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The Snuggery (Berkeley, CA)

Berkeley Parents Network > Reviews > Preschools & Daycare > The Snuggery


Editor Note (April 2011): This preschool appears to have closed. No license number was found at CCLD, and a Jan 2011 about the closing did not receive responses.

Website for The Snuggery: http://www.snuggerypreschool.com/
Nov 2010

I would love to hear some recent reviews of the Snuggery from current or recent parents. How did you feel about the quality of the teachers? Was it a nurturing place? Anything that you wish was different? What do you like/dislike the most? If you chose not to send your kid there, why? Thanks


We've been very pleased with the Snuggery for over a year now. The teachers are very nurturing and well educated in early childhood development. The days are broken up into segments indoors and out (when not too cold or rainy) with a walk to the park on Mondays and a yoga class on Wednesdays. For kids who are ready there is a reading readiness program taught by a former full-time teacher, who has been making great progress with our kid on writing.

The main focus seems to be on helping the kids to interact with each other and the teachers in a respectful and courteous manner. They definitely work on all the tasks of preschool, and teach the kids about sharing, taking turns, how to treat friends and other kids. They focus on a different theme every month and tie in books, art, movement, and exploration of their surroundings on that theme. There are also many different cultural themes and celebration of holidays from many cultures.

The facilities and materials don't look new, but the environment is plenty warm and nurturing. The size is small enough for all the kids (age 2-6) to know each other well and many of the parents are friendly and open to play dates as well. The ratio of teachers to children is well under state mandate.

The school has a strict no peanut policy and also limits certain types of play, which some families find restrictive. No gun/violent play is allowed, and by extension no superhero play. Anything too ''scary'' is discouraged. Also disney princesses, barbies, and similar dolls are not allowed when the kids bring books or toys to share. snuggery parent


Oct 2010

Re: Need a new preschool in Berkeley
Hi, The Snuggery near downtown Berkeley (on McGee near University) is a great preschool with openings. Our 10-y.o. daughter went there and is still connected with many of her friends from preschool - in fact one is here right now for a pla ydate. Now our 3-y.o. daughter goes there - same staff, same routines. We really like it. They do celebrations from around the world (Japan, Africa, Mexico, etc.), and their staff and student population reflect similar diversity. They also do art, music daily at circle time, etc., etc. It's not a high-end preschool, which makes it affordable, but it's cozy, established, and well-run. Good luck! Abigail


Oct 2009

Re: Preschool in north berkeley/albany with openings
The Snuggery in central Berkeley might be a good fit. Diversity is one of its greatest strengths, and it has well under 50 children. It's number is 548-9121. Jennifer D.


Sept 2009

Re: Play based pre-school for 2.9 year old
My 3.5 yo son goes to a play based school in Berkeley called The Snuggery. The rates are quite reasonable, the staff is friendly and good with kids, and the kids all seem to love it. The age range is 2-6, and the class is all one, mixed age, with a low ratio. They take kids in diapers and will work on potty training with you. They have openings currently. Give Nancy a call at: 510-548-9121 Heather


Sept 2008

Re: Any openings at your kid's great preschool?
I think the Snuggery on McGee just south of University has openings because we had planned to go there, but then we got spots in a school right near out house (so we cancelled very late). Our friends are very happy at the Snuggery and we would have sent our kids there if the closer school hadn't come through. Give them a call to schedule a visit. The director is Nancy Tagami and the number is 548-9121. shanta


August 2008

My 4-year-old son has been at The Snuggery for one year now. We have really enjoyed the school and found that it offers so much more than was apparent at our first school tour. My son has enjoyed the art projects, cultural celebrations, and the daily games set up for the children's play and inspiration. I have enjoyed the structure provided for the school week, from ''Kindergym Day'' on Monday to ''Share Day'' on Friday. The Snuggery offers great programs for the parents too, including a bi-annual Potluck Dinner, night-time seminars like ''Kindergarten Prep'', and parent-teacher conferences. This upcoming year, my son will meet with the pre-K group in the afternoons to learn the academic basics. During circle time, he is currently learning about time, days of the week, numbers, and letters in addition to sign language and singing. I toured a number of schools before deciding to enroll in The Snuggery. One of the things that I like best about this school is that they don't spend a lot of time and energy recruiting new families. They don't have an open house presentation, numerous tours, and an elaborate application process. They keep it simple and straightforward. This keeps tuition low and ensures that your money is spent on your child. I highly recommend The Snuggery. LKG


