Maryann Thornes Childcare

Oakland, CA

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

Home-Based Daycare/Preschool
DSS Facility License #: 
Maryann Thornes
(510) 482-2532
Fruitvale on Damuth St.
Maximum Capacity: 
Language(s) Spoken: 

Parent Q&A

  • Experience with Maryann Thornes?

    (1 reply)

    I'm considering moving my daughter to Maryann's daycare, given that we just moved to the neighborhood. If anyone has recent experience with Maryann, I'd love to hear your comments about it! Thanks!

    We placed our daughter with Maryann starting at 2 months (in 2011)  all the way up until she went to pre-school at 3 1/2. To this day Maryann will take our daughter in, if space is available, because our daughter is so comfortable and happy there. 

    The daycare is run out of her flat on the ground floor with access to an shaded outdoor space.  It's a straight forward operation, nothing fancy but clean and safe. Maryann's daughter Heather and son Jay round out the team.  The kids loved them too. There are tropical fish, some birds (kept in a room to themselves) and a sweet cat who I'm certain has had it's tail pulled far too many times.

    Maryann makes it look easy tending to a pack of babies and toddlers. She just takes it all in stride and has been doing so for 30 years. Her prices are more than reasonable and she is flexible i.e. when we wanted to reduce from 5 to 4 days/week, provided you give her sufficient notice.  In short, we were quite happy with Maryann. Lucky you to have her in your neighborhood. 

    New replies are no longer being accepted.

Parent Reviews

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

We have moved and sadly have to leave Maryann and Heather.

I can't say enough good things. The kids get to run around and play here. They have created a fun and nurturing place. Our daughter runs in every morning excited to be there. The mix of ages has been great exposure for our 2 YO.

We highly recommend in every way!

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Aug 2014

Our son Andre is been attending MaryAnn Thornes childcare for 2 and a half years now. He is starting preschool in September. This excellent daycare has an opening. We loved MaryAnn Thornes childcare. It's family daycare and people operating it are very loving and carrying. Mary Ann and her daughter Heather are excellent with kids. This daycare is also very affordable. Not that many daycares out there can compete with their very affordable prices. And our son was very happy there. So, if you are looking for a very affordable, loving daycare for your child consider MaryAnn Thornes Childcare.
Milan - Montclair parent.

August 2009

MaryAnn has an in-home daycare that she runs with her daughter, Heather. She has been doing day-care in her home for more than 20 years now! She is really fantastic and highly recommended. She has a few kids that are leaving in the next few months to start pre- school so I know that she has a few openings. Call for an interview: (510) 482-2532 Contact: MaryAnn Thornes, (510) 482-2532

August 2009

Re: Need good Oakland preschool asap. Any openings?
MaryAnn Thornes Daycare is wonderful! She is in Oakland right across from the Dimond Park and Library. She has been doing daycare in her home for more than 20 years. Her daugther, Heather Thornes, works with her also. They just had 3 children leave for pre-school/kindergarten this month, so I believe they have a few openings. Call her at: (510) 482-2532 to set up an interview! Not only is she great with the kids, but the most reasonable place I've seen in a few years. Julie

May 2009

My son has been going to Maryanne's home daycare on and off since he was a little over 3 months old. Now is there full time (8-330) and he will be 2 this summer. At first I was nervous (like all new moms) to leave my son but honestly, I couldn't be more pleased with the care that he receives. Maryanne has been doing daycare for over 20 years and now her daughter Heather works with her. The daycare is in a safe neighborhood right across the street from Diamond Park and the Library, where they take the older kids for story time. Maryanne has flexible hours and her rates are more than reasonable. I am planning to have another baby soon and it's so nice to have a peace of mind about daycare. I don't have to worry about my son during the day because I know he is having fun with his friends and I'm positive he is well taken care of! If you're looking for an affordable home daycare, in a good location with kind people I highly recommend her. Contact: MaryAnn Thornes, 510-482-2532

September 2006

We love Maryann Thornes's home daycare (Fruitvale)

Maryann is a real find. We are so lucky we've found her. Her prices are very reasonable and she has the magic touch dealing with our 13-month-old son (who is going through a separation anxiety phase and is very high maintenance at the moment!). She is a master cuddler and really pours on the affection. I highly recommend her.

