Program for 4 year old where parents are welcome to attend

It's been recommended to me to find a pre-school or youngster program where the parent is welcome to attend at anytime for my 4 year old.  Especially in the beginning to help transitioning to the new caregivers. I would also be open to programs where the parent is required to attend.  I have occasionally heard of these kinds of programs in other cities, but I've also observed that they are few and far between.  I'm wondering if anyone has any suggestions.  I'm by no means a helicopter parent - just following a recommendation to avoid environments where the parent must do a "hard" drop-off until my child is older.  Thank you  

Parent Replies

Parents, want to reply to this question? Sign in to post.

Monteverde Preschool in Berkeley operates this way - the doors are pretty open to parents. (And there are a thousand other things that make it a great school as well!) You'd need to apply ASAP, though.

Generally speaking, try looking for preschools that have a Reggio Emilia philosophy (Monteverde is one)... they view parents as partners in a child's learning and tend to be more open to having parents around when it's what's right for the child. In my experience, Montessori schools are the opposite and are pushing parents out the door as fast as they can.

Good luck!

Might take a look at Peter Pan in Oakland, did the tour when our first kid was that age and were deeply impressed, but with a second kid on the way we didn't think we could realistically do the time commitment. Not sure if you can be there everyday, but certainly they want you there *some* days so seems conceivable and worth a call to see if it would work.

Are you open to a co-op?  If so, Highlands Preschool in Piedmont is amazing.  Next year it will be 5 days a week and it's from 9AM-12PM.  Parents participate in the school by volunteering approximately 2 weeks in the school year, amongst some other responsibilities.  The main teacher, Deanna, is incredibly dedicated and vested in all the students and responds to their individual needs.  

We have been very happy there and will be sending our child to school there again next year.  Highly recommend!

I would search for Co-Op preschools (such as Linda Beach Cooperative Preschool) where parent participation is mandatory - to what degree (hours/week, etc) I'm not sure. I think it varies. You might run into Covid-related issues, though, as our preschool (which normally encourages parents to come in at drop-off) no longer allows parents through the door. 

You don't mention what city you are in, but this program in El Cerrito is like that: https://ecpckids.com/

We did not attend (I was working full-time, and couldn't put in the hours) but knew people who did enroll and they always seemed happy with their choice.

Hi! I would recommend either a co-op preschool where you can be there sometimes, or a group that allows for “gentle separation.” There’s a new place called Spirited Play Labs that has all parent participation groups, and they have a group that’s for preschool readiness! It’s in San Ramon. Good luck with your search!

El Cerrito Parent Cooperative (ECPC) is wonderful and fits this criteria. 

Sequoia Nursery school in Oakland!  http://www.sequoiakids.org/  It's a co-op so parents are required to work 1 day/week.  I'm not sure if/how they've adjusted due to Covid, but I was allowed to stay with my then 3-year old until he felt comfortable with me leaving.  It took until about Halloween that year but he was running away from me at drop-off to play with his friends without looking back.  We loved our years there, not to mention the sense of community the parents fostered among each other in a world where community seems harder and harder to find.

Would you consider a co-op preschool? If so, I highly recommend Montclair Community Play Center, a preschool right across from Thornhill Elementary in Montclair. Parents have regular volunteer shifts where they assist the teachers once a week; the benefit is that as a parent, you get to know the other children and families well, learn great skills for working with children and parenting, and get to observe/be there your own child in school sometimes. It is an incredible community with respectful RIE philosophy and is play-based and offers optional Spanish in the afternoons as well as circle time so the children get to practice for Kindergarten. The Director and teachers are truly incredible, passionate, and very knowledgeable about child-development. The main focus of the school is on gently supporting children to learn how to interact with the other children (taking turns, conflict resolution, etc). I credit them with so much of reason my son is happy, well- adjusted, and able to play well with his friends. I stayed for the first two days when my son began going there until it was quite clear that he was happy and clearly doing just fine without me! 

Albany Preschool Co-op and Dandelion Co-op offer this--Albany and Berkeley.