Claremont Day Nursery on College Ave.
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Our son has been offered enrollment at Claremont Day Nursery on College Ave. The most recent review on BPN is from 1/2012. Do any currently or recently enrolled parents have an opinion on the school? Many thanks, anon
My daughter has been going to Claremont Day Nursery on College for two years now, and we really love it there! The teachers are wonderful and warm, and she really has developed a special bond with all of them. They do wonderful art projects, have a great outdoor space, and it is small enough for some individual attention. The space itself is a little funky, but it hasnt been a problem at all. My daughter has learned a lot toward literacy but I also feel they really focus on social development and expressive play. dani
Hi, My daughter just got a spot at Claremont Day Nursery's Rockridge campus. Does anyone have experience with this nursery? Would you recommend it? Thank you for your advice. East Bay Mom
My son has been at Claremont Day Nursery's Rockridge (College Ave) campus since last summer and I recommend it. He loves his school, is constantly singing the songs he learns there. The teachers are incredibly warm and nurturing, real gems. We like that the school provides lunch and snacks, not just for the convenience but because it has caused our picky-eater child to try new foods. The only drawback is that we feel that we haven't gotten to know the other families there and that the school doesn't do much to foster relationships among the families in a given class. Most importantly though, our son really does enjoy his time there and is thriving in the supportive environment his teachers create for him. CDN mom
I am enrolling my daughter at Claremont Day Nursery on College. I was hoping for a review from a recent parent. The staff changed a little since my first visit and I am a little nervous about it being stimulating enough for her. Perhaps I am being a nervous parent, but please tell me your experiences there! Dani
Our daughter moved from her nannyshare to the College Avenue campus over the summer and never looked back. In our experience, the teachers and staff at the school are warm and naturally child-oriented. This is pretty evident in the way the children look up to them. One afternoon when we were picking our daughter up some older sibling ''graduates'' stopped by and flung themselves into the arms of their former teachers, thrilled to see them. The school strikes a nice balance between allowing children to explore their childhood and providing a structured environment for learning. In the few weeks our daughter has been there they've had two animal shows and a ''water games'' day. Each week has a different theme for show & tell. And I garner from our daughter's dinnertime performance tonight that they've been learning the ''Twinkle Twinkle Traffic Light'' song. Judging from her eagerness to be dropped off every morning and the fact that she sleeps like a stone every night, I'd say the environment is plenty stimulating. We are very happy there. New CDN Parent
Both of my children, with very different interests and activity levels, have thrived at CDN on College Ave. My eldest is very interested in art, reading and other ''intellectual'' pursuits. She was nurtured and her interests fostered during her time at Claremont Day. She was never bored and went to Kindergarten very well prepared for reading and other academic endeavors. My second currently attends CDN. She is much more social and physical. She spends her time running in the yard, participating in group projects and playing to her hearts content. I have nothing but raves for the staff and programs. van
We are considering enrolling our 2 yr. old in the Claremont Day Nursery at Rockridge. Does anyone have any recent experience with the school, its director, the teachers and staff, etc? The school seems great and is so much more affordable than others in the area that I'm wondering what the catch is. Any postive/negative replies are much appreciated. Prospective CDN parent
Both of our kids (now in 2nd grade and kindergarten) attended CDN since age 2 (Woosley campus). We were really happy there. This is a preschool made for parents who work. Hot lunch is served every day (made in the kitchen at the site) and they are open year-round only closing during major holidays. The teachers were attentive and consistent (little turn over). The director, we found, to be easy to communicate with. Overall a great little school. To this day, my kids talk about going back to visit! Happy Former CDN Parent
Re: Full-Time Preschools in Oakland
Welcome to Oakland (soon)! You may want to look into Claremont Day. We have been VERY happy with this preschool. Our son has been there a couple of years and loves it. The teachers are very loving and wonderful, it is very reasonably priced, includes lunch, and is full-time if needed. There are three campuses, two of which are in Oakland. Good luck! Happy Claremont Day Parent!
Re: Seeking preschool with working mom's hours!
