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Claremont Day Nursery on College Ave. (Oakland, CA)
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Claremont Day Nursery on College Ave.
Our son has been offered enrollment at Claremont Day Nursery on College Ave. The most
recent review on BPN is from 1/2012. Do any currently or recently enrolled parents have
an opinion on the school?
My daughter has been going to Claremont Day Nursery on College for two years now, and
we really love it there! The teachers are wonderful and warm, and she really has
developed a special bond with all of them. They do wonderful art projects, have a
great outdoor space, and it is small enough for some individual attention. The space
itself is a little funky, but it hasnt been a problem at all. My daughter has learned
a lot toward literacy but I also feel they really focus on social development and
My daughter just got a spot at Claremont Day Nursery's Rockridge campus.
Does anyone have experience with this nursery? Would you recommend it?
Thank you for your advice.
East Bay Mom
My son has been at Claremont Day Nursery's Rockridge (College Ave)
campus since last summer and I recommend it. He loves his school, is
constantly singing the songs he learns there. The teachers are
incredibly warm and nurturing, real gems. We like that the school
provides lunch and snacks, not just for the convenience but because
it has caused our picky-eater child to try new foods. The only
drawback is that we feel that we haven't gotten to know the other
families there and that the school doesn't do much to foster
relationships among the families in a given class. Most importantly
though, our son really does enjoy his time there and is thriving in
the supportive environment his teachers create for him.
I am enrolling my daughter at Claremont Day Nursery on College. I was
hoping for a review from a recent parent. The staff changed a little
since my first visit and I am a little nervous about it being
stimulating enough for her. Perhaps I am being a nervous parent, but
please tell me your experiences there!
Our daughter moved from her nannyshare to the College Avenue campus over
the summer and never looked back. In our experience, the teachers and
staff at the school are warm and naturally child-oriented. This is
pretty evident in the way the children look up to them. One afternoon
when we were picking our daughter up some older sibling ''graduates''
stopped by and flung themselves into the arms of their former teachers,
thrilled to see them. The school strikes a nice balance between
allowing children to explore their childhood and providing a structured
environment for learning. In the few weeks our daughter has been there
they've had two animal shows and a ''water games'' day. Each week has a
different theme for show & tell. And I garner from our daughter's
dinnertime performance tonight that they've been learning the ''Twinkle
Twinkle Traffic Light'' song. Judging from her eagerness to be dropped
off every morning and the fact that she sleeps like a stone every night,
I'd say the environment is plenty stimulating. We are very happy there.
New CDN Parent
Both of my children, with very different interests and activity levels,
have thrived at CDN on College Ave. My eldest is very interested in art,
reading and other ''intellectual'' pursuits. She was nurtured and her
interests fostered during her time at Claremont Day. She was never bored
and went to Kindergarten very well prepared for reading and other
academic endeavors. My second currently attends CDN. She is much more
social and physical. She spends her time running in the yard,
participating in group projects and playing to her hearts content. I
have nothing but raves for the staff and programs.
We are considering enrolling our 2 yr. old in the
Claremont Day Nursery at Rockridge. Does anyone have any
recent experience with the school, its director, the
teachers and staff, etc? The school seems great and is so
much more affordable than others in the area that I'm
wondering what the catch is. Any postive/negative replies
are much appreciated.
Prospective CDN parent
Both of our kids (now in 2nd grade and kindergarten)
attended CDN since age 2 (Woosley campus). We were really
happy there. This is a preschool made for parents who work.
Hot lunch is served every day (made in the kitchen at the
site) and they are open year-round only closing during major
holidays. The teachers were attentive and consistent (little
turn over). The director, we found, to be easy to
communicate with. Overall a great little school. To this
day, my kids talk about going back to visit!
Happy Former CDN Parent
Re: Preschools with Male Teachers
Claremont Day on College Ave. in Oakland has
Teacher Johnny, who is calm, patient, and insightful. The children love him. He's
there for at least 5 years.
