Seeking a Daycare or Preschool in Alameda

Parent Q&A

  • Looking for daycare in Alameda or Oakland near Coast Guard Island

    (3 replies)

    Hello,
    I commute to Coast Guard Island in Alameda and am looking for a daycare or other childcare arrangement when I return to work in July for my daughter who will be 6 months. It seems that most daycares have waitlists but maybe there is a in-home daycare option. Since I do not live nearby, I need a place that I can drop her. Ideally full time, 4 days a week, and within a 10 minute drive from Coast Guard Island.

    Thank you,

    Maya

    Neri Alarcon is on the Oakland side near Coastguard Island 510-434-1942.  She is wonderful.

    I believe Coast Guard Island has a child care on site.  Or perhaps it is just for enlisted personnel?

    There are lots of daycares in Alameda, and many of them are great. You don't mention where you live but unless you live on the island, I would strongly suggest trying to find something in Oakland due to Alameda's ever increasing morning commute traffic off the island. (Think way too many people for 3 bridges and 1 tunnel.). I'm not sure I would want endure that traffic crunch for a simple morning drop-off, when I could otherwise avoid it by finding a suitable place in Oakland, and when I'm pressed to get to work on time.  

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  • Current recommendations for day care in Alameda

    (3 replies)

    Hello parents, we are looking for a day care for our baby beginning in August, when he will be one year old. He is currently at a little school, but we are hoping to find a home day care. We just moved to Alameda and I was hoping for more up to date reviews than those I have found online. Ideally we’d stay towards the east side or center of the island. If you know of a wonderful home day care or school on Alameda that might have openings in the next 6 months or so please post! Thank you.

    Have you joined any Alameda Facebook groups or Alameda Parents Network (yahoo group)? You'll be able to find current info/recs.

    Our son has been attending Little Lion Preschool for the last two years (since he was 15 mo.) and absolutely love it. Run by a husband and wife and located across from Upper Washington Park, it is small (<12 kids) family daycare with great people and a great environment. Lots of outside time, art and music. Has really helped our only child grow comfortable among other kids. Plus they serve hot lunches, which has been a lifesaver with my kid, who is already eating at teenager levels.

    Welcome to Alameda!

    I'm sorry that I don't have too many specific recommendations and hope you get some from a few East Enders.  We had our daughter in Jumpstart Discoveries (Central Alameda) a few years ago and it was fine but perhaps not my first choice due to the larger sizes and limited outdoor space. There is a glut of Montessori options but I've heard the quality can vary and not all will accept infants.  If you are interested in and available to join a co-op, there is on on the West End that looks super cute called Kiddie Kampus. I always eyed that on my bike commute to the ferry but I don't know much about it since co-ops were not an option for us.  

    I feel your pain re: trying to find Alameda info on BPN. People always respond to Alameda questions by saying "join the Alameda Yahoo Group" (which is Alameda Parents Network, or APN). I have and it is generally unhelpful.  It is just an email list serve and people aren't as honest since they cannot post anonymously, as they can here. That said, I have seen a few of the local care providers post there in their individual capacities (sometimes their email address and/or signature gives it away), and I have definitely made judgements about whether or not I would trust them with the care of my child as a result.

    One other option is to join NextDoor. It is marginally more helpful than the Yahoo group. Or try to find a nanny share. There are tons of nannies in Alameda and lots of people looking for shares (particularly on NextDoor).

    Good luck!

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  • Review of Bi Yu Lin Daycare in Alameda?

    (2 replies)

    Anyone have any experience with or has heard of Bi Yu Lin's daycare on Lincoln in Alameda (East End)? I am considering this daycare for my 4 mo. old and haven't been able to find much about it online. I called a few references they provided which were positive but I wanted to see if there were others. The daycare is also not listed on BPN. Please message me with any information you think might be helpful and thank you in advance!

    My infant has only been there for about three weeks, but so far it's been great.  Lin is very responsive via text and phone call.  She provides a daily log of feedings, naps, and diaper changes.  I highly recommend her.

    My younger one went to Lin's daycare for about 6 months. We loved Lin! My kid had previously been rejected from another daycare because he cried too much. Um he was a baby. Lin laughed when we told her this and said he'd be fine, and crying was normal. She was right. He adjusted just fine! We only switched from Lin's because a spot opened up at a pre-school we were interested in too.