August 2001

I saw on the website a strong recommendation from 1999 for the home daycare run by Maryann Thornes in the Dimond District. Does anyone have current/more recent experience with her? I will be heading over there soon to check it out for myself, but I'd love any other relevant input. Many thanks in advance. Christy

I was the person who originally recommended Maryann. My youngest daughter is now there. I'm quite pleased with the care Maryann has given my children, but have to say it's not the place for everyone. If you're looking for a place where the baby will be picked up when she cries, given lots of hugs and talked to, this is a great place. Babies make their own schedules, and are given attention when they need it.

What it isn't is a beautiful space, with a structured program. It's kind of a dumpy apartment, with lots and lots of toys, not terribly neat (though certainly clean enough). It doesn't have great outdoor space, but they use Dimond park (a block away) and have a concrete patio with ride on toys. They walk to the library for story time (also a block away). There aren't art projects (impossible to do with little babies around)but there are lots of books around and some fairly inventive toys they've made and a peaceful fish tank and bird cage. \r

Maryann and Heather are very flexible in terms of schedule, and quite affordable, and they have a very diverse group of children. I would say this is an appropriate place for children until they are ready for preschool, though I've used it for fill in care for my two older children when I've needed it. They've been very accommodating for a breastfeeding mother and a changing schedule, and Maryann will babysit in the evenings for us. This makes it much easier for me to leave my baby, since she is a familar person. \r Myriam \r

In response to the inquiry about Maryann Thornes' daycare: My son, now 9 months old, has been going to Maryann's for 5 months (since he was 4 months old), and I am VERY pleased with the care he is receiving. He is always excited about arriving in the morning, and is always VERY busy playing in the evenings when I arrive to pick him up. Knowing that he is happy, and well-cared for, makes it so much easier to be gone from him all day! \r Maryann's is not a "fancy" daycare -- if you are looking for top-of-the-line toys, high-tech design, etc, this is not the place for you. BUT, if you want your child to be loved, played with, and given all the attention (hugs, kisses, cuddles, etc) that s/he wants, then you can do no better than Maryann's. She does not take many children, and in fact limits the number of babies she will take (because she wants to be able to give them the attention that they need, especially when they are little and not yet mobile), so the kids are like a little family. Unlike other daycares I looked at (and, I could tell you some first-hand horror stories about a couple "good" centers!), the children at Maryann's all seem to get along well; she gently teaches/encourages the kids to share, and treat each other with respect. You didn't mention how old your child is, but I would highly recommend Maryann's, especially for the infant/toddler set. Good luck! Leslie

July 1999

My daughter Genevieve has been in family home daycare in Oakland since she was about four months old. As we've watched her grow and become the person she is, we have become increasingly impressed with the care she is getting from Maryann Thornes and her daughter Heather. Maryann's physical layout is not great, but the care Gen has been getting has been. Heather and Maryannn provide consistent, affectionate, playful and happy attention. They take pleasure in the babies they care for and the babies thrive on it. Genevieve enjoys the safe and happy place they have made. Maryann has a ton of great toys that she and heather have found at garage sales over the years, they make good use of local resources... storytime at the library and Dimond Park's great tot lot. They are very flexible and quite affordable. This is a place that is appropriate for kids up to about three, since they allow the children to structure their own day completely, though in the past we've used them for fill-in care for our older child, and no doubt will with Gen. She also has helped our family by picking up at preschool, babysitting on occasion and caring for Genevieve during our horrific move. We're leaving on the 16th to start preschool, but if you're interested in talking to Maryann you can reach her 482-2532.