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New House Day School (Berkeley, CA)

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Berkeley Parents Network > Reviews > Preschools & Daycare > New House Day School



June 2013

At New House Day School, my daughter has gotten so many of the advantages of a preschool, but with the intimacy of a small daycare. They offer science and library field trips, swimming and music lessons, and do projects in cooking, gardening, etc. The staff is warm, loving, and thoughtful. My daughter has a special diet and they've been very conscientious about it. The children play in a sunny, open addition in the back, with three classrooms, a grassy outdoor area, a clubhouse, a trike area, sandbox, and swing set. The staff is made up of a stable, professional group of adults who are all experienced teachers and moms. We wanted a bilingual school, and the teachers at New House are all bilingual in either Spanish or French, with a diverse group of teachers and kids. My daughter is getting a wonderful play-based education.

They also have pot luck parties at least quarterly for all of the families. I love this! Families love the school so much that they come to the parties with kids who have already graduated.

When I have needed extended care, they've been incredibly flexible and affordable. They have openings for both boys and girls this summer and fall. Any family would be lucky to join our school community!


May 2012

As a parent of two boys, age 4 1/2, and 2 1/2, my husband and I would like to recommend the New House Day School in Berkeley. My older son has been at the preschool for two years now and my younger son started last September 2011. It has been a truly wonderful place for both of our boys. The staff is superb;very experienced and very caring. We really feel as though our children are LOVED! Mabel, who is in charge has also cultivated a lovely parent/family community within the preschool. There are regular potluck get togethers where all families are invited and they are fun for all. Our older son will be leaving in September for kindergarten and although he is sad he is leaving, Mabel and the rest of the staff could not have prepared him better. It has been the perfect balance of play, learning, and social development. We are looking forward to our younger son flourishing at the New House Day School for several more years to come. athina


March 2012

Do you have a daughter who needs to start preschool in Fall 2012? There is a rare opening at The New House Day School! They are looking for girls 3-4 years old to attend this ''magical place'' as many of us parents of current and past students call this preschool.

It is a play-based preschool with warm, nurturing environment. The teachers have all been there for many years and have incredible connection with the kids. This is my daughter's third year and the teachers have been great at providing age-appropriate activities so that every year she has continued to learn and be challenged while having loads of fun.

The school also hosts several potlucks a year so that parents get to know each other and build a strong community where we share information and assist each other in times of need.

If you're interested, please contact the Director, Mabel Perez at 510-524-3465. The hours are 8:30 to 3:30 and you can choose a 3,4 or 5 day program. You can also contact me if you would like more information. K


March 2012

My son is in his third year at NHDS. We love it. The director is amazing and the staff are all loving and dedicated. There is a great play space. In the summer the kids go to King Pool for swim lessons. There are also dance and music classes in the school. There are two openings for GIRLS, ages 2-4, starting in the summer or fall. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or for more information. Or call the school at 510-524-3465.
Maggie


Nov 2011

On the fall of 2011, New House Day School is going to have openings for preschool kids. Mabel Perez, the Director of the School is a great teacher and person that runs and excellent play based program for young kids.

My son, now in Kinder, learned how to be a good human being and take care of the others kids around them because he had excellent nurturing teachers.

The program include lots of art, movement, music, swimming on summers, etc. Plus the parent's community are great, we did really good friends at Mabel's School. Laura


Nov 2011

Our daughter has attended the New House Day School (NHDS) for three years and we've been really impressed with how warm, nurturing and creative the environment is. Class sizes are intimate and the staff has remained largely unchanged during the entire time she'd been a student there.

They also have a regular cast of great ''guest stars'' outside the internal staff who come in regularly and play music, run dance classes etc. It's an environment that fosters creativity, encourages imaginary play and the arts, yet still provides suitable structure that we feel is equally important.

We often find our daughter singing in Spanish at home, which is important to us as our mixed heritage is part Latino. The students have been consistently diverse as well, which we also value. There's a really warm, family vibe among staff, parents and children alike.

