Highlands Preschool

Community Subscriber

Piedmont, CA

To see Department of Social Services records on this facility, click on its DSS Facility License # below.

DSS Facility License #: 
Non-Profit Parent Cooperative
510 547-4242
director.highlandspreschool [at] gmail.com
Highland Ave.
Maximum Capacity: 
Language(s) Spoken: 
Ages Served: 
33 months - 66 months
Monthly Cost: 
9:00am - 12:00pm
About Our Program: 

At Highlands Preschool, we emphasize learning through play. The students are encouraged to interact with their environment and fellow students at their own pace, mostly through self-directed activities.  Each day, the teachers prepare activities and projects for the children that relate to the theme of the day or week.

We offer a 5 day program from 9am-12pm

Parent Reviews

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I’ve had three kids in four preschools on two coasts… hands down our best, most joyful experience was at Highlands preschool in piedmont. It’s a great co-op preschool with parent volunteers and so much heart. Don’t know if they are still there, but we loved teachers Deanna and Angela. 

Our twins (age 4) had been in a Montessori program for the last 18 months but it wasn't working for them anymore, so we recently switched to Highlands Preschool, a co-op in Piedmont, and are loving it! It's a 9-12 schedule, but very sweet, welcoming, and the teachers are wonderful and so connected with the kids. Check it out!

Highlands preschool is wonderful loving place for children to learn, grow and play. Director Deanna and teacher Angela are absolutely amazing. They both have extensive years in child development and education. Highlands preschool is safe and kind environment. This Co-op is a beautiful community. I’ve meet my best friends here. I love being part of the classroom & spending time with my son. I highly recommend you book a tour. You won’t be disappointed

As a past, current, and future parent of Highlands, I can’t speak highly enough about our experience at Highlands. The teachers, Angela, Deanna, and Jackie are truly magical. They weave learning into fun and engaging activities – all while making each child feel supported and loved. In addition, the co-op style has been a great way for me to build my own parenting community, and my children love it when I help in the classroom. (Not to mention having parents in the classroom keeps tuition low!)

Are you open to a co-op?  If so, Highlands Preschool in Piedmont is amazing.  Next year it will be 5 days a week and it's from 9AM-12PM.  Parents participate in the school by volunteering approximately 2 weeks in the school year, amongst some other responsibilities.  The main teacher, Deanna, is incredibly dedicated and vested in all the students and responds to their individual needs.  

We have been very happy there and will be sending our child to school there again next year.  Highly recommend!

We love Highlands Preschool! As a first time mom I was so nervous sending my 3-year old off to school. But that fear was instantly relieved as soon as school started. The teachers are - no exaggeration - living angels. They are so good at what they do, and my son has enjoyed every single moment of his time here (now on his second year). Every day he comes home with stories - what he played, what they read, what songs they danced to, what art & craft he made, what new milestone he reached. His enthusiasm is contagious and he is thriving there. I am so glad we found Highlands. It has been a life-saver, especially now with covid. They are all doing an exceptional job of keeping the school open safely. If you are looking for a loving, wonderful play-based preschool I cannot recommend this school more highly!

My 3.5 year old son has been at Highlands for two months now (all through COVID) and is absolutely loving it! The teachers have created an outside classroom in their play yard and all the children have been so amazing at wearing their masks. We are so thankful to Angela and Deanna for stepping up to the challenge and keeping their school open. Their daily routines of circle time, free play, art, story time and singing/dancing are so important to a child's development, while they also incorporate different weekly themes! The class is currently limited to 12 children...I believe there are only 1-2 remaining spots left. 

Highlands Preschool is a truly special place. We absolutely adore everything about it and our kids do too. The teachers have been working together here for years and you can tell they love what they do. We've been to a few preschools with multiple kids and a couple of moves and our kids have never been more loved than they are at Highlands. When we arrive at school their faces light up. This year the school has pivoted to a fully masked, outdoor program, that feels safe, yet fun and totally engaging. They have managed to bring the same warmth, creativity and magic to every day. We feel so grateful to be part of this community. 

If any families are looking for in-person classes please come check out Highlands Preschool.

Their modified program with classes being held outside has been so great for our very energetic kiddo.  We have been so happy with our experience at this sweet little school!

From the moment I stepped foot into Highlands Preschool I knew it was the right fit for my child.  In the few months that my child has been attending I can see how this play-based program has helped with her social skills, cognitive thinking and creativity.  I also quickly saw the benefits of being part of a co-op preschool; making it feel more like a community were you get to know the teachers, students and other parents on a personal level.  It truly brings me so much happiness that my child gets to spend her time with such thoughtful, compassionate and dedicated teacher.....I really can’t say enough about how wonderful they are!