Take a look at Claremont Day Nursery - there is one on College Ave and one on Woolsey in Berkeley. They stay open until 6pm and also serve a hot lunch. Most of the parents there are working parents and a lot of the kids do get picked up right at closing. My son has been there for almost 2 years and we love it. happy claremont mom
Claremont Day Nursery is great for working parents, including (among other things) the all-day hours and warm lunch provided. Maria
Claremont Day Nursery, AKA Claremont Kids. We've been there for a year and a half and love it. Big bonus -- meals and snacks provided. Open from 7:30 to 6. http://claremontkids.com/ Happy Pappy
Claremont Day Nursery is our salvation! They are open 7-6, and most of the kids go full time. We go to the Kensington branch, off Colusa circle, which we love. It is a very stimulating environment, and he is learning a lot. I'm sure the Claremont and College branches also have those hours, but you might want to check (you didn't say where you were). Eli S.'s mom
Re: Preschools with Male Teachers
Claremont Day on College Ave. in Oakland has Teacher Johnny, who is calm, patient, and insightful. The children love him. He's been there for at least 5 years. anon.
I am looking for a preschool for my almost 4 year old daughter. I went to the Claremont Day College Avenue preschool and was very pleased. However, does anyone have any comments about the school, teachers, location, safety, etc. michaelle
Our daughter goes to the Claremont Woolsey branch. She loves it, we love it too. Tom, the owner, is present and involved every day. He cooks special lunches for the kids, puts on parties for the kids and families (this month we had a Valentine Party and a Chinese New Year Party, as well as the monthly party for all kids who have a birthday). More traditional pre-school, less goofy than most around here. Happy Pappy
Does anyone have any insights on the College Avenue location? We have been considering the College Ave location and a little more feedback would be great.
Our daughter started in the Bumblebee (2y/o) class last fall and we've been quite happy with CDN. Teacher Venus is fantastic -- very loving, and very fair. I don't know the other teachers as well but get a good vibe from them. Interestingly our daughter recently switched which days she goes which has made her much happier going to school, mainly because she gets on better with that group of kids. So some aspects you can't predict. The administration is not the strongest part of the school -- for part of the year we were waiting for a spot for different days, and there was confusion on one or two occasions that yes we had a spot, no we didn't. But otherwise it's been great. satisfied
We are considering Claremont Day Nursery on College for our daughter next fall (she will be nearly 2.5). We were impressed with the staff and liked what we saw when we toured the facility, and would be interested in feedback from parents who have children there now or in the recent past, especially in the two-year old program. What have been the strengths of the program for your child and family? The weaknesses? The hours, vacation schedule, and food seem to make it a good fit for us as a two-working parent family. Anything else you think that would make it a good or poor fit for someone? Even if you're happy with the program, anything you wish you had known ahead of time? Thanks for your feedback! AH
We started our child there this fall. In general, we are very happy with the teachers and the program. The teachers are kind, intelligent and happy and seem to enjoy both the children and their jobs. Dyanna, the director for the site is great- enthusiastic, competent and a lot of fun. The kids and parents have also been very nice, making it a nice little community. We did not start with the 2 year old program, so I can't offer much help there. My only issue with the program is the size--to me it can feel a bit big, and on occassion have wondered if a smaller environment or 'preschool only' (as opposed to a full time/day care school) might be a better fit for our child. But all in all I am very happy with the program. happy CDN mom
We have had both our children at Claremont day. My son started at age 2 1/2 and my daughter at age 4 (she is now in kindergarten). They had both been home with me or a nanny up to that point. My two are very different from each other and both have had a great experience at Claremont Day. I think the staff is great, very caring, very nurturing and they have gone out of their way to check my schedule (as well as the other parents) before scheduling events at the school (holiday parties, etc.). Also, I love not preparing a lunch for my son:) I would be happy to speak/e-mail with you further. Rebecca
While I did not see the initial post, as a parent of a child in the bumblebee room (2-3 year olds) I wanted to share my experience with Claremont Day thus far. The staff at CDN go out of their way to create a community among the CDN families through a variety of activities throughout the year (spaghetti dinner, Halloween parade, holiday sing-a-long). Venus, the Bumblebee teacher, is very warm, caring, and fun -- and my son loves her. The other teachers also seem great. Overall I would highly recommend the program -- feel free to contact me with questions. sara
There aren't any recent postings on CDN on College, and I would like to hear both positive and negative opinions. I visited recently and while I like a lot of its features, I wasn't wowed by it, but I want to keep an open mind. One concern was that the program director isn't there the whole time- she splits her days between the college and claremont sites. They also have a higher staff-student ratio than some other places I have seen. What are your impressions of the teachers- competency, warmth, etc? Also, I wasn't crazy about the fact that they serve sweets for dessert with lunch a few days/week, though I do like the fact that lunch is provided. Any other impressions? Thanks!!! milli
