Garden Day Montessori (Berkeley, CA)
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Garden Day Montessori (Berkeley, CA)
- Owner: Jennifer Miller
- Phone: (510) 649-9110
- Neighborhood: S. Berkeley near San Pablo Park
- Zip: 94702
- License #: 013414308
- Capacity: 20
- Website: http://gardenday.net/
Re: Walnut Creek Preschool recommendations
I highly recommend the Garden Gate school as you mentioned. We were the
first full year class (2004) when my daughter was 4, but we loved it and
just wished it could have begun earlier.We had 3 different preschools, and
this was the one that my daughter liked the most - even over a co-op
preschool which I liked a lot.
Mimi is gentle and the curriculum was well-suited towards my daughter - not
chaotic classroom, opportunities for different tasks to build on, etc.
Garden Day on Parker Street is great. My daughter started there this year and we are
really happy there. My daughter looks forward to going. The teachers are wonderful, I
can't say enough good things about them. It is a really sweet group of kids and many
are from the neighborhhod so we see them at the park etc. It is so great being close to
school too, walking there together in the mornings is a special part of our day. It is
a small personal preschool and I really like that. Call them to make an appointment to
take a tour.
Anyone have recent ex perience with Garden Day Montessori in
Berkeley? Would greatly appreciate any detailed comments
positive or negative. Thanks!
Our older son is in his third year at Garden Day Montessori and
our two year-old will be starting there this next fall. We love
it. We feel like it is the right halfway step between
home/in-home childcare and going to kindergarten. The teachers
are just the right mix of fun, kind, and firm. There's plenty of
opportunities to learn, but it is not too highly-structured.
Director Jenny Miller, who started out as a teacher in the school
and eventually became the owner and director, is very warm with
the kids and keeps the place humming along smoothly. All the
teachers have been there for several years, as has the music
teacher who comes in one day a week. The mixed-age setup has
worked great for our son, who appreciated getting help, advice,
and support from the older kids when he started, and now enjoys
being one of the ''big'' kids doing the same for the little ones.
We recomm end it highly. If you have any specific questions,
please feel free to contact us directly.
Jeff & Kim
I can whole heartedly recommend Garden Day Montessorie School.
Our son has been there for the past 2 years. The director and
staff are loving, sensitive, bright women who know how to make a
child feel completely at home. They provide a most loving
environment for the children, are great in dealing with the
little disputes that arise between kids, have a great music and
yoga program and very fun circle time educational curriculum.
The staff come from different backgrounds and generations and
complement each other beautifully. They have given us great
advice on many topics. The physical environment is very sweet,
with a large outdoor play area. They are not a strict
Montessorie school, but do have the M. tools available. As we
are preparing for Kindergarten, I only wish we can find a school
as perfect as this one. Feel free to call me with questions.
My son is at Garden Day Montessori now, it's his second year
and he will be going there next year as well. One thing I was
impressed with when I went to the parent orientation was how
many families were returning families with 2 and 3 siblings
having attended the school. I thought,wow, they must be doing
something right and they do. I looked at a bunch of schools
and the physical space at GD is nice and cozy, big enough for
the amount of kids and not too big so as to be impersonal or
imposing. The teachers are very loving with the kids, they
seem to teach and reinforce good social skills among the kids,
like you would at home. It was more important for me for my
child to learn how to get along with other kids, start learning
sharing and quiet time and little teeny responsibilities and be
exposed to art projects, etc...I didn't care really about
academics at that age, but my now three year old comes home and
says Mommy did you know Batman (his obsession) starts
with ''buh?''. They also worked with me with potty training and
did the bulk of it in a nice relaxed way. It fact, it's a very
relaxed but structured place. I think it's really a great
place for kids with pretty easy parent responsibilities
compared to some of my friends kids preschools. I also am
friendly with a lot of the other parents who as a group are
pretty friendly and warm. Feel free to email me if you have
specific questions and good luck finding a school!
Re: Intimate, warm preschool with fewer than 20 kids
Though you shy away from strict Montessori I can highly
recommend Garden Day Montessori on Parker in West Berkeley.
Small (16-20 kids any given day), flexible (part and full time
schedules), nice homey facility with a good back yard and plenty
of outdoor time. It is not a strict Montessori program, heavy
on the play and social interaction, but benefits from the great
Montessori materials and responsiveness to individual kids
interests. Great teachers who are very loving and creative. We
have two sons there (2.5 yrs and 5 yrs) and and my nephew and
they love the teachers. Owner is unconventional and the
atmostphere is somewhat ''alternative'': they encourage goofi-
ness, don't blink when the little boys turn up in dresses,
encourage parents to stay for activities, have excellent yoga
and music teachers every week, plus field trips and special
visitors from the Vivarium and the symphony. Pretty cool all
around. They also offer a 6 week summer session which you can
skip all together or change your schedule to save money. I
can't say if they take kids JUST for the summer session but
maybe. I know they are taking applications for next fall and
that they will have a good number of openings because so many of
the current kids are leaving for Kindergarten (whereas last Sept
they only had one slot due to so many siblings coming in!).
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