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Head Start Preschools in 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 > Head Start Preschools in Berkeley, CA

Head Start Ocean View
  • Owner: Berkeley YMCA
  • Phone: (510) 559-2090
  • Email:
  • Neighborhood: 1422 San Pablo Ave.
  • Zip: 94702
  • License #: 013411435 (view)
  • Capacity: 37
  • Website:
  • Bilingual:
  • Ages:
Head Start South
  • Owner: Berkeley YMCA
  • Phone: (510) 848-9092
  • Email:
  • Neighborhood: 2901 California St.
  • Zip: 94703
  • License #: 010200607 (view)
  • Capacity: 52
  • Website:
  • Bilingual:
  • Ages:
Head Start West
  • Owner: Berkeley YMCA
  • Phone: (510) 848-9092
  • Email:
  • Neighborhood: 2009 10th St, W. Berkeley
  • Zip: 94710
  • License #: 010206120 (view)
  • Capacity: 70
  • Website:
  • Bilingual:
  • Ages:
Head Start Through the Looking Glass
  • Owner: Through the Looking Glass, Inc.
  • Phone: (510) 848-1112
  • Email:
  • Neighborhood: 3075 Adeline Ave
  • Zip: 94703
  • License #: 013420586 (view)
  • Capacity: 8
  • Website:
  • Bilingual:
  • Ages:

June 2009

Re: Affordable preschool in Albany or El Cerrito?
Hello... I have been a single mom of twins since they were ten months old... Today they graduated from kindergarten and I am so proud... They got their first school setting experience at Balboa Head Start.. It is located just two blocks off of San Pablo Avenue at Madison... landmarks are Big 5 sporting goods and derweinersnitzal hot dogs... If I remember the address is 1001 South 57th Street... officially this is in Richmond.. They loved it.. and even started out in separate classrooms... they adjusted better than I did... hahahah... They are through the county and will work with your income and ability to pay...If you want more info feel free to write back... I hope this helps... Good Luck!!! joann

Sept. 2006

I am considering putting my son in the Berkeley Head Start(the one on San Pablo Ave) next fall and is wondering if anyone has anything (good or not so good) to say about the program. Also, my family is low income so are there any other preschools out there (between ''a nice part of Richmond'' and Berkeley...we live in El Cerrito) that are on a sliding scale? Thanks for any and all thoughts.

My son went to Franklin State, a free Berkeley Unified District Preschool, on 6th or 7th Street, around Page, which now, I understand, also takes Headstart children. He went to Nelly's bilingual class which was great but only three hours a day, but really a wonderful class for him. Big, huge play yard. I didn't like some of the other teachers in the other classes though; one middle age man yelled at the kids, was just very loud, scared my son with it, but Nelly's class was great. LN
June 2006

hi, our child will be starting headstart in the fall and we are having a hard time finding recommendations for schools and teachers. if you know anyone who has a recommendation (pro or con) please let me know. thanks! mere

My son is in Michele Witherspoon's class at Hopkins and we think she's great. He'll be there next year, too Jill
Jan 2006

Our children qualify for the Berkeley Headstart program. Please send us your thoughts (pro's and con's) regarding the Berkeley Headstart Program for 3-5 year olds. We are trying to decide whether to send our children to the Headstart program or to another preschool in the east bay area. Thanks.

My son went to Nelly C.'s Spanish-English bilingual class at Franklin State preschool; it is a BUSD preschool, and they have partnered up with Headstart and like to accept Headstart children. It is a mixed population; Nelly was GREAT; one of the assistants was too, who since left and is teaching elementary now. But it really was a great program. One thing is, it is only 3 hrs. a day, either morning or afternoon, generally older children PM, younger in AM. I don't have their phone, but if you call the BUSD they can tell you. I didn't like the other classes at Franklin State very much; I thought some of the other teachers didn't have their heart into the teaching at all; Nelly sure did. mom
Nov 2005

Does anyone have any positive or negative experiences with any of the Head Start programs (Berkeley/Albany YMCA or Oakland) or Child Development Centers (Oakland Unified School District or Emeryville)? I'm specifically looking for feedback on programs that are around North Oakland/South Berkeley. I see on the website there is one review of the Berkeley/Albany YMCA Head Start program, but wondering if folks have anything to say about any other Head Starts and about Child Development Centers and how they compare. Thanks! Isaiah

Hi Isaiah,
My daughter was in both the Berkeley/Albany YMCA, and the West Berkeley Head Start. As an infant, we would visit the Berkeley/Albany YMCA program together, and we worked up to the point that I would leave her there for up to an hour (we used it more as an opportunity to play with other kids). Then she was diagnosed with leukemia at age one, and missed daycare for a couple of years. At age three, she went to the West Berkeley Head Start (her teachers there were very supportive of my daughter's health and emotional challenges). Finally, she went back to the Berkeley/Albany YMCA as a four year old, where she had some trouble with nap time that the staff succesfully worked out over time.

All in all, I've been very grateful to the Head Start program for supporting our family through crisis, and for helping me with childcare so I could finish school. Today, my child is healthy, and I have a meaningful career in nonprofit development.

April 2005

Hi everyone, we are looking into preschools and toddler programs for our 2 year old and I am wondering if anyone has had experience with the berkeley/albany early head start program? We are a low income family, and are wondering if they might be an option for us. Of course our main concern is that our daughter be in a safe, stimulating, environement where she can socialize with other kids. Probably just a few mornings a week to start. Any thoughts, reccommendations, or advice is appreciated. thanks! musician mom

Hi, my girl has been in the program for more than 2 years. She started when she was 9 months, now she is almost 3 . She love to go to the school. The teachers are nice, the place is relly clean and they have a good curriculum. Few month ago they have a big inspection from the goverment and they had a excellent evaluation. You are free to visit the school and talk with the teachers My girl is in 6 TH STREET program. Very happy mom Maria
July 1999

The Head Start program is free childcare for families who are at Federal Low-Income guidelines. Our program serves Berkeley, Albany and Emeryville but there is also a program in Oakland and Fremont, as well as other counties nearby. We serve children 0-5 years old. Our infant/toddler program currently has a huge waiting list, however, our 3-5 year old program is always excepting applications and we are not 100% enrolled for September 1, either. Last year our program was not fully enrolled and we are trying to make sure this does not occur again.

Thank you,
Jeannine Vegh (510) 848-9092 x3009
Berkeley-Albany YMCA Head Start Program

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