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We have a tour booked at Claremont Day Nursery and would love some updated info/impressions.
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Our 4 year old daughter attends the College Ave. location of CDN and we are super super happy with it. We couldn't recommend it more! our 18 month old is signed up to start as soon as she turns two and we can't wait to have them both there! The teachers are so loving and kind, but also teach wonderful manners and discipline. Our 4 year old is always coming home with great catch phrases about dealing with things that are tough for kids like sharing and keeping personal space. They have a ton of free/creative play time and access to a big playground. Happy to chat more if you have specific questions. Feel free to contact me directly.
We have been at CDN in Claremont for over two years and our second child will start there this year. We’ve been very happy. Pros: a lot of free play time, a lot of outdoor space for kids to run around, a lot of time spent outdoors, loving teachers, low teacher turnover, THEY MAKE LUNCH (huge), good hours, hardly ever closed (one week in December + national holidays), they teach the kids manners (more than one adult has gone slack jawed when hearing my kid say “Mommy, may I please have more ....?” She learned that at CDN), affordable relative to other preschools, especially considering their hours and annual schedule compared to other schools.
CDN is a pretty laid back school with laid back families. There are no teacher-parent conferences. There is no formal “curriculum,” “pedagogy,” or “philosophy.” The approach is to let kids play and express/teach appropriate boundaries in a social setting. That’s it. The facility is clean and safe and welcoming but it is an old, converted Craftsman home. It is not modern or shiny. It will not be the most cosmetically appealing school you visit. But the kids don’t care. They love the toys and the playground and the food and the teachers. I’m so glad we picked it.
We were recommended to CDN by a good friend who their kids there. We really enjoyed it, and our daughter loved it. The staff is amazingly loving and caring to the kids. Teacher Simone is loving yet also firm with the kids (in a good way). Very good hours, reasonable prices, great for working parents. What you see is what you get. We really wanted a school that was loving and engaged with the kids. Yes, it probably could do with an overall/remodel but the kids do not notice. They serve food (it's not fancy organic food but it was all taken care of and my kid had to eat was she was served) and they have swings in the yard! So all the kids will be pumping and swinging on their own very early. A huge win in my book. [Swings are now deemed unsafe for preschools but if the facility had a swing set before the new regs came out, then they are grandfathered in.]
Our kid went to the Woolsey location (and I attended the Kensington location xx years ago!) and we really loved it. The food (including homemade marinara made with Tom's own tomatoes) and logistics (open lots of hours, etc.) are a huge plus, but the overall approach is also super important and wonderful. It really feels like a family. The facility itself is charming and old school, but very clean. The whole vibe is refreshingly laidback with lots of playtime but they also do a great job of preparing the kids for Kindergarten. We are planning on sending our younger kid there as soon as we can!