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Hansel & Gretel Preschool and Daycare (Hercules, CA)
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Re: Pre School in the West Contra Costa Area
My daughter is in a fabulous program in Hercules! It is called Hansel & Gretel Preschool and Daycare (not to be confused with the Hansel & Gretel Co-op Nursery in El Sobrante, which I have also heard good things about). This is a small family daycare with a full preschool program in the mornings, that I believe stacks up to any center-based preschool anywhere. The children learn letters, numbers, shapes, colors, Spanish, ASL, and more. The afternoons are more play-based, filled with special projects that encourage exploration and enrichment. The program is so well-thought out; very caring and structured without being rigid. Mondays and Wednesdays have special art projects, Tuesday is cooking day, Thursday is sharing time, and Friday is science experiments. There is a set schedule, but one that has a lots of time for free-play and flexibility.
October was safety month, and so they incorporated different safety lessons (fire, earthquake, what to do if you are lost, avoiding poisions, always wear your bike helmet, etc.) They took the kids on a field trip to the fire station, and had a police officer and a nurse visit the classroom to give presentations. But she also has a lot of days that are just fun and playful - safari day, wear a silly hat day, dinosaur day, pajama day. All of the children seem so happy and bright. My all-time favorite part of the program is the library: she has about 200 books, and each kid can check out one each week. She gives the kids a cute tote-bag for their book, and they are responsible for keeping their book safe and bringing it back next week. My 4 yo daughter takes this responsibility very seriously, and always treats her *special library book* with great care.
Hansel and Gretel is a tiny, home-based program - 14 kids and 3 adults - but my daughter does far better in that environment than in a large center, where she has often gotten lost in the cracks. Here, I know she is getting loving, personal attention. Sonia describes her program as *Preschool and Daycare, The Best of Both Worlds* and a I truly agree with that assessment! It is open 7:30am to 5:30pm, and costs $150 a week for full-time, not sure what the part-time rate is. Please feel free to write me if you have any more questions! Hansel & Gretel Preschool and Daycare Sonia Reed-Hill 124 Hemlock Ct, Hercules, CA 94547 Phone: (510) 799-0830 Tara
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