I am looking for a preschool for my almost 4 year old
daughter. I went to the Claremont Day College Avenue preschool
and was very pleased. However, does anyone have any comments
about the school, teachers, location, safety, etc. michaelle
Our daughter goes to the Claremont Woolsey branch. She loves it,
we love it too. Tom, the owner, is present and involved every
day. He cooks special lunches for the kids, puts on parties for
the kids and families (this month we had a Valentine Party and a
Chinese New Year Party, as well as the monthly party for all kids
who have a birthday). More traditional pre-school, less goofy
than most around here.
Does anyone have any insights on the
College Avenue location? We have been considering the College
Ave location and a little more feedback would be great.
Our daughter started in the Bumblebee (2y/o) class last fall and
we've been quite happy with CDN. Teacher Venus is fantastic --
very loving, and very fair. I don't know the other teachers as
well but get a good vibe from them. Interestingly our daughter
recently switched which days she goes which has made her much
happier going to school, mainly because she gets on better with
that group of kids. So some aspects you can't predict. The
administration is not the strongest part of the school -- for
part of the year we were waiting for a spot for different days,
and there was confusion on one or two occasions that yes we had
a spot, no we didn't. But otherwise it's been great.
We are considering Claremont Day Nursery on College for our
daughter next fall (she will be nearly 2.5). We were impressed
with the staff and liked what we saw when we toured the
facility, and would be interested in feedback from parents who
have children there now or in the recent past, especially in the
two-year old program. What have been the strengths of the
program for your child and family? The weaknesses? The hours,
vacation schedule, and food seem to make it a good fit for us as
a two-working parent family. Anything else you think that would
make it a good or poor fit for someone? Even if you're happy
with the program, anything you wish you had known ahead of
time? Thanks for your feedback! AH
We started our child there this fall. In general, we are very
happy with the teachers and the program. The teachers are kind,
intelligent and happy and seem to enjoy both the children and
their jobs. Dyanna, the director for the site is great-
enthusiastic, competent and a lot of fun. The kids and parents
have also been very nice, making it a nice little community. We
did not start with the 2 year old program, so I can't offer much
help there. My only issue with the program is the size--to me it
can feel a bit big, and on occassion have wondered if a smaller
environment or 'preschool only' (as opposed to a full time/day
care school) might be a better fit for our child. But all in all
I am very happy with the program.
happy CDN mom
We have had both our children at Claremont day. My son started
at age 2 1/2 and my daughter at age 4 (she is now in
kindergarten). They had both been home with me or a nanny up to
that point. My two are very different from each other and both
have had a great experience at Claremont Day. I think the staff
is great, very caring, very nurturing and they have gone out of
their way to check my schedule (as well as the other parents)
before scheduling events at the school (holiday parties, etc.).
Also, I love not preparing a lunch for my son:)
I would be happy to speak/e-mail with you further.
While I did not see the initial post, as a parent of a child in
the bumblebee room (2-3 year olds) I wanted to share my
experience with Claremont Day thus far. The staff at CDN go
out of their way to create a community among the CDN families
through a variety of activities throughout the year (spaghetti
dinner, Halloween parade, holiday sing-a-long). Venus, the
Bumblebee teacher, is very warm, caring, and fun -- and my son
loves her. The other teachers also seem great. Overall I
would highly recommend the program -- feel free to contact me
There aren't any recent postings on CDN on College, and I would
like to hear both positive and negative opinions. I visited
recently and while I like a lot of its features, I wasn't wowed
by it, but I want to keep an open mind. One concern was that the
program director isn't there the whole time- she splits her days
between the college and claremont sites. They also have a higher
staff-student ratio than some other places I have seen. What are
your impressions of the teachers- competency, warmth, etc? Also,
I wasn't crazy about the fact that they serve sweets for dessert
with lunch a few days/week, though I do like the fact that lunch
is provided. Any other impressions? Thanks!!!
My daugther (28 months) has been offered a place at Claremont
Kids's College Ave. location (Bumblebee group) for fall 2004. I
wanted to hear if anyone has feedback to give on the facility.
We have visited several times and I think it will work
(good diversity, location, price, and engaged teachers), but
there were two things of some concern: the very high noise
level (on behalf of both teachers and kids) and the shared yard
space where four-year-old boys seemed granted a little too much
free passage with respect to younger girls. The latest comments
on the site are from 2002, so any update would be good. Thanks!