My daugther (28 months) has been offered a place at Claremont Kids's College Ave. location (Bumblebee group) for fall 2004. I wanted to hear if anyone has feedback to give on the facility. We have visited several times and I think it will work (good diversity, location, price, and engaged teachers), but there were two things of some concern: the very high noise level (on behalf of both teachers and kids) and the shared yard space where four-year-old boys seemed granted a little too much free passage with respect to younger girls. The latest comments on the site are from 2002, so any update would be good. Thanks! Anna
My child has been at CDN on College since he was 2 1/2 and I could not be more pleased with his teachers and experiences there as a two year old ''Bumblebee,'' a three year old ''Bear,'' and now a 4 year old ''Dolphin.'' Every single teacher there (as well as the director and the owner and the lady who serves the lunches, and the substitute teachers they bring in!) is wonderful and loving, and they all know all the children's names and personalities. Without an overly rigorous structure to prohibit a lot of fun and freedom and creativity, the teacher driven subjects of the month (three each month: example: the Olympics, Greece and myths, or Mexico, the color yellow and gardening) have taught him about everything he needs (letters, numbers, colors, other subjects as well as art, a vegetable and flower garden, trips to the College Ave library for story time, visits from the zoo and dentists etc.) to be ready for kindergarten next year, both socially and academically. The kids are all friendly and the school hosts some events around holidays etc where I have met other parents who were all very nice too. The food is probably better than average, and a hot meal, more often than not there are homemade desserts like carrot cake and banana bread in addition to just cookies or jello etc. though I can't say you'll never see an oreo. We also know a little girl who has been very happy there since she was two and I definitely plan to send my shyer younger son there next year as well. The Bumblebee class is very small, only 7 or 8 kids max I think I recall, and their snack and lunch times are separate from the older children, who play and have circle time and eat together. I would not worry about the playground mixing with older kids because it is precisely what lots of the little kids enjoy (having older friends) and there are always lots of teachers in the yard watching all the children. I have often seen older children being comforting and solicitious of younger children who were crying when their parents dropped them off, or fallen on the playground. We specifically chose the College location initially because it is much smaller than the larger Woolsey campus. At no time do I feel it is overwhelming, though it can get loud on rainy days when the kids are all inside, and they let me attend with my child before he started officially which was very reassuring. In short I just feel so lucky we found this school and can't rave about it enough for children of any age or temperament!!!! cheryl
I have a 4 yr old son, and a 2 yr old daughter at the school - my son has been there since he was 2, as has my soon-to-be-departing-for-K nephew. Dianna is fabulous, and it is a real shame that she isn't at the school fulltime. That being said, I think the remaining staff are great: caring, consistent, patient, and attentive. My daughter ADORES the Bumblebee teacher (after all of 2 visits), and my son is quite happy with all the rest. I think that the quality of the snacks could be better, but I frankly understand their efforts to economize. The lunch is usually very good, and I LOVE the fact that it is homemade, rather than canned, or parent- provided, and a sweet a couple of times per week doesn't bother me (everything in moderation, I think). As far as the staff- student ratio is concerned, I'm not sure what the exact problem is: the kids get plenty of attention, the place is safe, and I like the fact that the school is somewhat smaller than the other places I looked at, not quite so many kids.
For me, I love the fact that there is plenty of unstructured play time, and they do let the kids play. My son loved mingling with the older kids, when he was younger, and now is great at looking after his sister, and he also watches out for the other younger ones, on occasion (I have watched him when he didn't know I was there). I think that the teachers seem to understand what the kids need, and they watch out for the younger ones more carefully, particularly those that seem a bit lost or uncertain. For me personally, I appreciate the fact that they let the kids go a bit, I don't like to see kids hovered over: kids need to have the room to experiment and try things out on their own. That being said, I do think that it is safe, and that they do not compromise the safety of the children.
I'm not sure what is meant by ''high noise level'' - I just hear kids having fun. My son is probably one of the noise makers, though, since he is pretty active and loud, so perhaps I am biased. When kids are outside, I feel they should be allowed to be as noisy as they want. Inside is another matter, and the teachers are good, in my opinion, about getting the kids quiet when they need to listen.
