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and preschool reviews on the BPN website.
Re: Part-time small daycare in Berkeley
I'm always happy to recommend The Model School, although I don't think you would consider it small, nor is it a daycare per se. But it is a sweet, happy place with loving teachers. My daughter only spent her pre-K year there, but most families enroll their children as infants or toddlers and stay all the way until kindergarten. The outdoor space is large (though not necessarily all that attractive), the hours are very, very flexible, and the cost is reasonable, compared to many Berkeley/Rockridge preschools. The Model School is on Prince near Telegraph, close to Whole Foods. Model School fan
Re: Duck's Nest or The Model School for 2-year old?
Both my children have been through the Model School, from the infant room through PreK, and I recommend it highly. The curriculum is Montessori-influenced (so not play-based, as you were seeking), but the kids have lots of time to play freely outside and explore their interests in the classroom. The PreK classes in particular are filled with opportunities to engage with science, art, writing, math, and music. My kids learned so much and were well-prepared for kindergarten academically and socially, and they made great friends along the way.
While the school is not pretty, I've learned to see it through the eyes of my children - filled with loving teachers, engaging activities, diverse families, and the remarkable leadership of Dr. Mante. The parent community is terrific. I am always amazed to see busy, tired parents offering their skills, time, and energy to make the school a better place for all the kids.
My kids loved being at the Model School. At the end of each day, it was hard to tear them away! Model School Fan
Re: Looking for preschool in (or near) the Temescal
You should definitely check out The Model School, on Prince just off of Telegraph. We only spent one year of pre-K there before my daughter was off to kindy, but it was a happy and sweet year. She loved her teachers and made several friends. We know many families who started off in the infant or toddler rooms and continued on through pre-K. It's not the most glamorous of preschools, but in terms of cost, flexibility, and sheer sweetness, you can't beat it. I wasn't necessarily looking for an academic preschool for my daughter, but a couple weeks ago I was helping out in my daughter's kindy class and I noticed that the Model School grads rotating through my station were the better readers and were ahead in their workbooks. Probably just coincidence, but I think it speaks to the fact that The Model School is preparing kids well for big-kid school, even in the midst of all that playing. Model School fan
Re: Preschool for 2 yr old in Oakland/Alameda/Emeryville
My daughter goes to the Model school (http://themodelschool.org) which is right on the South Berkeley/Oakland Boarder near the Whole Foods at Ashby and Telegraph. While it isn't the most glamorous of looking schools, the tuition and the flexibility of hours can't be beat. You pay monthly based on the number of hours you will need per week (from 15 hours to 55 hours) and the school is open from 7am - 6pm. The program runs all year round - all the rates are listed on the website. The school accepts babies as young as 6 weeks to kids up to 6 years of age. There is a baby room, a 1 year old room, 2 year old room and two 3 - 6 year old preK rooms. As long as their is availability in you age group, you can enroll your child at any time throughout the year. The teachers obviously love and care for the kids deeply, which I think is most important thing anyways (I don't need to send my child to the Harvard of all preschools!) and the flexibility/cost really can't be found anywhere else. I'd check it out for sure. Happy Model School mom
Re: Montclair Area Preschools for 18-month Old
I think The Model School meets all of your criteria, although it is slightly closer to Ashby BART than Rockridge. It's in south Berkeley, very near Whole Foods. The benefit of TMS is that your son would not have to transition from day-care to preschool because TMS goes right up until Kindergarten! The teachers are loving, the activities fun, and the kids very happy. My daughter is graduating this month and has had a great tenure at TMS. The cost is reasonable and the hours very flexible. We highly recommend TMS. Model School mom
Yes, it is probably too late to enroll in many preschools, but I suggest you look into The Model School in south Berkeley. They accept applications and enroll year-round, and because of this, can be very flexible with families who intend to stay only a short time. There is, in fact, another German family enrolled there, and I'm pretty sure they will stay less than a year. The hours are flexible, the tuition is very reasonable by Berkeley standards, and my daughter is very happy there! It's not the most beautiful school unfortunately, but the teachers are loving, the ''curriculum'' is engaging and the children are happy. They also do accept infants but I wasn't sure if you intended to find a placement for your baby as well. Model School mom
Re: Preschools in Southeast Berkeley
You should definitely check out The Model School for both of your children. One caveat though: I wish they spent a little more time outdoors. But having said that, my daughter is very happy there. The teachers are loving and the PreK curriculum includes everything you mentioned (circle time, art, stories, letters and numbers, music, etc.). My daughter loves it so much that we had to add an extra day to her weekly schedule, because she wants every day to be a school day. The hours are VERY flexible and the tuition is surprisingly affordable for south Berkeley/north Oakland. The other great thing is that both of your kids could be at the same preschool and your younger could continue on through PreK. Check out all of the positive reviews on BPN. Model School mom
Re: Full day preschools with openings?