Since they haven't had a lot of student attrition, there's going to be many openings shortly across ages 2 to 5 since a whole gang of kids are about to ''graduate'' next year. We will truly look back fondly on our daughter's time there and recommend this special place very highly to any parents looking for a loving, safe sanctuary like the NHDS. Mabel Perez is the Director (510) 524-3465. It's located in North Berkeley near the corner of Hopkins & The Alameda. The Z's


Oct 2011

My daughter's preschool will have openings in Fall 2012 for boys and girls 2-4 years old. If you're looking for a warm, nurturing, play-based, shorter day (8:30 - 3:30) preschool, make sure to check out the New House Day School. It's a magical place where the kids thrive because they are happy, parents are happy because the kids are happy, and the teachers are all wonderful, experienced people who have been teaching at this school for years.

The school has music and dance programs, walking trips around the neighborhood, LHS fieldtrips for 3+ year olds in the Spring, and frequent potlucks so the parents can get to know each other. The facility is bright and sunny and always immaculately clean. The teachers all get to know your child well and will discuss any issues immediately with the parent. Oh, and did I mention that all the teachers are bilingual in either Spanish or French so the kids get exposed to another language?

If you're interested, contact the director, Mabel Perez, at 510-524-3465. Or if you'd like a parent's opinion, email me and I'll be happy to talk more about the school. Kazumi zumi


Sept 2010

The New House Day School located on Hopkins near The Alameda has two openings for boys between 2.5 and 3.5. I have been a parent at this school for four years and enthusiastically endorse it as a first preschool experiences. The teachers are extremely tuned in to each child's preferences and mood. The kids play, have circle time, do art, learn social studies and science at an age appropriate level, and play outside. The day goes from 8.30 to 3.30 and schedules can be 3 days, 4 days or 5 days.
Contact: Mabel Perez, 510-524-3465
License: has one, but i don't know it


Sept 2010

Our daughter just started her second year at ''Mabel's school'' and has been extremely happy there. It is a very warm, nurturing, play-based preschool where the teachers are very engaged with every child. All the teachers are bilingual (Spanish or French) and there is also music and dance programs. Please read the reviews in the archive because they are all still true! School is open from 8:30 to 3:30 and you can choose a 3, 4 or 5 day schedule. I believe there are currently openings for two 2.5 to 3.5 year old boys. Feel free to contact the Director, Mabel Perez directly for more information. Her number is 510-524-3465. Happy Parent


Sept 2010

The fabulous Mabel Perez, director of New House Day School in N.Berkeley, has just informed me that there is an unexpected and rare opening for this fall. My advice is run, don't walk, to this wonderful preschool! All of our children have spent ages 2-4 at NHDS and have all thrived and been exceptionally well-prepared for kindergarten, both socially and academically; and better yet, the older ones still speak of their adventures and time there with great fondness. A truly formative experience for preschoolers - tons of art and music, loving engaged teachers, free play and structured time both, bilingual, great play yard with a vegetable garden and fruit trees. In-home, 12 kids, 3 teachers. Located across from N. Berkeley library. Ages 2-4. Opening for a boy. Call Mabel at (510)524-3465 NHDS momma


July 2009

Re: Pre-K programs with shorter day
I can highly recommend New House Day School, on the corner of Hopkins and Alameda in N.Berkeley as a fabulous preschool with a shorter day and 3 to 5 day a week options, M-F from 8:30 to 3:30. We currently have our 3.5 year old there. She loves it and is excited to go to ''school'' where they strike a lovely balance between free play, structured play, and learning. My now 7 year old just the other day said that his time at New House was ''the best time of his life so far''. There is a sun- filled yard with swings and playhouses and a veggie garden and apple tree, loads of art projects inside, a whole two rooms devoted to play and dress-up, and teachers who are loving and fun. Dance and music classes weekly, and walks to library for story time there. My older kids were extremely well prepared for Kindergarten, both academically and socially. The director is Mabel Perez, 524-3465. Rebecca