August 2008

Re: Any preschools with 2 days/wk attendance?
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. http://www.snuggerypreschool.com/ Good Luck with your preschool hunt! Snuggery Mom


July 2007

Re: Looking for preschool with ''no peanut'' policy
Though not in your preferred area, the Snuggery Preschool in Berkeley has a peanut/nut free policy. The staff is very knowledgeable and they make sure no peanut/nut products enter the school. Kids wash their hands and faces after lunch. They are also trained how to use the epipen if needed. Besides making sure your child will stay safe, their program is very good. I'm not sure if they have any openings coming up, but call Nancy Togami, director, at 510-548-9121. Idit


March 2007

Re: Berkeley preschool for African American 2-year-old?
My son goes to The Snuggery on McGee near University. The Snuggery, although it seems to have a lot of girls right now, is really a very diverse place. My son has and has had friends who are white, black, asian, female, male, foreign--you name it. The staff is also diverse (black, white, asian, hispanic) and the school's curriculum focuses on celebrating a wide variety of holidays and events (e.g. Black History Month, Lunar New Year, Cinco de Mayo, etc.). Snuggery Mom


March 2006

I've had my 4 year old daughter enrolled full time at The Snuggery since Jan 2006. The Snuggery accepts kids ages 2-5. I appreciate that The Snuggery makes efforts to include cultural events. They invited a story teller for African American Awareness Month and another story teller for Lunar New Year. My daughter even got to be part of their dragon parade down University Ave.

They also have a community minded philosophy. The older kids frequently help the younger ones in partner pairs by finding their lunch boxes or holding hands while crossing the street. I love that my daughter is learning the idea that in this world, we have to take care of one another. On a weekly basis, in addition to their circle times and art activities, The Snuggery has a yoga, sign-language, and dance class. They also walk to the local parks and the downtown YMCA for Kindergym.

INFO:
The Snuggery
Open 7:30 AM - 5:30 PM
http://www.snuggerypreschool.com
and for more parent recommendations check out:
http://www.snuggerypreschool.com/parents.htm
des1
Feb 2006

My usually upbeat and resilient son cried every day before school for six months. He would get very upset in the evening if the following day was a school day, even attempting to bargain his way out of going. Totally out of character. He said the teachers were ''very mean''. After many months of this, attempting to weather the transition, I took him out and he has never exhibited that genuine fear of anything since. Since then he has attended other programs that we have all been quite pleased with. bb


Re: Preschools near Totland in Berkeley (Sept 2004)
The Snuggery, on McGee at University, is a great place. It is developmentaly based and the director, Nancy, is wonderful! I dont know much about the current set of teachers, but Im sure Nancy has carefully screened them to match with the school's philosophies. If you call Im sure she will fill you in on more details. 548-9121

April 2004

Our daughter has had a traumatic past. She was taken away from her biological mother at 2 and had to be hastily removed from what we had thought was a great daycare center after a year. (The providers reported us to the County for child abuse simply because we asked them not to give our child a nap!) All this to say that we have reason to be grateful to The Snuggery for their tender care under difficult circumstances. The staff members are both deeply intelligent and grounded in well reasoned values. The children come from varied backgrounds and constitute the kind of family that ideally represents the kind of world we want our 3 year old to grow up into. R

Jan 2004

Re: Affordable Pre-school for Toddler
Try The Snuggery on McGee Avenue at University in Berkeley. My daughter graduated there last fall - though she attended only 4 days per week, the price was well below what you are seeking, so maybe full-time would be within your range as well? Warm atmosphere, caring staff, good enrichment - give it a try! Lisa


