Diana's Play House

Community Subscriber

Oakland, 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 #: 
Diana Brown
dianasplayhouse [at] gmail.com
Crocker Highlands
Maximum Capacity: 
Language(s) Spoken: 
Ages Served: 
9 months - 42 months
Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri
8:00am - 3:30pm
Additional Services & Features: 
Part-time available, Year-round, Sibling discount, Lunch provided, Snacks provided, Organic options, Vegetarian options, Special diet support, Potty training support, Special needs support
About Our Program: 

Diana's Play house is located in the beautiful Crocker Highlands neighborhood. Just minutes from both 580 and highway 13.  Casual carpool is within walking distance and commute bus to San Francisco is next door!

I provide a loving nurturing environment that is child driven. Having multiple ages allows children to learn from each other both academically and in their everyday play. Although I am Montessori based, I encourage imaginative play. I have many "works" that teach letters, numbers, math concepts, anatomy, geography, and biology.

In addition to having a weekly music class, I offer daily story time, dance, art, duplos, kappla, pretend kitchen area, dress up as well as a ball pit and plenty of outdoor play.

Parent Reviews

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I wanted to recommend my son's daycare Diana's Playhouse which has a rare opening for 3-5 days/week. Diana's is a small (usually 4 kids per day with max 6) in home daycare located in Crocker Highlands. Diana has a social worker background and is a mom to 3 boys and has run her small daycare for many years, so I know my son is in great hands while there! She provides all snacks and meals, has a weekly music class, takes the kids on a walk each day in the neighborhood, and encourages creativity and exploration through various activities. Her hours are M-F 8am-3:30pm. I cannot say enough wonderful things about Diana and her daycare, my younger son is currently there so happy to answer questions, and you can also contact Diana at dianasplayhouse [at] gmail.com.  

In addition to the current opening, there will be a couple openings at the end of summer as older kids transition to preschool.

We LOVE Diana's Playhouse! We found Diana's Playhouse through Berkeley Parents Network when we first moved to Crocker Highlands in 2013 and are so grateful we did! Diana's social work background has provided us with invaluable parenting advice and we know our kids are in good hands while we are at work. We love the fact that she provides nutritious snacks and lunch (no packing a lunch!), has weekly music class and a safe, nurturing space that encourages creativity, growth and exploration. 

Our older son started at Diana's Playhouse when he was 15 months and grew and developed by leaps and bounds within the first month of starting. When he started preschool, we had multiple teachers ask us where he had been beforehand as he had such an easy adjustment.  He had food allergies when he started and she worked closely with us (and the other children!) to ensure that he stayed safe and only ate approved foods.

Our second son now attends Diana's Playhouse. Not only is she teaching them things like the ABC's, shapes and colors, but she is also teaching him life skills - such as sitting at a table for lunch and snacks and walking through the neighborhood holding a stroller.

We are now expecting baby #3 and cannot wait until he is old enough to start at Diana's Playhouse! 

Diana currently has a much coveted opening at the Playhouse for 3-5 days a week from 8-3:30. I cannot recommend her enough!

We absolutely LOVE Diana's Play House and I am so lucky that both my children can attend her daycare together. My almost 3-year-old son was watched only by family members until he started at 10 months and because he has grown leaps and bounds under her care, I enrolled my now 9-month-old daughter at 3.5 months! Diana is so loving, attentive and experienced; I am extremely grateful to have her in our lives as a second mom while I'm at work. My kids are excited to start playing with her and their friends when I drop them off and they are happy, rested, and well-fed when I pick them up: who could ask for more?!?

Diana doesn't just supervise the kids, she fully engages with them as a teacher and fellow playmate. It's a daily occurrence to see her sitting on the floor reading to tots in her lap or helping them collectively complete a floor puzzle. I have also seen her happily "taste" imaginary food from the play kitchen, sing songs, tickle tummies and change a diaper, all almost simultaneously with ease. What has amazed me all this time is how cheerful and warm she is every single day; if she has ever been tired, sick, frustrated or grouchy, you (and most importantly, the kids) could never tell. How she does this with 6 kids in the room doing 6 different activities at times is simply amazing when I think of how some days alone with just my kids is challenging enough!

Here are some of the things that my son has learned how to do from being at Diana's:
--take a 2-3 hour nap every day without any fuss
--walk around the neighborhood while holding onto the side of the stroller the entire time (along with 3 other friends while 2 ride!)
--sit in a chair at the table for art, play-doh and meals until finished
--negotiate taking turns with toys
--clean up toys when finished with an activity
--help others, especially younger ones, which greatly eased him into his role as a big brother

Diana's daily schedule with the group helped me establish a routine for successful sleeping and eating at home. I appreciate that she is also very easy to talk to and willing to attend to the individual needs of my kids. When my daughter first started, she wouldn't take a bottle and Diana kept working with her (and me!) until she got the hang of it. Currently, she has been so supportive in helping me potty train my son by continuing practices and rewards we use at home.

My son has been both the youngest and the oldest in attendance, all while learning a great deal and having a blast. He is fully prepared for preschool soon thanks to his successful and joyful experience with Diana and friends. I am thrilled and relieved that my daughter gets to stay with Diana for the next two years!

Diana’s Playhouse has been a warm, loving environment for our 2-year-old daughter during her transition from a baby to a toddler. Diana’s Playhouse is Montessori- and play-based, and has an intimate mix of babies and toddlers that get to know each other very well and become friends over the course of their time under Diana’s care. The cozy playhouse is filled with “works,” toys, and books for story time, and the kids take daily walks through the beautiful neighborhood and occasional field trips to the elementary school where, on Halloween, the big kids “oohed” and “aahed” over their costumes.

