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Bright Horizons at Garner Learning Center (Alameda, CA)

Berkeley Parents Network > Reviews > Preschools & Daycare > Bright Horizons at Garner Learning Center



May 2011

Re: Need recommendation for Alameda preschool
My son has been at Garner for 3 years. He adores the school, as do we. It is a nice mix of play with structure. Every child I have seen come out of the school has been incredibly prepared (socially and academically) for kindergarten. All of my son's teachers have been wonderful, caring people with a strong interest in his academic development. The classes are separated by age, which really lets the teachers focus on a particular age group's developmental needs. I love the fact that Garner offers so many elective courses like gymnastics, computers and dancing. My only complaint about the school is the cost. It's certainly not cheap. But, I would definitely say that it's worth the money. Happy Garner Family


April 2010

We're just moving to Alameda and are looking at preschools. Based on BPN and savvysource recs, we have looked at quite a number on Alameda, many of which we liked. I have a question about Bright Horizons at Garner, on Bay Farm Island. My one concern is how far away and in the middle of nowhere it seems. Also that it's predominantly Bay Farm families who attend (the director said about 70% ), and, as residents of the East End of Alameda, would it be hard to build a community? We are just moving to Alameda, so we don't know a lot of families with kids our daughter's age yet. It would be nice if she was transitioning with some other people once it comes time for kindgergarten. Thanks for your thoughts. michelle


My children go to Garner and love it there! We live in the East End, as do many other families. Yes, the majority of students live in Bay Farm / Harbor Bay, but there is an increasing number of families coming over from the island. Several of my children's friends live in the East End and will be attending elementary school with my kids. It really is a fantastic preschool and I am so thankful we found it! Happy Garner Mom
Jan 2010

Re: Preschools in the Oak/Alameda/San Leandro Area
You should check out Garner Learning Center (owned by Bright Horizons) in Alameda. It's in Bay Farm, close to the ferry terminal. http://centers.brighthorizons.com/garner/ My children go there and we love it! Outstanding, warm teachers and lots of enrichment activities. It's very much worth a tour of the place since it's hard to get a feel just from their website. happy Garner mom


Nov 2009

Re: Preschools for almost 2-year-old in Alameda
We also live in the east end of Alameda, and wanted a play-based, with some structure, preschool. We ended up choosing Bright Horizons at Garner Learning Center. http://centers.brighthorizons.com/garner/ The website doesn't really give you much of a sense about the place, so I would recommend a tour. The school gets excellent reviews on savvysource.com They accept non-potty trained 2-yr-olds. In fact, they are 100% responsible for the success of my son's potty training! The teachers are wonderful people and my son loves the place. We've been there a few years now and plan on sending our younger children there as well. Alameda Mom


May 2009

Re: Looking for Bridge K programs in the East Bay
We live in Alameda and send our son to Bright Horizons at Garner Learning Center. http://centers.brighthorizons.com/garner/ We absolutely love it there - the faculty and the facilities are wonderful. They have a bridge-K program as well as a private kindergarten. Depending on your child and their skill set, I'm sure that one of them would be a great fit prior to public kindergarten. Another Mom of a Fall Birthday Boy


Sept 2008

Hello, I'm wondering if anyone has any recent experience with the Pre-K/Jr K classes and their teachers at Garner Bright Horizons in Alameda? I'm looking for a nurturing and warm environment for my 4.5 year old boy that's a bit shy and takes a long time to warm up to new people and situations. Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Thanks. -anon


My daughter attended Garner/Bright Horizons on Bayfarm for three years and just finished in August, to attend first grade in Alameda. We had a wonderful experience at Garner and I would highly, highly recommend it. The teachers are excellent, the facility is clean, well-secured and modern and the administration is very kind and responsive. There are several outdoor play areas that are age-appropriate - very large and spacious areas with different activities. The teachers are incredibly warm and caring -- our minds were always at ease and our daughter loved going to school every day. We even stayed through kindergarten last year because we were so happy there. They are in the process of hiring a new Director, but the transition should be fairly seamless as the interim director has been there for years, and will be an excellent Director herself if she assumes the role. Happy Garner Parent
May 2007

Dear Parents, I'm looking for preschool for my son. He will be 2 in Sept. Are you sending your child to Bright Horizon at Garner Learning Center or Peter Pans at Bay Farm Alameda, or have you visted these two schools? Please give me some advice about them.


My son currently attends Garner, and I have been extremely happy with the positive attitude by teachers and administrators. It's a happy place and you can see and feel it when you walk into the classrooms. I don't know much about Peter Pan school on Harbor Bay, so I can't give you any feedback. My son went to a Montessori school prior to Garner, which did not suit him. Typically a happy go-lucky guy, he started to act out because he was being punished/isolated by his teacher a majority of his time there (she was extremely inexperienced and the administration dragged their heals on correcting the situation). Because of this, he was very wary of teachers in general, and when he started at Garner, did not trust the teacher. The teachers at Garner welcomed him with open arms, created a positive environment to communicate his feelings, use encouragement and warmth to bring out the great kid that he is.

The atmosphere is fun and the kids quickly get engaged in cool science projects, learning games, hands-on toys, etc. There is enough structure to help kids feel secure, but enough flexibility to let them be silly and have fun while learning. I really like the program and the school makes sure that parents are kept up-to-date on things the kids are doing every day. I especially like that they keep a memory binder of all your child's artwork and other memorables for you.

It is important to meet your child's teacher before making a decision! We lucked out, because my son's teacher knew about my son's not-so-great experience with the other school and has gone out of her way to help him. I know I can approach her with any concerns or questions. We have worked together on helping my son with typical childhood challenges. He really has thrived and come a long way. Also, he greets his teacher hello everyday and gives her a hug when he leaves. He even tells me time to time that he loves his teachers(a HUGE accomplishment for us)!

There is teacher turnover at Garner, as with many schools. Sometimes you have great teachers, and sometimes not. Be sure to see who would be the head teacher and assistant in your child's class before you sign up. The administrators are awesome, on-the-ball and super-friendly. Ms. Kahlauna, the school director, always addresses your concerns head on and in a timely manner.

I know that picking a preschool/pre-k school can be challenging.Go with what feels good to you. Good luck! Garner Mom in Alameda


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