November 2003

We are thinking about enrolling our son in The Snuggery preschool in Berkeley in January. Does anyone have any updated opinions, advice, comments, etc. about it? (I've looked at old postings on the website.) I had a good impression when I toured it, but I'm a bit curious about why it still has space open, when so many other preschools are full. Thanks
Our daughter attended the Snuggery for 3 years and we all loved it. It gave her the best preparation for kindergarten I could think of - prepared her socially and emotionally as well as academically. She is now in first grade, so maybe this is not the accurate update you are looking for. Go with your intuition, whatever it may be. I never thought of a school as better because it is booked up or costs more. Just visit every school you can afford, observe staff, kids and facility, ask what is important to you and go with what you feel. Back then, I signed up with the Snuggery on the spot, because it felt right. And, it turned out to be right. Heike
My two boys attended there from ages 2-5 and we and they were very happy there. The approach is less on academics and more on learning to interact positively with other kids. By the time my children ''graduated'' they had learned the alphabet, could spell their names, and even learned some sign language and bits and pieces of several other languages.

The school was very good about celebrating diverse holidays, managing kids who were being toliet trained and dealing with positive and firm ways to keep the children behaving in socially acceptable ways. The teachers took the parent-teacher conferences seriously and generally showed care and concern for the children. My children are still friends with many of the kids they met at the preschool as are we with the parents.

The building is clearly not as fancy as some of the other preschools around, but then again, the price of the care is lower than many other schools. It was a good nieghborhood school for us.


My grandson(5)loved the Snuggery Preschool.So did both my nieces (10-14).All 3 have friends from the Snuggery they still stay in touch with...All 3 were perfectly prepared for kindergarden.I felt he was safe,happy and relaxed ,so he could learn and be creative.He allways came home with loads of interesting artwork and stories of the day.Some of the things I liked was that they try to have a very varied ethnic/gender etc. mix of students (and teachers).The inside layout is more like a home and very comforting and the large outside play area is surounded by fabulous tall trees .I liked that the kids walk to neigborhood playgrounds and once a week to Kindergym.I liked the fact that they have dance,yoga,and signlanguage teachers almost every week.I realy liked that they are not alowed to eat ANY junk food or sweets (not even for b-days),and absolutely NO super heroes and violent toys (and NO TV).I realy liked that the teachers read a lot to the kids (even during lunchtime!).The Snuggery was the best preschool for our familly. M.Henri
Our child attended the Snuggery from September 2002 through August 2003. We were very happy with the teachers and felt that overall the program was good, but that summer there was a great deal of teacher turnover, and our daughter seemed to have a greater and greater reluctance to go to school. So we looked around and were lucky enough to find another place where she has been happier. My husband was also less than happy with some management aspects. In retrospect, I feel my daughter would have been happier in a place where there was more separation between the younger and older kids. She was two and it was hard for her to sit through and understand a circle time that seemed to be more geared for the 5-year-olds. You can email me if you would like more details. mm

August 2003

Re: preschool openings
I think the Snuggery has part time openings. They are a great developmental preschool (I worked there a few years ago) close to campus (McGee at University). The # is 548-9121 and I think the web site is www.snuggerypreschool.com . Good luck! Rebecca
I think The Snuggery on McGee at University still has a few openings for the fall. 548-9121. The director, Nancy, is great and may even be able to help with other recomendations if they are full. Good luck
Re: 3-year-old who doesn't nap
The Snuggery Preschool on Mcgee at University does not require kids to nap if it seems to be in the best interest of the child (if the child was falling apart every afternoon because he was over tired they may try to pursuade the child to rest). Non- nappers spent the time doing quieter activities (blocks, art, gardening, reading, etc.) outside, weather permitting. Im sure the director, Nancy, would be happy to talk with you about their nap philosophy. 548-9121

July 2003

Can anyone offer a recent recommendation (good or bad) of the Snuggery? I am considering sending my two-year old son there. anon
My daughter went to the Snuggery for 3 years (until 8/02) and loved it. So did we! It was the best preparation for kindergarten we could hope for. I also like their policy of no superhero stuff and no sugar. I have fond memories of their festivals, their potlucks, the community of parents and all the wonderful classes for the children (sign language, yoga, kindergym, art, Spanish) that are included in the affordable monthly fee. Heike

