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Skyline Preschool (Oakland, CA)

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Berkeley Parents Network > Reviews > Preschools & Daycare > Skyline Preschool



Aug 2014

Re: Small Preschool or Daycare that still has openings
Both my husband and I would highly recommend Skyline Preschool for your 2.9 year old -5 year old child. We currently have a 3 year old in the program and our oldest just graduated and has moved on to kindergarten. This preschool has been around for over 30 years. The teachers are well established with very little teacher turnover. Actually, in our time here at Skyline we have not seen any teacher turnover. The environment is very enriching with play based activities. The school offers a low student to child ratio. The teachers and director are incredibly nurturing, loving and attentive. While the academics are not rigorous they do try to challenge your child in a non pressured way. The older children get weekly time w/ work books which helps prepare them for kindergarten. Bernadette, the director, brings in her guitar and sings and plays music with the children. The school offers weekly Spanish Class, Dance Class and monthly bike day. The school is nestled in the redwoods. It has a large and beautiful outdoor play structure where the children can play in the sand, swing on the monkey bars or ride bikes. Here at Skyline Preschool we also have a wonderful parent community. Check this lovely preschool out and see if it is the right fit for you and your child:) Skyline is truly a place where your child can thrive for many years! Dawn


June 2014

Our experience at Skyline preschool has been nothing short of awesome. We have been with the preschool since our son was 2yrs 9 months (he is now 5) , and my daughter joined him when she turned 3. With both children who are very attached to mom , the staff went to great lengths to help both of them adjust and adapt to having mom leave. They also supported me in the transition (thank goodness). On top of that ever since they have both flourished at skyline and at home. my son went from being very introverted to being an independent curious young boy. My daughter who had never left my side is excited and happy to be the big girl. The staff are more then teachers they are like family and care for your children in that way. They are resourceful , patient and loving. The preschool is play based and is enriched with lots of xtra' s like dance and Spanish including so many amazing art projects. The play yard is amazing, very large with a lot for the kids to do including planting there own garden.

Obviously I could go on and on but it's because I really am so taken with our experience here and so grateful to have been a part of the skyline community. Rhonda


April 2014

Our son is in his second year at Skyline Preschool in Oakland. It has been the perfect place for him! The teachers are supportive and compassionate. They learn what makes each kids tick and make every effort to meet their needs on an individual level. My child really feels loved by his teachers. Skyline is play based which is exactly what my son needs as he spends long days there. They do fun interactive units on a variety of high interest topics. The main preschool room has been transformed into a cave for bats, an underwater landscape, a jungle and much more. The kids love it. As the kids head towards kindergarten, the teachers do directed teaching with pre-K skills. For an active boy or girl, this is a great place as there is an awesome outdoor play area! If you are looking for a play-based preschool in Oakland, I highly recommend checking out Skyline. Linda


May 2013

As my son approaches his preschool ''graduation'' and prepares to enter Kindergarten in the fall, I wanted to write a review of our nearly two years at Skyline Preschool. We have all just loved the experience at Skyline and already plan to send our younger daughter when she's old enough to attend. Skyline is a truly play-based program with a structure that allows for plenty of outdoor free play in the morning and afternoon, a variety of daily projects that all build to a monthly theme that the children are free to explore in the morning primarily before circle time, with projects overlapping by a couple of days, plus extra instruction in Spanish and dance. There have been times when the amount of freedom the children have to choose which projects, if any, they want to work on each morning (verus a more free play elsewhere in the classroom), was a bit of an issue for our son, who perhaps could benefit from a little more direction and structure when it comes to focusing on ''academics''. But these periods have been the exception and not the rule for him and as he entered his second year at the school he has really thrived in terms of completing projects, working on his drawing/coloring and handwriting skills, and completing pre-K workbook pages each week with a small group of other graduating preschoolers.

The outdoor space is amazing, which was important for us when choosing a school for our active son. Also key for us, which might be a con for others, is that the nap/quiet time at Skyline is only 45 minutes to an hour and non-nappers I believe are typically allowed to get up and do quiet activities after the nappers have fallen asleep. For a toddler who gave up consistently napping around 2 years old this was an important detail for us when selecting a preschool. So if you have a non-napper, or a brief napper, fear not. And if your child naps like a champ, they seem to have found ways to make nap time work for everyone.

