Current Experience with These East Oakland Preschools

Hello. We have a 4-month-old but are hearing from other families that some preschools have long waiting lists and that we shouldn't delay in exploring our options.

We are planning to take some tours this spring but wanted to hear any other parents experiences with any of the following preschools: Kids Konnect, Oakland Garden School, Chathem Nursery School, Holding Hands, Skyline Preschool, or Duck Pond. 

Thanks in advance for your input.

Parent Replies

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My son attends Duck Pond and I also highly considered Skyline Preschool. I did start the application for both a year in advance of his start date.

Duck Pond only accepts a small amount of children per year and will only accept applications in the fall of the year prior to starting. I was, literally, standing at the door the first day they would accept applications as I also heard it was very hard to get into preschool.

As a back-up, I applied to Skyline which I really loved. The outdoor playground is very nice, the teachers are especially sweet and the tuition costs are manageable. Our neighbors son goes there and loves it. We would've ended up there but amazingly our son was accepted to Duck Pond so that is where we landed. 

I can't say enough about Duck Pond. They have enrichment programs four out of five days a week and the class size is small enough where I know my son is getting individual attention. They have a lot of activities for the families outside of school as well so you are constantly surrounded by community. So much so, I tend to run into the Duck Pond families by happenstance on the weekend. It makes the experience that much better. 

I looked into Chatham as well upon the recommendation of a few friends whose kids went there. The waiting list is long there and spots fill up fast. The cost is much less than Duck Pond or Skyline but the class sizes are, subsequently, a lot bigger. We had/have a nanny for our son and daughter and because they were going from a situation where they got 1:1 attention all day long I strongly felt they needed to transition to a school with smaller classes. If that hadn't been the case, Chatham would have been a contender as well. 

Finally, I did research Oakland Garden School and found they had a high teacher turnover rate - so immediately discounted it as that made me uncomfortable.

Good luck! You're doing the right thing by starting early. :)