Piccoli School (El Cerrito, CA)
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Piccoli School (El Cerrito, CA)
- Owner: Laura Castell-Kemp
- Phone: (510) 234-3230
- Neighborhood: near Potrero
- Zip: 94530
- License #: 070212573
- Capacity: 30
Re: Recently moved and no space in preschool!
Hi! Piccoli preschool in El Cerrito is a wonderful school and daycare center.
It's been on business for 25+ years with competent and caring teachers. It's play
based with all day care. I believe it has a few openings. Very affordable and
fun. Ginger music on Fridays, cooking on Thursdays and pre-k program from 9am-1pm
daily. My kids went there for a few years before transitioning to Kindergarten,
made friends for life and were very prepared academically and socially to the
''big kid school'' . Piccoli (510) 234-3230
Happy Piccoli Parent
Re: smallish preschool in El Cerrito
Please call Laurie at Piccoli in El Cerrito! - I can't praise Laurie, or her
caring staff enough. Though there aren't many recent reviews on BPN, the reviews
and recommendations you'll find speak very highly of the wonderful program they
have and I can only echo the sentiment. My son spent 2.5 happy years at Piccoli,
and loved every minute of it - he wanted to know why he couldn't be there on
weekends too! My daughter is currently there and is having the same experience. I
hope you'll call and love it too!(510) 234-3230
So happy at Piccoli
I am considering enrolling my 2 yo into Piccoli this fall,
but have a few concerns and would love to get feedback
(positive and negative) from others who had (or have) their
2 yo there:
Naptime: Naptime or "rest" period is scheduled from 2-3.
This seems really late (and short) to me, especially for a
2 yo. What was your experience with this? Was your child
overly tired when they came home?
Toilet training: I read a few negative experiences related
to this in the archives. Would love to hear more feedback
from others about their experiences at Piccoli with potty
training. Do they need to be out of diapers by 3, and if
not, then what??
Feedback on these and anything else, particularly from
those with younger ones, would be much appreciated!
I'm sure you have read many great reviews of Piccoli on
Berkeley Parents Network, and I can only echo those posts.
As far as your concerns go, I can say that the children at
Piccoli can nap for as long as they like. The 2-3pm naptime
is just a general schedule, kids who are extra tired often
sleep until 4 or sometimes 4:30 (usually the younger ones),
the kids who do not seem to be falling asleep (usually the
older kids) start to get up around 3.
As for the toilet training, the school does generally want
the children to be toilet trained by age 3, which is
perfectly reasonable, and in my opinion, it really is in the
child's best interest, they feel like a ''big boy/girl'' and
the growth in all areas really is noticeable. As you may
have found already, many schools have toilet training policies.
The environment at Piccoli is warm and caring and if you
havent already seen, the children are very happy =)
Re: Preschool near El Cerrito/Richmond
I would strongly suggest giving Piccoli Preschool a call
for a visit. They have had many positive reviews on Berkeley
Parents Network..Piccoli is a fantastic play-based school,
that does include structured activities throughout the day-
circle time, art, science and cooking projects based on the
alphabet letter of the week. They promote strong social
skills and kindergarten readiness. The teachers there are
great- very warm and caring. Piccoli is open from 8am- 5pm.
and located in El Cerrito on Richmond St. The phone number
is 510-234-3230 and the director's name is Laurie.
Re: Affordable preschool for 2.9 year old?
Although not in Berkeley or Albany, Piccoli Preschool, very close by in El
Cerrito, on Everett St., is a fabulous preschool that I highly recommend. They
have full time and part time hours available between 8 am and 5 pm. They are a
play based program that includes a curriculum and routine focusing on letters,
numbers, science units, music, cooking projects and learning through play. All
of the children that I have seen come from this school are very ready for
kindergarten and very well adjusted socially. The teachers are great-very
energetic and friendly. I know they have space available and I would call to set
up a visit. Their number is 510-234-3230. Director's name is Laurie.