In the year that Diana has been taking care of our daughter, Diana has taught her to take consistent naps every afternoon, say “please” and “thank you,” and practice sharing as well as confidently holding her own with other kids by using her words. We love that within her first few weeks at Diana’s, our daughter learned to pick up her toys whenever she hears us sing the clean-up song that Diana taught her. We live in the neighborhood, and I’ve heard at least four of my neighbors comment on how well-behaved and happy all of the kids are during their walks. They think Diana is “magical” and really don’t understand how she does it!

Diana has also been a life-saver in terms of helping us inexperienced parents and giving advice. Diana always makes the time to talk to parents during drop-off and pick-up, and really wants to know what is going on in each child’s life, so that she can support us as needed. For example, when I stopped breastfeeding, Diana helped talk our daughter through the change; and now Diana is helping prepare her for a little sibling by showing her how to care for a baby doll.

On top of all this, Diana provides weekly music and movement lessons, does art projects with the kids, and serves daily nutritious snacks and lunch. But most importantly, our daughter is excited to see Diana and her friends every day, and is greeted at the door each morning with a warm hug and kiss from Diana. She has become so affectionate with and attached to Diana, it makes us sad to think about leaving for preschool. We wholeheartedly recommend Diana’s Playhouse to anyone looking for a home-based daycare.

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Sept 2013

Our son transitioned seamlessly from being at home to daycare at Diana's. This is a small, home-based daycare run by the extremely capable and nurturing Diana Brown. Besides the certainty that my son was always safe at Diana's, a few of the great things about her daycare include: 6 children maximum, so children receive a lot of individual attention; healthy/organic lunches and snacks; Diana is a miracle worker when it comes to getting through sleep issues; kids spend a lot of time playing outdoors each day; daily songs, art, dancing, music; Diana is super-communicative and responds quickly via cell, text or email. All of the kids at the Playhouse are happy and love being there. Our son talked about Diana on the weekends, loved going in the morning and usually protested at pickup time! As an aside: Diana has three school-aged boys who are amazing with the kids when they are around after school. Lea

Aug 2013

My son has been at Diana's Playhouse for almost two years and our family has been very happy. Diana is communicative, energetic, and positive in her interactions with people of all ages. Her calm and upbeat manner is contagious with the kids, she makes managing 6 kids seem effortless and fun. Diana gives all the kids individual attention, and she reinforces sharing, good manners, potty training (if parent's desire), and good hygiene. My son comes home happy, talkative, and a better listener on Playhouse days. He doesn't want to leave at the end of the day and often wants to call Diana on the phone to say ''hi'' in between daycare days (he goes two days/week). Originally, I was looking for a place in/around Rockridge, but the 10 minute drive door to door to Diana's has not been an issue. Diana's hours are 8-3:30pm M-F and she provides healthy snacks and lunch which is really(!) convenient. She takes infants and toddlers; 6 months and up.

June 2013

We've had nothing but absolutely positive experiences while our daughter has been under Diana's care. She has been with Diana since 2011, and though she's definitely excited to start preschool in September, I have no doubt she'll miss Diana and her friends at the playhouse immensely. Diana brings with her not only a wealth of experience from working with children at the playhouse, but also as a mom of three boys. From the first day our daughter started at Diana's, we had no doubt that she would be safe and happy. She looks forward to going to Diana's each morning, and is always excited at the end of the day to talk about everything she did. Of the many things we appreciate about Diana, we've found her super responsive and communicative; she holds our daughter's well-being and happiness at the center of our interactions. Diana lets children's interests inform the day, and infuses puzzles, music, art projects, walks, outdoor play, cooking, and imaginative play into each day. Added bonus-she provides healthy, organic snacks and lunch!

June 2011

Diana' s Playhouse currently has a FULL-TIME OPENING for a toddler, 20 months or older.

Diana runs a home based day care located in the Crocker Highlands neighborhood minutes from both 580 and Highway 13.

My 2 year old daughter has been with Diana since she was 4 months old, and I could not be happier with her experiences at Diana's Playhouse.

Every day is an adventure. Diana constantly exposes the children to new and age appropriate activities.They paint, do art projects, mold Playdoh, learn ABCs, numbers and colors, do puzzles, and play with bubbles and water.

There is an endless variety of pretend areas - the kitchen, big blocks to build a fort, dolls, and an outside area with a climbing stucture and sand box or rice table.

But, most importantly, Diana is loving and nurturing. She sits on the floor with the kids and gives them her full attention. She read books to them and plays music.

She is always on top of a wet diaper or a runny nose and she provides nutritious snacks and lunch.

I find Diana's Playhouse to be an exceptional place.

April 2011

My 18-month old son has been thriving at Diana's Playhouse. It is run by Diana Brown, a lovely woman and mother of 3 children, including 6 year-old twin boys. Diana is a former social worker and the oldest child in a large family. She really loves children, and it shows by her interactions with those under her care; Diana is nurturing, loving, and playful. Diana is also mindful of each child's development and cares for them accordingly. My son is highly engaged and happy during his days with Diana. She taught him baby sign language before he started speaking, and he now listens to stories and learns new vocabulary and concepts from her daily. His days are varied, and Diana always has age-appropriate toys or activities for him to do. On any given day, his experiences could include painting, play-dough, reading, stringing beads, puzzles, dress-up, listening to music, singing, playing with trains, identifying letters and numbers, counting and sorting objects, and playing at a water or rice table. She often plans new experiences for the children. Diana also provides healthy snacks and meals that are mostly organic.