My child has been at CDN on College since he was 2 1/2 and I
could not be more pleased with his teachers and experiences
there as a two year old ''Bumblebee,'' a three year old ''Bear,''
and now a 4 year old ''Dolphin.'' Every single teacher there (as
well as the director and the owner and the lady who serves the
lunches, and the substitute teachers they bring in!) is
wonderful and loving, and they all know all the children's names
and personalities. Without an overly rigorous structure to
prohibit a lot of fun and freedom and creativity, the teacher
driven subjects of the month (three each month: example: the
Olympics, Greece and myths, or
Mexico, the color yellow and gardening) have taught him about
everything he needs (letters, numbers, colors, other subjects as
well as art, a vegetable and flower garden, trips to the College
Ave library for story time, visits from the zoo and dentists
etc.) to be ready for kindergarten next year, both socially and
academically. The kids are all friendly and the school hosts
some events around holidays etc where I have met other parents
who were all very nice too. The food is probably better than
average, and a hot meal, more often than not there are homemade
desserts like carrot cake and banana bread in addition to just
cookies or jello etc. though I can't say you'll never see an
oreo. We also know a little girl who has been very happy there
since she was two and I definitely plan to send my shyer younger
son there next year as well. The Bumblebee class is very small,
only 7 or 8 kids max I think I recall, and their snack and lunch
times are separate from the older children, who play and have
circle time and eat together. I would not worry about the
playground mixing with older kids because it is precisely what
lots of the little kids enjoy (having older friends) and there
are always lots of teachers in the yard watching all the
children. I have often seen older children being comforting and
solicitious of younger children who were crying when their
parents dropped them off, or fallen on the playground. We
specifically chose the College location initially because it is
much smaller than the larger Woolsey campus. At no time do I
feel it is overwhelming, though it can get loud on rainy days
when the kids are all inside, and they let me attend with my
child before he started officially which was very reassuring. In
short I just feel so lucky we found this school and can't rave
about it enough for children of any age or temperament!!!!
I have a 4 yr old son, and a 2
yr old daughter at the school - my son has been there since he
was 2, as has my soon-to-be-departing-for-K nephew. Dianna is
fabulous, and it is a real shame that she isn't at the school
fulltime. That being said, I think the remaining staff are
great: caring, consistent, patient, and attentive. My daughter
ADORES the Bumblebee teacher (after all of 2 visits), and my son
is quite happy with all the rest. I think that the quality of
the snacks could be better, but I frankly understand their
efforts to economize. The lunch is usually very good, and I
LOVE the fact that it is homemade, rather than canned, or parent-
provided, and a sweet a couple of times per week doesn't bother
me (everything in moderation, I think). As far as the staff-
student ratio is concerned, I'm not sure what the exact problem
is: the kids get plenty of attention, the place is safe, and I
like the fact that the school is somewhat smaller than the other
places I looked at, not quite so many kids.
For me, I love the fact that there is plenty of unstructured
play time, and they do let the kids play. My son loved mingling
with the older kids, when he was younger, and now is great at
looking after his sister, and he also watches out for the other
younger ones, on occasion (I have watched him when he didn't
know I was there). I think that the teachers seem to understand
what the kids need, and they watch out for the younger ones more
carefully, particularly those that seem a bit lost or
uncertain. For me personally, I appreciate the fact that they
let the kids go a bit, I don't like to see kids hovered over:
kids need to have the room to experiment and try things out on
their own. That being said, I do think that it is safe, and
that they do not compromise the safety of the children.
I'm not sure what is meant by ''high noise level'' - I just hear
kids having fun. My son is probably one of the noise makers,
though, since he is pretty active and loud, so perhaps I am
biased. When kids are outside, I feel they should be allowed to
be as noisy as they want. Inside is another matter, and the
teachers are good, in my opinion, about getting the kids quiet
when they need to listen.
All in all, I am very happy with Claremont Day Nursery. I live
only 1 block away, so I often drop in unannounced, and have
never found anything to be worried about. You both are welcome
to contact me if you have any other specific questions or
concerns. Good luck!
