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Little Village Preschool (Albany, CA)
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Re: Pre-K Preschool in or around Albany?
We've been very happy with Little Village in Albany. It's play-based, but they do a special pre-K program for the oldest kids. Many of the kids there are from Albany and go on to attend Albany schools. Good luck with your search. LV parent
Re: Looking for a small preschool for 2-year-old
Check out Little Village in Albany. Both my kids started right around 2, and had great experiences there. I actually appreciate it more now, in retrospect, knowing how well my kids transitioned into their Berkeley public elementary school. Small, cost-friendly, mixed-ages pre-school with flexible, caring and experienced teachers. Doesn't necessarily show well - it's an older facility - but definitely pulls through on the things that count. Happy Little Village alum
Re: Preschools in Albany area that potty train students
Little Village Preschool - my daughter was ''trained'' there. They are very accomodating and do not pressure the child. I am very grateful for that. Karen
Re: Preschool openings this fall?
I would highly recommend Little Village Preschool at 918 Talbot Street in Albany (510-528-4401). One of my kids recently graduated and my 3-year old is there now. They have a couple of openings left for this fall. The school has a play-based philosophy with lots of hands-on activities and individual care. The staff provide a very warm and nurturing environment and you can tell that each child feels important and well-cared for. The kids do amazing art projects, baking/cooking, science experiments, language (including sign language, chinese, & spanish), reading, outside play 2x per day, etc. They also have optional enrichment programs where outside teachers come in to do creative movement and music classes. The pre-K kids create a wonderful creative writing book that is a joint project by the director and the child. Our older daughter was reading on her own before she graduated. The families are all wonderful and supportive, as are the owner, director, and staff. It truly is a ''little village'' and we feel very fortunate to be a part of it. (It is not a co-op). Suzi
We are considering these two preschools: Piccoli and Little Village. However, the reviews for the school are from 2007 and 2006--we would love current feedback about the schools. anon
We are in the process of choosing a preschool for our daughter,
who will be three next fall. We would like to find a place that
is close by (we live in Albany) and has both part and full time
options. Since both my husband and I work full time, the coop
preschools just don't seem to be a workable option for us.
I visited Little Village Preschool this week and it seemed to
fit what we are looking for. I noticed that most of the
postings for Little Village were a few years old, and wondered
whether anyone had some feedback for us about the preschool.
Many thanks for any information anyone can provide!!
It's still something of a sore subject so I don't want to go into a lot of detail. But my reflections on the experience that may be of use to prospective Little Village families are: Mostly, I think, the school is or can be a very good place for the younger preschoolers, and I stand by my earlier positive reviews in that sense. But it does not perform as well as we'd hoped at preparing 4- and 5-year-olds for school. And I don't mean in an academic sense -- their pre-K program is fine -- but more in the sense of keeping them engaged and teaching them good social skills.
For many kids, Little Village is undoubtedly a good fit until they begin kindergarten, but, well, my son was a little more challenging and Little Village did not seem to be up to the challenge. We kicked ourselves for not transferring to a different program, as so many of my son's peers did, for the final year of preschool.
The school has had staffing issues in recent years. The owner- director has been occupied with a pregnancy and with the purchase of another school, and has spent less time at Little Village. Some of the ''extras'' they used to offer by bringing in special teachers, like dance and gymnastics, were cancelled for various reasons (none of them the school's fault) and nothing replaced them. The head teacher has, I think, simply been overwhelmed. I do not know whether or to what extent those issues have been resolved this year.
Bottom line: There's a lot about Little Village to like. But
keep in mind that both kids and schools change, and the fit
between them should be re-evaluated each year
Would anyone be willing to give me recent general feedback about Little Village preschool on Talbot Street? I am interested in any and all experiences with the children, staff and other parents. Also, how you feel about the daily schedule of activities, enthusiasm, safety, etc. Thank you. anonymous
Our son attends Little Village Preschool on Talbot (across from Cornell elementary school). We have been pleased with it. You didn't ask any specific questions, so it's hard to know what to say, though! It is a play-based school with a pretty ''laid-back'' philosophy, which appealed to us particularly for younger children. I believe they accept children as young as just-turned-two; not potty trained is okay; they offer a large variety of part-time and full-time schedules; in addition to the usual assortment of arts-and- crafts, pretend play, blocks, books and outdoor play activities, they bring in teachers to give classes in music, gymnastics, and other ''special'' areas; there are around 20 kids in the school (which is a converted house) and they are not separated into age-based classes (although older kids do have some pre-K activities while the younger ones nap).
The atmosphere is a bit more chaotic than at some other schools, which you may consider good or bad. But it's definitely not a free-for-all, either; they seem to get the kids to accept the daily routine of circle time, ''work'' time, clean-up time, nap time, etc. without fuss. (As opposed to another school I visited where the teacher seemed to be engaged in a constant, major struggle to get active kids to be quiet and still and/or reticent kids to participate in the songs/activities.)
anon LVP mom
I'm considering sending my child to the Little Village Preschool in Albany. Anyone have any experience with it good or bad? I was underwhelmed by the inside activities, but the teachers were sweet and seemed to really care about the kids. anon
The program is play-based and relatively unstructured, and the school's atmosphere can be a little chaotic. This might be a good thing or a bad thing depending on your preferences and your child's age and temperament. One neighbor says her daughter did very well there at first, but by the time she was 4 years old was ready for a more academic environment and was bored at Little Village. But the school's guiding philosophy that young kids should have time to just be kids is right for us, at least for now.
I think the school offers quite a good range of indoor (and outdoor) activities, so I'm not sure what you meant by 'underwhelmed'. My son can have the time of his life playing with a pebble, so he's far from underwhelmed by the range of toys and materials he can mess with at Little Village. And we really like the special classes in gymnastics, music, etc.
We also really like the flexible scheduling, and we needed a school that would accept a non-potty-trained 2-year-old. The teachers are sweet and caring as you noted, and their disciplinary methods mesh well with ours. Somehow they even manage to get our sleep-resistant kid to take a nap! Our son is already making new friends and is having fun learning new things. He's happy; we're happy. anon
Re: 3 days a week play-based preschool
You don't say what location you're looking for, but Little Village in Albany is a developmental/play-based school and it offers all sorts of different part-time options, including 3 full days per week. (We're planning to enroll our son there this fall and have a few neighbors who have been satisfied with their kids' experiences there.) anon
We're thinking of enrolling our 3yo son at Little Village preschool in Albany. I checked the UCB website but didn't find any comments. If you have any experience with this preschool (good or bad), I'd be very interested in hearing your comments...Thanks... Mike
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