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We are relocating to Berkeley (from out of state) in August and I am looking
for a PT (2/3 days a week) half day preschool program for our daughter (she'll
be 2.5 yrs in August). We would prefer a Reggio Emilia or similar type
approach, a school not home-based setting, a nice outdoor area, experienced and
caring teachers, and something not too far from our older daughter's school in
Central Berkeley. I appreciate your recommendations! Thanks!
It sounds like the Gay Austin School
might fit well what you're looking for.
It's a half-day preschool with separate classes for 2, 3, and 4-year old
children. They may have space available in their 2's class for the fall. The
teachers are very experienced and amazingly fluent at guiding the children
through all kinds of creative and fun learning. My daughter is finishing up her
third year at the school, and she's had a wonderful experience. We will miss the
school very much!
You can learn more about the school at gayaustinschool.com.
Best of luck!
Happy Gay Austin Parent
Hi, I would recommend you look into
Frog Hollow Nursery School in North Berkeley.
It is a small school with lots of attention from loving, experienced teachers. My
son learned a lot, including about gardening! Email Ellen at firstname.lastname@example.org
I've sent 2 kids to half-day 2 year old programs 2-3 days per week in Berkeley:
The JCC in North Berkeley about 5 years ago and Wee Two Toddler House
You can find reviews of both on BPN and call ahead to see if there is still room
for the fall and to schedule a visit. The JCC is a larger school and enrolling is
a nice way to meet lots of other local families (there are plenty of non-Jewish
and/or non-religious families). Wee Two is a lovely lady running a very small
and sweet two-year-old program out of her home.
Welcome to Berkeley and good luck!
You should take a look at Griffin Nursery School in Berkeley (Elmwood
neighborhood).http://www.griffinnurseryschool.org. They offer a 3-morning per
week enrollment (8:30am-12pm). Our daughter is finishing her first year there and
we love it. We were also looking for Reggio Emilia, and though they don't
specifically state this philosophy in their literature, they do mirror the basic
tenants of the philosophy ie encouraging a child's specific interests. It is a
very play-based school with an emphasis on social development/relationship
building, and the children are free to play inside or venture out to the
beautiful back yard/patio/play area whenever they please. The teachers are all
wonderful, and I know there are a couple openings for this fall.
Welcome to Berkeley! I wanted to recommend my son's preschool -
It's Waldorf based and your daughter would be in the Rosebud classroom. That's
where my son is now. Vasilica (the lead teacher) is absolutely amazing! My son
is really shy and Vasilica was so warm, gentle, and caring with him. He has
absolutely thrived in the setting and loves going to school now. The school has
a beautiful yard and garden. The children who attend there are so sweet and
lovely. The community is very supportive. I can't say enough good things about
the school. I believe there's only a couple spots left which will probably fill
up quickly if you are interested for the fall. Here's the schools website so you
can learn more. http://berkeleyrose.org/
We like our preschool, but my 3-year-old daughter is the only kid I'm
aware of there who is part-time (she goes 2 days, everyone else goes
5 days.) It appears that because the other kids are together more,
they have bonded quite a bit, and my daughter has not bonded so much
with them. I love having my daughter home with me part-time as we do
lots of activities and see her other friends then, so I don't want to
increase her days at school. I am thinking that perhaps there may be
another preschool in or near Berkeley where most of the kids are in
her position of going part-time, so she's not the only one with less
group interaction and therefore not so left out. Anyone have any
suggestions? Many thanks.
As a teacher I do see that when kids come to school less often
than their peers that it can take longer for them to develop the
close connections that develop during shared play, day after day.
But it's lovely that you're spending time with your daughter at
home and in other enriching activities. I wouldn't give that up
if you don't have to!
There are definitely good part-time preschools out there. Co-ops
often have part-time programs. My daughter went to a wonderful
co-op in Berkeley, Dandelion Nursery School. The school where I
teach, The Lake School in Oakland, is not a co-op but has 2 day,
3 day, 4 day, and 5 day programs (the 2 day is for the very
youngest kids). Both Dandelion and Lake School are half day,
developmental, play-based programs with caring, well-educated
teachers (if I do say so myself :-). I hope you find something
Try the Mulberry School. Both my kids went there, though it's
been a few years since they graduated. A wonderful place, with
lots of part time students, and back then at least the school day
was only 9-2, probably still is.
