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The city of El Cerrito has a part-time (half day, Mon-Thur) program called ''Teeter Tots'' for toddlers ages 22 - 36 months and on Friday's, it's called ''TGIF'' which is located at the El Cerrito Community Center on Moeser Lane.
Parents have the option of enrolling their child for a minimum of two days/week in the Teeter Tots program and/or on the TGIF program but you cannot exceed a total of three days per week (that was my understanding).
My son Jonas started Teeter Tots when he was 22 months old and has been there for almost 7 months now. When he was an infant, I had the luxury of bring him to work with me at an infant day care. So, as I continued to work at the infant day care, my mother (his grandma) helped bring Jonas to and from the program. Sadly my mother will be returning to work in March and Jonas will be going to a full-time school since my husband and I also work full-time.
My son was very outgoing before he started the program at the El Cerrito Community Center and still is until this very day. It took him about a month (attending 3/week) to fully adjust to being there (not crying anymore at drop off). The staff was very understanding when he cried and someone would always hold him until he felt comfortable enough to go play on his own.
After a month of attending the program he started to sing songs that I have never heard of before and he even started to sing the Alphabet song, my husband and I were very impressed! As time went on, he learned how to count from 1 - 20, he could read the alphabet, read numbers, and he even knew the different colors and shapes which we haven't even practiced at home with him before, he totally learned it from school! Just two months ago, I realized he knew the names of his classmates because they sing a ''good morning'' song which incorporates their individual names in it. I am so happy we picked this program for our son, it prepared him for his next phase (preschool)!
As you can see I only have possitive things to say about this place. There are both men and women who work there so the children get exposed to both sexes. The one negative thing is, it seems you have to initiate the topic of conversation before it gets brought up on their part, I think the staff doesn't know who to bring up an ''issue'' if or when one were to arise. So, my advice is to ask questions and follow up on how your son is doing every day. You may want to consider enrolling him in another day or two if he needs it.
Good luck and I hope you and your little guy gets a possitive experience out of Teeter Tots / TGIF! Lai
We just put our 25 month old son on the El Cerrito Teeter Tots waiting list. It'll probably be a few months before he gets in, but I was just wondering what experiences people have had with this program. The two reviews in the archive are from 2006 and somewhat mixed. Please give us your positive and negative experiences! Thanks first preschool
I searched the archives and wanted to see if I could get a more current review of the Teeter Tot program run by the City of El Cerrito. We checked the program out today and I thought the place was nice - clean, 4 to 1 student/teacher ratio, lots of play, circle time, stories, music and art. Just wanted to get some feedback from parents who might currently have their kids enrolled there. Seems like a great little program! Thanks!
I would highly recommend the Teeter Tots preschool program at the El Cerrito Community Center for 2-3 1/2 year olds. My children, now 7 and 8 1/2 both attended this program. It is very nurturing for this age group and they are not subject to some of the dominance that occurs when this age group is in a mixed pre-school which goes up to kindergarten age. Everything is small-scale -- trikes, painting easels, kitchen stuff etc. The staff are very nurturing and are sensitive to issues in this age group, including separation anxiety and potty training. I know one of the key staff people moved away since we were there, but I believe the tone has been maintained with current staff. The hours are short (9-11:30 as I recall), which is great for this age group but not ideal if you require longer childcare hours.
My younger daughter started there at 23 months and she was fine, but I don't know if they have a younger-end cutoff. You mentioned that your child is 20 months old and you may have to visit with your child to see if you want to start now or to wait a few months.
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