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Great Start Child Care (Berkeley, CA)

To view licensing information at the State's Licensing Office for a preschool or childcare site, including inspection dates, citations, and complaints, click "view" next to the License #. See this page for info about daycare and preschool reviews on the BPN website.

Berkeley Parents Network > Reviews > Preschools & Daycare > Home-based Daycares > Great Start Child Care

Editor Note (July 2014) CCLD lists this daycare as "Closed" - click "view" next to License # below for details

Nov 2013

Great Start Child Care in Berkeley has several openings for infants/toddlers. Bao and Meng Ren recently graduated a cohort of toddlers (including our own) to preschool and are inviting new families to join. Our families twice enjoyed the welcoming home care environment that the Rens provide with both our elder and younger children. Bao and Meng serve warm healthy meals, garden with the children, and have a seemingly endless supply of toys in rotation. With a low adult to child ratio, and a house that is cheerfully and completely converted for childcare, we could not have asked for a safer, warmer, more loving place for our children. Please feel free to ask Bao to provide our phone numbers as reference. - Nadya and Dan; Robin and Sandy

Nov 2013

The wonderful daycare where our daughter spent the last several years has current openings. Bao & Mung run a wonderful, child focused daycare in their clean and well lit home. They provide hot nutritious meals, take walks to local parks, and offer a safe, loving, calm and fun environment. They are located at Blake x San Pablo, and operate five days a week, 8-5:30. Call Bao at 510 841-6452. Liza

July 2013

I'm writing to recommend our long-term daycare, Great Start Daycare on Blake St. near Sacramento, and to mention that there's an opening there right now and at least one more coming up in September.

Our whole family has been very pleased to know Bao and Meng, the couple who run Great Start. Our two-year-old talks animatedly about her days there, and our five-year-old is always eager to come to the door and give them a hug when we pick up his sister. As parents, we are happy with the cheerful house and yard, the healthy meals, and the gentle manner shown to the children even when they get a little crazy.

Great Start can be reached at 510-841-6452, and I'd be happy to provide more information by email.

Oct 2012

Our amazing daycare has an opening for an infant or toddler, ideally about one year old. My one year old son is currently the youngest of the 5 children. It would be lovely to find him a playmate. My older son went years ago, and here's what I said then:

Great Start Daycare is run by Bao and Meung Ren, a loving couple who have outfitted their home to become a child's dream come true. Individualized care, home cooked meals, learning centers, an endless rotation of toys and a sun filled backyard with fruit trees and a garden make this a home that both parents and kids will love. Great Start Daycare is located in Berkeley on Blake Street and is open from 8:00-5:30. If you are interested, I encourage you to visit. It's all still true! Take a look at the recommendations on BPN.

July 2012

Great Start Childcare has an opening for an infant/ toddler.

Boa & her husband Meng run a wonderful family-based, licensed daycare in Berkeley, which my 2 1/2 year old daughter attends. She has been cared for by them since she was 9 months old and they are like family to her.

They run a very calm, relaxed, child-centered daycare. They are loving, kind patient and warm caregivers. It was exactly what my husband and I wanted for our little one. She has thrived under their care and is a healthy and happy girl. She dearly loves them.

Their home is sunny, bright and clean. They have a large selection of toys, games & books & music is played throughout the day. They have a large backyard with trees & play equipment & they always provide wholesome meals & snacks.

They speak English and Mandarin. Many people have commented on how well my daughter speaks and of her large vocabulary. It is definitely a plus.

Bao was also a great help to me as a new mom. Always available for questions and always gave great advice.

You can reach Bao & Meng Ren at 510-841-6452. If you would like a reference, please feel free to contact me.

Dec 2010

Great Start Childcare has an opening for an infant/ toddler.

Boa & her husband Meng run this wonderful, family-based, licensed daycare in West Berkeley, which my 14-month old daughter currently attends. She is doing wonderfully under their care & I couldn't be more happy that I found them.

When my husband & I walked into their home, I knew that this was the place for my little one. We both commented on the calm, relaxed environment. I knew that we had found a safe, loving environment for our child.

Their home is sunny, bright and clean. They have a large selection of toys, games & books & will often play music throughout the day. They have a large backyard with trees & play equipment & they provide wholesome meals & snacks.

They are loving, kind, patient, warm caregivers & I trust completely that they give my daughter the utmost care & attention. As soon as she sees them, she gives them a big hug.

They speak both Mandarin & English.

You can reach Bao & Meng Ren at 510-841-6452. If you would like a reference, please feel free to contact me. Kerri

Dec 2010

We would like to recommend Great Start Daycare, a small home-based daycare in West Berkeley, run by Bao and Meng Ren, a married couple. Bao and Meng take care of no more than 8 kids at a time in their home, and typically fewer than that. They are truly warm, loving, patient, and energetic caregivers. They provide meals and snacks, and keep their home very clean with plenty of toys and activities for the kids, including a sizable gated outdoor area shaded by fruit trees. They speak both English and Mandarin. Their hours are 8 am-5:30 pm. Five of the kids will be graduating and heading to preschool come August/September, including ours, so there will be a number of available spots coming up in the very near future. You can reach Bao and Meng at 841-6452. If you'd like references, you can call any of us: Nadya, Serena, Irene, Julia, or Michelle.

