Re: How to decide among three great preschools
Our son attends Claremont Day Nursery in Kensington and we absolutely love it. We both work full time (he's there 50 hours a week!), and I must say that having lunch provided is a HUGE benefit. It seems petty, but not having to even think about lunches for him during the week (shopping for, preparing, worrying about whether he will eat what I put in there, etc.) is a major advantage in our busy life. The long hours are also a huge benefit - 7am to 6pm - if you're running late from work or need to drop off earlier than usual, etc. The school is great, very loving and committed teachers, great program where he learns a ton. I also love that the vast majority of kids are full-time, so they're all in it together with full-time working parents. Don't know anything about the other schools. Good luck. Amy
Re: Preschools with Male Teachers
There is one male teacher at Claremont Day Nursery in Kensington. His name is Robert and my daughter was in his class last year. He's been there for a loooooong time, and he's wonderful--warm, calm, fatherly (or grandfatherly). He does creative art projects with the kids every day, which my daughter loved. Go meet him. heidi
Info on Claremont Day in Kensington seems scarce. I took a tour a year ago and thought it seemed friendly and the teachers warm and engaging. It's also close to my house and the schedule suits me, so I WANT to love it. I would be so grateful for any opinions on this place. Claremont mom??
There are many posts. I just read through them and despite the fact that they date back to 2001, they are all still very current, except for the few changes in staff.
My youngest just started kindergarten so we've only been gone from CDN for a month. My whole family thought it was great. We loved all of the teachers we had, and the ones who joined the staff about a year ago are GREAT too! My sons were happy, well cared for, had a chance to play and learn each day. We never worried about them going to school. I can't recommend it enough. We were very sad that they finally grew out of CDN... former CDN parent
I would love to hear some recent comments or thoughts on Claremont Day Nursery in Kennsington. We are considering the school for our son this fall. I'm particularly interested in hearing about their curriculum (if parents have felt their children were prepared well for kindergarden, etc.), the student to teacher ratio (if parents felt there was enough supervision), the play yard (has anyone been hurt), the lunches (were they healthy and did your kids like them), and most importantly, did your kids enjoy it there and have fun! Thanks!! Dona
Hi- We have been on BPN and saw a number of positive reviews of the Claremont Day School Woolsey Street location, but wanted to know if others had experiences to share re: the Kensington location. We are (ideally) looking for a program that will be a social/academic mix (nothing too heavy-abc's, 123's etc.) and a nurturing environment for our daughter who will be 2.9 in August. She has been home with Mom for most of her time and we are looking for a flexible school that can ease the transition for both parents and little girl. Thank you for any information you can forward. jmc
I am looking for feedback on the Claremont Day Nursery in Kensington and in Berkeley. I am considering enrolling my 2 year old and the only reviews on BPN are fairly old. Any pros or cons to share? Thanks for your help, first time preschool mom
Does anyone know if there's a parents email listserv (or Yahoo! group) for the Claremont Day Nursery in Kensington? Thanks! -- Cindy cleung
I am looking for information on Claremont Day Nursery in Kensington. My child would be in the older two's class in September, half days five days a week to start and possibly full time later on. Any info positive or negative is greatly appreciated. I have read the comments on the website but would like some more recent input. Thanks!!!
Some of the best features of this school... the kids get to PLAY. They just installed a new play structure this winter which is wonderful. (There is less shade in the yard now because they had to cut one of the big trees to fit the slide in... but it is nice.) They also do a lot of projects. Most of the teachers work with the kids in one-on-one or small groups to complete the project so they get a lot of quality time. There are lots of different toys/activities... blocks, dress-up, dolls, trucks, legos, etc. Kid can be very creative with their play. This is more of a play based program so academics isn't the focus. In the older classes (Simone's and Robert's) they do prepare kids for kindergarten... abc, 123, write your name, cut in a straight line, color in the lines, days of the week, etc. I spoke with several parents who are sending their children to non-public schools whose children were considered well prepared.