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  • Daycare with Openings now in Alameda or Oakland (9 mos & 3.5 yr)

    (2 replies)

    My family and I moved from L.A. to the Bay Area on short notice. We are renting in Alameda in the Bayport development for at least a year. We are looking for immediate full-time care for our 3.5 year old daughter and 9 month old son. They were in a wonderful full-time in-home daycare together in L.A. (live music, organic home-cooked meals, art, gardening - we were spoiled!) but we know we'll probably have to split them up here. Plus, we think our daughter is ready for more of a preschool environment. We are willing to drive to the other side of Alameda or to Oakland - we just need a place! Our daughter keeps asking us when she gets to go to her new school :( Does anyone know of good daycares or preschools with openings now or in the next month? Thanks in advance! 

    I would highly recommend Rising Star Montessori for your daughter. Fantastic program and you can usually get in over the summer because they run year-round and most of the regular families don't participate so much now.  Nice thing is, you can sign up week by week if you are on the fence. Also for the school year, they usually have more openings than other local preschools because they are larger than most (with 2 campuses). 

    Alameda Pointe Head start is really good.

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  • Any more recent reviews for Luna's montessori?

    (2 replies)

    We just bought a house 2 blocks from this school and my daughter currently attends a montessori pre-school in LA. It looks great on their website but all the reviews I've found are really dated. Has anyone been more recently? Would love any feedback!

    Thanks so much! Unfortunately the school's full for next year (bummer, it was a block from our new house) and will accept WAITLIST applications (for almost 200 bucks) starting in May. Life sure will be different in Alameda than it was in Italy (think: 700 bucks total for two kids in preschool full-time per month...).

    I'll definitely sign up to the yahoo group, thanks again!

    Welcome to Alameda. The two best online resources here are the Alameda Parents Network Yahoo Group and NextDoor.com, so you should join them to seek reviews and connect with your new community. BPN does not tend to get many responses about Alameda schools. I can tell you that Luna has a great reputation and we know people who have been very happy there. Welcome to the Island! 

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  • Reggio or RIE preschool south of Oakland Zoo

    (1 reply)

    I've been searching for a Reggio or RIE school in Alameda or along I-580 south of the Oakland Zoo (San Leandro, Castro Valley, south Oakland). Everything either has an extensive wait-list or is out of our price range (~$1700/month). Does anyone have some hidden gems I can look into? I'm not sold on Montessori, but that's looking like the way we may have to go if we stay in Alameda. I'd also love to hear from parents that went the Montessori route without being sure it was right for their child. Thanks in advance.

    As an Alamedan with a child now finishing elementary school, I would say that we were extremely glad to have picked a local preschool, as we made friends that we still have to this day.  I, too, was not too keen on Montessori when we started our preschool search and yes, Alameda is very heavy on Montessori. On closer examination, we found that the Montessori programs are balanced with play and other activities. We were at Rising Star and especially loved the many family activities such as the Fall Harvest Fair and organized parent involvement. This is not just to "sell" the school we chose, but just to say that we were very glad in the end to chose a local school where we built longterm connections and that this was worth it above any one "methodology." We also know a lot of people whose kids went to other Alameda preschools and also had great experiences. So I would urge you to at least consider your local options - Alameda is such a great community, and preschool is a great time to get to know other local families. 

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Archived Q&A and Reviews

Questions

Finding infant childcare in Alameda

May 2014

We are planning to move to Alameda in the next 6 mos. I am pregnant and due at the end of the summer. We are looking for center-based infant care beginning January 2015. I am surprised by the limited options in Alameda--from my research it seems there are only 3 infant centers on the main island (Small Size, Jumpstart, and Peter Pan). I also cannot find much about these online (yet they are all full with long wtg lists!). We would appreciate any information, feedback, or experiences you can share regarding infant care at these centers. Many thanks! confused in alameda


I would suggest posting your question to the Alameda Parents Yahoo Group, which has 5,000-members. BPN doesn't tend to have so many Alamedans on the list. You may even find out providers that have openings. My child is school-age, but I would tell you that there are a lot of families moving into Alameda, so daycare has become tight. Back in the day, we went with a licensed home day care - we still keep up with our caregiver, and she is completely full these days. Anyway, to find a space you shouldn't limit your options - there are definitely home-based care providers who are licensed on the island. If you haven't already, you should contact Bananas in Oakland, a non-profit subsidized by the county that has lists of all licensed providers and also has workshops/literature on choosing a provider. Good luck in your search! Alameda parent

 

 

Alameda preschools: NON Montessori

Oct 2005

My family and I are planning a move to Alameda next summer. Our children will be 3-1/2 and 2 next fall. My eldest is currently enrolled in a Reggio Emilia inspired school and we love it. However we will be moving too far away to continue school there in the fall. As a matter of personal preference and principle, I really want to avoid Montessori schools. It seems that there are more Montessori schools in Alameda than other choices. Can anyone recommend a quality preschool that is not Montessori based? We will look outside Alameda as well, within a short drive. Thanks Anon


