Childcare for Infants & Babies

Questions & Responses:
Infant daycare near Albany/El Cerrito/North Berkeley(3 responses)
Daycare recommendations for infant in Oakland(1 response)
Seeking infant daycare starting in May(4 responses)
Waitlist experience for daycares(3 responses)
Archived Responses: 
Questions Reviews of Infant Childcare Advice from Parents


Finding infant childcare in Alameda

May 2014


We are planning to move to Alameda in the next 6 mos. I am pregnant and due at the end of the summer. We are looking for center-based infant care beginning January 2015. I am surprised by the limited options in Alameda--from my research it seems there are only 3 infant centers on the main island (Small Size, Jumpstart, and Peter Pan). I also cannot find much about these online (yet they are all full with long wtg lists!). We would appreciate any information, feedback, or experiences you can share regarding infant care at these centers. Many thanks! confused in alameda

I would suggest posting your question to the Alameda Parents Yahoo Group, which has 5,000-members. BPN doesn't tend to have so many Alamedans on the list. You may even find out providers that have openings. My child is school-age, but I would tell you that there are a lot of families moving into Alameda, so daycare has become tight. Back in the day, we went with a licensed home day care - we still keep up with our caregiver, and she is completely full these days. Anyway, to find a space you shouldn't limit your options - there are definitely home-based care providers who are licensed on the island. If you haven't already, you should contact Bananas in Oakland, a non-profit subsidized by the county that has lists of all licensed providers and also has workshops/literature on choosing a provider. Good luck in your search! Alameda parent


Preschool and infant care at same location?

Aug 2013


After finding out this week that i'll have a job to go back to in january 2014, i'm now scrambling to find a preschool that also has an infant center on-site so that i can do just one drop-off of my 4 yr old and newly-turned 1 yr old (their ages in january). I live in west oakland, will be working in san leandro, so looking for places in oakland (near 880 or 580 would be awesome), alameda, or san leandro. Back to school

Monte Tavor Spanish Immersion has openings for infants and preschoolers. Monte Tavor is in the upper Dimond close to the exits of Coolidge/ Fruitvale on 580. This is a Spanish Immersion program for all ages based on children's interest and teacher instruction. You can receive an e-packet by requesting at hmontetavor [at] or by calling (510) 967-2876. Yeira Howell

Chatham Preschool - 35th Ave campus. It is a large daycare/ preschool which serves 0-5. Chatham parent

You may want to check out Small Size Big Minds next to the Alameda/Bay Farm Island Bridge. Good luck w/ your search!

BlueSkies for Children is located half a mile off 580, between Fruitvale and Coolidge, so it is on your commute path. We currently have an opening for a 4 year old (born before 8/31/09)and will be able to enroll an infant later in the fall. BlueSkies is geared to meet the needs of young children and their working parents, accredited by NAEYC, open 7:30-6 year round. Please look at our website at and come by for a tour! Liisa Hale

I don't know if it fits your location requirement, but the Model School in Berkeley has both infant care and preschool/Pre-K in the same building. We didn't take advantage of the infant room, but I've observed that they take loving care of the little ones. There are nice places inside and outside for the babies to play. And our family has been very happy with the pre-K program. The teachers are great! There seem to be a lot of families from Oakland too. Good luck with back to school and back to work! Joanna

I just went to check out a few preschools recently and Little Stars at 169 14th St, Oakland, CA does have a preschool with an infant care as well. It's run by Chinese owners and a lot of the teachers are Chinese, but there are non-Chinese ones as well. Kids are a mix. Preschool is very affordable, however, infant care (up to age 2) will be twice as much. I did like it and felt a relaxed vibe. They have a huge playground for all the kids. Alice


Day care for infant - options, waiting lists

Feb 2007


I am 7 months pregnant with my first child, and taking 5 months off. I will be looking for daycare part-time (3 days a week) in August or Sept. I would appreciate tips for finding day care and sugegstions. I am currently looking at family day care, day care centers, au pairs, and other options. How many family day cares and day care centers should I wait list for? Some day care centers are requiring a deposit (non refundable) for the application to be on the wait-list. It's a bit overwhelming. Thanks, Anon

bananas is a great resource. their website is on line but you need to call or go in for specific info. my advice - i had my son in a daycare facility at 7 months for one month. he hated it. the 1:3 or 1:4 ratio is too many infants for one person. keep in mind what they need at this age is love and a few trips to the park. i put my son in a nanny share after the daycare and it was the best thing i could have done. loving nanny and a buddy to play with and go to the park with. i am doing the same for my second. beth

This is probably a question that many face and the options can be daunting. For neither of my two kids I started looking before they were actually there, although I had to return to work much earlier (at 2 and 3 months, resp) than you. Mainly, do your homework now regarding your options: what would you like and what can you afford. Bananas can help with this. My pediatrician recommended starting them in a group as small as possible to cut down on the infections, but we definitely were not able to afford a private nanny, and even a nanny share turned out to be on the expensive end for us. I liked home daycares best, and have found great options for both kids (different situations) that were very small-scale (1-2 kids!) with openings on 2-6 weeks notice. Both kids then transferred to a place with more kids (12 max) when they were just afer 1 year old. Probably if you want to do a center, you will need to sign up for waiting lists, but my daycares don't even really keep waiting lists, they just have openings or not. Kids will suddenly leave, for whatever reason, and there is constant turnover in those places. You will need to do a fair amount of interviewing, and then you'll get the feeling for which situation is right for you and your child. Good luck. Kitty


Best Daycare Centers for Infants?

Aug 2003


I am looking for recommendations on the best daycare centers (and the ones to avoid), that accept infants. My baby will be 4 months old when I go back to work, part-time. I have read numerous posts about various centers but they are a bit outdated. Positive and negative feedback would be greatly appreciated! I stayed home with my first child and am nervous about placing baby in a formal daycare, but finances may require it. Thanks in advance for your help. working mom

Recommendations received:

  • BlueSkies for Children (2)
  • Cedar Street Childcare
  • Cornerstone Children's Center
  • Emeryville Child Development Center
  • St. John's

    Other advice:
    I think searching for a day care is such a personal thing. I recommend visiting a couple first, and not wait for the recommendations. I went to one day care that takes infants that got plenty of great reviews on the UC Berkeley Parents website, but after visiting the place there was no way I would place my child there. Things that may be important to you might not be important to others, and things that bother others might not bother you. Trust your instincts, ask a lot of questions, and as awkward as it might feel, just hang out for a good long while in the infant room and observe. Bananas has some publications that you can use as guidelines for what to look for and ask. They can also give you a list of day care centers that take infants. There are plenty of home care providers that take infants, but as far as day care centers, there are only SEVEN in Berekeley and none in Albany. I don't know how many there are in Oakland, as we decided that was too far for us. So even if you get great recommendations now, you will probably by suprised by the waiting lists at most centers, and part-time is even harder to get. (This isn't the case I found with home care providers.) So if it's a day care center you want (and not a home care provider), then I suggest getting on the phone now and start doing site visits. Even if there is a waiting list there is still the chance you can get in to a center. Keep in mind that you will have to pay an application fee to even get on the waiting list. One place I called at the Aquatic Center said that they wouldn't even give me a tour until I had filled out an application and paid the fee, as their waiting list was so long for infants (1 1/2yrs long!). Other places I had to get on the waiting list just for a tour. But don't get discouraged - just start making the phone calls and something will fall into place. anon