Bright Future Early Learning Center

Community Subscriber

Oakland, CA

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

Childcare Center
DSS Facility License #: 
private non-profit childcare center
(510) 835-4012
Downtown Oakland (1515 Clay St.)
Maximum Capacity: 
Language(s) Spoken: 
Ages Served: 
3 months - 72 months
Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri
7:30am - 5:30pm
Editors' Notes: 
  • Infant Center License 013422433 (capacity=20)
  • Preschool License 013422432 (capacity=32)
About Our Program: 

We have reopened, during this pandemic, for early care and education. Please inquire: 510.835.4012

Located in the Elihu Harris State Building in Oakland, this program serves children from 3 months to the start of kindergarten. Employees of the State of California, University of California Office of the President, and the City of Oakland receive priority when enrolling their children. We serve families from the community if there are additional openings. Bright Future provides a nurturing environment, rich with developmentally appropriate activities that challenge and encourage creativity. We support interactive, hands-on learning, knowing that children learn best when they have opportunities to use all of their senses.

Parent Q&A

  • We are looking at Bright Future Early Learning Center for our 16-month-old daughter. They are now a non-profit business run by the Oakland State Building Kid Corporation board and is no longer contracted with 4Cs of Alameda County. I've read some lovely reviews on BPN about the director, Laura McNair, of her time running a home-based day care in Montclair. Appreciate any recent notes on the program, teachers, director, etc. Thanks in advance.

    Sorry this is not recent info. My daughter attended Bright Futures from 2012-2015 when it was part.of 4C's, but I can assure you that the director, Laura, is amazing. Such a kind woman who truly cares about every child there. We had a good experience. All the teachers are different now, but I have several friends who currently have kids there and they are quite happy.

    I really liked the program for my son who started at BF when he was about a year old.  It's a solid good daycare/preschool. with good teachers and a nice yard with play structures.  I highly recommend taking a tour of the facility and meeting with Laura.  I toured other nearby centers and didn't like those as much.  It's a huge plus for our family is the location of BF, since one of us works in the same building, and another parent works just a few blocks away.  

    There are fancier daycares, but for us this one works, especially because of the location.  Now, about the cons.  There is quite a bit of teacher turnover, especially on the preschool side.  It may be just this last year or so, and so far our child seems ok with that, as they have been able to find qualified replacement teachers right away, but it makes it difficult to form a relationship with teachers and feel like a part of the center.  There's also a policy that could be an issue for you if you plan to arrive there after 9:30 am or after 5:30 pm:  one is charged $3 per minute if they drop a child off after 9:30 am, and also per each minute late at pick up.  I agree with the late pick up part of the policy, though it's a bit steep, but not with the late drop off part.  The late drop off is excused if a child has a doctor appointment in the morning,  

    Lastly, they don't do potty training until the child transfers to the preschool side of the school, usually around 2 years of age or so, even though there is a door that between the infant site and preschool, and it opens right into the bathroom area with nice child-size toilets and a multi-user sink.  With my son, the head teacher at the time refused to accommodate potty training (he was starting using a toilet at home), even when I offered to bring a potty.  It may be a teacher/student ration issue, but I think they could have found away to accommodate us. 

    None of this may be an issue for you.

    All in all, it's a good place.

Parent Reviews

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I’ve been sending my 2 year old daughter to Bright Future since she was about 5 months old. I was so excited when I got in off the waitlist and was able to move her from her previous daycare. I’ll be sending my second in a few weeks at around 4 months, too. Some things I like:

  • The center is modern, clean, safe and well organized to be intellectually stimulating for each developmental stage 
  • The staff are trained in early childhood education and the results are clear: I am amazed at how advanced my daughter is in terms of emotional intelligence, playing well with others, and verbal abilities 
  • The staff and parents feel like a community, especially now during COVID. There hasn’t been one covid case at the center (open since July 2020) and it really feels like everyone is working together to keep each other safe. There are policies and protocols and extended cleaning time (which means shorter hours but I’ll take it if it means fewer closures and less risk)
  • The staff there today are the same staff that were there when my oldest started at BF two years ago. One of the older posts discusses staff turnover, but that hasn’t been an issue in some time because the Board increased salaries to ensure the staff are well compensated and that has been successful in retention, which brings me to my next pro:
  • The organization is a non-profit so there is a board overseeing the org to make sure that all relevant policies and best practices are being instituted and you know that the daycare fee is fair
  • During normal times, I work across the street and was able to go over and nurse my daughter whenever I wanted, and I’d take her out for lunch on Fridays to the farmers market in Chinatown. It really was so special (can’t wait to get back to that!)
  • During covid times, I feel really grateful for this space and that my daughter can continue to thrive in the center

I’d definitely recommend Bright Future for anyone looking for childcare or a preschool in the Oakland area. 

I highly recommend this daycare for infants, toddlers, or preschool age kids. Both my son and daughter went to Bright Future and loved it. The teachers are warm and caring. The Center is spacious inside, and includes an enclosed outdoor play area.

Archived Q&A and Reviews

July 2011

Re: Infant care at Small Trans Depot in Oakland?

While I cannot comment on Small Trans Depot, my 5-year old son has gone to Bright Future Early Learning Center since he was 13 months old. It is in the base of the State of California Building at 14th and Clay in downtown Oakland. Like Small Trans Depot, they have an infant room, a toddler room and a preschool. I particularly liked that the preschool is mixed ages; there are not many children in our neighborhood. I was looking for my son to experience being the little kid, the middle and the ''big'' kid. We have had a wonderful experience and will miss it when he graduates next month.

The facility is bright and clean, has warm and loving teachers, and some flexibility on the number of days per week. The childcare center was originally started as an employee retention tool so there is a priority list based on your employer. There are also a limited number of sliding scale spots. The parents group is flexible in that if you have time, you can volunteer for a while, then ease off when your schedule is crazy.