A Child's House
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Our son has been attending A Child's House since Aug of 2010 (around 22 months)and we are thrilled to have found such a loving and fun play school for him. Ms. Jan and Ms. Michelle create a calm environment where learning is fostered through structured free play supplemented with Montessori materials. We are always impressed with the kind and respectful interactions amongst the children. If you spend anytime there, you can feel how much the little ones adore the bigger kids. Ms. Jan also provides homemade lunch, healthy snacks, and helps with potty training when you are ready. One other testament to this excellent playschool that helped us choose A Child's Place was many of the children there have siblings that attended the school also. - Siqi
I'd like to recommend my son's preschool to other families searching for a loving, home-based experience for their child.
We have been at A Child's House, in Montclair, Oakland, for a year now and we are extrememly pleased with the school and its two teachers, owner Jan Lane and her daughter, Michelle. The two run a warm, welcoming school where my son has made wonderful friendships and learned so much.
A Child's House is loosely Montessori-based. There are Montessori materials available, and the children have plenty of opportunity for self-directed play. But Jan and Michelle combine it with some lovely curriculum offerings, and my son has come home talking about everything from botany to impressionism. The class room is mixed age, with kids just about 2 all the way through pre-k. They take field trips and the older children may take swimming lessons. They also serve a hot lunch every day. Hours are 8 am to 6 pm.
Both Jan and Michelle are calm, patient and loving teachers. They believe in fostering independence, which fits very well with my son's temperament. They also do a wonderful job instilling social skills in the children, and all of them play so well together both in the classroom and outside in the backyard. Jan and Michelle also prepare the older children for kindergarden by working with them to master the skills they'll need. Most children go to the local public schools in Montclair and the surrounding area, but some have also gone on to private schools.
I think what I like best about A Child's House is how my son feels about it. He adores his friends as well as his teachers, and he very much feels like he belongs there and contributes to the community. He's in the middle of the age group, and adores learning from the big kids and teaching the younger ones.
If you'd like to connect with Jan and Michelle to learn more about this special place, please call her at 510-531-1964 or email at jlane1964 [at] juno.com. I believe they have a couple of spots open for fall due to a rather large graduating class this year. Wendy
We are considering sending our daughter to A Child's House in the Oakland Hills. The information on the bulletin board is sparse, and I would appreciate hearing positive or negative experiences, thanks. Prospective Parent
My son attended A Child's House for more than a year, before he went to pre-K. I found it to be a very calm, loving daycare perfect for kids who are able to explore Montessori materials somewhat independently. Miss Jan provides a hot lunch, nutritious snacks, and takes the kids on excellent field trips. Sarah in Montclair
We sent both of our daughters to A Child's House and were very pleased with the experience. Jan Lane and Michelle Lane are wonderful with the children. They create an environment where learning is fostered and children are respected and respect one another. Before starting a Child's House, Jan was at a Montessori preschool. I mention this because she has found a nice balance between Montessori and traditional, play-based preschool. It is a great mix of both.
There is a 7 year age difference between our daughters. They are both attending The Head-Royce School and I believe Jan Lane was an integral part of them getting accepted. By the time both girls went to kindergarten, they were ''reading ready''. They knew the alphabet, all of their sounds, their numbers and they were starting to spontaneously read things in their everyday life (signs, books, etc.)
Another testament to the wonderful environment they have created is many families sign up their additional children. There are many siblings at the school.
I strongly encourage you and your child to spend a morning at every preschool you are considering attending. That 3 or 4 hour investment will give you a lot of feedback as to whether it is the right place for you and your child. Sabrina
This is in response to the request for information about A Child's House Preschool, located above Highway 13, between Montclair and Redwood Heights. We've had a long and very happy association with the school. Our third grader attended the school, and we currently have a four year old and a two year old there.
The Preschool is small and home-based. The director, Jan Lane, has been a preschool teacher for many years. She is a very talented teacher, who has the rare ability to be calm, patient, and loving, while providing a structured and fun environment. The school is what I would term ''modified'' Montessori - the Montessori method is followed, but is less rigid than most of larger Montessori schools, with lots of time for the kids to play. The children make some wonderful crafts and the atmosphere is very creative.
If you are looking for a large facility with a fancy playground, this is probably not the place for you, but there is a nice outside area with play structure, tricycles, sand box, etc. Most importantly, we have found that the quality of care there is unsurpassed. We have had experiences at a large, wonderful daycare in Berkeley (St. Johns) with our daughters, a large preschool in Oakland, and a small family daycare for our son, but we have found that our children have received more individual attention, the best care, and had the most fun at A Child's House. Our spirited eight year old did very well at the school, but I feel that A Child's House is particularly good for more reserved children, who can get lost in the crowd at a larger facility, as our middle child did.
I am very impressed at how well the children play together at the school-- with their own and other age groups. They are happy and have a lot of respect for one another; Jan and her assistant are very effective (but gentle) with discipline. There is a calm atmosphere that is rare at preschools! There is also a nice sense of community among the parents, which is sometimes hard to find at a larger preschool. We have kept in touch with many of the families from the time our eight year old was at the school.
If you are concerned about academics, graduates have been accepted at Head Royce and Redwood Day School. Other graduates are at Hillcrest, Redwood Heights, schools in Piedmont, Orinda, and Montclair schools, and have been very well prepared for kindergarten at these schools. Our daughter is at Joaquin Miller Elementary and we found that being well prepared academically at a Child's House helped her enormously to concentrate on adapting socially to kindergarten. She loves school and I believe that being at A Child's House gave her a lot of self-confidence and a love of learning.
In summary, A Child's House is the preschool I wish I had attended as a child!
A hot meal is served at lunch and children do not have to be potty trained.
Part-time openings and (possibly) one full-time slot are coming available at the school. Please contact Jan Lane at 531-1964. Charlotte
I would like to tell you about a very special Pre-school. Why, because I am a parent of two children and have a file on child care, they are not all the same! My daughter has been at A Childs House for 2yrs. it is extremely clean, loving and uses the Maria Montessori method but not at a hard core level. You need to know this about your pre-schools. The classroom is a stimulating, creative, team building enviornment that works with the child and family to create a fun learning experience. The Director, Ms. Jan Lane has been a long time director at a 45 child preschool, and has designed a smaller, loving, creative enviornment where results happen and excitement prevail. When you become part of A Childs House, you won't want to leave. Always a small number of children 12 or fewer, just off 13 at Joaquin Miller, hot meals provided dailey with love. She is full at this time, but keep her number for future enrolement. 510-531-1964. A child of 2 and in diapers is also welcome. Sue