I'd like to add another voice to those who have been very happy
with their experience at Piccoli School. My son (almost 3 1/2)
has been attending for about ten months now, and absolutely
loves it there.
First, the teachers are truly wonderful. My son is very fond
of all of them, the head teacher Bindy in particular. When I
drop him off, he always gets an enthusiastic greeting and
usually an invitation to join in or start an activity. When
picking him up, I have come upon - at one time or another - all
of the teachers answering his myriad questions with fondness
and patience (he asks a lot of questions!) In my experience,
all of the teachers are warm and loving with all of the
Second, the kids seem really happy, very social, and very well-
adjusted. I have never seen an instance of aggression nor even
a temper tantrum.
Third, the 'curriculum' is fantastic. Their program places
an emphasis on art, books and science and they also have weekly
cooking projects and music. The kids also spend a good amount
of time outside in a nice yard.
The director Laurie is terrific with the kids - able to set
limits as well as be loving. And I have been quite impressed
with her observations of and insight into
my son's personality, food preferences, etc.
As to the potty training, I thought the staff was quite
helpful. They recommended a great book that really
helped me when training him and when my son was learning, they
took him to the toilet three times every morning.
The rates are very reasonable (conmpetitive even with local
co-ops) and Laurie could not be more flexible about hours. She
also allows kids to start mid-year (actually whenever you want
i think) which was very helpful to our family.
In short, I highly recommend the school!
Another Happy Picooli Parent
Re: Any openings at your preschool for a 2.5 year old?
I would highly recommend Piccoli Preschool, located in El Cerrito
on Richmond St. It is not a Montessori school but a wonderful
play-based program that also does plenty of academics-alphabet,
numbers, fabulous science units, etc...They have full-time and
part time families. I believe the minimum schedule for part-time
is 3 days a week, 9-1pm and the price is definitely under $600. I
would for sure give them a call and set up an appointment! The
phone number is 510-234-3230. Good luck! =)
Re: Need a kind Preschool for a 2.9 year old boy
Many of my friends' children have attended Piccoli Preschool in
El Cerrito. The parents and children were all extremely happy
with the care and academics that were provided. The teachers are
all highly qualified and very nurturing. I have been to visit a
few times with my friends and have seen how well the teachers
interact with the children and how much the children love them.
The school is beautiful and it is obvious that there is a lot of
learning going on both academically and socially. It is a
play-based school with full time or part time hours available and
they currently have space available. The phone number there is
510-234-3230. Good luck!
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.
You couldn't find a better pre-school than Piccoli. The Teachers
provide a safe, fun and loving environment while also encouraging
and teaching important social behavior. There is a definite
structure to a day at Piccoli but remember this is a pre-school
it is not meant to be as rigid as Kindergarten, only to prepare
your child to enter into a more strict classroom setting. They do
art and have circle time, there is usually a letter of the week
and a theme to go with it, they read to the children and
encourage the children to look at books on their own, etc... My
son has been attending Piccoli since he was 2 1/2 years old, he
just turned 4 and is far more prepared than children we know who
go to much more well known schools. The kids are all very sweet
and polite, they share their toys easily, I have never seen any
child have a tantrum or in any way be mean. All of the teachers
at Piccoli have been with the school for many years, they all
genuinely love the children and spending time with them. Just as
important as the child to child social interaction is the way
your child interacts with grownups, at Piccoli they create an
environment for your child to learn both. I honestly would not
trust my son with any other school and I can't wait until my
daughter can go.
We came to Piccoli from another preschool that was closing. We
knew about it because our niece went to Piccoli and loved it.
Three years later, we have a 3 year old still at Piccoli and
another who has very successfully moved on to elementary school
and is now in 1st grade. I credit the Piccoli staff with
helping prepare my oldest for Kindergarten academically and
The staff at Piccoli is warm, consistent, and genuinely cares
about their students. They are very kind and interesting
people that we enjoy interacting with on a daily basis. More
importantly our children both looked forward to going every day
and felt/feel nurtured and encouraged.