Highlands Preschool has been such an amazing experience for my daughter. She entered the 2/3 year old program as a very shy child and has really blossomed under the love and care she receives there.  Teachers Deanna and Angela have a knack of making each child feel so special and loved for who they are.

I must admit, I did not like the idea of a co-op at first, but it's actually quite a manageable commitment and lots of fun to be in the classroom once a month or so.

Life is a celebration at Highlands Preschool  - seriously -they are always celebrating something or other! I'm so glad that my child and my family had the opportunity to be a part of it.

My son attended Highlands Preschool for two years. He absolutely loves that school. Deanna and Angela are amazing teachers.  They are fun and caring.  My son wished he could go to school every day.  My daughter always complains why didn't she attend Highlands Preschool. The class celebrates almost every holiday (Hanukkah, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Chinse New Year, etc.) Kids learn so much about different cultures.  I liked the co-op aspect too so I could see what he was learning and also got to know his friends.  

My oldest, middle and youngest all ADORE Highlands preschool. We found Deanna and Angela (the teachers that feel more like a mix between your favorite aunt and a unicorn) after touring several preschools in the area and knew right away we had found the place. It is a play based program with a lovely outdoor play area as well as all the fixings one could want indoors. Deanna stealthily wields her humor to make learning fun and engaging for everyone (children and parents!). Angela is a calming and restorative presence that was especially helpful for my son who struggles with anxiety. Occasional visitors are the art teacher who will melt your heart, the yoga teacher who loves what she does, and programs like Sulfer Creek that bring animal friends etc. But perhaps my favorite thing about Highlands, above all this and much more I have not mentioned, is that at Highlands you are encouraged to be you. Unequivocally, you are made to believe there is no one better to be. Knowing my children have their entire lives ahead of them to be told by influences all around them that they would be better IF, I feel it is my responsibility to find adults who will sow the seeds for my babies' own personal self confidence. At the end of the preschool day, the fact that my children's faces beam with pride over all they have learned and over all they are is more than enough for me. I couldn't have asked for a better preschool nor imagined one. 

As an introvert with three small children, the co-op aspect intimidated me at first. However, I soon found that the community at Highlands is one that puts you at ease and have met some of my dearest friends there. Busy as a working parent, I even participate on the board just to have an excuse to hang out with these incredible humans more often! At Highlands you not only gain an incredible school for your child, but an incredible community for your entire family. I hope to see you around in the coming years!

Hi. My daughter attended Highlands Preschool for two years (not so far from you - we lived in Montclair at the time and it was a 7 min drive). She's also attended Temple Sinai preschool and my son attends a preschool in the Philly suburbs, where we are currently. Among these schools, I have the fondest memories of Highlands. It's a co-op preschool (so a parent or nanny etc.) volunteers about once every two weeks. My kid thrived with the routines and curriculum that had all these little rituals built into them that made her really feel like she belonged, had a role, was "home." The teachers are enthusiastic, caring, and experienced.

This preschool is simply the BEST! You would think that every kid in that class is the son/daughter of the teachers. I have never encountered a more nurturing and loving classroom. My oldest went here for two years and now my youngest attends. And not only are the teachers great but the other families are wonderful too. As a co-op you want to be with people you like right? There is a reason people keep coming back to this school, I toured several when deciding where to send my kids and as soon as I met the teachers at Highlands I knew my search was over. I will actually be sad when I no longer have a preschool aged child to take here, ha!

Hi there, my daughter attended Highlands Preschool in Piedmont (and my son will attend in the Fall).  It is a play based co-op morning program and I can't recommend it highly enough.  The community is so friendly (there are families from all over Oakland as well as Piedmont) and the teachers are incredible.  My daughter loved it and so did I. Highlands has one free spot in the Monday/Wednesday/Friday group (for 4 year olds) so if you are interested please get in touch with carriekmarkowski [at] gmail.com who is charge of admissions! Alessandra

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Sept 2014

Re: Co-op in Oakland?

Our kids have attended the coop preschool called Highlands Preschool in Piedmont. We love it! The teachers have a gift with children, the environment is warm and inviting, and the community of families are supportive and close. Highlands accepts children who are 2 years, 9 months by Sept 1 for their Tues/Thurs class (your child is a little young this year but can apply for 2015-16). Highlands Preschool is a wonderful preschool! Their website is http://highlands-preschool.org/. cindy

Jan 2014

Re: Preschool in Oakland?

