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Small preschools

To view licensing information at the State's Licensing Office for a preschool or childcare site, including inspection dates, citations, and complaints, click "view" next to the License #. See this page for info about daycare and preschool reviews on the BPN website.

Berkeley Parents Network > Reviews > Preschools & Daycare > Small preschools


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Looking for small home based preschool next fall

Oct 2007

We are looking for a small home based preschool starting in August for our son who will then be just over 3 years. We would prefer 1 or 2 teachers with a small ratio of children. N Berkeley area prefered, but willing to travel a few miles for the right school. We are very interested in Waldorf and Montessori based schools but are open to others. Would like to have an earthy type school with more natural wood type toys, healthy, organic snacks. Also open to co-ops. Our son has only had a sitter a couple of times in his life, so we are looking for teachers that are very present and attentive. Thanks for any suggestions!


Try Home Away From Home run by a woman named Lauren. It is based in her home on Birch street off of College. Very sweet, attentive, seasoned, enthusiastic staff (usually 3:1). Satisfied Parent

Looking for a small preschool in N. Berkeley

Oct 2007

BPN has given me info about a lot of great schools that we might consider, but I'm sending this in case we missed one. We're interested in finding a small preschool in north berkeley/albany that can be part time and is really nurturing. We want a place that would be great for a very bright and cerebral three year old. We think her current school may be too big and boistrous. ideally something 10-20 students. Lots of art, nature, gardening etc. Lots of attention to the kids- very involved teachers. A place that might have openings before next year is surely welcome. debbie


I think Cedar Creek Montessori would be perfect for your daughter. When our daughter started, she was very shy, intensely interested in a lot of things but needed to be in a place where she would be drawn out, or given enough quiet space to express herself. She has really thrived and blossomed at Cedar Creek, where kids like her do very well. In fact, it seems all kids do well there! Cedar Creek is bigger than what you're looking for, but I found it to be much calmer and more organized than other smaller schools we saw. Our daughter comes home every day with an art project (or three), and stories about what she learned in ''nature studies,'' which the older children participate in. The students also have music and dance classes weekly. The teachers are attentive, gentle, warm, and engaging, and they give hugs when the kids need them. Any time we've had a concern about our daughter, her teachers are responsive and helpful. Both the students and the teachers are fairly diverse. There is a lot of clear and organized communication between the school and the parents. It's just a great, safe, nuturing and stimulating environment. I had determined that our daughter would not go to a preschool with more than 10-15 children and I'm so glad we went to see Cedar Creek. The only complaint we have about Cedar Creek is that it will be too hard to leave! We feel spoiled now. We love Cedar Creek
Try Mi Escuelita in N. Berkeley, near Solano. Max 12-14 kids; offers part-time; bilingual Spanish; lots of art, music, songs, reading, daiy walks, library visits, warm, loving care-givers. My 3 year old loves it. Like a great, big extended family for her. Might have part-time openings now. Call 526-4357 raiss
Try ''The Gay Austin School'' on Hopkins in North Berkeley. It sounds like it has everything you are looking for. I have 2 children that went there and loved it! Andrea

Intimate, warm preschool with fewer than 20 kids

February 2003

I'm looking for a small, intimate, warm, loving preschool, preferably with less than 20 kids, for my daughter, who will soon be three. Many small preschools -- especially those in private homes -- aren't publicized, and I haven't lived here long enough to benefit from word of mouth. I'd love to hear your recommendations. Thank you! Laura

Recommendations received:

  • Benvenue Children's Center Berkeley
  • Garden Day Montessori Berkeley
  • Hug a Bug El Cerrito
  • New House N. Berkeley
  • Rainbow School Oakland - Broadway Terr.
  • Ready, Set, Grow Alameda (closed as of 7/04)
  • Sprouts Preschool N. Berkeley

    See also: more recommendations for home-based preschools


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