short term childcare/kindergarten/playgroup for 5 year old / ideas?

Dear Berkeley parents,

I am a longtime Berkeley resident, now living abroad, looking for something for my son, for a 4-6 week academic stay in Berkeley or nearby in February-March 2019. I am not quite sure what the appropriate category is, but I am open to anything that involves other children, and is for at least about 15 hours per week, preferably more. My son will be 5 in December and is physically very active. I realize that it is a longshot, but I thought it worth asking nevertheless if anyone knows of a place that might be suitable.



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I recommend contacting nearby preschools (especially those with PreK/Bridge K programs, and especially the larger schools) to see if they will host him for that time. I know our preschool has done that on occasion, though it depends on specific enrollment numbers and schedules. Many that are "full" may still be able to take a five-year-old if you're flexible on which days he's there. The other option might be to actually enroll him in Berkeley schools while you're visiting, but I think he (and you) would have an easier time coming into and out of a preschool program for such a short-term stay (and there would be far less paperwork involved!) Duck's Nest, Heart's Leap, and Step One come to mind as a few with larger enrollments, options for reduced schedules, and great PreK/Bridge K programs, but I'm sure there are many others.

The Berkeley JCC and the Oakland JCC offer "afterschool" care for 5yos from 1:30-6:30 Mon-Fri. The City of Berkeley offers a similar services at a few of their community centers, as do some other nearby cities. 

Definitely worth contacting preschools and asking. Albany Preschool had international kids come and go while we were there. Don't know how it worked with contracts, etc. Morning program requires participation, but afternoon program doesn't.