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I've noticed the comments about Duck Soup are out of date, so I thought I would post info about our positive experiences.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