We go to Albany Preschool and the vast majority of the kids are
part time. There are a few that go all day every day, but most
kids go 3 mornings or afternoons a week. It's a cooperative, so
you really get to know other kids and families. It's a great
happy Albany Preschool family
We send my son to Gay Austin Preschool, located near Monterey
Market, and the majority of the kids attend less than 5 days per
week. The program is wonderful, but short (9-12 for 3yos) which
sounds like a plus for you. Probably full for the current year,
but call soon about getting info on the 4yo program for next
Gay Austin Mom
Do you know of a preschool or home-based childcare program
that would take 2.5 year old (31 months) non-potty trained
twins on Tuesday and Thursday mornings? I would like my
twins to start getting exposed to group care before they
start preschool at age 3. We are not flexible on the days -
only Tues and Thurs mornings. We live in lower Rockridge and
would like the school/home to be in Oakland or Berkeley. We
are looking for caregivers who speak English or Spanish. Thanks!
I had the same question when my twins were that age. I found
a great home based daycare program that was a little as 2
days a week and as much as four. It's White Rabbit in
Glenview. Barbara Ferguson is director/teacher and since
it's small, the kids get individual attention. It was my
girls first experience being away from me or with any
structure and it was a great way to prepare for preschool.
My only wish was that I started it earlier. No need to be
potty trained, but she will help with that if need be. Not
sure if they have room, but worth a call to check it out.
Our son attended Inch By Inch Preschool in Temescal. It's
small, offers a part time schedule, and accepts children who
are not potty trained. We had a wonderful experience there.
My housemate had her boy part time at My First Steps home
daycare on Alcatraz Ave. near Sacramento in Oakland. She
chose it for the good reviews on BPN. She has openings now
and is very flexible with times/days. She only $10/hr for
part time care. It's pretty big for a home daycare with
several different rooms and a fun outdoor play area.
Happy Lion School and Daycare Center in San Pablo offers
flexible scheduling options (2 days to 5 days, part-time or
full-time). It's a wonderful preschool and they moved to
their new location in Fall, 2009. The Director is Wednesdey
Chavis and she has a Masters in Education plus over 24
years of experience educating children. The teachers are
bilingual (English, Spanish).
Call Wednesday at 510-233-3330 for more information or to
schedule a tour.
My daughter and son-in-law plan a move to Oakland this summer,
and they will be needing a preschool for their daughter who will
turn 4 in May. My son-in-law is a stay-at-home dad (and a
fabulous one!), so they do not need an extended day. My
granddaughter is currently enjoying a two day a week
mornings-only program. Anyone know of any schools with openings
for a 4 year old next fall - preferably mornings only, 3 days a
week? Charlotte gets lots of academic attention at home -- best
would be a school that focuses on social and emotional
development. Also, a good art program would be a bonus, but I
know that this late, for the last year of preschool before
kindergarten, finding a spot is going to be hard. Nice kid (if I
do say so myself) and great dad. They also have a 2 year old boy,
who presumably would follow if the family likes the school. Co-op ok.
For Nana's granddaughter I highly recommend
Narnia Preschool in
the Oakland hills (on Tompkins). Zeze Cole is the director of
this fantastic school. Our now first grade son attended and our
youngest daughter is about to ''graduate'' to Kindergarten. The day
she leaves will be heartbreaking; she's already talking about
going back to visit every day and bringing one of her teachers
with her. Narnia offers full-day or part-time placement. It's
small and diverse with the most loving teachers we could hope
for. The kids are engaged in art, music, capoeira, learning
letters, numbers, cooking and a million other projects piquing
their curiosity. My car is full of Bea's artwork, as she brings
piles home, and daily she regales us with interesting facts about
animals, Portuguese language or books they have read. At first my
daughter had separation anxiety, but Zeze patiently helped her
through the transition. Now Bea cries when she DOESN'T have
school. I see that as a terrific sign. You should check it out.
We've decided that our 2 1/2 year old could benefit from being in
either preschool or a toddler program a few mornings a week (we
prefer two days). We would like to start visiting schools as
soon as possible.
I realize that many places have extensive waiting lists, but we
are looking for availability soon, so if your child's school has
spaces left, please let me know!
We are looking for something a few days a week, either co op or
not. Cost is of importance. While her Grandparents will help us
with the cost, we would like to find something for less than $350
per month if possible.
Ideally, we would like to have her in preschool 2-3 days per week
for about 4 hrs per day. A play based school with a good
teacher/child ratio and a large outdoor area is preferred. We
feel that Montessori may not be right for our child, but we are
open to hear about yours if you are happy with your child's
The school could be in Pinole, Richmond, Albany, El Cerrito or in
Any advice or referrals are appreciated!