All in all, I am very happy with Claremont Day Nursery. I live only 1 block away, so I often drop in unannounced, and have never found anything to be worried about. You both are welcome to contact me if you have any other specific questions or concerns. Good luck! Kelly
Re: Preschools with Afternoon Programs
Claremont Day Nursery School has an afternoon session with extended care until 6. They have locations in Kensington and on College Ave. A friend had kids at the College Ave location and was happy with it. I've also read good reviews about both locations in the UCB Parents achives. Maria
Does anyone have any experience, positive or negative, with Claremont Day Nursery on College in Rockridge? My son will be 4 when he attends preschool. The website only has comments about Claremont Day in Kensington and Berkeley. Thanks much.
This is in response to the request for experiences with CDN in Rockridge. Although our son attended the school in Berkeley, I would not recommend any of the schools at all due to the experiences we had with the director. We felt that the director painted the parents as negligent or taking advantage of the care given to the kids there if they ever arrived a minute after 6pm.
My wife and I work in San Rafael and downtown SF respectively. My wife works until 5 and then has to hurry across the bridge to pick up my son before 6pm so as not to be charged the $15 late fee. First of all, while I agree that a late fee is necessary so that perpetually late parents do not take advantage of the situation, I believe $15 for each 15 minutes after 6pm is excessive especially because sometimes traffic considerations make lateness out of the parents control. So my wife continually had to rush across the San Rafael bridge and then fight Berkeley city traffic at rush hour to get to CDN at Claremont and Woolsey. I myself onetime got a speeding ticket trying to make it there before 6pm. Inevitably, there was an accident on the bridge which tied up traffic leading to my wife getting there at 6:15 one day. Two days later, it was construction tieing up traffic which led my wife to arrive at 6:02. When she arrived my son was on the potty and so didn't end up leaving until 6:20.
The director made us feel like somehow we were negligent and at fault in arriving late and tried to charge us $15 for arriving at 6:02. When we didn't pay immediately, he then continued to hound us to pay the $15 to the point of confronting me on morning in front of parents bringing their kids to school. I explained to him that I didn't think the fee was warranted due to our arrival time and the problems we had that day and he then basicly told us it was our fault we were 2 minutes late, that the rules were rules and that if I didn't pay up, my son wasn't welcome there again. We had already made the decision to pull my son due to the attitude of the director, but I was furious that he would accost me in front of my child, his schoolmates and their parents like that. I have no quarrel with the teachers there who are caring and engaged the kids in artwork which was sometimes creative and sometimes just consisted of coloring exercises. My son just seems to be much happier where he is now and gets much more individualized attention. Anonymous
We have had a very positive experience with Claremont Day Nursery, both with the upstairs ''little kids'' classes as well as with the downstairs ''big kids'' classes.
The upstairs teachers are very warm, friendly and genuinely caring about the children there. They give each child the attention he/she needs, while still encouraging independent play and activities. There is a daily routine, interesting projects and activities, and enough structure to help children grow through both play and more traditional learning activities. Both my son and daughter have blossomed in the program. I feel that the care and attention they receive has helped them grow both creatively and intellectually, while they have had their emotional needs met.
There are some more logistical aspects of CDN that I like, particularly compared with Duck's Nest, which is also a terrific program. First, the hot lunches at CDN, which eliminate the need for busy parents to remember one more thing. Also, for better or worse, CDN does not have the number of inservice and vacation days that Duck's Nest has. These add up very quickly, particularly for working parents who need to scramble to find the additional care when the school is not open.
As far as the parent who complained about the fine for being just two minutes late... I've been a few minutes late to pick up my kids once or twice for exactly the same reason that he was. I gladly paid the $15 fee and I know I am not alone in that sentiment. First off, it's stated right up front in the school policy that there is a $15 fine for every 15 minutes parents are late to pick up their children after 6:00. It's no surprise to anyone. The fee structure at CDN is very reasonable; a few extra dollars to compensate the teacher for caring for your child is nothing. Traffic delays in the Bay Area are a fact of life, and we should be grateful that we can depend on someone we trust to care for our children when we are delayed. Another thing to consider is that a two minute delay for us in our cars might mean a 45 minute delay for the on-duty teacher who misses her bus or BART connection.