Preschool Recs - New to Bay Area

Hi everyone! My family and I moved to CA about a year ago, and now my two kids are ready for preschool. We live 20 mins from Palo Alto and 30 mins from Oakland. Are there any recommendations for preschools out there that are play-based that don't require parent involvement? 

We love the Bay Area, but we are still getting our footing. Any advice on preschools/schools and play groups is greatly appreciated. 

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BPN has recommendations but you'll need to narrow down your location more. I don't think you are taking into account traffic because I can't think of anywhere that is 20 mins from PA and 30 mins from Oakland. I'd recommend picking something very close to home/work, assess what hours you need coverage for and narrow it down from there (some are only part-time, 9-3pm, etc). 

You didn't say exactly where you live, but it sounds like maybe somewhere Hayward/Union City/Fremont? We are very happy at Woodroe Woods in San Leandro (right off Washington/Lewelling where 880 and 238 meet).  It's play based, no parent involvement required, open 7am-6pm or just a morning session if you prefer, amazing teachers, lovely community, pretty affordable too. 

First of all, the precise city you’re located in is the most important piece of information. You will spend hours in traffic dropping off and picking up your kids if you expect to drive 20-30m (on a good day) each way. You should expect to encounter at least one accident on a bridge each week which can add hours to an already long commute. What you need is a school close to your house or office. 
 

second, all preschools are play based. Play will be embedded into any learning concept taught to a preschooler simply because they don’t have the ability to sit in one place for very long. All preschools do play, exercise, singing, stories, naps, and food. I’m sure your kids would value a short commute rather than a special school, so my advice is to apply to the schools closest to your home and choose from among those. 

Hi! Welcome to the Bay Area! I'm sure you will get lots of recommendations for preschools, but you may need to be a bit more specific with your location (my brain is trying to figure out the little puzzle of what is 20 min from PA and 30 min from OAK - Fremont? Union City?) And how far would you be willing to drive for a preschool? I think neighborhood schools are best for lots of reasons (as opposed to a school near your work, if that's not also close to home), but families make decisions based on lots of factors! 

Welcome to the Bay Area! I think you'll get more useful responses if you pinpoint where you live. What I learned was that the best preschool is sometimes the closest preschool to either home or work, as drop offs and pick ups can be a huge hassle. Figure out what preschools are within a short driving distance from your home or office (if you still go into the office) and just compare those. It's not worth driving a long way for what other people say is "the best" preschool, kids can be well cared for and happy in a great variety of places.