The Child Day School

Lafayette, CA

To see Department of Social Services records on this facility, click on its DSS Facility License # below.

DSS Facility License #: 
Ann & Peter Whitehead
925.284.5672 or (925) 284-7092
tcdsschools [at]
Lafaette on Stuart St.
Maximum Capacity: 
Language(s) Spoken: 
Ages Served: 
24 months - 60 months

Parent Reviews

Parents, Sign in to post a review on this page.

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Sept 2011

Re: Preschool recommendations for Lafayette
I suggest the The Child Day School in Lafayette. I toured tons of schools and am so happy we chose TCDS. My son was there for three years and we absolutely loved it!

March 2010

We are pregnant with #2 and I am hoping to move from working full-time to part time next year. We are looking to move our 3 year old from a Berkeley preschool into a great preschool somewhere closer to our home in Concord/Clayton. The Child Day School in Lafayette was recommended to me...does anyone know anything about it or any other preschools in the area? Thanks! Courtney

I wanted to second the recommendation for The Child Day Schools - Lafayette. Since you mentioned living in Concord or Clayton, it might not be super-convenient, but our son has been there since he turned 2, has now been in every room, and we and he love it. They do a great job teaching the kids the kindergarten- readiness skills they need as they get older, while letting them be extremely creative and have a ton of fun. I think there are some older write-ups on the archives as well. Note that if you're looking for fall enrollment (there or many places), you should get things lined up soon -- but you probably knew that! Good luck.

Nov 2007

Re: Looking for a preschool in Walnut Creek/Lafayette
We're very happy at The Child Day School in Lafayette (they have 4 or 5 other locations in the area as well). My son started there at age 2 last January. I heard good things about White Pony, and have no reason to doubt they're true, but I was not able to get through the tour-application-lottery hassle. We have absolutely no regrets, and we're all happy at TCDS! TCDS Mom

Oct 2007

Hello - I noticed some reviews in the archives but they are pretty dated. I've visited the Child Day School in Lafayette twice and both times had positive experiences visiting the 2's program. (My son would be doing three mornings per week.) Paula, the director, seems warm and personable. The teachers were friendly and down on the floor with the kids. The other kids seemed engaged and happy. Philosophy seems good. My son (an only at this point) is relatively cautious, so it was important to me that during these visits he started to engage with the kids and play and complained when we left. Other feedback? Thanks. preschool searcher

My son (also an only) is currently in the 2's program at the Child Day School in Lafayette, and we're all very happy with it. My son is also on the cautious side, and all of the teachers and the director were very willing to help him adjust when he started -- and to help him separate from us on occasional tough mornings now. He's certainly not the only one who needs an extra hug or a few extra parent-minutes in the morning... They have a good variety of activities, I like their philosophy, and I think your observation that the kids are happy is right on. Good luck - hope to see you there! CDS mom

May 2003

Re: Looking for Lamorinda preschool

FWIW, we've liked CDS just fine for our three. Good Luck.

If you want to contact me by email, I would be happy to discuss Child Day School with you--we have been there for four years, and I have posted comments about them previously. Claire

Dec 2002

Re: Looking for Lamorinda preschool

We currently attend CDS in Lafayette, and have for 4 years with two kids. I am happy with the program, although it is probably not for everyone. There is a certain amount of ''controlled chaos'' when you go in there, so you have to be able to accept that as part of the program. I feel the teachers are very kind and caring toward the children, and this year has been very low in teacher turnover. They emphasize the process of children planning their activities, as well as the process of an activity, not the product (you will not see a wall of identical art pictures at CDS!). They are strict on things like candy, and try to have no media-type influences or computers for the children. I also really like how they work with children on conflict resolution. If children are having a problem with each other, they really try to facilitate their working it out. And if there is an injury, the child who has hurt another one has to stay with his friend until he feels better and help find a way to make him feel better. As far as them being a ''chain'' of schools, yes there are several locations, but I would say I have never noticed any overriding corporate influence. Each school seems to run completely independently. It is not a glamorous location, but each play yard has been updated beautifully in the last few years and we are just starting to plan the auction for this years' fundraiser to update the kitchen area. Good luck with your choice! Also, re: Child Day School, they do serve a hot lunch three days a week, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Claire

December 2001

Does anyone have any experience with the Child Day Schools? These are "child-centered" preschool-through-kindergarten programs that sounded good to me. I toured the one in Lafayette and liked it but they do seem to have high staff turnover. If anyone could provide some first-hand information about any of these schools I'd appreciate it. Thanks. Kathy

My two children have both attended the CDS in Lafayette, and my son is currently in the 3-4 year old program. Overall, we have been very happy with the school. There has been some turnover, but that is normal in this industry, and I know the director makes it a top priority to get and keep good people. The facility isn't fancy, but every year they work on improving it and I have never noticed any of the kids complaining! I like the balance of their approach to the kids--very focused on teaching them to be inclusive and to handle conflicts while providing the framework for the children to plan their own activities. You may contact me directly if you have any other questions, and if you are a member of the Lamorinda moms' club, they have a person assigned as a reference for each of the area preschools. claire