The two snacks they provide each day are varied and healthy and I have always appreciated that they offer cooking projects from time to time as well as gardening in the outdoor space. The teachers are wonderful - the director and each of the four teachers are all very different and we've always felt complement each other very well. It's clear they truly love the children and the director lends a freshness and genuine interest in early childhood development in terms of new ideas, approaches, projects, etc. Really, I cannot say enough good things about the school and look forward to returning with out daughter in a few years! Feel free to email me directly with any questions. Becky


Jan 2013

Re: Need a full-time preschool near Rockridge
Check out Skyline Preschool in Oakland. They will fit your top requirements and it's ten minutes from your location. Both my girls attended here and we all adored the school. Doesn't offer language program or organic food but it's lovely and works great for working parents. Very flexible options including am only, all day (which was longer than 9 to 5), 2,3 or 5 days. We were on the waitlist for several months but got in. Beautiful grounds w playground, trees.


Jan 2013

Re: Reviews for Skyline or Mountain Blvd. preschools?
I want to go on record as *loving* skyline Preschool. Our child has been there for 16 months and we coudn't be happier. Since we pulled our child from a problematic school, we do have a basis for comparison.

I really appreciate the social dynamics of up to 30-something kids (they're not all there 5 days) interacting in one large space. I want my child to have as much social development in preschool as possible. A controlled atmosphere of kindness and cooperation is worth more to me than academics at this age. My child has wonderful friendships with boys and girls, both older and younger.

While the scheduled nap time is 1.25 hours, the children are allowed to sleep until they wake up on their own.

The cost is a real gift. It's a bit over $1000 per month for full time, and I believe it'll still be under $1100 next year. There's a materials fee at the beginning of the year, but it's well utilized. The kids are making varied, fun projects every day. Time is spent on letters and numbers, and there is a real emphasis on music and dance. And there's no performance more enjoyable to me than the holiday show the kids put on every December.

The teachers, many whom have been at Skyline for years, are wonderful. My child has developed a special bond with each of them. Bernadette, the director, leads with kindness and commitment, and all the teachers really enjoy kids. The parents are friendly, mellow, involved, and they put on a great Spring Fling every year.

I think you don't see many reviews for Skyline because the school rarely needs to solicit for new students. I'm glad we found this school. I hope our kindergarten experience is as problem-free as our experience at Skyline has been. Happy Skyline parent


Dec 2012

I was wondering if there are any current or recent parents of children that attend(ed) this school that can recommend it or comment on its strengths and weaknesses. What did you love about the school? What did you not like about it? What is the curriculum like? How developed is the Spanish language teaching that they offer? How involved is the parent community? Your feedback is much appreciated! --Mama to a soon-to-be preschooler


