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Pride and Joy Preschool (El Cerrito, CA)

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Berkeley Parents Network > Reviews > Preschools & Daycare > Pride and Joy Preschool (El Cerrito, CA)



May 2014

My son, Ryan, started at the Pride and Joy Preschool when he was only 3 months old. We have been very happy about his development in this center. They are doing an absolutely great job for our kid. I see parents who are bringing their first and second child to this center for years and are very satisfied. My son is not a very easy one, but teachers in this center are well experienced and they know how to keep babies happy and healthy. The center has separate outdoor play area for younger kids, and the rooms for infants are located in a different part of the building, which is great! We often receive photographs of our baby in the daycare while he is smiling, sleeping and listening to music. This has been just amazing. In particular during the very first days these pictures gave us the best possible feeling. How thoughtful?! In summary, here are our ratings for the Pride and Joy Preschool: Management: 5/5 Teachers: 5/5 Cleanness: 5/5 Child development: 5/5 Cost compared to quality: 5/5 Outdoor play area: 5/5

I needed to go back to work very quickly, and our parents and relative are so far away, and we had absolutely no help. The Pride and Joy Preschool made this transition so easy and pleasant for us that I never forget how lucky we were in finding this place and getting a spot for our son. Thank you! Contact: Mona


Jan 2013

I would like to talk about my daughter's teacher at Pride and Joy preschool in El Cerrito. Her name is Erika. She is just awesome! Since my daughter started with her, her improvement has been so spectacular. She is really kind, loving and very energetic. The kids love her. They do so many activities with her, it's amazing my daughter keeps on talking about new project all the time and comes home with great arts and craft and stories. Few weeks ago they did the planets and in 1 week, my daughter knew all of them and was so happy with new stories about them everyday and really cool arts and crafts. She really knows how to make things very interesting so the kids really get into the project. She is also awesome in academics.

I was happy that at age 3, my daughter was able to write her name, knows her alphabet and at 4 to be able to count until 100. She knows how to make kids happy and comfortable. But she knows also how to discipline them in a way they don't feel pressure. She is also great with the parents. Always explaining to each parent what happened that day with each kids and how they handled it so important for the parents I just LOVE her and after talking with other parents, I know that everybody loves her! I really recommend her for your kid!


Sept 2012

Our son has attended Pride & Joy Preschool for the last 2 years and we had seen him grow from a reserved, self-conscious little preschooler to an active, happy, well-adjusted, and confident youngster under the kind and nurturing care of his teachers. By the time he left for kindergarten, he was a beginning reader, counting to a hundred, and enthusiastic to learn more! Like any active child, he has had his fair share of scrapes, bumps, bruises, rough days, and challenging mornings/afternoons, and we felt that, in general, information/feedback regarding these matters was conveyed to us in a prompt and timely manner. Everyone in the school, from the administrative personnel (Moilan and Mark) and the teaching staff, had always been accommodating, warm, and welcoming, even during drop off and pick up times (which were the busiest times of the day). Needless to say, we loved it there! happy parents of a Pride and Joy graduate


June 2012

hi. i recently visited Pride & Joy Preschool in El Cerrito. I absolutely loved it and am highly considering sending my daughter there. Are there any parents out there who can offer more current feedback. thanks lola


Our experience at Pride & Joy over the last 3 years has been wonderful. Both my daughters love school and their teachers. They are happy and social kids, which I credit to the school as they spend more time there than at our house (unfortunately). Our 4 year old is learning skills I didn't master until 1st grade. The younger is singing the ABCs and counting before age 2 (again picked up at school, not at home). The amount of artwork alone that comes home speaks to the variety of activities and subjects the school teaches. The few times I've had a specific request regarding diet, napping, etc. the teachers have gone above and beyond to take care of it and report back. The facility is very nice and they keep it squeaky clean. No doubt - Moilan and Mark run a tight ship, which means there has been some teacher turn-over, but the head teachers - Mark, Erika, Kathryn, Shirley and many others - have been there a long time. The only negative I can come up with is that they don't encourage parents to linger with the kids during the day. They have good reasons for this and make up for it with open houses twice a year. Happy P&J Parent
this is not a recent experience but since the director, Moilan is still there, I think my two cents are helpful. My son started in the baby room but was too big there so, after excessive pushing, he was put in the preschool. My son is VERY active and was hitting at that age. I had spoken with Moilan about his behavior before starting my son there. She said she had well trained staff who can deal with challenges, and I believe she said her son presented with challenges as well. Since I had the resources, I had a professional behaviorist observe my son there. The very experienced behaviorist said that the staff was not doing a proper time out. My son loves to talk and did so excessively on time outs. The staff continuously responded to him as he talked rather than ignore him as should be done for time outs. I then met with the director and she would not kick him out but repeatedly told me in a meeting that they cannot meet his needs. I asked if they were kicking him out and she would not say that but I felt she essentially told me to take him out. They wouldn't kick my child out yet seemed to be telling me (without actually saying it) that I should take him out. Staff turnover was high and the communication with parents about staff sucked. Also, my neighbor sent both her children there and loved it. Those kids are now in 1st and 3rd grade. Take it as you will. a dissatisfied parent at P&J
Sept 2012