Skytown Preschool (in Kensington) has a toddler program and a
Mom of Preschooler
Skytown preschool in Kensington is a wonderful play based co-op
preschool that my daughter attends. We have been very happy
with the teachers and cirrculum of the school. The teachers are
very kid-oriented in the sense that they choose themes every
month that really coincides with the children's interest. The
teacher to student ratio is 3:1 for toddlers (18mo-2.9yrs) and
4:1 for preschoolers (up to age 5). The preschool has a nice
well sized sunny outdoor space with a beautiful garden that the
kids participate in as well as all the standard play structure,
tricycles, etc. The tuition is really quite reasonable and it
is one of the reasons why we joined the school. We currently
pay less than $300 a month for our daughter to attend three
days a week. The community at skytown has been such a great
experience so far. As new skytown members last year, the
community was very welcoming towards us. The teachers interact
in a very genuine and caring manner with both the children and
the parents. I know that they have openings right now. You can
contact them at email@example.com and/or arrange a tour of the
preschool. Feel free to contact me with any questions!
happy skytown parent
I HIGHLY recommend Mama Bear's Playcare
in Pinole. It is in
Carol Thompson's home. She is amazing. Our daughter just
finished two years at Carol's and I could not have asked for a
more wonderful place for her first day care experience. Carol
is trained in both Waldorf and Montessori teaching. She serves
all organic food. She has a great back yard area and the kids
go on walks most days. She's in Pinole, on Emma DriveVjust up
the hill off of Pinole Valley Road. I think she may have some
openings. The program is from 8:45-1:15 and your child can go
as many days as you want. It might be a little more expensive
than some of the preschool's, but you definitely get what you
pay for. The care the children get at Mama Bear's is
unmatched, in my opinion. Carol is very knowledgeable on child
development and helped us as parents too. Canmt say enough
great things about her! Her number is 741-8336.
I live in the Laurel District of Oakland, and am interested in
finding preschools relatively close to us (Say, from mid-San
Leandro to Grand Lake to Montclair area) that will take children
for 2 whole days a week. Most of the ones I've found so far have
a 3 day minimum, and right now that costs more than I like and is
more personal time than I need.
Beth Sholom (northern San Leandro)
2 days a week is currently $433/month
The Snuggery may be the preschool that you are looking for. It
is a great school and they offer flexible schedules. It may
take awhile to get the 2 days that you would like however. You
may have to enroll in the available days to start. This will
give you first priority when openings do become availble on
your preferred days.
Good Luck with your preschool hunt!
We recently posted looking for preschool options for the fall,
for our two girls, aged 2 and 4. (We're from Cambridge, MA but
are moving to Berkeley this summer.) Huge thanks to everyone
who wrote in with recs for North Berkeley & Albany--now we're
hoping for a few recs for the Rockridge area. We're looking for
something part time (3-4 mornings a week); prefer something
small, cozy, diverse, & play-based; some sort of ''enrichment''
offering would be a nice bonus (ie, music, yoga, dance, 2nd
language, etc); and ideally some place that would take both
girls. I know it's a tall order, and we're late to the game,
but if anyone has any leads or suggestions (even if they don't
fit all of the above), they would be very much appreciated.
I believe that Duck's Nest in Piedmont fits your criterias -
www.ducksnest.org They have yoga, sign language etc. Try
them. Very close to Rockridge.
I am looking for recommendations for a small preschool, ie. less
than 15 children, that takes part time families, and is located
around the Berkeley area. I've checked the website but just
wondering if anyone has any new recommendations.
Thanks in advance.
I know of two excellent preschools who accept part-timers and
have a max. of 15 kids. Both are located in or near El Cerrito so
I'm not sure if these would work for you. Sadly, most of the
smaller schools tend to be harder to get into as they have fewer
spots and often younger siblings of the current students get
priority. I would encourage you to call anyway because things can
Little Red Schoolhouse Richmond
Pride and Joy Preschool El Cerrito
3 days a week play-based preschool
I'm looking for a play based preschool and/or co-op where my
high energy son could attend only 3 days a week(as opposed to
5). Any recommendations would be appreciated.
Thanks in advance.
Child Education Center (CEC)
Children's Community Center (CCC)
Little Village Preschool
Skytown Coop Preschool (2 responses)
2 days a week in El Cerrito or Richmond
I am looking to enroll my 3 year old daughter in preschool two
days (or perhaps a few 1/2 days) a week.
(I am disabled and cannot afford anymore much for tuition)
The preschools I've called so far do not favor part-timers and I
do not wish to participate in a co-op.I would love for her to
have the social experience of playing with kids here own age.
If anyone can recommend a loving preschool in the Richmond/El
Cerrito area, I would be most greatful.