June 2009

Bao and her husband Meng run a wonderful, high-quality family-based daycare in Berkeley on Blake St. They always keep their ratios low (about 6 children to 2 adults) which allows them to devote individual attention to each child's needs. They prepare nutritious home-cooked meals and snacks. And their clean, child-centered space offers lots of room to play, including a bright backyard with fruit trees and a garden, as well as a quiet napping room. Each child is greeted with an enthusiastic hug and the atmosphere is always happy, loving, and remarkably serene. Our now 17-month-old son has thrived under their care and always giggles in delight whenever we approach their front door. They have 1 or 2 full-time or 4 day/week slots available for children from infant to toddler age. Feel free to call Bao directly (510-841-6452), or to contact me for any additional information.

Sept 2008

Great Start Daycare has an immediate opening for a 1 or 2 year old for either a part-time or full-time slot. Great Start is a licensed daycare run by Bao and Meng Ren. Their hours are 8:00am-5:30pm. They currently have 6 kids in their care, so they have a great child-to-provider ratio. Bao and Meng have a bright and sunny home with a lovely backyard for the kids to play in. They have a large selection of well-maintained, age-appropriate toys and books and provide a home-cooked lunch as well as snacks. My two year-old has been in their care since she was three months old and has been very happy there. She always talks about Bao and Meng. They currently have 5 boys and 1 girl, so they are particularly interested in another girl to balance out the group. Please give Bao a call at 510-841- 6452 to schedule a tour. And check out the great reviews for them on this site. You can also contact me if you have additional questions.

August 2008

Great Start Childcare has an opening for an infant or toddler. My son has gone there for the past year and it has been a wonderful experience for our whole family. He started at 10 mos but I think they would be great for even younger babies. The care providers, Bao and Meng are very caring and have created a wonderful environment for kids. (about 6 kids for 2 adults). I would highly recommend them! Call Bao 510-841-6452 for inquiries or email me for a reference.
Alison F.

April 2008

Our incredible daycare will have a 4-5 day/wk opening this summer for a 2ish year old because our son is graduating and beginning preschool. Great Start Daycare is run by Bao and Meung Ren, an amazing couple who have outfitted their home to become a child's dream come true. Individualized care, home cooked meals, learning centers, an endless rotation of toys and a sun filled backyard with fruit trees and a garden make this a home that both parents and kids will love. Great Start Daycare is located in Berkeley on Blake Street and is open from 8:00-5:30. If you are interested, I encourage you to visit and speak with Bao. You can reach her at 510-841-6452. Robin
Contact: Baoyue Ren, 510-841-6452

Jan 2008

We used this couple years ago for our daughter. I was worried leaving her the first day and by day two I knew she was in good hands with the husband wife team of Bao Yeh and Meng in their home which has been renovated and outfitted with childrens equipment,books, supplies, activity toys, and learning devices. They run a very structured program in English and some Chinese for children 4 months to 4 years old of all cultures.Hours are 8 a.m.-5:30 p.m. The yard has a kiddie pool, gazebo, and a garden to learn and play in. Healthy meals are provided as are quiet nap times. My child cried the day I left her there and then cried everyday when I came to take her home- she wanted to stay with Bao and Meng! It has been 14 years now and we remain as friends. The business has grown impressively.They are licenced and are excellent choices for people to which you can trust your most valuable treasures-your kids. The kids make friends and seem to get along joyously without concerns about age or gender. I highly recommend Great Start Childcare on Blake Street. They are the greatest! Contact: Bao Yeh or Meng, 510-841-6452
T. Watts

June 2007

I have nothing but warm praise for Great Start Day Care in Berkeley. It's the only place I found with a (full time) husband and wife team and a low child::adult ratio. All meals are included - perfect for the busy parent!

Bao was incredibly patient with my son who started at 7 months when I had to go back to work - a tough transition from nursing on demand. All my son talks about now, at 20 months, is ''Meng!'' - his favorite person in the world. He loves Bao's cooking and their wonderful backyard. I love the great variety of clean, well-organized toys - that the kids actually put away after using (so all the pieces aren't promptly lost as I saw at other daycares). Bao is formally trained as a teacher, and you can tell from the way she approaches her interactions with the kids - showing them snails and encouraging the kids to touch them, teaching them songs, reading them stories. This is high quality childcare.