My name is Moilan Manning. I am the Director of Pride and Joy Preschool. I would like to thank all of our parents who took their time to write a review about our program. My staff and I welcome feedback of any kind, both positive and negative. Valid complaints help us to identify and correct any problems that may come up. However, I feel that I should address some of the negative comments here that I do not believe are accurate.

A few of the reviews here mention that we have a high staff turnover rate. It is actually similar to most childcare centers in the bay area. The majority of our staff members have been with us since we moved to this facility four years ago. Our student/teacher ratios by far exceed the licensing requirements. Because of the high quality of our program, local colleges have asked to send us student teachers for internship in our facility and we are glad to help. When these student teachers have completed their training they move on. This might give some parents the false impression that teachers come and go frequently. Only our permanent staff members count towards student/teacher ratios.

I can say, without hesitation, that I have never once called a child a ''bad child.'' I am totally against using negative behavioral management and have tailored my program and trained my staff accordingly. Also, because of this philosophy, we sometimes cannot oblige a parent who asks that we deal with their child's challenging behavior with extreme measures - such as the reviewer that asked us to give their child frequent time-outs even for minor issues. These requests, we feel, would not serve the best interests of the children.

Because Pride and Joy Preschool embraces inclusion for all children, we give the parents of children with disruptive or violent behavior issues the option of providing a professional, at their cost, to assist their child on a 1:1 basis to participate successfully in our program. I think most parents would agree that it would not be fair to the rest of the students if our teachers spent all of their time dealing with one child.

Our program philosophy embraces Developmentally Appropriate Practices. For this reason we do not push children to do academics beyond their level of development, as we believe this does more harm than good. Occasionally we have a parent that wants their child to be exposed to a more advanced curriculum than we feel that they and their classmates are ready for. We encourage such parents to instruct their child in any subjects they wish to, at home.

One parent wrote about her concerns over her child watching TV. We do not have cable in our facility and therefore, our children cannot watch broadcast TV shows. The flat screen TV on the office level of our facility is used mainly for staff-training purposes. We also sometimes use it to show our children Yoga videos. On rare occasions we may use it as a special reward to show documentaries or fairy tale shows no longer than 30 minutes. Realistically, I do not find it damaging for children to participate in group activities with a teacher's direction using a TV monitor to enhance their learning experience once in a while. Having said that, please rest assured that TV is never a part of our curriculum and we do not encourage its use as a teaching tool.

Some reviewers felt that they were discouraged from visiting our facility. In truth, parents are welcome to visit our facility at any time. However, we ask visiting parents not to linger on for too long for several reasons. Long visits tend to disrupt our regular program schedule and over-excite some of the students. Another reason is that our facility is located on a one-way street and does not have a great deal of parking space for parents' pick-up and drop-off, making parents' parking a bit challenging at times. In over 2 decades of Pride and Joy Preschool we have never once refused parent visits, despite these challenges. Parent communication is very important to our program. Parents are asked to understand that at times our teachers may not be able to communicate for as long as you like them to because they have other children they need to attend to when school is in session. Parents can request a parent/teacher conference if they need to discuss issues in detail. Pride and Joy has an open school policy and our goal is to work with parents to better serve our children by having frequent communication throughout the child's enrollment, either via email, telephone, parent conference, or at our yearly open houses.

With that said, I thank you for the opportunity to hear and address all of your concerns as well as your praises.

Best regards,
Moilan Manning
Executive Director
Pride and Joy Preschool, Inc.


May 2012

I am looking for a preschool for my 3 yo daughter, the reviews of the school Pride and Joy Preschool on BPN seems outdated, could someone who had experience there share a review? Thank you. Y.


