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Woolly Mammoth (Berkeley, CA)
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We are thinking of sending our 14-month old son to Woolly Mammoth part-time. There aren't many postings about the center and the few that are there are a bit old. Does anyone have any recent experience there? Any information and comments would be helpful! Savitha
In the infant room Mayra lavishes hugs and kisses on the babies all day - I'll never forget smelling her perfume on my daughter's head when I picked her up from there. She said ''Mayra'' before she said ''Mommy!'' They can only have two infants under one year old at any time, so there is always someone to pick up your baby, but they are also encouraged to be independent explorers as well. In the big kids room Emilia is also very loving with the kids, hugging and kissing them all the time. She also teaches them to ''use their words'' and to treat each other with respect. They learn to write their names and do addition, a practice Emilia encourages but doesn't force on them. In the area of potty training, it was a total breeze since it was done at school - basically when they were ready it just happened!
Because WM is so small (there are only the two rooms, infant and preschool), one of the owners is in charge in each of the rooms, so there is no turnover in that regard, and they have hired wonderful people to help out. There are field trips to the zoo, the pumpkin patch, and Fairyland, among other places (parents are asked to help with transportation and supervision) and they have a lovely graduation ceremony. Since it is not a co-op, parents are not asked to volunteer on a regular basis, which was great for us since we both work five days a week. However, we stayed in close touch with what was going on with our kids by talking to the teachers daily.
I can answer more specific questions if you have them, please
feel free to email me. I will never forget how Woolly Mammoth
helped us raise our kids to be kind, respectful and loving
individuals - I am eternally grateful to them. I also know many
other parents who feel the same way.
My 15-month-old daughter is at Woolly Mammoth, and she has been there since she was 8-1/2 months old. I would highly recommend it; the teachers are energetic, caring, and extremely loving. Even very young children do creative projects and learn to paint and draw - we are amazed at what our little girl does there! It is much smaller than most daycare/preschools that are not home-based (8 in the infant/toddler room, 10 in the preschool room), so there is a lot of individual attention - if your baby needs to be held a lot he will be.The directors, Mayra and Emilia, really get to know every child and their special needs. We did have to wait a long time on the waiting list, but it was well worth it in the end. Sahoko
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