Preschool with African American kids

Our 3 year old is the only black or mixed race child in her classroom. Looking for some suggestions for a preschool in/near Berkeley where she won't be the token black child.  Thank you. 

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Well, it's been a few years, but back when my kids attended Monteverde Preschool in Berkeley (~2012-2016), there were kids of all races at the school, including multiple African Americans. The teaching staff was also very diverse and included African Americans. Maybe go visit and check out what it's like now? It is a *wonderful* school all around. I still miss it.

I don't have any great ideas for you because I'm looking for the same thing! But I have heard the Nia School is a good setting. 

Apply to Monteverde! There are dedicated to diversity and have an anti-racist curriculum. Your child definitely won't be the token brown kid :)

Golden gate learning center in Berkeley is a small pretty laidback preschool with a diverse groups of kids. Our daughter joined 2 months ago and is enjoying it so far. There is at least one kid of every race in her class. Would recommend. 

I'd recommend looking at the amazing Monteverde School. They may have a waitlist, but it is not a first-come-first-serve list, and they prioritize diversity. 

Our daughter, who is African Amercian, goes to Duck's Nest in Berkeley and was one of 3 Black kids in her class last year and this year there are 4 Black kids in her class. I think Duck's Nest's other campuses in Oakland are more diverse and might have more Black or mixed race families. We've been very happy with the school. They have a good anti-bias education program.

When we were visiting preschools before she started we noticed that Nomura Preschool in Richmond (close to El Cerrito) had a fair number of Black kids and teachers. Their philosophy/model just wasn't the right fit for us.

Hello,

My daughter is a mix-race child (black/white) and attends Monteverde with other black and brown kids. There are several other mixed-race children. Monteverde makes an effort to enroll a diverse population of students, which is also reflected in the parent population and pick-up and drop-off. Also, the teachers are from a diverse set of backgrounds, including African American.

I recommend you check out their page on BPN: https://www.berkeleyparentsnetwork.org/recommend/preschool/monteverde

They are currently accepting applications for next year, but I believe they have a waitlist in-case any spots open up this year.

Feel free to contact me directly if you would like to chat more.

Thanks!

The Berkeley School. My kid is one of 5 black kids in a class of 14. Definitely not the token black kid. Many will be in the class next year too, since it's a mixed age class and kids stay in the same class year over year. 

We thought about the same thing when we applied. We looked at many of the schools mentioned here. We chose TBS based on the outdoor space and curriculum (thoughtful about differing perspectives and experiences), and location. Happy to tell you more about our experience if you send me a message

Grand Lake Montessori in Oakland is an excellent school and relatively diverse. My son's class has several black students, his lead teacher is black and so is is the new head of school. 

My mixed race kiddo had a great experience at Duck’s Nest Telegraph. I would guess it averages about 20-30% Black/mixed kids, depending on the class (in our class of 20 last year, I think there were 4 or 5 Black or mixed kids; the year before it was a much smaller cohort due to Covid, and I think it was 4 kids out of 10). My kid is also gender expansive and the school was extremely supportive on that front- one of the directors has personal experience with a gender expansive family member, and the school does trainings with Gender Spectrum, so that was another huge benefit for us. 

I am a mixed-black parent with a mixed child who has attended MV for the past three years. When looking for preschools, our main criteria was to find a place that had a rich diversity of kids and staff. I can say that MV has not disappointed one bit. I remember immediately feeling a sense of relief when our son was accepted. I knew that with Monteverde, he would not feel like the only child that looked like him, nor the only child coming from a culturally / racially mixed family. In fact, what he became immersed in was even better than we could have asked for. Numerous families of mixed backgrounds, including black, different languages spoken from around the world, blended families, Queer families, single-parent families, and a staff that reflects this diversity as well. There is a depth of understanding and respect that each teacher puts into their time with the kids at Monteverde, fully embodying the Reggio-Emilia principles. The community that has been fostered at Monteverde is rich and unique in that it has created a place in which parents and children alike can thrive and feel cared for. 

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