Haste Street Child Development Center (UC Berkeley)
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Haste Street Child Development Center
- Owner: University of California childcare program
- Phone: (510) 642-6658
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Neighborhood: UCB south campus area
- Zip: 94720
- License #: 013418965
- Capacity: 62
- Website: http://www.housing.berkeley.edu/child/facstaff/
- Ages: 3 mos. to 56 mos.
We're new parents with an almost-two-month old, about to face
decisions about whether to enroll our daughter in full-time daycare
this August, when she will be 8 months old. We still don't know
whether/where we will be offered spots, but we are leaning towards one
of the UC centers -- Clark Kerr or Haste Street. However, we are also
open to other options near the UCcampus, including hiring a nanny
(probably less than full-time given cost) or joining a nanny-share.
We're thus trying to decide whether to go with a UC center or not, and
if so (if we have a choice!), whether to choose Clark Kerr or Haste St.
We would love to hear from anyone with positive or negative
experiences with either of the UC infant centers, including the
relative merits of Clark Kerr versus Haste St. For those who considered
but opted *not* to enroll an infant there, what did you choose instead?
Why, and are you happy with your decision?
Thank you in advance for any advice!
We have two daughters at the Haste Street center, one in preschool
(started at 11 months), the other in an infant room (started at 5 months,
has been there for a year). I can recommend the center without any
hesitation. In fact, our younger daughter was too young to start in the
fall and we had a nanny, but when an opening became available mid-year we
moved her to the center. The positives are: Landi, the site coordinator
is great; most of the teachers are really good; it is run well
(procedures for how to deal with everything, schedule for food, diapers
etc. in the classroom, issues like biting kids taken very seriously); I
like the philosophy (play-based but still they teach things like songs,
the alphabet, do little science experiments, etc.); they provide full
meals (believe me, it is a great relief not to have to make lunch); the
other families have been great; our daughters are happy and have bonded
with their teachers; the student assistants (undergrads at UC) have been
great, they provide extra help in the room during busy hours and we have
gotten to know some of them well and they babysit for us; the building is
great, good layout, a separate playground for each room, everything new
and clean. The negatives: the infant rooms have had a bit too much
staff turnover, both because of issues out of their control (maternity
leave, repetitive stress injuries) but also because finding good
qualified infant teachers is hard and one or two new hires didn't work
out; because of the UC budget crisis the Univ. has cut their
contribution, leading to higher fees and a stressful environment where
you don't know from one year to the next if service or part of the
program will be cut, and they have drastically reduced the number of
subsidized spots for student parents; because classroom transitions
happen only in the fall a child can sometimes enter a toddler or
preschool room too early/late for their maturity level. I don't know
enough about the Clark Kerr site to do a good comparison - I believe that
the facilities are not as nice but overall the teachers and program
quality is similar. Personally I much prefer this to a nanny (granted we
only have 3 months of nanny experience). It is more stimulating for the
children, they learn to play well with other kids, and I like that all
the teachers are trained and working in a setting with many other
teachers so they there are external ''checks'' so to speak.
I can speak to Clark Kerr and Haste Street as we had experience at both
sites. While Clark Kerr is crummy physically (trailers -- although I
think they are moving the CKIC to permanent buildings within the Clark
Kerr campus so that should be better) it is located on a beautiful campus
so the kids can really have time in nature. Even more importantly, while
Haste Street is shiny and eco and new, we did not anticipate the fact
that, as the newest UC care center, the teachers would have the least
seniority in the system, and that there would therefore be more turnover.
The infant room at Haste Street, in particular, has suffered terrible
staffing problems the last two years (make sure to talk to current
parents in the room) and other rooms have had transitions in teaching
(aka subs) as well. We liked having our kid in group care versus with a
nanny. He did get sick some the first semester, but he really was well
socialized and learned how to be around other kids. It was also nice to
get to know other UC parents across departments. Either site is great
and convenient for breast feeding from the campus if that was something
you wanted to do. In general, the teachers are dedicated, experienced,
and loving, but they are suffering the onslaughts of UC budget cuts, like
all of us.