We've not been ''in'' Skyline Preschool for quite a few years, but our friends and neighbors have been, and we go back every single year to visit (their ''spring fling'' is usually on the Saturday a week before Memorial Day weekend). One of the long-time teachers (Joady) retired last year, and a second (Darla) may retire soon. A third (Debbie) may have a few years left. You can call and find out the details. It's possible there will be a bit of a transition when Darla retires. Darla and Joady ran the school together for a while, then Debbie came in a little later. They do have a few other teachers, and I don't know much about them, other than that they are all kind and love kids. The setting is fantastic, as the one room with floor to ceiling windows lets in plenty of light, and the teachers can basically see anything from one end of the room to the other. The outdoor area is also fantastic, and provides plenty of opportunity for good outdoor exercise. Darla runs amazing art programs. They also have bike days once a month, where the kids can bring their trikes and ride around in the large (mostly unused and fully supervised) parking lot above the school room. They also go on ''hikes'' around the school grounds, and have great projects like cooking. It's a sweet school. Since we've been there I think the cost has gone up, and they may have more vacation days (they used to be closed only for winter and spring break, and they used to be open 7am - 6 pm). Janet
We graduated Skyline Preschool in June 2012. The plusses are experienced teachers, most of whom stay a long time, decades even. The teachers are kind to the kids. They do arts and crafts constantly. There is an open painting easel they can use. They have an amazing playground, including sand areas. It's a very tactile, traditional preschool, like the ''old days''. They do kindergarten preparedness for kids who will be going to kindergarten the next year, as in teaching letters and numbers. They have a great curriculum, your child will learn how big a blue whale is in an experiential way etc. We loved it. We did not consider these minuses, but you might: they do not focus on academics; it's a large school with 30+ kids so the environment is not controlled in the way that it is at home. We loved it, but it really offers something specific, that may not be what everyone wants. anon
Unfortunately, I had to pull my child out of Skyline after a month and even pay for two preschools at the same time. This was a two years ago so maybe things have changed there since then. I felt like the school as a whole was not very warm or welcoming for our child and this impacted his transition to the school. We always had to initiate greetings and goodbyes and at times had to prompt staff to help my son out in his first month. But the real deal breaker was that having only 45 minutes for nap time to cram more activities in a day really wasn't going to work for a just turned 3 year old. And despite the staff trying to make some accommodations (like trying to put him down 10-15 mins earlier), this just made him extremely sleep deprived and sparked night terrors at night when we've never experienced them before. I really loved Skyline's beautiful campus, playground, tricycle activities and more but the combination of the short nap schedule and the lack of warmth really forced me to pull him out. I should say some staff were very nice. Also, I felt like Skyline didn't seem to understand the stresses for us as working parents. Skyline called me to have my son picked up because he was crying over a small cut for a while when he was still getting used to the preschool. I was at work in SF in the middle of the meeting and was reminded that I was required to pick him up within an hour as policy. By the time I got there, he was fine. I know a number of families who have liked Skyline so it could be a good match for your child. But unfortunately, these factors really didn't work for mine. former Skyline parent
Feb 2012

Can anyone share their experiences at this preschool? The preschool has been around for 30 yrs and seems to have a very well qualified staff. Also, they appear to include dance and Spanish as regular parts of their curriculum. Dinah


My daughter currently attends Skyline Preschool. We love it. It is play-based. It has a beautiful outside area, fantastic playground equipment, and a light filled indoor area. The arts and crafts are amazing. It offers dance one morning per week, and Spanish is optional (fee). The teachers are great. It's one big space for all the multi-aged kids, so that may be a plus for some families and a negative for other families. My daughter has developed great social skills. You should look into it sooner rather than later if you are interested in this coming fall. anon
Dec 2011

Re: Need Preschool/part time in East Oak/CV/SL area
I'm not sure if this will be within the geographical range you're willing to consider, but I urge you to check out Skyline Preschool, on Skyline Blvd: http://www.skylineucc.org/preschool/. We live right off the Keller exit of 580, and it's an 8-10 minute drive. (And such a beautiful drive, too!) I won't go into too much detail in case it's too far for you, but it's a wonderful, warm, play-based program. They have various part time options. The kids need to be at least 2 years, 9 months, so it may not work yet for your youngest, depending on her exact age. When we researched preschools 3 years ago for our oldest, we found it to be very competitively priced, especially for the quality of the location, staff, and program that you get. Good luck in your search!


April 2011

RE: Preschool with great outside space?
Skyline Preschool, near Skyline HS, has a completely fabulous outdoor space, and it's one of the reasons my daughter went there. The inside space is also light and airy, and the teachers can see everybody all the time. THey also are just a great all-around preschool, with the best activities. (They have bicycle days a couple times a month, hikes around the campus, etc. It's lovely, and the teachers are great. I think their ''spring fling'' is coming up the Saturday before Mem Day (May 21?). Good time to check out the school. Janet


Jan 2011

Re: Oakland/Berkeley Preschools with Caring Teachers
Hi Carrie Skyline is a great school, and we are very happy here. The teachers are supportive and loving, and the program has a wonderful flow to it. I've posted about Skyline before, and I don't want to repeat myself, so please read the reviews of this school in the 'review' section of BPN. As we live in the Temescal District, initially the drive was a little daunting for us, but it's become so routine that I hardly notice. Our second child is going here and our third will also attend when she's old enough. Please feel free to contact me with any questions. Lisette


