aKIDemia Preschool & Daycare

Berkeley, CA

No longer in business
Facility Type[?]:
Home Daycare
DSS Facility License #
013421292 [view license]
Thea Raymond
(510) 938-6666
thea [at] akidemia.net
Maximum Capacity:
Language(s) Spoken:
American Sign Language,
Ages Served:
12 months - 60 months
8:00am - 6:00pm
Additional Services & Features:
Part-time available,
Pre-K program,
Sibling discount,
Lunch provided,
Cloth diapers accepted,
Potty training support
Editors' Notes:

Per licensing records, this daycare closed in Sept 2023

About the Program:

Play with a Purpose - Curriculum Paced to support your child - Activities to enhance motor skills - Play time designed to develop social skills - Early start: we'll be able to identify & cater to your child's natural strengths - All the fundamentals of reading, writing, and math that will secure a strong foundation for learning & growth Why aKIDemia? Director/teacher: Graduate of U.C. Berkeley, specializing in child development Our Philosophy: Learning is fun when you play with a purpose Our Goal: We want to do more than just watch your child. We want to guide them to future academic & social success. Reasonable rates & a balanced program, including both play & academics

Parent Reviews

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We enrolled our son in Akidemia in January 2023 based on the strong reviews here on BPN and other platforms, and pulled him from the program in August 2023 after a chaotic seven months. It may have been a good quality daycare in the past, but unfortunately it has fallen into disrepair due to severe neglect and mismanagement by its owner.

Thea is not around. She has purchased a second daycare in Tennessee and spends most of her time there. She cannot be reached by phone or email for weeks at a time. She does not know basic facts about our child, like how old he is. She is not involved in his development at all.

Almost the entire staff turned over in the seven months we attended Akidemia. There are currently four employees, two are full-time students. When one teacher gets sick or has an emergency, the entire practice shuts down. We have never met any of the teachers listed on the website as having worked there for years. The current teachers are great, but I doubt she will be able to keep them much longer, as it's clear just by looking at them how stressed they are.

She has 13 citations from the department of social services. You can verify this yourself, it's public information. 

I cannot in good faith recommend you send your child to Akidemia, or any facility operated by Dorothea Raymond, though I can't imagine Akidemia will survive much longer under its current operating model. 

Our son has been going to Akidemia for the last six months and we couldn't be happier. We were initially hesitant on how our son would make the transition from a nanny to daycare, but the team at Akidemia made it the transition as easy as possible and within days, our son was acclimated to the new routine.

The teaching staff is amazing, kind and warm. The home based environment really adds to the warmth of the program and the other children are lovely. Our son has learned so many wonderful things during his time at Akidemia so far and is continuing to grow into a empathetic, polite, and happy child due to the Akidemia staff's care. I really benefited from the information available on BPN as I was making a care decision for our son and wanted to share our experience as other parents are making this important decision for your little one. Thank you to Thea and her team for all that you do for our little guy!

Our daughter stayed at Thea's house for three years and had a wonderful experience. We were sad to leave and delayed doing so because we really valued the familiar routines, the warm and loving caregivers, and our daughter's strong sense of belonging. Some highlights for our daughter: playing in the backyard, making friends, calendar time and singing, learning to write her name, art projects, the aquarium with fish, walks to the park and around the neighborhood. We appreciated Thea's expertise in child development, and plan to stay in touch with her as our daughter grows up. We highly recommend Thea and aKIDemia!

My then-2.5 year old son attended aKIDemia for 6 months during a time of transition for us (a new baby, an upcoming move), and I cannot say enough good things about Thea and her crew. They were so welcoming, patient, and loving, and my son quickly acclimated to his new reality. The school is small, and each kid gets lots of personal attention. I found that the day was well balanced between structured play (e.g. circle time) and free-play, as well as indoor and outdoor playtime. My son came home singing songs and talking about all the neat things he'd learned that day (e.g. the life cycle of a frog and butterfly; the alphabet song; how plants grow) more often than not. But for out move, we would have happily stayed at aKIDemia. Highly recommended!

