Applejacks Childcare

El Cerrito, 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 #: 
Kathy Wimberly
(510) 232-6829
El Cerrito
Del Norte Bart Station
Maximum Capacity: 
Language(s) Spoken: 

Parent Reviews

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Our daughter started with Kathy at Applejacks when she was around 4 months old. Let me tell you, I fell in love with this woman. She was so kind and caring and has the biggest heart of any person I've met. She was attentive, sent us texts and check-ins, and loves those kids as her own. Our daughter has what she dubbed "a strong personality." She's vocal and strong and she bonded with Kathy straightaway. Kathy is emotional when the kids leave to new daycares which is a testament to how invested she is when she watches these children. I would recommend her a million times over to anyone wanting a great daycare. We sadly had to move away a month ago but if we're ever back in town, I will most certainly be hitting her up for a visit.

Also she offers homemade vegetarian dahl for the kids for lunch. Bonus! 

I would recommend contacting Kathy at Applejacks daycare on Hill St in El Cerrito, google says it’s closed but that’s not true! 510-253-9155. My daughter attended there and it’s play based, beautiful outdoor space and kind loving staff. Home cooked lunches, WOC owned, always a diverse group of kiddos. 

We searched and searched (exhaustively) for a daycare provider we felt like we could trust.  We even had to expand our search outside of our city.  That is how we came across Applejacks. We were first time (working) parents.  We had tons of anxiety about leaving our child in the care of another, and *very* high expectations of the type of care we wanted for her.  When we met Kathy, we felt a sense of trust & comfort for the first time. And over the years, Kathy only exceeded those high expectations of what we wanted.  Our daughter began Applejacks at 9 months old. Kathy was so proactive with keeping us informed of everything that happened during her day. Good communication is vital between parents and care providers. Kathy really listened and followed through on all our requests, or concerns, or needs.  She is so careful and protective of the children in her care. You can really tell that she feels like they are her own children. There were times that my daughter was home sick, and Kathy actually bought over rice & dal to our home for her because it was her comfort food (& we live in another city). She cares about her kids so sooo much!  Kathy is very careful with her selection of assistants.  And we have always felt very comfortable with all of the assistants at Applejacks (especially Tashi, when she was there).  We loved the play-based environment at Applejacks.  We are old-school and believe that kids should be allowed to go outside and get dirty and be a kid.  Applejacks embraces that philosophy.  There were no screens used at Applejacks when we were there, which we also loved. The children were kept fully engaged with play and music and reading.  Kathy even brought in a music teacher and a dance teacher several times a month to broaden the development of the kids. Our daughter loved going to "Nina's house" as she called it.  And for my family, we just felt extremely fortunate to have found Kathy and her daycare for our daughter. The first few years of a child's development are so important. They need to feel loved and safe and protected.  With Kathy, our daughter had the best possible start in life.  We are so lucky to have found her.  She is like family to us now.  My husband jokes that if he had it his way, our daughter would have stayed at Applejacks until she was filling out her college entrance applications.     

My family and I feel so very grateful for our children's time at Applejack's daycare.  We moved from out of state, and upon meeting the owner, Kathy, we immediately knew this was the daycare for us and the area we wanted to live.  Both my children have attended this daycare.  A few of the things we love about Applejack's include:1 - the school has a light, warm indoor space, and a great outdoor yard with play structures, sand boxes and gardens2 - the caretakers are very energetic, hands-on and play directly with the kids.  Kathy has great insights to children's needs as she has worked as a caretaker since she was young, and is a very nurturing, caring person3 - they provide lentil dahl and rice for lunch daily, healthy snacks and milk 4 - the school has activities during the week (dance, music)  Kathy does a wonderful job of providing a safe, caring and loving location.  I was extremely comfortable going back to work knowing my children were in good hands. 

We loved Applejacks, which is on Hill by del Norte BART. Kathy, the owner, is very warm and loving and has run Applejacks for over 25 years. The house and yard are fantastic and her assistant Tashi makes rice and dal for lunch for the kids every day. My kids attended from 3 months old to just over 3 years and came home happy and exhausted every day!