The Piccoli staff works with all of the children, but
particularly the Pre-K children to be sure they are well
prepared for Kindergarten. All children are exposed to art on
a daily basis and much emphasis is put on children learning to
play together and socialize in a positive manner.
We truly love Piccoli and are thankful that circumstances led
us to them.
Piccoli is great - for some families. I agree that the structure
and 'curriculum' are excellent and that the staff is
often very warm and loving. And, yes, many families absolutely
love it and their child/children thrives/thrive. My family,
however, had a lot of difficulties with the school. They did not
provide the support that my child (whom I will call X) needed in
potty training, yet they insist that children be potty trained by
3. Several times I picked up X with soiled diapers. Also, when X
was having difficulties socializing with the other children, they
did not work with X to develop skills but instead labeled X as 'a
problem'. When I tried to talk with them about X, my
conversations were cut short and I received little feedback.
After about six months, X started to cry really hard every
morning at drop off and begged me not to leave (this was well
after X had already become comfortable with the preschool
experience and separating from parents). There was no loving
support from staff at drop off, but rather they would usually
ignore both of us (literally would not look at us). Finally I
took X out. X is in another preschool now (full time) and thrived
from the very beginning after we switched schools. Again, I
reiterate that the school is wonderful on many fronts. But a post
asking about Piccoli would not be complete without at least
mention of the difficulties that my family faced. Good luck!
former Piccoli parent
We too had our child at Piccolli and had the same experience that
another parent wrote about. Our son was the youngest there, by
about 3 - 4 months. He started at the beginning of the summer
and we thought he was doing great, as we heard nothing to the
contrary (and we asked). Upon returning from a two week break,
our son had difficulties and was aggressive toward other
students. We too tried to talk to the director and were
immediately cut off as we were told '' we don't do that here so
you must be allowing it at home''. After further conversation,
the director told me that maybe my son, who was not yet 2 1/2,
''should be bitten so he can see how it feels''. She then said, ''not
that we would allow that here''.. Again, all attempts to find out what
situations it occurred in were met with ''we don't do that here''.
My husband and I are child professionals (two doctorates in child
related fields) so we know what typical developmental behaviors
are. A friend of ours has/had her children there and are very happy
but, I guess that only holds true if your child fits the 'good child' or
with no aggression - beyond a tiny hit or push.
I would like to respond to the previous reviews of Piccoli
Preschool and offer my own opinions and experiences. I have had
both my children at Piccoli and we couldn't have been happier
with the experience. My children and I were always greeted by
friendly, outgoing teachers who couldn't have been more helpful
or caring. The teachers were always available for giving feedback
and advice whenever I was in need and always have kept their
focus on the needs of the children, where I believe it should be,
instead of the parents. My children made many friends at Piccoli,
many of whom we still we see on a regular basis and I credit
Piccoli for helping to build these friendships. All of the staff
members at Piccoli are highly educated and experienced
professionals whose opinions I have always trusted. I highly
encourage parents looking for a quality preschool program to take
a look at Piccoli. =)
Very Happy Piccoli Parent
I am interested in possibly sending my child to Piccoli
Preschool in El Cerrito. I was wondering if there were any
parents out there that have recently sent their kid(s) there and
can give me any feedback about your experience. I have already
toured the school and understand that it is play-based and that
the children can do what they'd like and that there is very
little structure. I loved the outdoor play space and the
children all seemed happy. My concern is that although I want my
child to play (and believe that play is how they learn for the
most part), I still want him to learn the academic basics. Do
they focus on that at Piccoli? I have read the past reviews,
however, I am looking for something a bit more recent. Thank you
in advance for any and all responses.
