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I have looked at the reviews for Fuzzy Caterpillar Preschool in Alameda in the archives, but they are several years old. Does anyone have updated information about this school? I'm doing early research about preschools in Alameda for my son, who won't start preschool until he is 3 in Fall 2014! We're looking for a play based school (that isn't a combined with younger kids in a day care setting) that allows for a part time schedule. I heard somewhere that Fuzzy Caterpillar doesn't offer parent/teacher conferences - is that true? Any information would be helpful! Looking for play based school!
Re: Alameda preschools
Hi there, Try Fuzzy Caterpillar Preschool on Encinal. It's fairly new, opened last year and it's in a great space with a large shady yard. It's a play-based program with 40 children (ages 2-5) and 5 teachers. It seems to fit all your criteria. Our 3 year old son was there this year and we thought it worked well for the most part (he didn't like having to nap during the day though!). They have some wonderful, loving teachers and a pre-k program that preps the older kids for kindergarten as well. Good luck in your search Kristie
We originally had our son enrolled in one of the very established Montessori schools on the island but I was hesitating -- my gut told me that it was too structured and rigid for him. I stumbled across FCP about 2 months before my son was to start at the Mont. school. I got lots of ''warm fuzzy'' vibes almost immediately during my tour and interview with the directors even though FCP was brand new (they had just opened in February 2006) and only had about 5 or 6 other kids enrolled.
FCP is play based, not affiliated with any religion, they are licensed for up to 40 kids (though on any given day, I generally only see that 30-35 max kids show up), and there are 5 FT teachers so their ratios, even on their busiest days, are better than 1:8. I believe at least 4 of the teachers are fully credentialed, and the 5th is actively working towards it or she may have already completed. They are open 7am-6pm year round AND they provide all snacks and hot lunches, though Friday is BYOL day. There's a huge backyard with lots of play areas and equipment and the indoor classrooms are large and very spacious for the school size. They take children from 2-5 years -- one of the other facets about the school that we really appreciate is that the children are not segregated by age. Except for an hour of pre-K curriculum work for the 4 year olds from about 11-12, the children play, create art, read stories, eat and nap etc. all together. My son is one of the older children so I don't have direct experience, but from what I've seen and heard, the little ones are not overlooked or ''trampled'' and are hardly shrinking violets. They try to keep up with the older ones which I would guess really promotes their development in all the various areas.
From a more qualitative perspective, we could not be happier. My son LOVES going to preschool every day. We adore the teachers, have not had any issues with their means or methods. I know some other parents have had some issues with nap time or that there was not enough of an academic curriculum, but we have not had those concerns. We find it a nicely balanced environment of play and learning. My husband and I were recently blown away by the end of the year activities: an art auction/spaghetti dinner fundraiser for both the school and for the Oakland Zoo (they adopted a handful of aninmals that the children voted on) and the pre-k ''graduation'' event was very creative and well done.
Fuzzy Cat is on Encinal Avenue near Paru. Their website is: http://www.fuzzycaterpillarpreschool.com/index.html Very satisfied FCP parent
My family and I moved to Alameda approximately two months ago and we are looking for a preschool that would allow our kids to play in the fresh air, to take their appropriate daytime naps (my 16 month old is sleeping for less than two hours total), and would serve healthy meals or allow us to bring homemade meals. Can anyone please give us some advice? We would like to start our children in a new school in August. Thank you very much. Maria
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