March 2003

Re: Preschool for child with food allergy
The Snuggery in central Berkeley is good about food allergies. At lunch the children sit at tables with others of the same age under the eyes of several teachers. They bring their own lunches, and there is a strict rule against sharing food. I know of at least one child with a severe peanut allergy who had no problems while attending The Snuggery. He started right when he turned two. Jennifer

Sept. 2002

Re: "Traditional" school 2-3 mornings a week
Hi! You may want to try our Pre-School....The Snuggery. I am proud to say I have been teaching there for 3 years and my son is also a proud graduate now in 1st grade! We often have p/t openings,either several full days,or 5 half days. Nancy is our director and you can chat more about options. Always phone very early in the day if you want to reach her at 510-548-9121. Our school has a site-www.snuggerypreschool.com Danielle

Oct 2001

To the person looking for a preschool for a not quite 2 y 9 m child, you might consider talking to Nancy Togami at the Snuggery. I know in the past they have been a little flexible (depending on the child) and they do offer part-time options. It is located at 2008 McGee Avenue in Berkeley, phone (510) 548-9121. Now is definitely the time to sign up for next year. Natasha
I suggest checking out The Snuggery on McGee almost at University in Berkeley. The director's name is Nancy Togami. My 3 year old son has been there this year and it has been a really good experience for him. I think they have openings because a lot of kids just graduated to Kindergarten. Their # is 548-9121 Ellen

Feb 2000

I just wanted to voice (again) my recommendation for The Snuggery preschool which just announced openings in June. My son graduated last year, and I am' even more enthusiastic about their program now that I have seen how well it has helped him adapt to kindergarten. I miss the extent of the multicultural exposure he had at the Snuggery, and the wonderful sense of camaraderie that we all shared with the staff and families. It's a wonderful program. They don't have beautiful facilities (the house seems at first glance a little rundown) or the newest toys, but each child is loved and honored there. And each child comes away with a solid sense of self as part of a community. We certainly intend to send our second son there as well. Feel free to contact me if you have additional questions. Natasha Z


1996

The Snuggery preschool in Berkeley has openings for children aged 2 1/2 to 5 1/2. Hours are 7:30 AM to 5:30 PM. The school is located at 2008 McGee Avenue in Berkeley, phone (510) 548-9121.

I recommend the Snuggery highly from personal experience. My first two children, ages 7 and 9, are Snuggery graduates, and my yougest, age 4, has been a Snuggery kid for 2 years now. The school has been in operation about 15 or 18 years now; they have two dedicated co-directors and a staff well-trained in early childhood education. They are located in a former residence with a big back yard that has both sun and shade.

When my kids first started going to the Snuggery, I smiled when I said "school", but I'm very serious when I say it now. The Snuggery is very educational in a warm, non-forced sort of way. They have a variety of well-planned activities with light educational value throughout the day, and lots of interesting toys, puzzles, etc. which are rotated to keep the kids interested. My 3-year-old's favorite acticity is "circle time", when the teachers and kids all sit in a circle, sing songs, and use their hands or their bodies to illustrate the words of the song.

The Snuggery has firm but gentle discipline and clear, well-defined rules ofehavior. I am pleased at the way that the teachers settle disputes by encouraging the children to take turns explaining to each other what they want. Even the smallest children are given the time and encouragement they need to "use their words".

If you have further questions about the school, feel free to contact the school directly. If you would like to discuss the school with me as a Snuggery parent, please call me during the day at 642-8163 or after hours at 549-2086. I can put you in touch with other Snuggery parents if you wish.

Sincerely,
Beverly


This is a wonderful school that recently "graduated" a large group in August and have had only two new kids start since then. My son started at the beginning of the year and absolutely loves it--the teachers are warm, discipline methods help the kids learn how to interact and resolve conflicts, and educational materials are not overwhelming . . . plus there is a good emphasis on having fun. We really enjoy this school, the many activities and all the great people associated with it.

The Snuggery is located on McGee and their hours are 7:30am-5:30 pm; currently tuition is $565 a month plus 6 hours of parent "work" per year. Their number is 548-9121.

Natasha


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