My daughter was with Kathy (or Nina as the kids call her) from 8 months to 3 years old before she moved onto preschool. It is a loving, warm, nurturing, and child-centered environment where the kids get to play, paint, sing songs, make lots of mud pies, and eat delicious warm food and healthy snacks every day. Kathy gets to know each child deeply and showers them with love. She truly loves what she does! She gets daily help from Tashi and Tsering who are also wonderful with the infants and toddlers. She had a weekly dance teacher come in where the kids got to have "jelly jam time." There was also weekly gardening "class." There are often vibrant vegetables in the backyard where the kids get to water and care for the plants. They can even eat right off the stems and vines. There is lots of messy play and art, and the kids spend a lot of time outside. Kathy often had a fun story to share with me during pick up time about my daughter's day. They also work with the kids in potty training in a very gentle way. There is also a Parents Night Out once a month.

She offers part-time and full-time options and rates are very reasonable. All meals and snacks are provided. It is a wonderful community of parents as well. While my daughter loves her new preschool and teachers, she talks fondly of Nina, Tashi and Tsering and goes back for visits. It is truly a special place for young ones. Kathy's energy is radiating and she overflows with kindness and generosity. I always felt confident leaving my daughter in their care.

I see no one has reviewed Applejacks since 2012, and want to provide a new review! My twins have been at Applejacks now for over 2 years, beginning when they were 3 months old. We LOVE IT. Kathy (the kids call her Nina, since her name is Kathleena) is warm and loving and amazingly creative. She had a mud pie kitchen built in the backyard! Her assistants, Tashi and Tsering, are beloved by all of the children. The children are constantly engaged in all sorts of play (outdoors as much as weather permits), dance, gardening, and music. Kathy includes all of the children, from the infants to the bigger toddlers, in every activity, and the little ones are always so excited to be involved! Applejacks offers a Parents Night Out once a month, and there is a monthly park date on weekends for families to meet up and get to know each other. It is a truly amazing place and amazing community, with reasonable prices and right by del Norte BART.

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Oct 2012

Apple Jacks Daycare has openings: infant-3yo. My daughter Amelie had such a wonderful experience there. Kathleen (Nina) & Pimma were the answer to my prayers last year when I was looking for daycare. I felt so confident and comfortable with Nina from the moment I met her. She exudes a warm and welcoming vibe. You can tell she really loves kids. From the first day I dropped off my daughter she fit right in and had a wonderful time. When I went to visit the first time, I was surprised to see a little girl was potty trained & Nina told me all the full time kids there were potty trained by 18 months! As we left that day there was a car that slowed down and a little kid was excitedly waving & smiling out of the window. It was a child she had previously watched. It was nice to see the love in the kid's smiling eyes and Ninas as well. On Amelie's last day she told me ''I had fun with Nina & Pimma.'' Amelie always comes home happy & singing or doing something new. I am so grateful to Nina & Pimma! healthy breakfast, lunch and snacks included,M-F, 8-5, 20+ yrs experience, no TV, no smoking, no pets, pediatric CPR/First Aid/Health & Safety Certified, reasonable price, easy walk to BART/casual carpool near OSH.

Sept 2011

Our son just started pre-school, and there is room for new kids at Kathy's daycare. We are delighted with our experience there. Kathy is an exceptionally loving provider, and gets to know and care for the kids as her own. At drop-off time, she knew that my son would be sad to see me go, so she always had something new and fun to engage him with.

Her daycare is on the first floor or her cute house, and she takes them out to the back yard as often as the weather permits. She cooks organic lunches every day, and when I was still nursing, she was happy to take my pumped milk and give it to my son.

She potty-trained our son at 19 months. After going through the process with our first two (at 2 1/2 or more), I was very skeptical, but she totally, and successfully did it on her own. Amazing. Her daughters have become our go-to sitters for parents' nights out. They knew Quincy well from day care, and they are so cool and charming that my older two love them like sisters.

Kathy's rates seemed very reasonable at the time, but you should ask for an update. Feel free to give me a call too.

Sept 2011

We've been sending our son to Kathy at Applejacks for over a year now and we are so happy with our choice that I thought I should share it here. The bottom line is that they are human. They run a business, but they are all so sincere, they really love your child like it's their own. They are also very flexible and accommodating when it comes to your crazy parent wishes, such as foods (we are vegetarian and prefer organic), schedule, cloth diapers, whatever your needs are. They also helped us potty train our now 2 year old son and he is, for the most part, potty trained for the past 6 months. Most of all, and I'm repeating myself, is the love that I feel when I leave my baby there, and the way he talks about daycare when I pick him up verifies it. Andre