Claremont Day Nursery Kensington
Contra Costa Comunity College Preschool
Piccoli School El Cerrito
Pride and Joy Preschool El Cerrito
I have started looking for a preschool for my daughter to attend
next fall and am having a tough time. I've read through the
archives and the NPN Preschool Directory, but found relatively
very few true part-time programs -- what I want is one where the
children attend just two (or maybe three) mornings a week, not
one where I simply have the option of picking her up earlier in
I know that many co-ops have a part-time or more tradiational
format. I would prefer to find a school that is not a co-op,
though I realize I may end up compromising on that, especially
if it means I get everything else on my wish list.
Also, I realize there is a page on the website that lists part-
time preschools, but the ones listed there do not work for us
for various reasons - some, on closer inspection, are more like
day care (I think in those cases the schools have changed since
the original post a couple of years ago); others require the
child to be 2.9 on entry (my daughter will be 2 1/2 as of
9/1/2003); others are Jewish schools (our family is not); etc.
So, I'm looking for some new recommendations for part-time
preschools (a.k.a. ''traditional'' nursery schools). Ideally, I
am looking for a school that:
* is located in Oakland or Berkeley
* includes some ''academics,'' for lack of a better word
exposure to letters and numbers, learning about... who knows
maybe how plants grow, or something. At any rate, not just
* has a nice outdoor play area (well, nice indoor one too :)
* has a low teacher turnover
* takes field trips (though I realize this may not be feasible
anymore with the new car seat laws)
* and, lastly, in the absolutely ideal world -- is a school
that includes French as part of the program (I know I won't get
that lucky, but it never hurts to ask...!)
Thanks so much to all for your help.
City Of Concord Leisure Services Preschool
Claremont Day Nursery
Duck's Nest (2)
New House Dayschool
3 days a week for infant
We will be looking for daycare for our (to be born) infant son in late
February. He will be about 4 months old. We will be needing 3 days a week
of care. We are certainly planning to explore nanny shares, but we are also
wondering if anyone knows of home/family or center daycares that will a)
take infants this young and b) accomodate a 3-day week schedule. We live in
Oakland but work in Berkeley, so we are open to a variety of locales.
Many, many thanks!
Cornerstone Children's Center (2)
2-day-a-week play day for 2-year-old
I'm currently a stay-at-home mom with a 2 year old
son. I've noticed that he has begun craving more
social interaction with kids around his age, but don't
want to put him in a part-time daycare situation yet
(the typical minimum hours/commitment is more than I
need at the moment). What I would love to find is a
paid/supervised "playgroup" situation where I could
drop him off a couple of times a week for 2-3 hours at
a time. Ideally, others would be doing the same and
my son would have the opportunity to see the same kids
on a regular basis. Does anything like this exist,
and if so, can anyone recommend one?
The Model School
Part-time program, but not a co-op
After conducting extensive research of 15+ nursery/preschools in the
Oakland/Montclair/Piedmont area, I am in somewhat of a quandary. It
seems that nearly every school I have investigated is a "full-time"
program, bearing closer resemblance to day-care than to the type of 2 or
3 mornings a week program I have in mind. A few of the co-ops
(Montclair Community and Peter Pan) seem to have more flexibility in
this regard, but for me the time commitment with a co-op is not
feasible. Does anyone know of a good "part-time" (mornings only, several
days a week) program with an emphasis on socialization. Many thanks,
There are a number of pre-schools that meet your description: Linda
Beech and Highlands in Piedmont,
Duck's Nest in Oakland on Peidmont
Avenue and I believe Hearts Leap
on College in Berkeley also offers this
kind of program. Unless there has been a very recent change in the
programs all of these are exactly what you are describing.
Well, there's The Lake School, ,
has a part
time program, Chatham used to (Probably still does), most of the
Oakland city rec centers have very part time programs.
a part time program, Temple Beth Abraham has a part time program, I
think and I think Temple Sinai
also has "until 3" program.
you might be interested in a new licensed daycare in Montclair
for children 2 to 5 years old: Cottage Playhouse.
(see link for info)
Did you check out the Griffin Nursery School, 2410 Prince Street,
Berkeley, 845-2025? I haven't been there, but I understand it's a
morning program with a good reputation
Try Skyline Preschool
at 12540 Skyline Blvd in Oakland, (510) 530-0884.
My daughter goes full-time and loves it, and I believe there are a number of
kids that part-time.
We love Monteverde School on College Ave.
As I recall from our experience many years ago, two very good preschools that
offered part time programs were: Berkeley Hills Nursery School, and Step One
(also north Berkeley area). They are outside the Oakland /Piedmont area you
mentioned, but might be worth a look.
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