Our son has been at Pride and Joy for a little over a year and we are mostly happy there. He adores his teachers and almost always leaves school happy and excited to tell me about the fun things he did that day. Like most kids, once in awhile he'll have a bad day, but I've always felt that the teachers have handled any of these types of issues appropriately and with kindness. My son is definitely not the type that will always sit still or follow directions! The main teacher of the older kids' group (3.5 to 5 yr olds) is fantastic. My son absolutely adores her. Also, the facility is spacious and very clean. My only complaint with P&J is that I wish that they would give more detailed updates on how your kid is doing overall (at this point, it's generally a very brief informal report at pick-up time) or that they held open houses/parent meetings more frequently (there has only been one in the past year). Pretty happy at Pride and Joy
I've been a Pride and Joy preschool parent with mixed feelings about the program. My child did well there, but we had reservations. The program is BIG- 45 kids max and 5 teachers. We loved the teachers. They are generally wonderful. But when there's turnover, the ratio can get way too close to the state minimum, even with admin filling in. That's a lot of squirmy bodies to manage.

And as with any large school, there will be the biters and hitters. The communication around that issue was not great. For a period of time my child was a target of a couple of aggressive kids. About half the time, it was my child who came home telling us what happened, not the school. It was either not passed down, or even forgotten amidst the craziness of the day. We were very unhappy about that part and forced a safety plan to be put in place so my kid wouldn't come home bruised and bleeding. We emphasized that if something did happen, the school would have to tell us before my kid did. That helped, but didn't stop the problem completely.

That said, I think Pride and Joy is good preparation for parents sending kids to public school. The admin is caring, but communication was an ongoing issue for us. We worked it out by keeping in close contact by email and phone. And we had to because the school is set up so parents do drop off and pick up at the door and never enter the school. Getting in can be hard as teachers and admin actively discourage parents from visiting. In that regard, an assertive parent who knows the law and his/her rights can and does get in.That part rankled me, but admin wants to reduce the chaos and distraction of parents coming in. I felt that I could visit without causing disruption, and proved that I could.

A part of the program that still bugs me is that the children watched TV. When on tour, I saw the big screen TV and asked about it. I was told it was strictly for yoga videos. Then rainy season hit and my kid started talking about watching TV at school. I inquired, found out that yes, children are put in front of the TV, and the director saw no problem with that. Once we found out, we explicitly opted her out of TV watching.

But, as much as issues kept arising, we chose to listen to our daughter and we kept her in. We did because she made good friends, loved the program activities and really loved her teacher. She's a socially skilled and assertive kid who could negotiate the complexities of a large place and tell us if something went wrong. For a kid, especially a younger one, who gets overwhelmed by the size and the many rules needed to manage that many kids, and who hasn't developed the verbal skills to talk about his/her day, this school would not be a good fit. We made it work by being ''that parent''who calls, pushes and holds admin accountable. We don't regret it. My child loved it there and grew, even if we parents were at times less than thrilled. Parents who made it work


Our son was at Pride and Joy. If I had to do it over, we'd have gone elsewhere. The school has a really high teacher turn-over and these led to days where the school did not have enough supervision for the children. Also, our son was repeatedly sad that just girls were brought upstairs for a treat while the boys were barely ever taken up and this led to many teary nights of our son simply not understanding what he had done wrong, with no reports of bad behavior or any behavior that we could use to explain it to him. As a parent, it was frustrating to have to try to comfort such a young child about what seemed to us as blatant unfairness. We were even told by the owner that our son was a bad child for behavior that was, in our opinion, complete normal for a boy in a large social environment - it was NOT for an issue such as kicking, hitting, or biting, which we would have been happy to address quickly and firmly. I completely agree that if you have a child that is not quiet and compliant, it won't be a good fit and won't get better. One other issue - it was our experience that we had to fight tooth and nail to have our child moved up to the appropriate class, even when he was so bored he no longer wanted to go to school.

Having said that, the teachers who stay are wonderful, loving, and focused on doing their best for the children, and the director, Mark, tries really hard with the constrains placed up on him.

The best part was that the other families and kids are amazing. Our son dearly loves his friends he made there and we also made several close friends. But it takes effort - there is no mailing list, parents are not ever welcome in the classroom except for one teacher/parent day a year and for fifteen minutes on your child's birthday, and requests for a group email go ignored. The parents have somewhat taken that into their own hands and are welcoming to new families. We have playdates regularly with families from there.