I can't say for sure that The Model School has an opening right now, but they do enroll year-round, so it's definitely worth a call. They are located in South Berkeley, very near Whole Foods. My kid is in PreK there and LOVES it. They offer full-time and part-time options, and in fact, are very flexible that way (one reason we chose this wonderful school). Many of our neighbors attend, or formerly attended, and gave us rave reviews (that's the main reason we chose it). Model School Mom
Re: Daycare/Preschool options for 18-month-old
The Model School is excellent. It is not in Rockridge exactly, but very close, near Whole Foods. My daughter is in PreK there and LOVES going to school. They accept infants and toddlers as well. It is not fancy, but everyone (kids, teachers, and parents) seem very happy there. We enrolled our daughter after hearing very rave reviews from neighbors and work colleagues. We also know older children (middle schoolers) who attended The Model School and they have nothing but positive things to say about the school. So that's a lot of years of thriving, happy kids. Oh, it's also more affordable than many Rockridge preschools, and the hours are very flexible. They enroll year-round, depending on space. Like I said, the facility is not fancy, but we didn't require that--we were satisfied by happy kids! Model School mom
Re: Childcare for ages *0-6 YEARS* in/near Oakland?
I can recommend The Model School which is technically in Berkeley, but very close to the Oakland border. It is located on Prince St near Telegraph which is reasonably close to the Rockridge area. They take children starting at 3 months until graduation for kindergarten. The school is Montessori based and teachers are wonderful with long tenures. The director has decades of experience in education and has created a great place for kids. I recommend you pay us a visit. Happy Model School parent amy
RE: friendly Montessori preschool
My children go to the Model School -- it's in South Berkeley but has all the elements you are looking for: Montessori-based, diverse kids/families, amazing teachers and a highly engaged parent group. They currently have a couple of pre-school spots open (a rarity). We've been at the school for four years (since my oldest was a baby), and we absolutely love it...I cant imagine my kids going anywhere else. Mel
Re: Montessori for active, high energy boy?
I have a high-energy boy who goes to the Model School, a montessory-based school in South Berkeley, and loves it. He asks to go to school on weekends. The teachers GET that he is physcially unable to sit still and must run instead of walk. The teachers teach my son ways to harness his energy and focus more. It's a big preschool with an excellent teacher/student ratios. There is a big yard and lots of outside time. There is music every week and a lot of art. My son is also learning to write and can read a few words already. He is kindergarten ready. happy model school parent
Re: Relocating to the Bay Area, looking for a walkable neighborhood
We were in a similar situation last year at this time, when we moved to Berkeley too late to apply to preschools. We were lucky enough to find a very good preschool, The Model School, that does not have a college-like application process. They operate on a first-come, first-serve basis and new kids can enter when space becomes available. It is on Prince at Telegraph, in a very walkable neighborhood close to Elmwood, Whole Foods, Berkeley Bowl, Ashby BART. themodelschool.org Happy Model School Parent
I am looking for a preschool for my son, age 3.5. I would like a developmentally-based program. I like Waldorf, Montessori, Reggio-Emilia, etc approaches, but I'd really like to see my son at a school that incorporates the best of these philosophies and really gears material to the specific age of the children. No ditto art. No pre-k workbooks cramming alphabet and math and other ''skills'' down kids throats. BUT something with some structure, some circle time, some introduction of new and exciting topics which a 3-year-old would crave to explore. Does this sound like Model School? Another school you suggest? The BPN feedback on Model School is historically great, so why is there an opening in their program? I'm on waiting lists miles long at other schools. What's the skinny? How is their teacher retention? Berkeley Mom
What stands out the most for me is how much the teachers care about each child, and accomodating the school is to parent's schedules, needs. The teachers give excellent advice if you ask them, and are very supportive of parents.
