Funtime Daycare

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 #: 
Gisell Justo
giselljusto [at]
El Cerrito
near El Cerrito Plaza on Liberty
Maximum Capacity: 
Language(s) Spoken: 
English, Spanish
Ages Served: 
0 months - 48 months

Parent Reviews

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My wife and I have never felt better about leaving one of our children in someone else's care than when our youngest was attending Fun Time Daycare. Giselle and her team bring such love and joy to their work; these are people for whom working with small children is truly a calling. On his last day there my wife and I cried (this is not typical behavior for us). Yes, the children have fun, and they are well and responsibly cared for. But what sets this place apart is really the intangible sense that Giselle and her team love our child and their heart and soul is 100% in this. 

I cannot recommend Fun Time enough. I visited at least twenty daycares when I was pregnant, and, toward the end of the process, really just felt like maybe daycare wasn't the right option for our family. Gisell was the last person I met with, and I instantly loved her and her space. The whole place is a baby-palooza! My son has been going to her since he was six months old and he pumps his legs with excitement when he sees that we are pulling up to Fun Time in the morning. Gisell, Karen, and Sarah love my baby like he is their own, and that, to me, is the most important thing about a caregiver. They send pictures and videos every week, and they give me tips on activities, music, and new foods that he has become obsessed with. I feel very lucky that I stumbled across this place. 

Some crucial points: 

My son has a cow's milk protein allergy and they are really diligent about this dietary restriction. 

They love on my son behind my back (other moms have told me (I see them doing the same with the other babies when those parents aren't around)). 

My son reaches for them when I am holding him (slightly tough on the ego but makes me feel really good about where he is spending his days).

Fun Time Day Care has cared for our daughter since she was 4 months old, and I can’t imagine getting better care for her than the caregivers at Fun Time (Gisell, Karen, and Sarah) provide. By the end of the first week, our baby was smiling when I dropped her off! Our daughter (now 18 months old) loves being there and smiles when I bring her on Monday morning. We absolutely love being part of the Fun Time family and the fun parties they host!

Gisell sends pictures of music circle time, playground activities, library time, eating time, nap time, and outside yard time. It’s so great to see our child having fun while we can’t be with her.

Our daughter is still learning new words but already knows all kinds of words in Spanish, especially zapato, agua, and cinco (for high five!).

Just by sheer luck and coincidence our neighbors’ son went to Fun Time when he was a baby and had the same amazingly wonderful experience with them.

I would definitely recommend them to new parents who want to find loving caregivers for their new baby. They love what they do and it really shows.

Our active, outgoing toddler recently transitioned to a Mandarin preschool after 2 years and 2 months with Gisel and the amazing staff at Fun Time Daycare. He transitioned really well to his new environment, but we are forever grateful and miss our cozy monkey jungle where our little one learned to drink from a bottle, crawl, walk, talk, sing Soy Una Pizza in spanish.

As a new mama i was so very nervous and scared about putting my newborn into care, he started at 3 months old, but the warm loving and attentive care he received was amazing. He understood and spoke a lot of Spanish by the time he left. Wonderful live music every Thursday was such a gift for our naturally music-loving child (as most kids are!), home-cooked meals, creative arts projects (Karen) and community-building potlucks are other aspects of what made Fun Time such a special place for us. We thank Gisel, Raquel, Karen, July, many wonderful staff for their dedication and care to our tiny ones. It's also close to BART station which for me working in SF, was very key! :) and for our son, he loved the outdoor play space and seeing and hearing BART trains go by every day...! 

FunTime Daycare is a joyful and caring environment for little ones. As first time parents, we were nervous to drop our little one off at 6 months, especially since she was not consistently taking the bottle and her nap times were somewhat variable. The first day, Gisell sent us a photo of our little one fast asleep and she drank all of her milk! Our little one absolutely loved all of the time outdoors and her favorite activity was music time, she learned to clap and say, "bravo!" after each song. Some of her first words were Spanish and she still practices counting in Spanish. At the end of the day Maiko would look forward to daycare and talk about her teachers and friends. Our whole family loved the festive potlucks Gisell organizes twice a year (summer and winter), we appreciated the opportunity to get to know the staff and other families better. Our little one was at daycare for some long days and it was so reassuring to receive the photos from Gisell and see her enjoy her day. Our daughter is now in a program for 2+ year olds in Berkeley and the adjustment has been smooth so far. 

Funtime daycare has so many amazing and wonderful features. I visited nearly all of the local daycares where Spanish is spoken, and this was the only place where I immediately felt comfortable and at home. Giselle puts so much heart and detail into everything... I so appreciated that as well as her creativity, kindness and energy. Celia is absolutely wonderful, solid, experienced, loving. 

