Looking for a great pre-school in the Berkeley flats.

Can anyone recommend a small, loving and nurturing play-based home preschool in Berkeley? Looking for a strong connection to nature, organic food for snacks and a feeling of community among the parents. In the flats would be a huge bonus.

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I sent my little-one (now entering first grade) to Redwood Garden Preschool. It was the best choice! My child and our whole family love Redwood Garden. It is a small and nurturing  group. Amazingly supportive of the child and of their imagination. Lauri is a loving, caring and knowledgable teacher, I would not be the parent I am without her insight. My child still asks to visit, and the highlight of her year is attending Lauri's summer sessions. I only wish that we could have stayed at Redwood garden through college!

Redwood Garden Preschool in Berkeley!!!  On Talbot btwn Dartmouth and Gillman.  http://redwoodgardenpreschool.com/  My daughter just finished preschool there (she is starting kindergarten next week) and it was such a beautiful experience.  Exactly what you describe, small (6 kids max a day), Lauri is so loving and nurturing, Waldorf inspired so play-based/imaginative play.  The kids make their own bread, stone soup, lots of nature, singing, happiness, etc.  My daughter was so shy in any prior preschool and just totally came out of her shell at Redwood Garden.  The kids there form such close relationships and you really get to know all of the parents.  All around a tight knit group.  I feel so lucky to have be able to be part of the whole experience.  Would love to share any further details: contact me via my BPN user name.  

I can say with utmost certainty that Redwood Garden Preschool encompasses all that you seek. I believe that there is a very rare opening for this fall. My daughter attended Redwood Garden for three years and we are still dear friends with several of the families we connected with during our time there. Lauri Miller is a wonderful, loving, kind, nurturing caregiver and teacher, she is family to us even now. Her home is warm and cozy and her garden magical. She leads a gentle, consistent rhythm through the day, flowing between circle, imaginative free play inside and outside, snack, lunch and daily activity - baking, gardening, painting, soup making, etc. That rhythm flows consistently through the week, giving the children a strong sense of place, of self, and of being part of a group moving together as one. Redwood Garden is in the Westbrae neighborhood of Berkeley. http://redwoodgardenpreschool.com/. Feel free to contact me for further information via my user name, below.

Redwood Garden Preschool in the flats, run by Lauri Miller, is the most nurturing, most caring, most creative, sweetest, loveliest, school for a young child. Lauri is not just a profoundly well-educated, highly literary, deeply kind person, she is magical with the children! The Waldorf philosophy that guides her and her school is a deeply conscious, well-thought out approach to the education and social and emotional development of a child like no other. If nurturing creativity and imagination are important to you, send your child there! If teaching them about the beauty of and connection to the trees, the plants, animals, flowers, and one's friends is important to you, send your child there! I can't imagine having felt better leaving my son, who had a hard time with separation when he was little, in her hands (and often her arms) every day! Please feel free to contact me for more information.  

Kikas House Family Day Care (or the website) is an idyllic place, in the flats, for ages 14 months through age 4. We sent both our kids there, it's better than a nanny share for little ones, and an environment where they thrive until they're ready for a bigger kid pre-school. It fits your description exactly - strong connection to nature, healthy food, strong community for parents and especially the kids - it's a family. I agree with everything in the reviews from the past 10 years!