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The Creative Play Center in Albany is an absolutely wonderful preschool. I have been very, very happy with it and my daughter loves it too. My daughter has thrived socially and emotionally in such a supportive and fun environment. My daughter started school rather shy and has since become much more confident, open and outgoing. The teachers are great, very energetic and talented at working with this age group. The school offers a good mix of free play time and also group or individual projects (art, cooking) led by the teacher. There are themes that run for a few weeks at a time, which range from topics like community (with trips to the fire-station or the dentist), farms and food growing (visiting the farmers' market and also a local farm), or Egypt (learning about pyramids and making papyrus paper). There is also weekly gym class (at Head over Heals) and music class (teacher Kyle comes to the school) which the kids seem to love. CPC is also very parent-friendly with extended hours both before school and after, as well as camps that run during school holidays (following the Albany school schedule). This was something I didn't think about when enrolling but after seeing parents at other schools trying to juggle long preschool holidays I was extremely grateful for all the optional child-care. The rates are also very reasonable. Overall a lovely preschool!www.thecreativeplaycenter.com Lauren
Re: Affordable Preschool in Albany/El Cerrito/Richmond
I highly recommend the Creative Play Center in Albany as an affordable and enriching preschool! We just finished the first week of the school year and the children are so happy and excited for what's to come! The teachers have all been there for many years and they provide a very warm, safe and fun environment with lots of opportunities to learn and grow. The school takes many educational field trips and has vans equipped with child safety seats. My child has been in the preschool for a year now and every morning he asks me ''do I get to go to school today?'' He lets out a very disappointed moan if I say that it is the weekend and the school is closed. That in itself has been an endorsement for the school. CPC also offers after school care for preschool through elementary school kids. There are currently just a few open spots for the 2012-2013 school year. This preschool is a hidden gem in Albany! happy CPC parent
Can anyone give me some info and feedback on the Creative Play Center preschool in Albany? (The reviews are from 2003!). I have a tour scheduled for the beginning of February. Thanks!! Jena
A friend just recommded the Creative Play Center in Albany and the reviews in the archives are all at least three years old. Anybody with current or more recent experiences to share? In particular, can anybody comment on what it has been like to be a young one in a mixed group (ours would be almost 2 1/2 if she started next fall.) Also, many parents in the archives commented on the consistency and long-term relationship that the director has with her staff. Are they all still there? thanks, Kathleen
I recently visited the Creative Play Center in Albany. The center is run by three women with several years of experience; the owner (who also works at the center) has been in the preschool / childcare business for something like 20 years. The main program is from 9-1, which is $400.00 for M-F. Extended care for the full day is between 800 and 950 a month, depending on the hours you need. We decided not to enroll due to the cost, but overall the program seemed great. They also have themes that change every couple of weeks, and had just had a luau in which the parents participated, when I visited. They have a summer preschool "camp" that you sign up for weekly.
My now 9-yr-old son went to Shelly's (that's what we called it - she is the director) for 3 years before he went to kindergarten. It was a great place for our family. It was very consistent: he had the same three teachers the whole time and since he was very shy, this proved to be very comforting to him. He was an only child at the time and the mixed age group was very appropriate for him as well. I also liked the diversity of the kids - many were from UC Village. Shelly is generous, has great toys and is very experienced (she has run this business for over 25 years I believe). Her staff stays with her for a long time because she pays them well and is a nice person. She is very down to earth, practical and relaxed. This is a classic preschool, not high energy or overachieving, but provides the basics in a very safe and loving environment. The outside space is great. The only complaint I had was the inside space sometimes felt cramped. My son loved this school, and we have attended several events there over the years. He has very fond memories of his time there.
Our daughter's preschool, The Creative Play Center, has 2 openings for the morning program (9-1pm) and 1 opening for aftercare for a full time girl (afterschool to 5 or 6pm). The morning is a regular preschool program and has 12 students and the afternoon is a homework and after school care program. They will pick up from Albany schools. They have a music teacher come in on Monday mornings and take the children to Windmill Gymnastics on Tuesday mornings. They also have cooking one day. We have been very happy with the teachers and the program. It is in Albany at the corner of Cornell and Portland, phone 524-9399.
My daughter's child care, Creative Play Center in Albany (Cornell St and Portland St, or thereabouts), has an opening or two for a 4-year-old boy, and possibly more kids.
My daughter's been there a year and loves it. My wife and I were pleasantly impressed by it when we visited it and found out the woman runing it (Shelley) had been doing so for more than a dozen years, one of the other women teaching (Renee) had been there for six years (and is very empathetic), and the "newcomer", Erika, had been there for three years.
Their phone number is 524-9399.
I second the recommendation for the Creative Play Center in Albany. My son went there for two years and had a wonderful experience. Shelley (the owner, director, and head teacher) is a treasure and the other teachers, Renee and Erika, are great. Their different styles balance one another nicely. I especially liked the small group aspect (10-12), the consistency of the childcare providers and the environment (Shelley has a weakness for toys, and they've got great ones).
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