Consider yourself lucky to get in! I was on a waiting list for a year. - happy model school parent
Re: Preschool in North Oakland or surroundings?
It's not North Berkeley, but the Model School in South Berkeley has what you are describing.
There are two pre-kindergarden classrooms with structured activities (dance, yoga, music) and outdoor time. You can change your contracted hours every month. The kids go out to the play yar 2 or 3 times a day.
The Model School is a great school for active boys. There are a lot of interesting ''jobs'' (activity trays in Montessory speak) and the set up really works for kids. The jobs/toys are well chosen and everything is set up to be kid level.
The director and teachers are kind, and will work with parents to make sure your child is happy. Most of the teachers have been there many years. Anon
Re: Please share experiences of the Model School
My son went to Model School from T1 to Pre-K1 and he is now in first grade. I highly recommend it. The Director, Dr. Mante, is wonderful. Even to this day, I chat with her about specific issues regarding my son's development, The teachers are nurturing and engaging. The parents are very involved.
While the facility isn't the most glamorous, I have learned that looks are extremely deceiving, when it comes to selecting a daycare or preschool facility. My son initially went to a beautiful and extremely high-priced daycare in SF, and to say I was disappointed would be an understatement. Behind the glitter were some serious licensing violations that I didn't learn of until AFTER I took my son out of the facility. On the other hand, The Model School is dowdy and reasonably priced and I was not at all disappointed in the care and instruction my son received. Plus, the licensing history is really good.
Most telling is that my son is always begging to go back to visit. Mom to a Model kid
We are very close to enrolling our young daughter part-time at the Model School, and are seeking any current experiences there. We initially had our hearts set on a more intimate family care situation, but haven't found a good fit and have been excited by what we've seen at the Model School. Specific feedback on the staff, general enthusiasm & morale, individualized attention to each child, curriculum, diversity of the parent community, safety, building & grounds, are all welcome. Thank you all so much, in advance, for your reflections! -oh, decisions, decisions
The best part about the school is the parent involvement. You can come and sit as long as you like. The teachers are welcoming and the kids love it when you stay. Many preschools want you to drop off your child and leave, which can be hard on both the parent and the child. There are also monthly parent meetings.
The Model School is also very flexible with pick-up and drop-off times. You can change also your the number of hour in your contract month-to-month.
Once when my son was sick with a high fever, they called me right away and had a teacher one-on-one with him until I could pick him up. It's nice to be able to leave your child in such a loving place.
The one downside is the play yard's main gate to the street. From 4:00 PM on the main gate to the play yard is opened. I think that is dangerous. There is a second gate to the building, but if a parent leaves that gate open a child can run out right into the street (it's a long playground, though). Keep an eye on your child when you pick them up! happy model school parent
Re: Preschool with Montessori Work and Lots of Play
It is not in Alameda, but in Berkeley at Prince and Telegraph...The Model School is exactly how you describe. Montessori, but lots of art, pretend play, time outside, enrichment (yoga, mandarin, spanish, sign language). It is the best preschool and we feel so blessed to have the wonderful staff there caring for our son while we work. Check it out. Happy Model School Parent
Re: Seeking preschool with working mom's hours!