Re: Preschools with Afternoon Programs
Claremont Day Nursery School has an afternoon session
with extended care until 6. They have locations in
Kensington and on College Ave. A friend had kids at the
College Ave location and was happy with it. I've also read
good reviews about both locations in the UCB Parents
Does anyone have any experience, positive or negative,
with Claremont Day Nursery on College in Rockridge?
My son will be 4 when he attends preschool. The website
only has comments about Claremont Day in Kensington and
This is in response to the request for experiences with
CDN in Rockridge. Although our son attended the school
in Berkeley, I would not recommend any of the schools
at all due to the experiences we had with the director.
We felt that the director painted the parents as
negligent or taking advantage of the care given to the
kids there if they ever arrived a minute after 6pm.
My wife and I work in San Rafael and downtown SF
respectively. My wife works until 5 and then has to
hurry across the bridge to pick up my son before 6pm
so as not to be charged the $15 late fee. First of all,
while I agree that a late fee is necessary so that
perpetually late parents do not take advantage of the
situation, I believe $15 for each 15 minutes after 6pm
is excessive especially because sometimes traffic
considerations make lateness out of the parents control.
So my wife continually had to rush across the San Rafael
bridge and then fight Berkeley city traffic at rush hour
to get to CDN at Claremont and Woolsey. I myself onetime
got a speeding ticket trying to make it there before
6pm. Inevitably, there was an accident on the bridge
which tied up traffic leading to my wife getting there
at 6:15 one day. Two days later, it was construction
tieing up traffic which led my wife to arrive at 6:02.
When she arrived my son was on the potty and so didn't
end up leaving until 6:20.
The director made us feel like somehow we were negligent
and at fault in arriving late and tried to charge us $15
for arriving at 6:02. When we didn't pay immediately,
he then continued to hound us to pay the $15 to the
point of confronting me on morning in front of parents
bringing their kids to school. I explained to him that
I didn't think the fee was warranted due to our arrival
time and the problems we had that day and he then
basicly told us it was our fault we were 2 minutes late,
that the rules were rules and that if I didn't pay up,
my son wasn't welcome there again. We had already made
the decision to pull my son due to the attitude of the
director, but I was furious that he would accost me in
front of my child, his schoolmates and their parents
like that. I have no quarrel with the teachers there
who are caring and engaged the kids in artwork which
was sometimes creative and sometimes just consisted of
coloring exercises. My son just seems to be much happier
where he is now and gets much more individualized
We have had a very positive experience with Claremont Day Nursery,
both with the upstairs ''little kids'' classes as well as with
the downstairs ''big kids'' classes.
The upstairs teachers are very warm, friendly and genuinely
caring about the children there. They give each child the
attention he/she needs, while still encouraging independent play
and activities. There is a daily routine, interesting projects
and activities, and enough structure to help children grow
through both play and more traditional learning activities.
Both my son and daughter have blossomed in the program. I
feel that the care and attention they receive has helped them
grow both creatively and intellectually, while they have had
their emotional needs met.
There are some more logistical aspects of CDN that I like,
particularly compared with Duck's Nest, which is also a
terrific program. First, the hot lunches at CDN, which eliminate
the need for busy parents to remember one more thing. Also,
for better or worse, CDN does not have the number of inservice
and vacation days that Duck's Nest has. These add up
very quickly, particularly for working parents who need
to scramble to find the additional care when the school
is not open.
As far as the parent who complained about the fine for
being just two minutes late... I've been a few minutes
late to pick up my kids once or twice for exactly the
same reason that he was. I gladly paid the $15 fee and
I know I am not alone in that sentiment. First off, it's
stated right up front in the school policy that there is
a $15 fine for every 15 minutes parents are late to pick
up their children after 6:00. It's no surprise to anyone.
The fee structure at CDN is very reasonable; a few extra
dollars to compensate the teacher for caring for your child
is nothing. Traffic delays in the Bay Area are a fact of
life, and we should be grateful that we can depend on
someone we trust to care for our children when we are
delayed. Another thing to consider is that a two minute
delay for us in our cars might mean a 45 minute delay for
the on-duty teacher who misses her bus or BART connection.
this page was last updated: Nov 5, 2014
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