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Has anyone had experience with Blue Leaf School home daycare in North Berkeley? TIA!
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Hi! This is a new school so I don't think anyone in the area has experience with the school but I can't say enough wonderful things about the director- Cassandra Ford. When my daughter was about 15 months Cassie would watch her with her son at their house. My daughter would look forward to those days with Cassie so much and still talks about her now (she's almost 4). Cassandra is so knowledgeable about knowing right where children are at and what they're needing and is also great about talking to and with parents. I am really picky about who I let take care of my children and I never felt an ounce of hesitation leaving her with Cassie. I'm considering sending my son there when he's a bit older as well. So much love for their whole family!
My daughter (13 months) is currently at Blue Leaf, and we all LOVE it. Prior to the opening of the official space earlier this year, Cassie looked after my daughter with her son in their home. My daughter LOVES Cassie (and, actually, Cassie's younger son - they are truly buddies already!). I have an older son, and we've had our share of (first world) problems in getting care that we feel good about for him. But leaving our daughter with Cassie has been a dream. Nowadays, my daughter welcomes me enthusiastically at pick-up time, but often she will keep checking-in with Cassie as we talk about the day - cuddling in her lap or tackle-hugging her from behind. My daughter is a happy, resilient, equanimit-able soul, but she is undeniably a bit of a momma's girl, so it makes me feel incredibly warm to know my daughter harbors that level of affection for Cassie.
Cassie herself has had a significant career in early childhood education and care, as she was a preschool director in Chicago before she moved out here to start her family. At Blue Leaf, she has created a lovely, highly considered space. Cassie's RIE philosophy and thoughtful approach to caregiving have made her an amazing partner in raising our daughter. I'm endlessly inspired by her ideas for space and toys, and I love seeing how much the babies (--wait, toddlers! Yikes!) grow and rise to the challenge when given clear expectations and the responsibility of managing themselves (with plenty of support, of course), in a bubble of love. My daughter is constantly suprising me and outstripping my expectations. When we go for pick-up, even my son is desperate to go in and spend time there! All in all, Blue Leaf gets a wholehearted recommendation from our family.