I have 2 children who attended Piccoli preschool in recent
years and I feel that my kids were very well prepared socially,
mentally and physically for kindergarten by the outstanding and
warm teachers of Piccoli. When the group of older children are
in the last year of preschool, they take special effort to get
them ready for kindergarten. They do creative exercises in
numbers, letters, colors, etc. that get the thought process
going in their little minds. It is done in an exciting and fun
way, usually only 3-4 kids doing the project at a time and then
they take turns to give everyone a chance at the table. The
little ones are introduced to the letters, also. Every week
they work on a letter of the alphabet and do projects in the
theme with snacks/cooking (A is applesauce, P is pancakes,L is
for Lemonade),art projects, storytelling, and circle time all
revolves around the letter of the week. They also do it with
numbers and colors. I am truly thankful for the loving and
nurturing teachers at Piccoli that have become a huge part of
my childrens' life and set them off in the right direction in
life. They will always have a special place in our family
memories and in our hearts. My youngest in in Kindergarten now
and she is doing very well with the academics she is being
taught. Not to mention that both my daughters are well
socially adjusted and when in groups of different age ranges,
they know how to respect everyone's personalities, from babies
to tweens. I believe that a big part of that came with the
mixed age group Piccoli has. Both of my kids where there from
age 2 until kindergarten. It was a very happy time in their
We have been a Piccoli family for many years and have put 3
children through the preschool. The program is play-based,
however they do weave ''academics'' into the school with things
like ''letter of the week'' where they focus learning on one
letter during the course of the week - even to the extent that
the week's cooking activity is usually a food that begins with
the letter of the week. If a child shows a propensity towards
academic based activites (e.g. writing letters of the alphabet),
the teachers will offer further instruction and encouragement,
however if they feel that it is at the expense of developing
other skills (e.g. gross motor skills), then they will encourage
and redirect the child to do other activities. Piccoli aims for
an environment that produces the well-rounded child. I am just
offering a couple of examples, and you should know that for me
it was important NOT to have academics at the pre-school level.
This is a legitimate issue for Piccoli's Director to address and
I would assume that she can offer a more detailed explanation to
what sort of ''academics'' they offer. Parents don't always feel
comfortable with the Director (which is another potential issue
for any prospective family), however my children are still the
happiest, nicest kids around (and they still ask to go back to
visit) and I credit Piccoli, the Director and the loving
My son has been at Piccoli for two years. It's not at all fancy
or progressive, just a solid traditional preschool, with a
stable structure for the kids, and great results. The
socialization is first rate; the children are very kind to each
other, even with mixed ages, and a large group of 4-year-old
boys. And they are being prepared for kindergarten, without
overt pressure or competition. Most of the four-year-olds
already write their names. They know all the letters, numbers up
to 20, can follow directions, are responsible. The simple
academics are woven into the day's activities - reading, music,
art, and many imaginative science projects - at a low-key pace
that each child, whatever their age or ability, can be
We feel very lucky to have found this school.The initial parent
visit may not sell you on it, and the first days of leaving your
child are hard anywhere. But eventually, when your child is
happy everyday, loves his friends, and comes home singing new
songs, that's what it's all about...!
a thankful Piccoli parent
So here's the scoop on Piccoli. I ultimately thought it was the
right school for our family and my child(ren) thrived there.
Play is so important at this age as the kids learn so many
social skills that are crucial to future school success. Piccoli
is play based but has gentle 'pre-academics' for the younger
ones and more expectations for the pre-K kids. It is a very good
mix of play based and pre-academics. By pre-academics I mean
there's the letter and number of the week which weaves itself
throughout all the activities of that week. The kids write
letters, their names, numbers (both numerals and words), and
they work with colors, shapes, seasons, reasoning activities,
composing stories (which are dictated), simple cooking, and
simple science (earth science – volcanoes and weather, biology –
insects, life cycles, anatomy, and plants, chemistry - oobleck
anyone?, etc…). There is a structure for the day; they have free
play inside, art projects available, then the outside is
opened, snack, circle time, lunch, play, rest time, play, etc….
