Seeking a Daycare or Preschool in Hercules/Pinole/El Sobrante

Parent Q&A

Looking for good childcare center around Hercules Jul 22, 2016 (4 responses below)
  • Hello! I am looking ahead to the fall when my daughter will be newly 2 (her birthday's August 17) and thinking by that point she and I will be ready for her to start spending a little more dedicated time as part of a group of kids under adult supervision that isn't mine. I had my eye on Mama Bear's Play Care in Pinole (almost literally down the street from us!) but the owner's just closed up shop to go do other things. Is there anything else out there that meets my rather fussy specifications? 

    1) In West Contra Costa (El Cerrito, San Pablo, El Sobrante, Richmond, Pinole, Hercules...) 

    2) Open to mornings AND part-time enrollment -- I'd be looking for something like 2 mornings a week, ideally home by noonish.

    3) More open-ended/play-based than academic -- we've done some mommy-baby classes at East Bay Waldorf, I love almost everything about Waldorf early childhood stuff, and I'm not particularly excited about heavy-duty "school readiness" at this age.

    4) Doesn't require kids to be fully potty-trained. My daughter will be just BARELY two and I don't want to put that pressure on us!

    Is there anything out there? I've looked a bit at Berkeley Rose (day is longer than we'd like + too far), Gay Austin School (a bit pricey + a bit far), and Little Earth Seeds in El Sobrante (day is longer than we'd like, + I don't care for the enforced EC approach). Would love to hear if others have found places that work for them!

    I loved the City of El Cerrito's Teeter Tots program the year my daughter was 2 (5 years ago now). Very good intro to "school", socializing/sharing toys, age appropriate activities, and very affordable. You can go 2 or 3 mornings a week, 9-12.

    Check out Sunshine Playschool in El Sobrante.  They offer part time, but it is kind of expensive.  Our kids went to Mama Bear's before my husband went back to work and loved it there.  I looked all over for somewhere that gave me the same warm fuzzy feeling I got from Mama Bear's, and Sunshine was the only place that came close.  Kids don't have to be potty trained, it's play based and has an amazing outdoor space.  They are open from 8 am to 5:30 but seem very flexible in making the day you want for yourself.  Our son goes 9am to 3pm, but some other families seem to leave around noon.  The warmth, attention, and sensitivity of the teachers has just blown me away and it is a truly magical place.

  • Hello everyone,

     I am Thao Tran. Our family is moving to Hercules this September and looking for a good childcare (more structured) center around there. 

    My daughter is 2.5 years old and attending an excellent play-based childcare center in Davis. So I would love to find one similar for her around Hercules. 

    Could you please give me some suggestions?

    Thank you,

    Thao Tran

    There is a Wardorf based school in your area.. I really like their philosophy and they create a healthier environment physically as well.

    Welcome to Hercules! We live in the area and our son's been at St. Patrick's School in the next town over (Rodeo) since he was 6 months old. They have an infant center, a preschool and K-8 school. He's really loved both the infant center and preschool (since he was 2.5) so I definitely recommend you check it out. The teachers are great, and they have both a curriculum for the preschool as well as scheduled play time. We really love it and are happy to find such a great center closeby!


    My friend Alison opened a wonderful day care in Hercules.  I love seeing the happy pictures of the kids she has this summer.  If my daughters were younger, I'd send them there!

    Little Red Hen

    2126 Drake Lane

    Hercules, CA  945457

    info [at]

    T  510-964-7871  

Archived Q&A and Reviews



Looking for Preschools Pinole/ El Sobrante/Hercules

October 2006

I am looking for preschool recommendations in the Pinole/Hercules/El Sobrante area. I already know that La Casita is good, but would like some other ones to check out too. At this point I am looking at all types of programs, play based, Montissori etc. I am also interested in spanish/english instruction. Thanks


Small preschool in El Sobrante area

June 2006

We just moved to El Sobrante from Berkeley and are seeking a preschool for our 3 1/2 year old daughter for September. Ideally it would be small (or at least small classroom size), structured, and warm. She has done well in a Montessori teacher's daycare program for toddlers, so we would love to find something philosophically similar. Thanks


Preschools and coops in Hercules, Pinole, San Pablo?

January 2005

Happy New Year and I hope this post finds everyone well! I have a newly minted 3yr old and we are looking to move her from her current school in El Sobrante. Although we know they love her and that she is well cared for, we are not happy with some behaviors that she has picked up from a new younger group of kids that have joined her class. She is now the ''oldest'' and we are seeing some MAJOR regression, not just in behavior (we understand that kids pick up from other kids), but also in things she has learned. They won't move her up because there is no room. We feel the only thing we can do is move her. Are we being unrealistic and unreasonable? HELP!! Does anyone have any recommendations and or reservations about for preschools and coops in the Hercules, Pinole, San Pablo Areas? I saw the postings for Bayside in San Pablo, and I have been calling them for the last week, but no one has returned my calls, are they still around? Has anyone heard of Valley Preschool in Hercules ? Thank you in advance for your assistance! Angela :)


New to Pinole - which preschool?

January 2002

I am a fairly new resident of the pinole area and am looking for preschool options for my son. Can anyone recommend a nurturing environment that is located between Richmond and Pinole? Karyn


Montessori Children's House Pinole

Bilingual (Spanish-English) preschool?

October 2001

I am starting to look for a pre-school for my daughter, to begin September, 2002. Does anyone know of a bilingual (Spanish-English) preschool in the Concord/Walnut Creek area? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Ana


La Casita Bilingue Montessori Pinole

Preschools in El Sobrante

Tony (2/00)

I want to recommed Hope Preschool in El Sobrante on May Rd. We sent our 4 yr old Daughter, and later our 3 year old son and lastly our 15 month old son. They have a great program and teach as well as care for the kids. Moderately priced and reliable.

April 1998

Kids Korner, 716 Appian Way, El Sobrante, 758-5532. The owners are Debbie and Lois. They take children in diapers. Great staff & nice facility. They provide lunch and snacks only. Staff is ethnically balanced but the children attending are predominately Caucasian and the curriculum has no academic program, well somewhat..its hard to explain. Just a fun place to be. My daughter was there for one and half years about two years ago. In my case, I would recommend Kids Korner verses some of the home day cares I went through.