March 2009

Our son has attended New House Day School on Hopkins (across from the North Berkeley branch library) for two years. We highly recommend it. It is a wonderful, loving environment for todders and preschoolers. The small total number of children attending each day guarantees close interactions between a multi-age grouping of children, close attention and guidance from the director and teachers, and ample opportunities for extended play and exploration for the children. There are two bright and colorful indoor spaces, and a sizable outside area with swings, sandbox, lawn, lots of balls, a small playhouse, and three-wheeled scooters. The director and teachers are highly experienced early childhood educators, and they offer a supportive learning environment with developmentally appropriate cooking, art, play, language (English and Spanish), literacy, and science activities. They are excellent with parents, always having the time to talk about the children's day, aspects of child development and parenting, and the school's recent events and activities.. Contact: Mabel, 510-524-3465


March 2009

Our son's preschool has openings for the next school year (Sept 09). This is our second year and we've been always very happy with the program, teachers and the place itself. Mabel hires professional music and dance teachers, who come once a week, the kids go to the NB Library for Story Time, she organizes swimming classes in the summer and Lawrence Hall of Science classes in the spring. The school is added to the rear of the directors' home and is separate from it. It's clean, bright, well organized, there are two large spaces for kids to play in and a nice yard equipped with a play house, swings, etc. There are 2-3 teachers any given day with up to 12 children aging 2-4.

Two years ago, when my son was just 2 I have looked at many places and this one I have immediately felt comfortable with. The atmosphere is warm, the teachers gentle with kids, they give helpful advices if you have behavioral questions(Mabel and couple more techers have been teaching for 25 years).

I recommed it very highly. Please call the school directly. Hours of operation: 8:30-3:30 Contact: Mabel, 510-524-3465


March 2004

I've read the many positive reviews of New House Day School in the archives, and we are thinking about it for the fall when my daughter will be 2.4 years. I'd love to talk to the parent of a current (or recently graduated) New House child about your experiences there. Anyone willing to take a few minutes would be most appreciated. Thanks! Kathleen


My son, now 3yr 2mo, has been at the New House Dayschool since he was 21 months old and I can highly recommend it. The owner and director, Mabel, and the two other teachers, Chantal and Lulu, are all wonderful teachers and mediators of young folks. While they are particularly good at making first-time preschoolers feel comfortable away from their parents, they also do a marvelous job of catering to the needs of the older kids with more challenging experiences such as field trips, a series of classes at the Lawrence Hall of Science, weekly trips to the North Branch Library, music, dance and swim classes. The curriculum is completely age-appropriate, in my opinion -- around 75% free play, 25% structured time (meals, circle time). I'm constantly and pleasantly surprised by what my son has learned through play and song -- bits of geography, reading, writing, languages, social traditions, etc.. Not to mention interaction skills. I also appreciate that Mabel hosts potlucks every few months so that you have the opportunity to get to know the other families. There is much more for me to rave about, but I'd better stop there. You may contact me if you want more details. Alison
February 2004

My family is moving to Berkeley next month and we are considering sending our 3 year old to New House Day School. I read the wonderful reviews of it from last year. Does anyone have any info/advice/experiences they could share with us on the school? We are looking for a small community oriented place for our child...Thanks. star


I can't say enough good things about New House Day School! My son went there for about a year...we only changed to Centro VIDA because he'd been on the waitlist there forever and we wanted a bilingual school. My son still talked about Mabel and New House for many months after changing to the new school. It's a small school with a wonderful family feel. I loved the friendly, informality of the school -- Mabel could recount from memory everything my son did and said during the day. She and Chantal were genuinely warm and caring with my son and they always planned interesting projects and field trips. I'd be glad to tell you more if you wanted to email me. Tana
My two-and-a-half-year-old daughter just started at the New House Day School last month, and while our experience is therefore obviously limited, I've been quite impressed so far. I was fully convinced my daughter, who does not especially enjoy being around (a) strangers or (b) other children, would last about 15 minutes in whatever preschool we chose, but Mabel and Chantal (and, presumably, Lulu, the third teacher who I haven't actually had much contact with) have been fantastic at engaging her in activities while also respecting her desire NOT to participate, or to participate in a limited way that feels safer for her, when she's feeling anxious. I can see that their gentle approach to integrating her there is making her more and more comfortable each day. The last time I went to pick her up -- only her 4th or 5th day at school -- there was no request that we leave, and in fact it was all I could do to entice her to get into the car! The facilities are beautiful -- light and airy, with wonderful toys and art supplies -- and the yard is full of fun toys, play-houses, a trampoline, etc. We are very happy with our decision. (And the other kids seem nice, too!) Anonymous
Oct. 2003

