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Duck Soup Playschool (Oakland, CA)

To view licensing information at the State's Licensing Office for a preschool or childcare site, including inspection dates, citations, and complaints, click "view" next to the License #. See this page for info about daycare and preschool reviews on the BPN website.

Berkeley Parents Network > Reviews > Preschools & Daycare > Duck Soup

Editor Note (July 2014) CCLD lists this daycare as "Closed" - click "view" next to License # below for details

Editor note: there are 2 other preschools with similar names: Duck's Nest in W. Berkeley and Oakland- Piedmont Av, and Duck Pond Oakland - Park Blvd.
Oct 2012

I've noticed the comments about Duck Soup are out of date, so I thought I would post info about our positive experiences.

Our first interaction with Duck Soup was when our 3 nephews attended back around 1999-2003 (separately over several years). I was so impressed with the good manners each of the boys had after starting part-time at Duck Soup. They took their plates to the counter and said please and thank you at mealtime. I also interacted with the director, Beccarae, when I occasionally picked up one of the boys after school. She was generous with her time and offered info about the activities of each child during the day.

Fast forward to Summer 2011, we were fortunate to get a placement for our 18mo twins at the school. Now the school has a maximum of 6 kids at a time (a mix of part-time and full-time kids), which is perfect for our twins to get more socialization with other kids while not being in a larger facility. The school is open M-TH, which was a challenge for us at first, but we've made it work to have one of us at home on Fridays with the kids.

The transition period when we first started was paced for each child rather than suddenly dropping off and leaving them full-time. It took a few weeks to lead up to full-time and that was perfect for our family. Beccarae is warm, friendly, loving and kind to the kids. She's patient and helps each child work through whatever toddler issue is at hand. She provides snacks and lunch that are organic and wholesome. Fruit/veggie smoothies are a big hit with our kids. She's been a huge support with potty training as well!

They have a storyteller visiting often and also walk to the Rockridge library each week for story time. They do crafts, water play and lots of different activities each day. There's a nice, new, play structure in the backyard too. Once a month she offers Saturday night babysitting. The kids play, have dinner and watch movies while we get a date night. This was HUGE for us when the twins were little because we didn't have any family that could handle bedtime with twins.

Our kids love going to ''school'' each day to play with their friends. When they come home they are excited to tell us about their activities of the day. They have good manners and know how to share (most of the time . We will be sad to ''graduate'' in the fall next year (1.5yo-3.5yo is the age range).

If you're looking for a small, home-based, play-based daycare in Rockridge/Temescal Duck Soup is the place. Mom of boy/girl twins

Oct 2012

When I walked into Duck Soup I knew I had to adjust my budget and my work schedule to make sure this was the place that my daughter had her first school experience. I happend to walk by it after an eye appointment and scheduled a visit. Healthy organic meals and the 20+ years of experience of Beccarea, the director, in addition to the cozy and warm layout were all attractive to me. My daughter is now 4 and her precious experience at Duck Soup is something that we both cherish. Duck Soup is wonderful, my daughter met her first chosen friend there, and I have become very close to some of the parents that I met there. I would highly recommend it as an excellent play based school/daycare. I appreciated the diversity of the kids and parents and as a single mom I appreciated the inclusiveness of all families and types of families. Colleen

Oct 2008

Duck Soup is a wonderful family daycare, and the teacher, Beccarae, is outstanding. With only six children, Duck Soup is a gentle & comfortable transition from one-on-one care to a daycare environment. We can't say enough good things about Beccarae, as it is the teacher that makes the school great. She is truly an expert on children & has been a great resource for parenting advice. Because of her, our child is potty trained and can dress himself now. The kids eat healthy meals & learn about safety awareness, the calendar, and conflict resolution. They learn to take responsibility for their actions, express compassion & respect for others, and to speak up for themselves. They dance, do creative art projects, learn about gardening and where healthy food comes from, make frequent visits to the library, & have special guests come for storytelling and music. Duck Soup has a lovely, grassy backyard with a play structure. When it rains, there a tumbling mat-filled rompus room. Our son loves his daycare. Email me if you have any questions from a parent reference perspective. Contact: Beccarae, 510-653-7430

Sept 2008

Duck Soup, a 6-kid family daycare in Rockridge, came highly recommended to us. The teacher Beccarae is amazing. Our first week at Duck Soup, our two year old came home singing the days of the week, helped clear the table, and had started early self care and potty training skills. Now he can almost independently dress himself, has close friends, and loves going to daycare. We had been on the waiting list for over a year and felt it was worth the wait to be in this wholesome environment with healthy food and an intimate, pacifist social setting. They dance, do creative art projects, learn about gardening and where healthy food comes from, make frequent visits to the library, have special guests come for storytelling and music. Duck Soup has an indoor gym for the kids to romp when weather does not permit them to play in the grassy backyard, equipped with swing set, climbing structure and slide. Duck Soup has one full-time & 2 p/t openings, a rare opportunity in such a small, highly- regarded daycare. Duck Soup # 510-653-7430

May 2008

I am writing to put out the word about a wonderful daycare, Duck Soup Family Playschool, which currently has openings. My three year old daughter is there and we are so happy with it that I've decided to defer her going to preschool another year. The director, Becca Rae Calato, is caring, calm and consistent. She is very committed to the kids' learning and experiencing new facets of the world and designs activities I associate more with school than daycare. She serves healthy meals and snacks, teaches life skills, and insists on everyone treating each other with respect and kindness. I can't say enough good things about her. Give her a call!
Contact: Becca Rae Calato, 510.653.7430

Jan 2004

I'm looking at preschools in Rockridge for my soon-to-be two-year-old daughter, and I'd like to hear about people's recent experiences with Duck Soup on College. I'm particularly interested in hearing from parents whose children attended before and after this change or from those whose children began there in the last few months. Thanks very much. Looking for Preschools

My daughter attended Duck Soup from age 2 1/2 until almost 5. The director (who is still Beccarae Calato, as far as I know) does a great job creating a loving environment for little kids and teaching them social skills. A lot of the expressions she uses with the kids have made it into my everyday vocabulary. My daughter entered kindergarten with very little academic preparation, but confident, enthusiastic about learning, and able to be compassionate yet hold her own when dealing with other kids. Duck Soup gets a lot of the credit for that. Even so, my daughter and a number of other kids seemed to outgrow Duck Soup between 4 and 4 1/2 (at which point it can be difficult to find an opening somewhere else, since the 3-and-4yo preschools have very few openings for that second year). There were some organizational issues that really could have been handled better, too. If you would like more detail, you can e- mail me directly. Jennifer
August 2003

Re: looking for preschool openings
I am in the same boat. I just looked at a preschool yesterday that I liked-- Duck Soup in Rockridge. It is a play-based program, and she does offer a little Spanish in her morning group session. She has openings for Sept. Good luck! Elizabeth

Nov. 1996

I remember a lot of parents asking for good childcare places in the College area I know of Duck Soup!!

They are a "family" day care, in a beautiful old house in Rockridge. Great play areas, organic foods, loving environment, fun learning activities. They focus on social skills and conflict resolution. Please call Becca Rae Calato for more info - she is the owner - such as ages, hours, etc. 653-7430 Mary

To the folks who were looking for childcare in Rockridge: about a year ago I visited Duck Soup (near College and Broadway), which is a small in-house daycare, and really liked it and Becca Rae (the caregiver/teacher) alot. She does lots of activities (cooking, gardening, art, etc.) so it's like a preschool in certain ways. We ended up going with something different, in part because I didn't want full-days and she only took kids for full- days. Anyways, you might want to contact Becca Rae if you haven't already. Judy
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