We have a similar situation and my son has thrived at The Model School in Berkeley. It is located at Prince and Telegraph. The director is amazing, the staff are friendly and loving and creative, the parents group is a fun community, and it is just all around a great preschool. Their tuition is reasonable and is structured for working parents: you make your own schedule for anything between 15-50 hours per week! They are open from (I think) 7:30am-6pm. There may be a wait list, but it is well worth it. Hope you find the right place. The Model School is worth checking out. Laura
Would anyone be willing to give me recent general feedback about the Model School preschool on Prince Street? I am interested in any and all experiences with the children, staff and other parents. How you feel about the daily schedule of activities, enthusiasm, safety, etc. Thank you. anon
I'm looking for updated information, praise, complaints about the Emeryville Child Development Center and the Model School. Everything in the archives seems quite old. We are looking at these two places for our eighteen-month-old son. Thanks. Holly
Several of my friends have enrolled children there and have also had great experiences -- often coming from schools were they were running into problems with their child not fitting into a fairly rigid structure.
The main drawback of the school is the building. While this site has housed several different schools over the years, it has never been all that nice. The school and the parent's group keep working on improving things, but there is only so much that can be done.
Feel free to contact me if you have questions, Sarah
They provide a stable and predictable environment for the children, and the teachers are as nurturing as they can in a daycare center. As a consequence of their professional and patient approach, daily routines such as hand washing, eating, diapering, pottying, and napping usually go very smoothly. They are very patient and effective in encouraging the children to handle conflicts without violence, I have rarely seen such a pieceful crowd of 1 or 2 year olds. Our child had a hard time with separation anxiety in the first couple of weeks. They assigned one teacher that is always there to take special care of her. However, she choose a different favorite person... That teacher was only part-time in this room, and supposed to help out in the baby room at other times, but they still tried to accommodate her preference as much as possible. I noticed with other families, that the teachers are not always honest in what they report to the parents about their children's missing them (and crying). I don't know if that's different in other daycare centers.
The toys and the material in the Toddler 2 room and in the Pre-K rooms are very well choosen. They are educational and fun. They are thoughtfully arranged in the classroom, accessible, systematically ordered. They are accessible and encourage individual explorative play. There's an art project almost every day in T1, and every day in T2, letting them explore lots of different techniques and materials. A thoughtful pedagogical concept, not just a room crowded with stuff to keep kids quiet. I'm mainly comparing to St. John's busy bees room, which was different (many toys and even books out of children's reach, not self-service crayons, tape recorder playing a story with loud sound effects).
You bring your own lunch, snacks are provided by the school. The snacks on the weekly schedule are okay, but a few month before we left they started deviating more and more from this. I've seen them serving nothing but goldfish and grape juice one day. Most children eat about everything when they are surrounded by a bunch of kids being offered the same thing, so a school may as well chose to give them something that is both healthy and simply to provide (fruit, pees, cheese, flat bread etc.). St. John's has their own cook, but the day we visited all the cook brought for snack was a bag with crackers.
The building and schoolyard have an obvious lack in esthetics. There's been a lot of effort to improve this, mainly by the parents. It's not the best school for kids that need lots of outdoor time and free physical play.
Here's why we left. One morning, our daughter ran out the building, and they didn't notice. It was pure lack she didn't end up in the street by herself. Their reaction was blame, the teacher blamed the child (''did you tell her she's not supposed to do that?''), the director blamed the teacher. It needed my initiative to make the re-install a gate that apparently used to be in the door to the T2 room a long while before. I tried to work on parents and the director to have the schoolyard door closed at all times, but I didn't get very far. The option for parents to drive into the schoolyard seems to have a high priority. (A parent from this list who has a child at the Model school, actually responded to my posting about the incident, encouraging me to stay and work on the problem with what she considered a great community at the school, but she signed anonomously.)
