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Re: Full-day but part-time preschool near Walnut Creek
Check out White Pony Preschool in Lafayette! It's a loving bright positive environment. Located on the WC/Lafayette border. Rates are reasonable and they even have a breakfast program for kids that get dropped off *very* early. They have beautiful gardens and a wonderful sense of connectedness within the school community. They also have a k-5 program there. Its location is a former elementary school in Lafayette so it's a large facility. There are 5 preschool classes of mixed age, where the older ones get a chance to be kind and mentor littler ones, and the little ones get a chance to play with and look up to older kids, too. So glad my kids went there! Christina
We have really liked the school so far. The teachers are gentle and soft-spoken, and the rooms are clean, bright and well-organized. There seems to be a nice balance of organized activities and free time for playing, which I think is super important when a kid is really young. Also, we were pleasantly surprised that it wasn't crazy expensive. And, you can opt to send your kid to the Meher School after preschool. (Our five-year-old is in the young kindergarten class, which we have also loved so far.) Happy White Pony Parent
Re: Lamorinda Preschool-Which one?
Might I recommend White Pony Preschool in Lafayette? Our daughter went there from age 2 through 5, and is now in the attached private elementary school (Meher Schools). White Pony is a wonderful, loving preschool where our very shy daughter really blossomed with the help of the amazing teachers there. The school is particularly geared towards working parents (which my husband and I are) and has a before and after care program, enrichment classes in the aftercare program, and a cooperative breakfast program (if you participate, it's free except that you have to bring your assigned food each week, e.g., Cheerios or eggs or milk) where the teachers cook the kids breakfast each day. White Pony does not advertise - it is strictly word-of-mouth, it seems, and there is a waiting list. I recommend you contact them to get a tour. If you like the tour, then you can ask to be put on the waiting list. They are located at 999 Leland Avenue in Lafayette. Good luck! Lori
Re: Preschool in WC/Lafayette/PH
I can wholeheartedly recommend White Pony Preschool in Lafayette. It's at 999 Leland Drive. Our daughter went there for 3 years (from 2-5 years old) and she is continuing in their elementary school now as a kindergartener. This school has the most loving teachers and wonderful program. Music and art play a big part (my daughter loves both). They also have an unbeatable schedule for working parents - they open at 7:00 am and close at 6:30 pm. They have a co-op breakfast program (parents bring food that they are assigned and the teachers cook hot breakfast each day for the children). They almost never close. They are closed the week before Labor Day and a few days after Labor Day. Other than that, they're just closed for the usual holidays that most folks have off from work. They offer before and after care. They are also very reasonably priced. I would call them and arrange a tour and get on their waiting list. They do not advertise - it's all word of mouth. Lori
Re: Elementary Schools with Pre-K Programs
Another option is to do a 3rd year of preschool. We live in Lafayette and our daughter attends White Pony preschool. She started when she was 2 and will have completed 3 years there by the time she starts kindergarten this fall. Perhaps preschools in the area where you're planning on living do a similar thing? Christina
Re: Looking for Lamorinda preschool
I have a child at White Pony. From what you have described ''i am seeking a half day, play based program whose director is well trained and well spoken in child development and child psychology. and i would like to know that this knowledge is passed on to staff (despite turnover) who will be working with the children. i am seeking a nurturing school that prioritizes socialization and feelings vs. academics'', it seems like you are talking precisely about White Pony!! I don't know how better to word it than you have already. My child got all of that at WP and more. We love it.
There is very little turnover, infact I haven't seen any in my childs classroom.
She only has lunch there, does not stay for rest/nap in the afternoon, so I do not know about children leaving later, but I know some of her friends do and they're as in love with the school as she is.
There is a wait list to get into WP so apply as soon as you can. Good luck! Lamorinda mom
Re: preschools in Lamorinda, it sounds like you are looking for White Pony, the wonderful preschool our daughter has been going to for 3 years (starting at age 2). There is very little turnover there and they have the most loving teachers you will ever meet. The preschool director is great and the author of a parenting book called, if memory serves, ''Who's in Control?''. Preschoolers can go to school 5 days a week, 3 days a week, or 2 days a week. Our daughter has always gone 5 days a week as we both work full time. There has never been any problem with having some kids there part-time. Our daughter is also in the before and after care program, which is also wonderful. We have been so thrilled with the program and the teachers at White Pony. I highly recommend you check it out. Lori
Re: Looking for Lamorinda preschool
I can highly recommend White Pony preschool in Lafayette. Our daughter, now 4.5 years old, has been going there since she was 2. The school is wonderful! It has the most loving, caring teachers. Very low turnover of teachers. Our daughter has really thrived there and we (and she) like the school so much we're keeping her there for elementary school (they have an attached private elementary school). The school is very reasonably priced and offers absolutely the best hours/schedule I've found for working parents - they only close for one whole week the week before Labor Day. Otherwise, they're open year-round, 7:00am-6:30 pm. They have a cooperative breakfast program where families in the program are assigned something to bring each week. The teachers cook hot breakfast for the kids in breakfast program every day. Really can't beat it for working parents, and a very nurturing place for your child. Call them at 925-938-4826 and set up a tour to check it out. They do have a lottery system as it is so popular (even though they don't advertise - it seems to be all word-of-mouth), so if you are interested, you would want to get on the list right away. Feel free to send me e-mail if you have further questions. Lori
My son, age 4.75 years, attends White Pony (Meher School) in Lafayette and we (wife, son and myself) are all very happy with the school. He has been there since he was 2.5 years old. The teachers seem to be truly caring and interested in the children. Apparently the school is very popular, as we have friends that were not able to enroll their children due to lack of space.
As far as transition time, my son started at Happy Days in Lafayette when he was 2 years old and we transferred him at 2.5 years to White Pony. I do not remember that the transition was too awful. I think the teachers at White Pony were very understanding. David
About a transition time: We moved our daughter into a new daycare at age two. I found that I was more upset about her missing her friends and loving adults than she actually experienced. I could anticipate loss and missing someone whereas she didn't have so many past experience about that. We started talking about "new daycare maybe 2-3 weeks before she switched. We visited the new daycare within that time frame so she knew what we were talking about. On the last day at the old day care we said goodbye, next week we are going to new daycare etc. She was looking forward to it. I made the first day at the new daycare a short one. We visited the old daycare once at her request. The White Pony School has a good system worked out for helping your child transition into their school, lots of parent time spent, short days etc. Good luck! Karen
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