East Oakland preschool recommendations

Hello! Looking to crowd source some information from this great group. My son is  25 months old we live in maxwell park and I am pregnant with our second due in October. We are currently part of a nanny share that we absolutely love but our son is ready for more socialization and outdoor time. Can anyone reccommend preschools with good outdoor areas or nature philosophies anywhere near east oakland, alameda, San leandro etc. We would prefer not to commute too far but would consider a bit of a drive for the right place. Thanks in advance

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Our girls just loved Bernice & Joe's Playschool! (And so did us mamas.) The school has a HUGE yard where the kids get to spend a lot of time doing the important work of children- PLAYING! And the teachers there are sooooo good at helping the little ones navigate social relationships, sharing, and learning together. When kids graduate and go off to TK or kindergarten they're still allowed to come back to "visit" (childcare for YOU!) when their school has a PD day or something. Our kids loved coming back to tell the others about "Life in the BIG World." haha

We miss it.


Absolutely recommend Peter Pan Preschool in Maxwell Park! This is a co-op preschool that is amazing. Fabulous outdoor space (upper park all the time, lower park during designated playtime), very strong play emphasis but lots of pre-literacy activities, fabulous art projects, and an amazing community. These are people that your kids will probably be friends with for the rest of your life, and you with the parents. So if you're not aware of it I'd strongly recommend checking it out. Now that we're coming out of Covid, there will probably be lots of pressure on preschools so get on their wait list ASAP and attend open houses or whatever they are doing. Best wishes!

We send our 2.5 year old to Pilgrims in Laurel and we love it.  It is a no-frills environment with loving teachers that have been around for many many years.  I toured several preschools in east oakland and while Pilgrim's outdoor area may not be as nice and fancy as some others, they get plenty of time outdoors or inside with the windows open.  He is in a class of 5-6 kids with the same teacher and all the kids mask up, it feels very covid-safe.  

Blue Skies for Children is pretty close to you, and it's a great preschool.  My 2 kids went there and they have great teachers and great staff.  Their outdoor area is not great, but it's pretty good.  And your kid will have a ton of fun playing with the other kids.