I brought her for one more week, only during the hours the schoolyard gate was closed. Then I realized it was too late. More than because of the incident itself, it was their reaction that prevented me from regaining the confidence I used to have in them. No one ever took responsibility, each one pointed at others. While this an understandable reaction, it doesn't help convincing parents that things are under control. We quit. I had a very open, long and friendly discussion with the director in the end. It was sad to leave an otherwise good school, and it was very tough for me to suddenly be with no childcare, because I work full-time. It wasn't until we quit that they apologized for the first time. Julia
I just heard from another parent that our school, The Model School, has spaces in the 3-5 age group. Since this is the age that my older son moved to there, I want to recommend the school. Prior to the Model School, my son had been at a center in Rockridge that wasn't meeting the mental/physical needs of a bright & energetic boy. We decided that he needed a change at age three, looked around a lot, and decided on the Model School for the Montessori curriculum and the large play area outside. He had two great years there before graduating and moving to kindergarten this fall. In the end, the stable and loving staff was what really won our hearts. My older boy still loves to go back and visit and his 16-month-old brother is in the infant room now and couldn't be happier. The school is supportive of working parents -- they are open from 7AM to 6PM. The school closes for holidays and a 2 wk holiday break, but not for a long summer/spring break. Sarah
Re: preschool for 3 yo w/no naps
Model School on Prince near Telegraph in Berkeley did very well by 3yo kids who did not nap as well as by those who did, but used to ask a minimum of 20 hours per week, I believe--anytime between 7am and 6pm. We loved the director, Dr. Mante, the community of families, & the supportive learning/ play environment! happy family of a Model School graduate
Re: Summer opening for almost 4 year old
You might want to call the Model School (549-2711, located at Prince and Telegraph, not far from Whole Foods). I know a bunch of PreK kids are ''graduating'' this summer and moving on to kindergarden. The Model School is VERY ethnically and otherwise (e.g., queer, single, and grandparent-headed families) diverse. Their motto is, ''Children can't wait,'' and their teachers are humanistic/Montessori trained. I've been connected to the school for about 5 years (through friends), and my daughter (3) and I are very happy. You should check this (parents network) website for more info. Jenne, Model School PreK mom
Re: Preschools with Afternoon Programs
The Model School on Prince and Telegraph (549-2711) in Berkeley offers parents very flexible hours. They're an easy-going Montessori-based school for kids 3 months to six years old. I'm sure they would accept your daughter on a part-time basis (from 12-6). The only thing is that the two year olds take a nap at noon, so that may be a weird transition for your child and awkward for the class (i.e., you might want to get her there at 11 for play and lunch). If you're interested, visit soon--there's a waiting list! Jenne, Model School mom of a 2 year old
I just enrolled my 5 and a half month old son in the Model School. He's starting in October. I saw that the school had excellent reviews on the web site up to 2001. My visit seemed to confirm these reviews. Could I get some updated comments? Are people still happy with the infant room? I chose the Model School over some seemingly excellent smaller home settings that are closer to our house, and I'm wondering if I made the right choice. Hilari
We like the school for many reasons: 1) The teachers are warm and caring--it's great to see the babies being hugged and held, kissed and cuddled. 2) The teachers are trained in child development so they know what is age-appropriate behavior and play, and how to direct children's behavior in appropriate, positive ways (especially important as the kids move on to ''upper'' classes). 3) There are many interesting activities for the children--outside play time and music even for the babies, and art, music, play, reading, outside time for the older kids. 4) The staff is stable--the same head teachers have been there for years. 5) The director of the school, Dr. Mante, is a very hands-on administrator (in fact, you can usually find her holding a baby). She knows what her teachers are doing and what's going on with the kids and parents.
Feel free to email me if you'd like more info. Hope to see you in October in the baby room at the Model School! Eleanor and Andrew's mom
Re: 2-day-a-week play day for 2-year-old
For mom looking for a supervised playgroup situation:
