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we just moved to the cleveland heights neighborhood near lake merritt from central berkeley, and my 22 month-old son is sincerely missing his time at the kindergym in the downtown berkeley ymca, which he used to visit almost daily. we have a wonderful nanny who has been taking him there while i've been at work, and i'm looking for new activities or alternative options for my little one that are affordable and conveniently located. i'm curious to learn:
1. what part-time pre-schools in this area would other parents recommend? 2. i'm not sure that my little one is ready for a full-time pre-school, but i'm also open to considering our options as he grows, and learning more about good recommendations nearby.
any and all suggestions/warnings are welcome. with the move and #2 on the way, i'm feeling a little overwhelmed about starting the activity/school/childcare research ''all over again'' -- despite just moving one town away. thanks in advance! le tired
You are just a few blocks from the Oakland Kindergym--definitely worth checking out! It's held three mornings a week at Temple Beth Abraham in Adams Point, and you can go just for the playtime or for a class. I would absolutely sign up for that before driving to Kindergym in Berkeley. For nice days, Fairyland is wonderful. Other activities our two-year-old loves are the Lake Merritt bird sanctuary, the Junior Center for Arts and Sciences (on the lake by the bird sanctuary), and storytime at the Lakeview Library. The Museum of Children's Art (MOCHA) isn't too far away (recently moved to Uptown). On the more expensive end, Music Together offers weekday classes on Grand near the theater and there's a Gymboreee on Lakeshore. As far as part-time preschools, you might check out Broadway Children's School (Adams Point), the Lake School (very near you), or Yellow House (Grand Lake), all of which we've heard good things about from friends/neighbors. There are also several part-time co-ops in Piedmont. Welcome to Oakland! Another Lake Merritt family
When we lived in the Cleveland Heights neighborhood (Ivy Drive, to be exact), we took our little boy to the East Bay Academy , a bilingual Chinese preschool right down 8th Ave. in the Eastlake neighborhood. The neighborhood the school is located in is kind of awful to be honest, but the school itself is very safe and clean. They even feed the kids a hot lunch! They are very educational and not just play-based. My little boy learned a lot. And the price was CHEAP ... Don't judge this place by the ugly neighborhood, visit and see the inside for yourself. We were very pleased. They have a sister location in Oakland Chinatown as well. http://www.starliteschool.org/ Lisa-no-longer-in-Oaktown
There is a pretty active Gymboree location on Lakeshore with lots of different classes. My kids and I loved Music Together when they were that age...several different locations.
Your child is a bit young for pre-school most start at 3 and potty-trained, but 4 close to you to look at: Lakeview Preschool (they prefer part time, though will sometimes do full time...by part time, they mean 2-4 days per week), both of my kids went there full time; Lake School (wish we could have looked at it, but by part time, they mean 1/2 days which we could not do); Lakeshore Children's Center (full time, play-based, very community oriented), one child went there and we still have lots of friends from that one year; and Grand Lake Montessori (I don't know much about it, though have had others say they liked it). Welcome to the Neighborhood!!!
For activities for your child to do with his nanny, there is Lakeview Library on El Embarcadero (and the Central Library if you are willing to trek a bit farther). There is a park at the corner of Lakeshore and El Embarcadero, and another playground at Lakeshore Park. There is a Gymboree on Lakeshore as well.
In terms of pre-schools, my daughter went to Lakeshore Children's Center (many reviews on BPN, some by me), which is full time. I've heard good things about Lakeview Preschool, which is strictly part time (which is why I never looked at it).
Welcome to the neighborhood. My daughter goes to Cleveland Elementary, and we have been very happy with the school (a few years away for you yet). Carrie
Re: El Cerrito vs. Oakland home values & schools
To MSG from ''El Cerrito vs Oakland'' for home buying and schools - I don't know good schools of No. Oakland personally (tho have heard Peralta is quite good - but our son went TI Cleveland Elementary in East lake neighborhood (also called Cleveland Heights). It's a great school, and so is the surrounding 'hood, and lots more affordable than Berkeley. Nance