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Frog Hollow Preschool (Berkeley, CA)

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Berkeley Parents Network > Reviews > Preschools & Daycare > Frog Hollow Preschool (Berkeley, CA)



Sept 2014

We are three classes in to my son's first year at Frog Hollow, and it feels we definitely made the best decision. I visited and investigated many local preschools. Ellen was the only one who had me bring my son on our first visit. I took that as a great sign. We were allowed to go with a flexible - 2 day a week - schedule, which many other places would not accomodate. So far, he's done yoga, visited Totland and played with a lot of trains, and he is excited to go back to school again. New Frog Hollow parent


June 2014

Re: Moving to N. Berkeley - looking for a preschool

We go to Frog Hollow Nursery School and we love it. The excellent, caring staff guide the children toward being sensitive to one another while celebrating each person's gifts. Kids play outside a lot. lb


May 2014

Re: PT Half Day Preschool Fall 2014 for 2.5 yo

Hi, I would recommend you look into Frog Hollow Nursery School in North Berkeley. It is a small school with lots of attention from loving, experienced teachers. My son learned a lot, including about gardening! Email Ellen at edressman@icloud.com Lydia


Jan 2014

I haven't seen much information lately about Frog Hollow Nursery School, so wanted to recommend it. My son has been attending FH in N. Berkeley since he was almost 2. We love this place! The teachers are attentive, loving, and accepting; (set limits with love). My mom advised me that when choosing a preschool, in addition to caregivers, priority should be given to a small school; there are about 12 kids or so on any given day. Kids have plenty of outdoor time, creative time, music/dancing. Parents contribute to lunch, which means kids are a) all eating the same meal and b) eating new foods and is c) less work for parents. Great program! P.S. My son is 4 1/2 and still loves Frog Hollow! lb


Feb 2012

Hi there. We are trying to decide on what the best route for preschool will be for our daughter. We visited Frog Hollow and liked it a lot. It is convenient, hours are good, liked the teachers, the space, the overall program, and the price. Our main hesitation is for how kids do there in their final year. Our daughter's bday is in February, which means she would be there when she is 5 years old. Our concern is that she won't be stimulated/challenged enough by the activities offered, since it is a mixed age school and the activities are not divided between age groups. Can parents who have older children there now, or attended very recently, comment on this? Also, if your child attended Frog Hollow and then went onto public school, how did the transition go for them.? It seems like the change between 12 kids and 20+ might be tough. Any thoughts and impressions on your children's experience there would be very helpful. Thanks! undecided


Hi- My older daughter went to Frog Hollow and is now in first grade, my youngest is currently there. Frog Hollow is an amazing place. I think I also originally wondered what my oldest would think at age 5, but she LOVED it. This past summer we sent her for a day with her little sister to help the little one transition, and honestly my eldest came home asking why we didn't let her go all summer.

Our transition to Kindergarten took about a week. It was a rough week, and then she did great. I think this was true for most of the kids in her class, no matter where they went. Frog Hollow teaches kids how to be a good friend, and that I think is the best skill you can have for kindergarten (and for life).

My now 6 year old has been doing great in elementary school, and the teachers have always commented that she seems to really understand ''how to learn''. She has TONS of friends, and absolutely loves school.

You can't go wrong with Frog Hollow! one of many happy frog hollow parents


Nov 2010

I was wondering if anyone had any recent reviews of frog hollow preschool? likes and dislikes if any thanks anon


Frog Hollow is a great preschool. My sister- in- law who has a Masters in Early Childhood Development told us while we were looking for a preschool - that at this age it is all about class size. It isn't about the philosophy (Piaget, High Scope, Montessori, etc) the number of kids around them makes all the difference to their development. Frog Hollow has one of the smallest class/school sizes (12 children total /day) and a very warm and nurturing environment. When my first son entered kindergarten he was reading within the third week of school- thanks to all the books he had been read in preschool. Frog Hollow is play based but the kids really learn a lot when not forced to. Judie, Ellen and Kimi are amazingly patient and caring teachers - and they take the kids on lots of field trips too. They are also great at creating a sense of community - we were there from 2006 - 2010 and my second son just started kindergarten and keeps asking to go back to visit.