A friend of mine takes her 1year old twins to The Model School. It's a
drop-in situation and I don't think there is a minimum stay. It sounds
like the same kids go for a few hours a day; some everyday and some just a
few days a week. It would definitely give your son a chance to interact
with other children while enjoying all the activities. They are located at
2330 Prince Street in Berkeley. Phone number is 549-2711.
My daughter is going to Kindergarten next year and has been at the Model School since she was a year old. I have been extremely happy with the how the teachers care about and nuture each child, and the educational materials seem so clever and developmentally appropriate. In response to the condition of the facilities, I have been told by another parent that a previous incarnation of the earthquake commitee commissioned a structural inspection of the building and found it to be sound. I think the outside play areas have all the basic things - monkey bars, good quality trikes, slide & play houses. The director is really wonderful and the teachers she has hired there (many of whom are long term) tend to ascribe to her philosophy. Overall, I've been very pleased with the school. Elizabeth
My daughter is 28 months old and has been attending the Model School since March. And we unequivocably love it. She was in another daycare in Alameda since she was four months old. We loved the infant care but were less than impressed with the toddler teachers so we moved her to the Model School. The director of the Model School, Dr. Mante, is a very interesting women. She has very strong interest and ideas about how children develop and learn and thrive. She uses this knowledge to run a daycare that is very child and developmentally oriented. She teaches a class for her caretakers on Wednesday evenings. She is active with the parents' group and provided a course on Positive Discipline for interested parents just last Monday evening. She is active in running the school and caring for the kids. Many of the kids will go running to her when they see her.
There is no yelling (by the teachers - the kids are allowed to have fun and yell), very little use of time outs but a lot of redirecting and hugging and negotiating. The care takers are wonderfully loving people. My daughter adores her care takers and in her words "Angela (one of her caretakers) is my best friend".
This is a very diverse school. It really seems to reflect "Berkeley". It's a real mix of socio-economic, cultural, lifestyle, etc. people. Definitely a lot more so that some of the other schools that I visited and definitely more so than the daycare we were at in Alameda.
The facilities aren't the best. The parents' group is working on it... it's an ongoing project. But the trade-off of great teachers versus a fancy facility is worth it to me. Frank, Eva & Teya
In response to the parent looking for a school for her 2-1/2 year old: I am still very happy with my daughter's enrollment in The Model School at the Berkeley/Oakland border of Telegraph. She just moved to the two-year-old class. It has a fairly stable student and very stable teacher population, active parents, and a fine director. It's a big center, which is not for everyone, but it means that the teachers rotate their vacaions, so the center doesn't close down for weeks at a time (except in late December). It's Montessori-style but not strictly Montessori. Not much Spanish in the two-year-old class, but more in the next year. Very multi-cultural/racial staff and students, very long hours, and fairly high rates :(. Nicole
The Model School is having an Open House on Monday, Nov. 2, from 7:00 to 8:15 pm, for parents and prospective parents. (This is one event where parents are asked to leave children at home, as all of the staff is working and so no childcare is provided.)
The school has about 75 kids, divided into five rooms (infant, toddler 1, toddler 2, pre-K and K). It was founded 10 years ago by Dr. Daisy Mante, and it's a "Montessori-style" school, but not at all strictly Montessori. Dr. Mante says they use much of the Montessori philosophy of a "prepared environment," within which kids can learn various skills at their own rate and according to their own interests, but the curriculum also includes art and play. The teachers are multicultural and several speak Spanish and other languages. They are very loving and patient with the children. There is an active parent group which organizes both fundraising activities and educational parent/teacher events. They have long hours and children can have varied schedules according to family needs. In addition to the tuition (which may be on the high end of the local average?), parents need to volunteer 12 hours a year (or 6 hours for single parents).
The school is housed in the back of the pink Lutheran church (but unaffiliated with it) onTelegraph and Prince Street, near Whole Foods on the Berkeley/Oakland border (the entrance is on Prince Street, below Telegraph). The inside is in the basement of the church, so it can be a bit dark in the winter time, but the space is large and the rooms are cheerful. There is a kitchen and a separate diaper/changing area.Outside, there is a large yard with spaces divided for the various age groups, and they spent a lot of time outside.
My 18-month-old daughter has been there for three months and so far, I am very satisfied. She moved from the infant room to toddler 1, and I have liked the care and the people in both rooms. Even at 1-1/2 years old, the children are being read to, painting and scribbling, singng and dancing, playing with play-do, etc. Many of the kids who start at the school stay all five years, so there is a sense of community as the kids move on through the classrooms.
For more information, please call the school at 549-2711. Nicole
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