Archived Q&A and Reviews

July 2014
 I very highly recommend aKIDemia childcare and preschool, in North Berkeley near Gilman Street. Our 2-1/2 year old daughter has been there for nearly a year. Thea and her staff are all warm, personal, well-educated, and provide the kind of safe, stimulating, joyful, consistent environment that we want for our daughter. The kids play, do projects, and have ''calendar time'' inside the sunlit house and in Thea's spacious backyard. The house is full of books and stimulating toys; there are no electronic toys, TV's or ''screen time.'' Thea provides nutritious lunches, is flexible with schedules, and her prices are quite reasonable. Our daughter learns a tremendous amount there and we know that Thea and her staff really know her and care about her development and well-being. Beth G

Aug 2012

We highly recommend Thea Raymond's wonderful aKIDemia. Our newly adopted daughter was behind academically and there wasn't a lot of time before kindergarten. Over some months Thea got her on track with great letter and sound pre-reading and writing work, while keeping the day fun and playful for our daughter and all the kids. The program is varied, has plenty of arts and stimulating and fun stuff. Our daughter loved the school, and is so much better prepared for kindergarten than she would have been. Thea was a great find, reasonably priced, and has openings for fall! We highly recommend her.

May 2012

Akidemia has been a wonderful childcare and preschool experience for our family. We are so grateful that we found Thea and her program. The school has a creative, engaging learning program balanced by art activities, outside play, and even cooking. The environment is nurturing and supportive while also emphasizing manners and etiquette. We have 3 children now ages 5, 3, and 16 months. Our oldest son has learned to read after a few months in Thea's program, and we are confident he is extremely well prepared for kindergarten this fall. Thea's program and curriculum are thoughtful and diverse, as well as phonetics and basic literacy skills the kids have learned about geography, music, art, and science in a comfortable environment that also encourages play and friendship. Thea has been a great resource to our family in terms of basic childcare issues. Highly recommended! Kristina Y.

April 2012

aKIDemia is a wonderful daycare! I feel confident recommending aKIDemia and Thea Raymond to any family with young children. Thea is genuinely interested in the cognitive development, emotional growth and overall well being of each child. She is patient, kind, understanding and supportive. Her program has the perfect balance of structure and freedom. The children thrive in the daily routine, art projects, seasonal activities and general playful spirit that Thea exudes. It is such a relief to know that my children are cared for while I'm away. I can be assured that they are well fed, had good naps and experienced something new each day. When I pick them up, the first thing my 2 1/2 year says is ''Mom, I had fun today!'' What more could a parent ask for?
- Kristen (mother of 2 1/2 and 4 year old boys)

June 2011

I highly recommend aKIDemia because Thea is fantastic! She is what you want out of someone who is taking care of your most precious thing; your child. Thea is loving, patient, firm and has an enthusiasm about teaching. I went to work at ease knowing Jer was in great hands. He attended Thea's place from Nov2010 to May2011, stopping only because of relocation. Otherwise, Jer would still be there. Jer learned manners, sharing and to be creative. Her rates are reasonable & she keeps the kids busy with adventure, play, outings, art projects, etc. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me.

August 2010

aKIDemia is a gem of a pre-school/childcare program. My son has been enrolled for over four months, and he continues to thrive each week. We delight in seeing his weekly art project, look forward to participating in his lesson plans, and cherish the detailed daily reports we receive about his activities, behavior, and progress.

Thea Raymond is an amazing educator and childcare provider- -kind, sensitive, creative, well-educated, patient, and caring.

Whether she is planning the weekly trip to a neighborhood park, creating delicious, home-cooked meals for lunch, or guiding him through his first lessons in the alphabet, Thea provides a safe, nurturing environment for my son. As a working mom, it's such a relief to know he is so well taken care of when I'm working!

Please take a look at the website: akidemiachildcare.com or call Thea 510-234-1192 for more information. Thea's rates are amazingly affordable, and she has a few openings right now.