Prices have gone up again... they seem to go up every year. It is still cheaper than the other programs I looked at, and I still think it is the right fit for my family, so I am ok with that. The food is fine... in fact my son eats more variety now than he did before he started. As they get older the kids learn to set and clear their place, pour drinks... all very nice.
Overall, I feel that my son has been in a safe and loving environment that has allowed him to be himself and have fun while learning. Rose
Hi- I'd like to recommend Claremont Day in Kensington. My 2 year old daughter was not very verbal/ social and had some behavioral issues before she began attending. We noticed positive changes in her instantly. What I love about the school is that the teachers have been there for many years, there is a warm family environment, very diverse staff and kids (very important for me), great outside play area, the kids are seperated by age so the 2's are seperated into two groups (beginning 2's and late two's) and their fees are very reasonable and less than allot of co-ops. I visited at least a handful of local preschools (ones that were recommended on the UCB Newsletter, including McGee farm school and the Snuggery, and did not get the same warm vibe or mixture of what I was seeking (affordable, diverse, loving, play environment). Ask for Simone or Fran for more info or email me for more info. Good luck! lioni
I would GREATLY appreciate it if anyone can share their experiences/1st hand impressions about either Claremont Day Nursery in Kensington or Kensington Hilltop Nursery school; we are considering both for our daughter. The posts on the website are from awhile ago. We thought we'd have more time to find a place, but our caregiver just gave notice and we'd like to place her in a pre school program. I usually trust my gut with these types of decisions, but I would so welcome any feedback from parents whose children attended and/or why they chose not to have them attend. Thank you so much. Sophie
Re: Part-time preschool in El Cerrito or Richmond
I know you asked for a school in Richmond or El Cerrito, but have you looked into the Claremont Day Nursery in Kensington... it is just off the Colusa Circle. They have offer both full and part time schedules. My son is there full time but I know that there are kids in his class that come a few days a week only. I also know that there are students there who leave early (after lunch) each day. Give them a call and see if they meet your needs. I think it is a great school and am very happy to have my son there. Rose
Re: "Traditional" school 2-3 mornings a week
My kids have all attended Claremont Day Nursery part-time over the past 4 years and it seems to fit most of your requirements (except for the French part). My kids go to the Kensington branch, but there is one on Claremont in Berkeley (very near Oakland). I can't speak for the Berkeley site, but the teachers at the Kensington site are really great and they offer a variety of part-time schedules for mornings or afternoons. I think they offer a nice balance between play and ''academics.'' The Montessori schools I visited kind of gave me the creeps and I really appreciate Claremont's emphasis on kids learning how to interact with each other and play together. Which is not to say that they don't ''teach,'' they just don't believe that EVERY activity should be based on literacy and numeracy. They pride themselves in helping get kids ready for Kindergarten and have a curriculum that is age-appropriate as the kids move through the various classes. They do circle time, art projects, basic science (things that live in the ocean, the seasons, etc) and letters and counting. They don't do a lot of field trips but they have gone to LHS and local parks on occasion. They start at 2 years old (my youngest daughter actually started a few weeks before her second birthday)and don't require the kids to be potty trained. It's a fun kind of place where kids eat homemade macaroni and cheese lunch (they provide hot meals!) and pretzels for snacks. It's also pretty reasonably priced compared to most other preschools. Good luck in your search, and be sure to check out Claremont Day Nursery. D. Moran
My daughter attended Claremont Day Nursery in Colusa Circle for over one year, until this month, and I would like to recommend it! We have taken her out of school until our work/financial situation improves.
The teachers are caring and considerate and it has a nice family/neighborhood feel. It has been around for 40 years and the staffing is stable, most have been there a long time.
It is slightly more reasonably priced then other schools we looked into- and has longer hours - and the big bonus is the HOT LUNCHES, included in the price! Several times a week the kids bring home art projects - which is really wonderful. THey are exposed to all sorts of things with their monthly themes (safety-the firetruck came, etc.)