Finally, the school is very much play-based and our son did not learn much about writing his letters or even their sounds. If you want any academics, this is not the school for you. But if you want playbased, the play yard is great, the school room, at least on the preschool side, is great, and my son consistentally brought home fun art projects. Glad we switched


Sept 2009

Our daughter, Kayla, started at Pride and Joy Preschool right around her first birthday. She had been with her mom and dad or her nanny until then. We were nervous about the transition, but after months of research, we decided to give it a go. It was the best decision we could have made. Kayla looks forward every morning to meeting with her best friends -- the other toddlers as well as her caretakers. While I'm dressing for work in the morning, or she's having her breakfast, she's happy to tell me what's on her mind: "Emma, Emma," she says, "Maximus, Roman." When we pick her up in the afernoon, she's happy and proud to show off what she's learned: "ABC TUV Y and Z" Kayla is our miracle baby. Our miracle daughter. We're so careful to give her the best we can. Pride and Joy is one of the best things we've given her. Kim


Sept 2009

I will strongly recommend Pride & Joy Preschool in El Cerrito, CA. My son has been attending this school from 3 years. It's a wonderful facility with fabulous staff. Moilan Manning, the Director is an awesome person. -Natasha


June 2009

My four-year old daughter began attending Pride and Joy Preschool this past August of 2008. After about three months of attending three days a week, she has fully adjusted to the schedule and is very comfortable with the rules and expectations. She walks into the front door of the school upon arrival in the morning, with her head held high and full of such anticipation that she will have a fun, rewarding day. Her spunky, energetic teachers are so wonderful with her, addressing her in such a pleasant tone and giving her that praise and acknowledgment which continues to build her self-esteem. Moilan, our wonderful director, reinforces and emphasizes an environment where kids are respected for who they are and their contributions they make to the larger group. Moilan also invites parents and community members to make presentations to the students. In fact, one of the fathers comes each week to read to the students. There is also a mother who is a dentist and has made several presentations on the importance of dental hygiene.

On the issue of communication between Moilan and the parents, Moilan is very receptive. She passes out memos and announcements on a regular basis. Moilan is available by phone (number to the school is 510-232-3121) or by e-mail. I have personally found e-mail communication to be more effective since the majority of the school day, Moilan is interacting with the children and busy with day-to-day activities involving the kids. She is always open to meeting with parents at appointed times. I have had my daughter now in the school for the past nine months and there has been really no time where I have needed to contact her for an emergency or vice versa. Hopefully, this addresses the issue of communication well.

For more information about the school and others' testimonials, check out Pride and Joy's very professional-looking web site at www.prideandjoypreschool.org Thank you very much, Moilan, and your wonderful staff for doing your best job everyday in caring with such big hearts and allowing kids to grow and develop along their own timeline along with ensuring that they are safe and well-nourished. -Susan


Feb 2009

Looking for current reviews on the preschool environment. Is the director easy to communicate with? Are the young teachers effective? Is there a sense of parent involvement/community? The space is beautiful and very thoughtfully planned out, but feeling unsure about the other factors. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. anon


Our experience with Pride and Joy has been mixed. If you have a well adjusted child, you should be okay. The format can be a bit rigid, but overall the teachers are really nice and the kids all seem to get along. anon
Sept 2008

Pride & Joy preschool in El Cerrito is a wonderful place for children. My son attended 10 years ago at the original location. My niece now attends at the new location and it is amazing with a beautiful outdoor play area and even has around 30 security cameras installed to ease parents minds. The inside is beautiful and has many rooms for different types of play including a doll room. The owner Moilan is the most kind and caring person and she is an amazing parent. The school is located on Liberty Street near the El Cerrito city offices. Phone number is 510-232-3121
jeannie


October 2003

Re: Small part-time preschool
Pride & Joy Preschool is located in El Cerrito. We toured this place when I was looking for a spot for my daughter and really loved it. The program includes 3 meals for full day students and the director helps to reinforce a positive self image for kids through a bilingual/multicultural program. Moilan Manning, 233-8449. --big fan of small preschools


Sept. 2003

Re: Afterschool care for Harding Kindergartener
For the parent(s) wanting good after-school care for their kindergartener, I highly recommend Pride & Joy Preschool in El Cerrito. They have a wonderful program. Transportation from one school to another might be a challenge, but the programs, love, fun, snacks, and care your child will get will be worth it. My preschooler is there from 8am until nearly 6pm and she doesn't want to leave at the end of the day. Her learning skills are off the charts, as is her ability and desire to play with children of all ages. esther


March 2003

Re: Part-time preschool in El Cerrito or Richmond

We are currently researching preschools in Richmond/El Cerrito too. We just saw one we really liked.

Pride and Joy Preschool and Afterschool program in El Cerrito has approx. 12-14 kids, offers a wonderful program in a warm home-based setting, and I liked the director when I toured the school a few weeks ago.

They offer 2 full days/week or 3 mornings/week and the price was very reasonable compared to other schools I visited.

Here is the contact info: Moilan Manning, Pride and Joy Preschool 233-8449

Best of luck with your research!
--El Cerrito Mom


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