Dec 2010

Re: Oakland preschool with openings in January?
Try Skyline Preschool on Skyline Blvd, off of Redwood Road, in Oakland. It is the most amazing gem of a school, ever. There are so many wonderful things about the school - where to start? It has an awesome outdoor play yard. The teachers are kind, polite, welcoming, experienced and creative. There is plenty of parking for pickup and drop off. Dance is included in the curriculum. The kids sing along with the guitar at circle time. It is a play based school, with fun art projects which piece by piece decorate the entire classroom, to form a unifying theme. The large classroom is spacious with great natural light, and a good flow between the various play areas. They serve fresh fruit and vegetables for snacks. And, to top it all off, the kids learn, too. My son comes home chatting about numbers and letters - it's all just folded into the program. As you can tell, I am a super fan of Skyline. Check it out - you won't be disappointed. Skyline Preschool 510 530 0884
Lisette


Oct 2010

Skyline Preschool in Oakland is a wonderful place, with a great outdoor play structure, a garden, a huge sand box and lots of room to throw balls and ride bikes. It is like a playground! The classroom is spacious with a ton of natural light. There are four full time teachers, and if a teacher is sick or on vacation, they have a reliable substitute teacher the kids all like. The curriculum is play-based and the kids have the opportunity to do a lot of art projects or play in the many 'play areas' in the classroom. It really is a happy and creative place. Our second child goes here, and it is assumed our third will attend when she's old enough.

The school is open from 7am - 6pm, 5 days a week. Full time tuition is $920/ month. They also offer mornings only, 3 and 4 day a week options. There is more info on the website: http://www.skylineucc.org/preschool.

The preschool is on Skyline Blvd., just off of Redwood Road. Their phone number is 510-530-0884. License: 010200602

If you are looking for a great and safe place to send your child to preschool, I wholeheartedly recommend Skyline. Please feel free to contact me with any questions. Lisette


Oct 2010

Re: Preschools that follow OUSD calendar?
Before choosing Skyline Preschool, I had visited a lot of preschools and still came back to Skyline because it offered:

1) A good balance between play and academics and the ''academics'' are worked into play. Each week includes both dance and Spanish classes.
2) The hours (7-6) I work FT.
3) The stability and reputation (I have four friends who sent their kids there. Their kids are now between 6-16 and had the same teachers my son now has! And, these families still come back for the yearly ''Spring Fling'')
4) The structure. Every month we get a calendar of what is happening each day which is a great way to have a conversation with your kid after school.
5) The location is beautiful! It's like going to camp, the air is fresh and it's 5 minutes from HWY 13.
6) And, the price, which is less than most preschools.

You don't hear much about Skyline because, frankly, there is usually a wait list. But I believe that there are some openings this year courtesy of the economy. Good luck, I know how difficult a decision this can be. Happy With Skyline Preschool


June 2009

Re: Full-time preschools for less than $1000/month?
Check out Skyline Preschool in Oakland. We've paid under $900 the past two years. I believe it's going up to $900 this Fall. This is for full-time, 7:00 am - 6:00 pm, five days a week. The teachers are fabulous! The program covers all subject areas. There's a dance teacher that comes every week. My daughter comes home with lots of artwork and details of various projects and information she learned. My daughter is more than ready for kindergarten this Fall. Skyline Preschool parent


Oct 2008

Re: Full-time, playbased, preschool near Glenview
I've posted this before, but Skyline Preschool is great. We live in Glenview, and it was less than a 10-minute drive (and basically no traffic unless you get into the mess on Park Blvd). They do have quite a waiting list these days, so get on their list now (some people end up dropping off the waiting list). They have a GREAT outdoor area, and the kids get plenty of outdoor time, and fun outdoor, art and cooking projects. Kids need to be 2 yrs 9 months and potty trained. They also have great hours, not so many weeks when they are closed (I think it's mostly Christmas and one week in the spring.) Lots of play but they also manage to work with the pre-K kids to get them ready for kindergarten. janet