The monkeys hanging from the ceiling create a really fun kid friendly space. They are constantly singing and playing music with the kids, and Rosie, a professional musician comes Thursdays. I have no doubt that it was this musical environment that contributed to my son's love of music now.   They take kids down the block for story time at the library, on walks to the park. They have them painting, reading, playing, doing projects. Their garden is beautiful and my son will always love BART because of getting to see the trains zoom by.

Then, if all that weren't enough, they organize regular celebrations that are full of delicious food, music, and so many thoughtful of the kids, decorations, special t-shirts, activities. It's clear they love what they do. We feel so lucky we got to be part of their community, and our son was able to participate in this amazing place with such strong, joyful, matter of fact women. 

Fun Time Daycare is truly a home away from home. Giselle and her staff are so loving and caring and they create such a warm loving environment.  

My son was there from 4 mo. to 2 years old and if felt great to leave him in the hands of Giselle and her staff because I knew he was eating well, singing songs and playing outside.

The transition into preschool was difficult because he was so coddled by the loving staff.  If you are looking for a daycare that feels like a home then this is where you want to be.

Even now that we are no longer there Giselle is still reaching out to see how my son is adjusting at his new school !!!

FunTime Daycare is the best place you could send you little ones. Both of our children have grown up there and we are forever grateful for the love they have shown our children. They have treated them like their own. 

  There are so many things about FunTime that make it special. The women who work there speak Spansih to our children all day long. There is a jungle of monkeys hanging from the ceiling to greet each family each morning as we arrive. The kids go on walking field trips to the library- which is right around the corner. They have a musician come to play songs with the kids each week. The outside play area is large and lovely and the children have such a great time there. 

  But the thing that is truly special about FunTime is the staff. Gisell, who runs the place, is an extraordinary woman. Her jubilant spirit lights up the whole place. She only hires good hearted loving women to come care for our babies. It is obvious that they love what they do. If you send your littles ones to FunTime, I know you will treasure this place as much as we do!

I never hesitate to say "Gisell at Funtime Daycare!" whenever anyone asks me for childcare recommendations in the area. It felt right from the moment we stepped into her home over 7 years ago and saw the stuffed monkeys hanging from the jungle ceiling. Both our daughters went from the time they were 4 months old; our first is now 7 and our second is just about to start preschool.

They were always happy to be dropped off in the morning, and we never left without running and giving the ladies a departing hug and kiss for the day. My 7 year old still loves to run inside to say hi to everyone when we pick up her sister. I never once felt the need to call and check on them because I know how attentive and loving Gisell and Celia are with my children. I frequently get pictures of their adventures during the day - park trips, walks around the neighborhood, singing circle, and more. (Gisell knows how to bring a smile to the face of parents :-))

I love that the kids spend most of the day outside - her backyard is set up to keep the kids happily occupied for hours. They also speak and sing to the kids in Spanish all day. The best part is that they treat you like part of the family. Gisell cares about your children, and she cares about you. If you need something all you have to do is ask and she'll always help in any way she can.

If you want your children to be around someone loving, playful, smart, generous, and kind, then Funtime Daycare is the place to be :-)

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Sept 2012

To all Parents: I would highly recommend Fun Time Daycare(510)860-8543 to all parents. Here isa bit of my experience with Gissell, the care giver and her crew. We feel blessed to have found such a wonderful person to be a part of our daughter's lives. Mrs. Justo has nothing but the best interests for the children in her care. We find the environment she presents to be enriching to their development and beneficial to their wellbeing. I cannot say with enough emphasis how highly I recommend FunTime Family Daycare to anyone lucky enough to find a place in her home. We are glad that she has accepted our child as part of her family and hope to continue this relationship for a long time to come. Roxana

Aug 2012

I would like to recommend my wonderful daycare provider in El Cerrito. Fun Time Daycare is a great, family-run daycare led by Gisell Justo. I've been sending my daughter there for about 15 months, and she loves it -- she's never cried once at drop-off (sort of amazing, I think). Gisell and her long-time assistant, Lola, are loving and warm and really enthusiastic about the kids (infants - about 3 year olds). Gisell's mom is also a regular presence, and all the babies love Abuelita! It really is a warm, nurturing family atmosphere. I have found Gisell to be extremely flexible and understanding with scheduling issues -- much more so then other daycare providers I've come across. The atmosphere is cheerful and super kid-friendly, unlike many other home daycares I visited in my original search...There's a cute, sunny play yard for the kids with sturdy play structures and they spend lots of time outdoors (no TV ever!). There's also music, singing, reading and art activities. Although Gisell is bilingual, they mostly speak to the kids in Spanish, which is wonderful (one of my daughter's first words was ''agua!'') I just can't say enough good things about Fun Time! - Becky

May 2012

My little boy had a wonderful time at Fun time from age 3 mos to about 1.5 yr. I truly felt like he was being cared for by family. Gisell and her helpers are awesome. They play indoors and out, sing, dance, read, and my son's favorite part - eat! Call Gisell (the owner), or email me for more detailed rec. - Liz