We are parents of an Infant in Haste Street UCB childcare and cannot
fully endorse it. While a lot of teachers are doing an excellent job, the
center is poorly managed and the UC/California budget issues are allowed
to directly influence the care the children get. Staff is unionized and
several people are out on paid Leave for undetermined time; substitutes
are hired as part-time employees only so that no benefits have to be paid
for them. Some rooms have a ''patchwork'' of part-time caregivers,
sometimes you come into the room in the evening and someone you don't
know is holding your child. The ''3:1'' ratio is misleading as well - we
expected that to mean 1 teacher, 3 infants (this is how it was presented
during the interview) and that is only the case for 2 hours each day; the
rest of the day is student assistants filling in. This can lead to chaos
in the room if 1 core teacher is out sick, for example, and we had quite
a couple of bad mistakes happen: children not fed or nobody knows if
medication has been administered, for example. This might be a non-issue
if you have stable teachers in the room who know the kids, maybe you'll
get more lucky. Turnover is a big issue at Haste Street. We were thinking
we'll pay more so that teachers make more, so they'll stay; but the
reason for turnover at Haste is not so much teachers leaving for another
job, but going on some kind of paid Leave. UC/Union agreements are very
different from what you would find in a regular childcare center, so
these problems are hard to predict and kind of specific to UC-managed
That being said, it is a beautiful building, the program pertaining to
children-teacher interaction is well worked out, there are lots of
activities and most children seem to enjoy going to daycare. Most parents
are taking good care of their kids, too (no surprise given the hefty
price tag of 2k/month for infant care). Some teachers are excellent and
kids and parents love them.
If you're thinking about signing up, make sure that you know exactly who
will be on staff in that room, how many teachers are part-time, how many
teachers are actually substitutes and if they can stay as long as needed
or if they have to leave after having exhausted a predetermined quota of
hours. Make sure you see an actual full-day schedule so that you can
assess how many caregivers there really will be. Once you've signed up,
it is very hard to get out of the contract (penalties).
I have heard good things about Clark-Kerr in terms of stability - there
are no student assistants and the teachers spend more time in the room.
The way I see it with UC childcare is that there is a triangle of
interests - budget, employees and children. Currently budget is strictly
enforced. Employees are unionized and are understandably supported by HR
and management. Children have only their parents fighting for them
(management will too but only if it doesn't affect budget or employee
rights, so there's not much wiggling room). Parents' concerns are very
hard to push through (no real leverage).
Could anyone tell me about their experience at Haste Street
Child Development Center? My second question is about
sharing chidcare. The center only advertises full-time places
but I wondered if anyone has ever shared (split the week)
Haste St is a great play-based daycare center, with a
community of really committed teachers and involved parents.
I have been very impressed with the great care my children
have received and the fun activities they have been involved
in over the years. I highly recommend it ...however, I
should also mention that it is unclear right now how the
current budget crisis affecting UC in general and the Early
Childhood Education Program in particular will impact the
childcare situation. As for splitting the week, you would
have to check with the enrollment coordinator, but I have
heard that it is not impossible. Depending on their
enrollment situation and the finding a similarly aged child
to ''split'' with, it may be possible.
We have two kids at Haste St. and are very happy with both
classrooms this year. The teachers in the infant room are
great -- sweet, playful, kind. The only bad thing I could
say about them is sometimes they are a little overzealous
about sending your kid home. The teachers are also great
in the preschool room, the teachers are also great. They
are playful and fun and have cool projects and are good
about getting kids to join in. The only bad thing I could
say is that the yard is a bit small for some kids, though
they make good use of every square inch.
It might be possible to split preschool spots but there is
such a long waitlist for infant and toddler care that I
can't imagine they would let you split those. But, you
Does anyone have experiences with the new Haste Street Child
development center at UC Berkeley? We were hoping to find a
spot for our daughter next fall, when she'll be 2, but they have
a spot opening in June so we need to decide quickly if we want
to take it.
My daughter started at Haste St in January at 21 months, and we
have been very happy there. It is a nice facility, the teachers
are great and the kids are a cheerful, well-adjusted group. We
were concerned at first about the small outdoor play space, but
it hasn't been much of an issue. We are overall very pleased.
Feel free to contact me if you have any specific questions.
this page was last updated: Apr 5, 2011
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