I have only witnessed one problem - an incident that I am still not sure was handled the best way. There was some trouble with a bully kid - and they quite promptly requested he leave the school. He was gone by the end of the week. My daughter talked about that kid for a long time, he had made a big impression on her. At the time, I was really happy that the bully was removed. I don't know why they decided to remove him, but suspect that maybe they have just had enough of that type of behaviour and would not tolerate it. Now, in retrospect, I think maybe they should have worked with the kid and his troubled behaviour(?) However, they have more experience with behavioural problems than I do, so I trust their judgement on this one.
It is such a heart-wrenching decision to see your kid go off to pre-school, but I founf that in the end - her first day of school was much more difficult on me than on her! Good luck with the decision.
The teachers are what really made the school. The Kittens begin with Harriet. Everyone loves Harriet. They progress to Rosalinda, on to Heidi and then end with either Robert or Simone. These teachers really had an impact on my son's young life. They are all loving and open minded individuals but there is structure the children know they must follow. He often talks about his teachers and his days at Claremont. He loves to go back and visit his old friends at school. We loved the school so much that our 2 year old daughter will start in January. I think you should stop by and see the school. They are very flexible with their school schedules. They accept children either part time or full time. If you have any questions, please contact me my e-mail address. Debbie
My 2 and 4 year old boys have been enrolled in the Claremont Day Nursery in Kensington since May 2001 and we love it. All of the teachers are patient and caring and most have been there for several years, 10+ for some of them. I feel they really get to know the children and they always provide me with a lot of feedback about how my kids are doing, what their preferences are, and how well they interacted throughout the day. The classrooms are divided into several age groups and each week the lessons are centered around a different theme (such as seasons, fire safety, animals, the ocean, etc.). The teachers have a wide variey of very creative projects they do with the kids, in addition to lessons about the alphabet, numbers, colors, etc. and they have parades, pot-luck parties, and other activities to celebrate holidays and cultural events. The outdoor play area is spacious and well maintained and the teachers spend a lot of time actually playing with the kids instead of just watching them. We like the fact that all the kids (2-6 years) share the same play time outside since our boys like to be with each other. Our previous experience at Keystone Montessori in El Cerrito was not as good for us since the boys were in separate classes and were not allowed to interact with each other during the day. One of the best features at Claremont is that they provide a hot lunch and snacks for the kids! This saves me a great deal of time not having to prepare lunch the night before and in my experience, the kids eat a greater variety of foods since they see their peers eating the same things. I have dropped in at the school several different times during the day and the kids are always happy and well behaved and I often have difficulty getting them to leave. The tuition is very reasonable and additional classes in music, spanish, and gymnastics are available. Overall we have been extremely pleased with the quality of care. Allison
My daughter, now 7, went there full-time for two years & half time for 1 year and we both loved it. She had Simone from age 3-4, Robert from age 4-5 (pre-kindergarten), and Margaret after kindergarten. All were warm, patient, loving and enthusiastic. The facility is a little shabby, but what can you expect in a place where a lot of little kids have fun all day? Sometimes the atmosphere was a little frantic at 5:00 when I came to pick her up, but all the kids seemed happy and seemed to get one-on-one attention when they needed it. You can tell the staff genuinely love spending their days with small children. I highly recommend it.
I had my son in the Claremont Day at the Kensington Circle and found that the outdoor program had too wide an age range of kids in the yard (Ages 2 - 5) without enough adult supervision. We changed programs because we found the staff unwilling to work with us on discipline issues such as hitting, biting.
On the other hand, my niece had her twin girls in the College Ave. program and had a great experience. They were there from age 2 until they started kindergarden this fall. The College Ave. program is much smaller and the parents and staff worked better together. If you would like to contact her I am sure that she would be happy to discuss her thoughts with you.
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