Circle time works with concepts such as sitting still, paying
attention, taking turns, working as a group, following
directions, responding appropriately, etc….All things that will
be important for kindergarten. Every day the kids have the
opportunity to do wonderful art projects that are seasonally
themed. There are special activities they do occasionally
like “Pet Shop” and “Mail Day” and on certain days of the week
there are other activities like sharing, cooking, dance, music,
etc…I liked the gentle structure that becomes more mandatory as
the kids approach Kindergarten age. I liked that it was a medium
sized school and had more than a dozen kids so that my child
(ren) could get used to managing in a elementary-like group
without getting lost in a huge school. In addition to the above,
the physical structure of the school is good, the selection of
toys and supplies is good, and the price is good, and there is
attention to diversity and the boy/girl ratio. The teachers are
fabulous and there is NO turnover in staff. Almost everything
about the school is great….
The head teacher/owner. Let me just say that she’s
great with the kids and knows how to run a GREAT preschool,
she’s been doing this for a long time and knows her stuff.
The head teacher/owner’s philosophy
is ‘The kids are great if the parents would just get out of the
way’. She can be not very forth coming on specific info on your child-
preferring to say “oh, the group is doing great”, she is not
very good at working WITH the parents on problems that may arise.
On the flip
side, she will allow your child ‘practice’ for some time –with a
caregiver bringing the child for progressively longer and longer
times BEFORE she starts charging the normal tuition. This makes
for a great transition for the child and alleviates some
parental uncertainty at the beginning.
I would have liked to have had a more two-way
relationship with my child(ren)’s preschool teacher. But,
ultimately, she is good with the kids. She and the other
teachers are good at what they do, the school is nice, the
program and structure she has designed is GREAT, the kids are
happy and become well prepared for Kindergarten.
I would like to respond to the post, from the parent at Piccoli
Preschool. I am a parent of 4
children under the age of 6. We feel so lucky to have the love
and guidance that the Piccoli teachers have given our family.
My children are greeted with open arms every morning. As a
teacher, I know how difficult it is to try to balance parents
and students in the morning transition. The teachers at Piccoli
do this with ease, their concentration is where it should
be. . . on our children.
I fully agree with the previous postings from the February 19th
newsletter, but I just had a few things to add about Piccoli.
My son started at Piccoli this year – he is doing really well
and absolutely loves the place. In comparison to other
preschools my son’s friends are attending, the number of
activities and projects at Piccoli are really quite impressive -
a good half-hour circle time, music, dance, cooking, ART, ART,
ART, science, learning the letters, storytelling, etc. Did I
mention art? The projects he brings home every day are SO much
fun, although I do feel that some art projects are too
contrived, without much actual creative input from my son.
I chose Piccoli also because it is a large facility – multiple
rooms with lots of fun things to do in each room, and a large
outdoor area. My son is extremely active, and I felt that a
good-sized facility with lots to do was very important. And I
was right, he thrives on the balance of unstructured play in
all the different rooms and gently structured activities that
are woven throughout the day. It is academic where it counts,
and my son is learning a lot.
Another huge bonus of Piccoli is the fact that the tuition is
broken down to the half hour! That is, you pay just a small
amount more for every half hour you want to send your child, as
opposed to the two-tiered tuition based on half-day or full-day
at most schools. This has proved to be VERY helpful for our
family, in that he started out very part time and we have
slowly transitioned him to a full-time schedule. Other schools
would have required we pay full-time from the beginning if that
is what we ultimately wanted, so this flexibility is very
unusual and very welcome for us. Tuition in general is very
visits, the ‘practice’ transitioning time, and the early days
of leaving him alone were VERY difficult for me and my child. Many a
days I was pushed to tears. Let me be very clear that the
Director is NOT harsh with the children. In fact, I think her
attitude with the children is very beneficial for them – she is
firm, consistent, respectful, and caring. All the children at
Piccoli are very well-behaved, and I think this is in large
part to the limits she sets. I am actually very happy that she
takes upon the role of ‘authority figure’ because I think it is
good for children to have that in their lives, and again I
think she does it effectively without being hurtful. I would
certainly welcome more communication about her strategies and
techniques, but those times that she DOES actually talk to you
about your kid she is very thorough and has given me good
That said, it was VERY difficult to deal with at times. One
main area is potty-training. She insists that children become
potty-trained by three, and by two and a half is really pushing
to have it done. I know that this has made some Piccoli
families’ lives very difficult when that third birthday is
nearing (or passed!). I do not personally agree that potty-
training should be pushed this strongly, but she has managed to
at least get me started with the potty-training at home when I
probably would have waited a bit longer. So, bottom line is
that her methods with parents are not as great as her methods with
children, which ARE great, and her results ARE great. And, she isn’t
the only teacher, of course. The other teachers are fabulous –
and they are loving and supportive.
