Seeking Co-Op for 3yr old
I'm a mom moving to your area in April along with my husband and two daughters, with one on the way. We are super excited to live in the East Bay!
We are looking for a co-op preschool in or around Berkeley for our 3 year old daughter. Preferably 3 days a week. We like the idea of participating in her preschool experience, and contributing to the co-op's community.
I would love to hear recommendations for co-ops, or any other preschools that you've been involved with and just love!
Feb 4, 2017
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Albany Preschool cannot be beat for excellence of care & education. It is "co-op lite", meaning the afternoon families don't *have* to volunteer (but you can) although do have the family job, etc. that goes with co-op life. Morning families do have a weekly shift. You can also try it out over the summer with no commitment. www.albanypreschool.org
Take a look at CCC (Children's Community Center) in Berkeley. It is a 5-day morning program (with options for extended care) and as a parent you would participate once a week. It's a play based program, offering lots of freedom for kids to choose how to spend their time, and teachers do an excellent job of helping kids figure out the complexities of conflict resolution, etc. - teachers are really fabulous!
Though it sounds like you may prefer a 3 day option, I will say that a 5 day schedule allows my kid to get into more of a groove/ routine (we had a 3 day schedule at daycare before CCC and my son found it hard to know what to expect on any given day).
I love Albany Preschool! My son currently goes there 3 days a week. The kids get to pick what task they want to do whether it is art, dress up, digging in the sandbox, playing on the monkey bars, etc.. My son loves it there so much that next year, he's going 5 days a week! I also like being able to be part of the preschool experience. My son seems to love it when I sit with him during the morning circle time but once it is time to play, he is off to a different part of the school. All I will see of him on my class participation day is him running past me waving "Hi Mommy!" as he is off to the next task. I personally love that he feels comfortable to wander around the school on his own and not cling to me. It gives me a chance to hang out with the other kids and see their little personalities. I talk about the fun I have on my participation days so much that my husband plans on taking some time off so he can participate as well.
The other aspect of the co-op program is the family job. My husband actually looks forward to his maintenance days (our selected family job). Yes, he has to put in a few hours of (not difficult) work a month but he gets a morning out of the house with other adults, away from the kids and is fed coffee and donuts.
Check out ECPC--we live in Berkeley near Albany and it's about 5 minutes from us. Both our kids went there. We loved it! Wonderful large outdoor spaces, super friendly community and the teachers are awesome!! And the parents learn a lot from the teachers too. Def'ly take a tour, it's amazing!
El Cerrito Preschool Coop www.ecpckids.com
We attend El Cerrito CO-OP Preschool . we are currently taking applications for next school year. Check it out, its a great community.
If it's a convenient location for you, check out Albany Preschool. My children did not go there, but many of my neighbors' & friends' children went. I love their community, and when I comment on how nice it seems, my friends confirm that it was a great experience for them and their children. And they remain friends into middle school so far. . .
Take a look at Kensington Nursery school. It is a co-op preschool located in Kensington near El Cerrito, Albany and Berkeley. KNS is still accepting applications especially for families that want to participate once a week at the school. Go onto the website www.kns-ca.org and schedule a tour.
Both my children attended Sequoia Nursery School, a co-op in the Oakland Hills. http://www.sequoiakids.org. We all loved Sequoia and loved being part of a co-op community - I'd highly recommend checking it out. Children have to be 3 years old by the first day of school (usually about a week after OUSD starts in late August) and 3 year olds attend 3 days a week from 9am-11:45.