If you're looking for a clean, warm, loving, somewhat structured environment, give Bao a call. Contact: Bao, 510-841-6452

June 2006

Our wonderful daycare has an opening for a child 4 or 5 days a week. There will also be a few spots up in September when some children will transition to preschool or kindergarden. Great Start Child Care is run by Bao and Meng Ren, a loving couple, who have turned their home into a bright, joyous and educational environment for children ages 4 months-4 years. They also have a beautiful backyard with lots of space, a kiddie pool, shaded gazebo, etc. We have been so happy to have found them. They make the experience wonderful for the kids AND the parents. Their hours are 8:00am-5:30 pm and they provide wonderful nutritious meals during the day for the children. In addition, there are no more than 7 kids on any day, so the ratio is excellent. Please call Bao to schedule a visit soon, at 510-841-6452, as the spaces will fill up fast. You can also call me for a reference, and more glowing reviews can be found on the BPN site


May 2006

Pamela highly recommends her wonderful childcare provider Baoyue Ren. She is loving, playful and very attentive to the needs of the children in her care. My 2 year-old son Ryan adores her and is always happy to see her. Care and meals are provided in her clean, pleasant home in Berkeley where the children enjoy playing inside with lots of toys and get plenty of fresh air outside in a large backyard. She can also provide instruction in Mandarin. My son will soon be going off to preschool so Baoyue has openings for children 3 years old or younger. Please contact Baoyue at (510) 841-6452


May 2006

In-home daycare. Mandarin and English speakers. Gentle and competent care, great food, well equipped, clean. I've had my son there since 2003. He's been happy, confident, & well looked after. Three openings as he & two of his friends graduate to preschool.
Contact: Bao Ren, 510-841-6452

Sept 2005

The wonderful, warm, loving day care that was my son's home away from home for 3 years (he has recently graduated to preschool) has an immediate opening for an infant or toddler -- full time preferred. ''Great Start Child Care'' is a home day care operated by wife/husband team Bao and Meng Ren. Bao has been doing child care for over 15 years, first as a nanny and now as a day care operator. Her husband, Meng, is her full time assistant. They are licensed for 12 kids but only take 6 to 8 with two full time adults, so the ratio is low. They have a large, sunny backyard where the kids can play, and toys for every stage of development. My son loved it there, and we both miss it already! Contact Bao directly or call or email me for me details -- Diane
Contact: Bao Ren, 510-841-6452

July 2005

My son's wonderful family day care, Great Start Child Care, has an immediate opening for a child of any age (most kids there are between 0 and 3) -- the opening is full time only. You can read my glowing review in the archive. The only thing I have to add is that, in the 2 years since I wrote that review, I have continued to be every bit as happy with the warm, loving care my son (now 3 and soon to graduate to preschool) has received in the care of wife and husband team Baoyue and Meng Ren. They are located on Blake near Sacramento in Berkeley. They are licensed for 12 kids, but only take 7 or 8 at most, so the kids get plenty of one on one attention. I can't recommend them highly enough. Contact Bao directly, or call or email me for me details -- Diane
Contact: Baoyue Ren, 510-841-6452

Sept 2004

I enthusiastically recommend Great Start Childcare, a home daycare run by Bao and Meng Ren. Great Start is located in West Berkeley on Blake, west of Sacramento. The hours are 8 am to 5:30 pm. There are P/T and two F/T openings soon. My son has been with Bao since he was 9 weeks old. Even when he was very young, he broke into huge smiles when he saw her. Bao and Meng are patient and loving; things never seem chaotic or out of control. The children read books, sing, and get lots of exercise in the backyard play area. As they grow, the children learn to put away toys, share with the other children, and help with simple tasks. Bao and Meng are very in tune with what children like/want, and it is clear that the children adore them. The cost is more than a typical home daycare, but it is absolutely worth it to me to have my child there. I recommend Great Start without reservation. Please feel free to contact me or Bao (841-6452) for more information. Sharon

April 2003

I would like to highly recommend ''Great Start Child Care'', a family daycare run by Baoyue Ren, with the fulltime assistance of her husband Meng. Great Start Child Care is located on Blake Street in Berkeley, 1.5 blocks west of Sacramento. They accept a maximum of 6 children, so there is a low child/caregiver ratio.

My ten month old son has been in Bao and Meng's care for 5 months. What impressed me most about this day care when I first visited is how incredibly happy all the children there are -- Bao and Meng are very warm and loving with the children, who obviously adore them. My son now breaks into a great big smile every morning when he first sees Bao and Meng. Bao was a nanny for 10 years prior to opening her daycare a few years ago -- she has a really good intuitive sense with children, and is very flexible about nap and feeding schedules -- as she says, she does ''what the baby needs''. Bao and Meng's house is filled with toys appropriate for all stages of development, and they have a large, sunny, fenced-in yard where the children can play. Although it's never easy leaving your child with someone else, it's so much easier when you feel as good about your child care providers as I do about mine.

If anyone would like additional information about this daycare, feel free to contact me. Diane
contact Bao and Meng: 510 841-6452

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