Given all the struggles and tears, I am VERY happy that I stuck
with it and stayed with Piccoli. Again, my son is thriving and
I really am happy that he is where he is.
There have been a lot of posts about Piccoli, all of them
valid. I think the bottom line is that Piccoli is a FANTASTIC
preschool with wonderful teachers. It has a great balance of
play and structure, the kids are VERY happy, and the kids get
to experience and learn a lot about so many different things -
socialization, respect, the alphabet, science, cooking, music,
dance, art... They are definitely prepared for kindergarden in
all the important ways. My thanks to the Piccoli staff for a
job very well done! (If any prospective parent wants to talk about
Piccoli, I'm glad
I currently have 2 boys attending: 2 yrs and 4.5 yrs. They both love
going and the
most challenging thing about it is trying to get them out the door to come
home as they don't want to leave! It is play based, and the kids learn so
through this play. They also have a letter of the week, and learn about
in fun and creative ways. They do science projects (2 favorites were
ladybugs and butterflies that they set free), fun art projects everyday,
cooking, music classes (with real instruments for the kids to participate
dance classes. The teachers are also great about reading to the kids.
There is a fun
and interesting outdoor play yard and a lot of toys that get the kids'
going. The director and the teachers are very loving, happy, skilled and
helping the kids to work through conflicts with each other while fostering
ability to learn to play with others, share, take turns, etc. There is
also a nice
balance between structure and freedom during the day. They take students
young as 2 yrs old and they do not need to be potty trained - just require
it by age
3. They offer full-time or part-time schedules for the kids. The preschool
good at preparing the pre-kindergarteners for kindergarten and helping
make that difficult decision about when their child should start
love the school and highly recommend it!
Re: Looking for a pre-school with openings
You may have luck for Piccoli, in El Cerrito. It has really been a wonderful environment for my
Re: Part-time affordable non-coop? (Jan 2005)
Try calling Piccoli in El Cerrito. We have enjoyed their
family-style, open teaching for the past 4 years. The kids are
are well socialized, happy, have the freedom to pick what they
want to do during the day. They have circle time, art and
crafts, cooking, gardening, dance class, and a music teacher.
They take children as young as 2. They are open from 8-5, Mon-
There are many single income families that go there on a part-
time basis. It is affordable and within your budget.
Of course you should be able to bring your child to visit a
preschool, I would be wary of a school that didn't let you. A
school needs to determine if your child is a good fit as well
as you seeing how your child interacts with the group. I am
amazed at the idea of putting a baby to be on a waiting list
for a so called ''good'' school. How do you know what your child
will be like? The structure and lessons that are geared to
making a kid grow up faster than their age group is scary.
What happened to letting a kid be a kid and giving them some
old fashioned play?
I beleive Piccoli has a few openings. It is not a co-op and
the only parent particpation ever asked is to come to the
annual picnic on the last day of school (which runs through the
summer). Laurie is the director and you can call her to set up
a visit. 234-3230
Re: Part-time affordable non-coop? (Jan 2005)
I researched El Cerrito area preschools extensively last fall,
and have a couple of ideas for schools you can check out.
The other school is also in El Cerrito, near Richmond
St./Potrero, called Piccoli. I liked it a lot but the hours
didn't quite work for our family. The director, Laurie,
sounded very flexible about part-time hours and seemed to have
very reasonable rates. She's also very down to earth, and will
be happy to talk to you about the school and let you visit. A
friend of mine's child attended preschool with Laurie before
the school was at it's present location, and was very happy
with the care. There are positive recommendations for both of
these schools in the archives.