We were very satisfied and felt we were lucky to get a spot. You too would be lucky to get a spot since there are usually only 20 families with the various schedules and there aren't many openings but we wish you luck. Happy Frog Hollow Graduates anon


Jan 2007

Hi - I'm looking for a more recent review/recommendation of Frog Hollow Preschool in Berkeley (a smaller home based preschool) and Duck's Nest in Berkeley - both very different environments. We are considering both for our 2 1/2 year old son for next September and the reviews are both pretty old. Are parents very satisfied with the programs? jamie


Both my daughters went to Frog Hollow. The younger one graduated last year and is now in kindergarten, the older one is now in second grade, both at Tehiyah Day School. Both started at Frog Hollow at age 2 and stayed for 3 years. They LOVED it, and both still talk about it. My older daughter just asked last week if she could go back and help out. It is a very loving and playful place. As I understand it, it is very different from Duck's Nest, so you really need to decide what you are looking for. Frog Hollow is totally play-based, so if you are looking for any type of academic/kindergarten prep, that is not what it is about. Ellen, and the parents of the kids who go there, believe that kids have the rest of their lives with structure, and that preschool is a time to focus on social skills through play. There are several enrichment classes (the specialists for music and drama are excellent, and I understand that they have added yoga), and daily art projects but most of the time is really spent in imaginative play. Also, the mixed age structure gives the older kids a chance to be mentors, and the younger kids a chance to learn from the older kids. That was great for my kids. It does, however, limit the types of projects that they can do, since for the most part, while they occasionally separate the older kids to do a project while the younger kids go to the library, or vice versa, usually they are all together. I will admit that by the end of the third year for each of my kids I wondered if they should be in a place that gave them more age appropriate activities/enrichment, but that came from me, and not from them. And now that they are both in elementary school, and have had no problems with the transition, and are excelling socially, I feel very grateful for the love and freedom that Frog Hollow gave them. Ronnie
We've been very happy at Frog Hollow preschool for the past two years. What do we love about it?

-The teachers are gifted and intuitive, and support all sorts of different kids, from the shyest to the most outgoing.

-The curriculum is varied and exciting, including art classes, drama/creative movement, yoga, music, library and playground visits. We also have lots of great field trips- this year we've already gone to a pumpkin patch, to Crab Cove, the fire station, and we're going to go to Tilden on a nature walk, Ardenwood for monarch butterflies, and to a slug walk!

-The facility is warm and inviting, with lots of opportunity for the children to get outside every day. The materials are rich and varied, and the art and literacy programs are outstanding. Whatever your child likes, Frog Hollow has great materials to support his or her evolving interests.

-The families at the school are unpretentious and diverse, and support the program in a low-key but meaningful way. -My son, now at the end of his preschool days, is self-confident, good at making friends and communicating his needs, knows how to be in a mixed-age group with older and younger children, and is academically ready for a challenging private school kindergarten. Frog Hollow has supported his entire being, and we couldn't be happier.

Two thumbs up from our family for Frog Hollow! cloudberry


Nov 2004

My three year old daughter is in her second year at Frog Hollow preschool, located on McGee, just a few blocks north of Totland. My older daughter just graduated from there last year. It is an extremely warm and cozy home-based, play-based preschool, with 12 kids and 2 teachers. My kids love it. The program runs from 8:30-1:30. Not sure if you are looking for right now or for next fall, but you can call 525-2566 and talk to Ellen, who runs it. Almost everyone who attends lives within walking or biking distance of the school, so it is also has nice neighborhood feel to it. Ronnie


August 2003

My daughter's preschool has (1) opening for a lucky 3 or 4 year old child. Frog Hollow Preschool is a small, nurturing school, run by wonderful, warm and talented teachers. It is truly a special place! My daughter has blossomed beautifully in this family-like environment. There are up to 12 children and the hours are 8:30 - 1:30 with possible extended care. There are up to 4 mornings available. You can contact the owner for more information: Ellen Dressman at 558-6810. Jennifer


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