Feb 2007

My daughter, 2.5 years old, currently attends a Montessori preschool. She loves it there (after a month of adjustment) and has been thriving in the environment. Prior to attending, we submitted our application to Skyline Preschool. We were just informed that we got in for next fall. There aren't any recent comments on Skyline Preschool. My daughter and I enjoyed our tour. I like knowing there are 3 very experienced teachers and they do a lot of art and reading. At her current Montessori school, she gets very little art because it's in the afternoon and I usually pick her up early. Skyline is also much cheaper than our current school. Any comments on Skyline Preschool? Anon


My oldest daughter attended a Montessori preschool & we were very happy with it. We chose Skyline preschool for our youngest daugher, though, because we felt it matched our needs better. The three teachers have been with the school for 15+ years, and worked together for 25+. The environment is so warm, supportive of good learning, be it manners, rhymes or dances. The put children on their lap when reading books, they play music, they learn Spanish (with a professional teacher), they have dance classes in a ballroom every week. Children get loved, hugged, encouraged. Parents community is very involved - you do get to meet other parents a lot. They have some wonderful traditions of Mothers Day and Fathers Day celebrations, some other very special traditions. We've sent our friends there multiple times, so we always know someone attending the school and we come visit often. Maria
Nov 2006

We are looking for information about preschools located in the Montclair Village district. We live in the North Oakland Hills and want to enroll our 3 year-old daughter in a Montclair school sometime next year. Our girl is quite shy and would feel most comfortable in a small, intimate school setting where she could get lots of personal attention. We would prefer a school with a Montessori-based philosophy but are open to a more play-based program as well. We are grateful for any feedback and/or recommendations.
BMM


My two kids attend(ed) Skyline Preschool, located off Redwood Road. There are 32 kids enrolled (combined 3- to 5-year olds), and 4 wonderful and caring teachers who provide genuine attention to all of the kids. I have seen several very shy tots openly welcomed by the teachers, kids, and other families. It is play based but the teachers have integrated academics throughout the program. I think they are already full for the Fall, but have a waiting list that several families have gotten in on in the past due to others' relocation, etc. (including us). Good luck.
Happy Skyline parent
Feb 2005

Does anyone have any positive or negative experiences of Skyline Preschool in Oakland? I'm particularly interested in whether it seems like the kids get enough attention, since the ratio of kids to teachers is pretty high. Anything you wish was different? Thanks. Janet


Skyline preschool is a wonderful warm place for a child, with lots of loving attention, where the teachers (all of whom have been there for 15+ years) get to know your entire family and every little nuance about your child. My younger daughter went through the program, and the only thing we regret is that she could not have another year there (graduated). We know (and keep in touch with) other Skyline preschool families, even those with whom we never went there at the same time. All the graduates come back to visit and for special events. Maria
May 2003

Re: 3 days a week play-based preschool
Please consider Skyline Preschool in Oakland hills. You can look up their info by locating them through www.google.com. It is a wonderful preschool! Maria


Feb. 2003

We are looking at the Skyline Preschool located at 12540 Skyline Blvd, in Oakland and wanted to hear what other parents thought. Our son will be 3 next Fall when we are considering enrolling him in a pre-school. There is only one comment (1999) in the archives. Thanks Annie


I'd be happy to give a good recommendation for Skyline Preschool. My son started there in September (when he had just turned 3) and it's worked out great so far. The three teachers have lots of experience and are extremely nice and caring towards the kids (parents, too). The school is play-based and although there are some ''planned'' art projects and activities each week, there's no pressure on those kids who don't want to participate. All in all, we're happy with our choice. Feel free to email me if you want more info. ckmiller
October 1999

My daughter attends Skyline Preschool located at 12540 Skyline Blvd in Oakland. The co-directors, Joady and Darla, are wonderful with the kids. The facility is nice with a play area right outside with a view of the canyons. There are many days that my daughter doesn't want to leave. Give them a call at 530-0884 to find out more. They'll full right now, but they should have openings next fall. Jane


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