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Cottage Playhouse (Oakland, CA)

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Berkeley Parents Network > Reviews > Preschools & Daycare > Cottage Playhouse (Oakland, CA)



April 2004

I'm thinking about enrolling my daughter in a small, home-based preschool, Cottage Playhouse, but am trying to find out more information on the place. I've checked the archives and there isn't much there. I visited the school a while back and liked what I saw. My daughter has just turned two and Cottage Playhouse seems like a nice, intimate setting for her. Has anyone had any recent experience with Cottage Playhouse and the woman who runs it, Michelle? Undecided mom


Regarding Cottage Playhouse, my daughter is there now. She loves it and we love it. It is a very mellow, caring, play-based environment. At first I was concerned that it wasn't going to be ''academic'' enough for my daughter in the long term, but I was wrong. My daughter will be entering kindergarten in the fall, and she has more than the required skills. She has learned to read and has learned some math, plus she has the fine motor skills (cutting and such) that are important in kindergarten.

My son went to an intense and--in my opinion--overly rigorous preschool. I didn't realize it at the time, but I think that environment was responsible for making him a bit of a perfectionist, with a fear of success/ fear of failure problem. It has taken us years to get him to mellow out and not be so focused on doing things perfectly every time. My daughter is much more relaxed and doesn't get so wiped out after a day of school.

I really can't recommend Cottage highly enough. It has been a great experience. The only two negatives I can think of are the short hours (8:30 to 3:00) and no parties or gatherings for all the parents and kids to get together. It would be nice if she had a spring open house or a fall pumpkin patch, so the parents could interact and see all the kids together more. But those are minor points. Mary


My oldest daughter who is now in Kindergarten when to Cottage Playhouse from the time she was 2 until she was almost four where I then put her in a more traditional preschool that was a feeder to her elementary school. we LOVED it. My daughter had a VERY difficult transition from a nanny to Cottage Playhouse (she went 3 days/week). Michelle probably still remembers it as her most challenging transition. But she and her staff were so loving and caring, we made it through, and had a great experience. They are very nurturing and loving. They do art projects every morning. The way they talk to the kids is great. My daughter adored Michelle. When I was pregnant with my second daughter, the oldest decided we should name her after one of the teachers, which we did do.

I was planning on sending my youngest there. She turned two in December, but there were no immediate openings. We would have had to wait until this Fall, and so I decided just to send her to the preschool that she probably would have gone to eventually anyway. I understand from Michelle that many kids now stay though until K, althought that was not necessarily the case when I was there. We are sad that it won't work out. Plus her hours have been reduced slightly, and logistically they didn't work well at all for those three days I work.

The down side? Not much. Most mom's were SAH, which I have no problem with as a part-timer, but I didnt' connect well with a lot of them, although they were perfectly nice. Not a big feel of community there (no picnics or family get togethers). And the hours are limited. They also dont' do outings or field trips.

Overall we loved it, we still see Michelle on occassion, and I would highly recommend the place. You and your child will love it too. Hilary


March 2003

There is a great licensed daycare in Montclair for children 2 to 5 years old: COTTAGE PLAYHOUSE. The woman running this program, Michelle Sosa, used to babysit my boys and she's one of the most loving and caring people I've ever met. She wants the program to be more of a preschool environment. She offers arts and crafts, outdoor play, and works on social and motor skills. The playhouse they have to play in makes me wish I was 3 years old again!

There is the choice of from 2 to 5 days a week. The phone number is 510-339-7772, and the address is
1701 Mountain Blvd,
Oakland, CA 94611.

Katherine (May 2000)(updated Mar 2003)


Jan. 2003

We have been really happy with Michelle Sosa at Cottage Playhouse. The preschool is behind her parents' house in Montclair, right next to the library. It's a sweet, kid-friendly environment. The school has 12 kids (aged 2 to 5) and 2 teachers. The emphasis is on play and socialization, although my daughter's counting and letter recognition have certainly been supported through the activities they do. Michelle is really spectacular in the way that she is respectful of children and cultivates that in their interactions with each other. It's been a great place for our family. Ilana


November 2002

I'd like to update information on the Cottage Playhouse preschool in Montclair

Michelle recently married and her name is now Michelle Sosa. The closing time for the school is now 3:00 instead of 3:30. Students may attend 2 to 5 days per week, and the time is 8:00 - 3:00 (no longer only morning or afternoon sessions). Thank you. Katherine


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