The New House Day School has an opening for a girl, age 3 to 3+, and if you have never heard of or visited this in- home center you are in for a treat. Our older child spent 2 years there, still talks about it, and is jealous of his 3 year old brother who is currently there and who, the other morning, was literally begging me to hurry up so we could go to his school. It is that kind of place. Mabel strikes a perfect balance of free-play and some structure (regular singing circle and snack time) with the 8-12 kids she and her loving assistants, Chantal and Lu Lu, care for. She has converted the entire back of her sun-filled home and backyard into a kid heaven - endless trains, trucks and sandboxes, dress-up corners overflowing with costumes, forts, pillows to flop on, books and blocks, all impressively organized and clean. Mabel and her school are a treasure. An opening is hard to come by. Call her for more information and further references. Contact: Mabel Perez, 524-3465


February 2003

Re: Intimate, warm preschool with fewer than 20 kids
The preschool where our daughter goes, The New House Day School, is just as you describe -- very warm, friendly, great kids and loving staff. It is operated from a home, though this past year a remodel has given the school its own space, with three playrooms and a large play yard (complete with swings, sandbox, a grassy area, a vegetable garden box, and a large two-story play house). We have about 12 kids and three teachers (two have run the school together for many years). We take field trips to the Little Farm, classes at the Lawrence Hall of Science, weekly trips to the North Berkeley library across the street, weekly dance class, and for the older ones, summer swimming classes at the King pool. The kids do lots of arts and crafts, circle time, puzzles, games and free play. It's a very happy place! And the school particularly needs 3 and 4-year-old girls for this coming year for an ideal balance. Contact Mabel Perez at 524-3465. Kate


Sept.2002

Re: "Traditional" school 2-3 mornings a week
I think our preschool, the New House Day School in North Berkeley, would be worth checking out. This school is a traditional model, small home-based, with around 12-14 children. Some attend part-time, others full-time, in all configurations. Part-time has its own tuition. The program includes lots of art, lots of pre-academic skills building, field trips to the Little Farm and such, walks around the neighborhood, weekly trips to the library (across the street). They take the older kids to weekly workshops at the Lawrence Hall of Science in the spring (you have to be three for that, I think; there are always several who don't go, and one teacher stays with them and does other activities). They grow things in the garden and harvest the vegetables, and have a large play yard with different activity areas. A dance teacher comes once a week. The teachers speak Spanish and French, along with English. The two main teachers have run the school as a team for many years. Of course, what really counts is the happiness of the kids, and they seem very happy indeed there, secure and stimulated. My kids love their teachers, the school, and their schoolmates, and are always excited to go there (even my son, who is now in kindergarten, but loves to visit). For more information, call Mabel Lopez at 524-3465. Kate


Feb. 2002

We are considering sending our daughter to the New House Dayschool on Hopkins Street, run by Mabel Perez. We couldn't find any information on the UCB website about this particular school. We'd appreciate hearing any recent experiences, positive or negative. We prefer a preschool setting where most children are not attending full-time so that we can develop friendships with other families who have one stay-at-home parent. Because Mabel does offer full-time car, this could be an issue at New House--so we'd appreciate hearing from part-timers especially. Do families get to know each other? Are part-time children upset when their friends stay and they have to go home?


Regarding the parent who was considering sending their child to Mabel Perez's New House Preschool on Hopkins - our response is an unequivocal YES! Our daughter Sylvie attended Mabel's (pronounced mah-belle) pre-school for 2 delightful years. It was amazing what an enriching program she manages to run, and we had a very difficult time when it was time to leave. We especially appreciated the afternoon spanish and sign language classes, and the Hall of Science workshops. The kids also go to the North Branch library weekly for story hour and the older kids attend swim classes for 6 weeks at King Pool in the summer. The head morning teacher, Chantal, is French and there are many languages accomodated. Mabel is determined that the families get together and she hosts many hilarious potlucks. Her warm and engaging personally, as well as that of the other teachers, is a big part of what makes her school such a hit. You and your child will both be lucky if you choose The New House Preschool. Kristin
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