Good luck in your search!
Re: Part-time preschool in El Cerrito or Richmond
Try Piccoli Preschool in El Cerrito, near Potrero. My girls
went there three mornings per week and we were all very happy
with it. This was about 8 or 9 years ago, but I would still
give them a enthusiastic recommendation. Laurie Castle-Kemp is
the director. Phone number is 234-3230.
Re: Culturally Diverse Montessori School (Dec 2002)
Try giving Piccoli in El Cerrito a call/visit. Although they
are not montessori, Laurie did teach in Montessori schools
before opening Piccoli. They take children as young as 2, it is
a mixed age preschool.
My daughter loves it there (she is almost 4). They have many
activities during the day and week, from cooking, dance class,
music, art, and a huge play yard. I can't say enough great
things about the staff and their tender care of all the children.
I believe the rate for full time (9-5/5days) is $660/child, but
don't quote me on that (give or take $20). She does give a 10%
discount on second child.
you really should check it out, it is conviently located on
Richmond street at Potero. You can reach Laurie at 235-3230.
FYI-They will be on holiday break from 12/24-1/2.
My daughter's preschool has openings due to the large number of
kids who went off to kindergarten this fall. We've been with
the Piccoli School in El Cerrito (near Target) for 3.5 years (2
kids), and love it more and more the longer we are there.
Here are some of the facts:
- Ages 2 - 5.5 years (diapers o.k.)
- Small teacher/child ratio
- Music, art, dance & cooking
- Large indoor/outdoor space
The Director and her staff are extremely knowledgeable and have
guided our family through many new experiences in dealing with
both of our children. All the teachers have been there for
years, and when one of them left a year and a half ago, the
Director couldn't bear to replace her, so the school currently
enrolls less children as a result.
Piccoli is a major part of our lives in so many ways from the
songs my kids sing at home (which they learn at school) to all
of the artwork in our home which they do on a daily basis. The
kids are even disappointed on weekends when there is no school.
I highly recommend the Piccoli School and would be happy to
offer more detail to anyone interested in exploring Piccoli
Piccoli directly at (510) 234-3230.
In my opinion, my child has a whole life time ahead of her for
academics, I want her to enjoy being a kid first. So I'd thought
I would recommend to you her preschool "Piccoli". Laurie Kemp
has been running Piccoli for 20+ years. It is a play-based
preschool with a mixed age group (ages range from 2-5). Each
day consists of something different, including art, science,
cooking, gardening (or bug-searching), music and dance class,
letters, numbers and good old-fashioned play. Everything they
do seems like fun! They have a big outdoor play ground with
swings, sand, play cars, play house, etc. The school itself is
a converted home in El Cerrito dedicated to being a school.
Each room in the school has something to offer, games, reading,
role playing, art, cooking, blocks/legos, circle time and rest.
Laurie and her teachers are wonderful. Every day my daughter is
greeted with warmth and hugs. When I pick her up in the
afternoon, I sometimes hear Laurie tell her she loves her. The
bond my daughter shares with these women is incredible. And I
see in it each and every child and teacher. They take personal
attention to every one. Bindy has been with Laurie since 1994.
Jean has been teaching for 10 years. It is a very relaxed
environment. The kids have the freedom to participate in the
activities or play by themselves if they choose. My daughter
has grown with positive confidence in such a loving
environment. This is her third child care situation (early age
daycare and EC Teeter Tots before Piccoli). On Saturdays, she
is always ready to go back to school, and see her friends and is
disappointed that she has to wait another day until Monday.
Finding a care situation is always a hard decision. I knew
walking into Piccoli it was the right place for us. You may want
to give her a call, she has a few openings left (part-time and
full-time). Her number 510-234-3230.
this page was last updated: Jul 12, 2014
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