Affordable Daycare

Hello, like everyone else, I'm looking for more affordable daycare for my 2.5 year-old that's not going to break the bank. She is attending Montessori in Emeryville presently, but I'm looking for something with similar focus/attention and without the price tag - other options essentially. I live in Oakland but willing to travel a little if necessary. Any recommendations?

gratefully, scott

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RE: Affordable Daycare ()

You didn’t mention what you’re paying and “affordable” is a relative term! I’d check out bananas for recommendations. They list prices (which can be hard to find)! 

RE: Affordable Daycare ()

Hi Scott, I sympathize with your desire to find a less expensive preschool for your little daughter. Daycare/preschool is just unbelievably expensive. It's rare to find full time care for less than $1,800 a month. That said, to find something more affordable, your best bet is to look away from the bigger preschools and instead seek a home daycare or preschool, and specifically, in Oakland. Schools in Berkeley and Albany cost more. It will be harder to find an in-home with a Montessori model, but some are more structured than others. Home daycares/preschools often don't have websites, but you can get a pretty good list from Bananas in Oakland, and also, you can do pretty well searching on the Berkeley Parents Network site. Good luck!

RE: Affordable Daycare ()

We recently started at Grace Children's Academy on the Oakland/Emeryville border and are very happy. It’s play based and the kids have lots of art and sensory activity time. It’s not Montessori, but I think at this age the best thing for them is to play and be a kid without rigorous structure (just my two cents, I know there are varying degrees of Montessori styles).

As for budget, it depends on if your child is potty trained and what hours/days you need but it should be under 2k regardless. 

RE: Affordable Daycare ()

Contra Costa College has an Early Learning Center with much cheaper prices for childcare (could be around $900/month). It is a bit far from Oakland though. I would've put my kids in this center, but they follow the colleges policies on COVID so were closed for much of the lockdown in 2020/2021. I visited several times and were always impressed with the staff; their assistants are often students-in-training and they are very up-to-date with their early childhood education research. They are probably taking a waitlist for Fall 2022 now, so I'd definitely go to the Contra Costa College website and give them a call. Another option would be El Nuevo Mundo in Richmond, a Spanish/English preschool. It was maybe around $1100/month in 2019. The only downside to this one was that they required the child be potty-trained, which ours wasn't. Not sure if this is still the case, but you can always call and ask.

RE: Affordable Daycare ()

Hello, it's a bit hard to answer your question without knowing what you mean by affordable, which is relative.  Perhaps you could share what you are currently paying and/or what you would like to pay.  In home daycares are generally less expensive than daycare "centers" or preschools.  They may not have websites.  You can look at licensed child care options here https://mychildcare.ca.gov/#/home.  You should do an advanced search to find places that have a child 2 or older enrolled to filter out the infant daycare places.