Recommended:

Other advice:
Hello, While I have no experience with Alameda pre school, I would like to respond to your question about why some people don't think ''montessori'' schools are right for their kids. (My kids have been in both M and play based) Personally, I think there are a lot of misconceptions out there about M schools. M schools can actually be VERY different from each other, and I often find that a parent has a bad experience with one M school, and automatically attributes the problem to the M philosophy, but what they really have a problem with is some snafu that is specific to the school, like an insensitive teacher, or some other school specific dynamic. Then they go on to believe that all M schools are bad. The M philosphy is actually a very small part of what makes a school good. In addition, many ! schools that call themselves ''montessori'' may not be following the teaching methods very much at all. Often the teachers are not really trained in the method. So you can't automatically assume is good based on their advertisement of the montessori philosophy either. I guess I am trying to say that the term montessori doesn't really describe very much about the school and you have to look at all the other factors to decide if its right for your kid. anon


Alameda Montessori Schools?

Sept 2005

I am beginning to do research on Montessori schools in Alameda...and there are quite a few. I would love to hear **any** feedback from parents who have had experience with Alameda Montessori schools. Thanks! Jennifer

Recommended:

Other advice: Alameda Montessori Schools advice


Looking for an Alameda preschool

Jan 2005

I have checked the archives but there isn't much about Alameda preschools. Does anyone have any feedback (good or bad is helpful as I am beginning my search with a long list) on any preschools in Alameda including the tiny tots program run by Alameda Park and Rec? Places to visit or avoid? Any advice or input is appreciated.

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Preschool in Alameda or Downtown Oakland

Sept 2004

I am looking for recommendations for Preschools (full time with good aftercare program) in Alameda (including Bay Farm)and around Downtown Oakland & Lake Merritt area. Montessori is OK too. We are interested in a school with diverse student group. Our daughter is very spirited and we don\\222t want a rigid system that would take the fun out of her. We live in Alameda and work in Oakland. Recommendations currently available for Alameda Preschools in this site are very limited and also outdated. The Children\\222s Cottage that had good reviews appears to have had large staff turnover, and therefore not so good anymore. Any help would be appreciated very much -Sasu

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Part-time preschool for 18-month-old

March 2004

I am looking for recommendations for daycare or pre-schools in Alameda. My son is 18 months and I need part time care. There were a few pre-schools in the archives but nothing too current. In particular, does anyone have any experience with ABC preschool, Little seeds or Gardner? I also am intested in home daycares since most pre-schools won't take kids before age 2. thanks. alameda mom

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Preschool that takes 2-year-olds

March 2002

Can anyone recommend a wonderful preschool in Alameda? My daughter will turn two in October, so I'm looking for one that takes them that early. Thank you for any feedback. karen

Recommendations received:

Preschool for 3.5 year old

June 2003

I am looking for feedback and recommendations for preschools in Alameda. My son is 3.5 and is not yet potty trained. I hope that he will be in the fall, but I can't count on it so I may need some flexibility there. I have seen the other posting on the site, but there wasn't much to go on. I am looking for a fun and loving environment, w/ a good ratio and some academics. I am especially interested in Montessori. I work M-Th so would need to have full days, preferably an option for TWTh 8-3:30 or 4. Any help would be greatly appreciated! Laurie

Recommendations received:

My son's daycare has openings for children like yours (about 3 years old , 4 or 5 days/week). It's Peter Pan at Mariner Square. Full-time care is $720/month with a hot lunch and morning and afternoon snacks. The teachers are loving and attentive. There is a ''2 to young 3s'' class and a ''3 to young 4s'' class, and they often get combined and play together. Potty training is not a problem. They have a large playground with updated equipment. Talk to Julie DeMauri at 521-2750. They go 7AM-6PM. Jennie


I have friends who go to the following preschools and have heard good things about them: ''Home Sweet Home'' (operated by the Home Base project at Alameda Point) Children's Cottage (sister school to Rising Star, but operated by different people) Little Seeds Peter Pan (there may be several locations, and they may vary in quality. I've heard good things about the one at Mariner Square.)

You say you need full days, as did we. Some preschools with limited hours have ''before and after care'' that allows the child to stay there for the full day. I would caution you to evaluate this supplemental care as carefully as the preschool itself. The preschool may be 4 or 5 hours, but the child might be in after care for 3-4 hours, which is a significant amount of time. So don't forget (as we did) to evaluate the qualifications of the caregivers, activities, and ratios for this portion of the day too. Good luck! Frances