We love Highlands Preschool in Piedmont. I can't say enough wonderful things about this school. It has an incredibly nuturing and warm environment and the teachers are wonderful. My older son attended last year and my daughter is currently in the Tues/Thurs program. It is a cooperative school so parents help in the classroom - it has never felt like too much and it creates a close community of families. We highly recommend! Here is their website: http://highlands-preschool.org/ Cindy

Dec 2013

Hello, I have been touring schools for my youngest daughter and was curious if anyone had any feedback on Highlands Preschool in Piedmont? I met with the director there and it seemed wonderful, but we have not seen any recent information here. Does anyone have any recent feedback/ information? Thank you! anon

I cannot say enough wonderful things about Highlands Preschool! We love it and my children love going to school. My daughter is currently in the Tu/Th program and will enroll in the M/W/F program next year. My son attended last year and he thrived (we moved him to Highlands mid-year from a montessori preschool - I wish we had moved him sooner!). The teachers are warm and caring and the environment is nurturing and most of all, fun and alive. Deanna, the director has this way of making each child feel special. Highlands has a play based curriculum and it is a co-op so parents help in the classroom (approx. 1 time per month). It has never felt like too much and has enabled us to get to know the other families better. I highly recommend Highlands! Cindy H.

I absolutely love Highlands Preschool! My son is in his second year and he adores his teachers and friends. The community and spirit that each family brings makes this place that much more special. Everyone seems to be willing to chip in to make it a wonderful place, free of drama. I could not have asked for a better environment for my son to be a part of and looking forward to enrolling my second next year. Highlands mom

We love Highlands! My son is into his second year at Highlands and he has thrived. The teachers are very caring, super fun and patient. They do so many fun things like visits from an animal rescue group, holiday parties and learning about various cultures/traditions, lots of art, singing, story-telling, spanish and movement. If you are looking for a part-time, co-op, play based preschool this is the spot. The younger kids class is Tuesday/Thursday 9-12 and the older kids are MWF 9-12. Can't say enough good things about Highlands. I hope this helps and good luck on your preschool search! Jackie

My daughter went to Highlands and my son is currently enrolled there. Our family loves it! Both of my children thrived there. The space is very nice with a large outdoor play area and two nice sized indoor rooms with tons of toys, games, puzzles and art supplies. It is a play-based preschool...but the teachers incorporate learning of numbers, letters, writing etc. into everyday play and art projects. My daughter was more than prepared when she started Kindergarten this year. The largest draw to Highlands, hands down, is the Director Deanna. She is so warm, loving, funny and imaginative. The kids (and parents) are drawn to her and she makes Highlands the special place that it is. The other teachers Angela and Jackie are wonderful too. It is a co-op but the obligations are totally reasonable...you work every 6 weeks in the classroom, have a couple cleaning days and a project or two. The co-op really helped me to meet a lot of other parents and many of them are still my best friends today. You will not be disappointed! Carrie

March 2009

Can anyone share recent experience with Highlands and/or Linda Beach preschools in Piedmont? I've recently toured both schools and liked what I saw, but I'd love to get input from parents as well. Would love to hear positives and negatives - thanks! Montclair Mom

My sons have attended both the Highlands (HPS) and the Linda Beach (LBCP) programs and I have served on the Boards of both schools.

My oldest started mid-year at LBCP when I up and quit my job after realizing my pay, less daycare expense, was negligible. He had a wonderful experience there and maintains a positive relationship with both Barbara Ulbrich and Jean Nelson to this day. They run an excellent program that provides the kids with a social and developmental environment where they can thrive.

My youngest was too young for LBCP so he went to HPS and we have found another outstanding environment where we have both been encouraged to grow and explore our potential. Joanna Wood has developed a beautiful cooperative environment with a diverse, and committed group of seven(!) previous parents who are most of the teachers. Last year, Joanna won a very prestigious award for her dedication to education (Rawlings) for which a HPS parent nominated her.

Now my youngest is at the LBCP PreK, which has been another idyllic experience. He certainly would not have been ready for Kindergarten, but he was ready for the additional challenges of that program. In less than 100 days (they're keeping track), Shelley Kelly and Yvonne Loey have instilled a love of learning and a sense of order in their class. Kindergarten isn't what it used to be and there is so much value in allowing them to develop at their own pace. For a certain group of kids, the PreK option is invaluable.

Both schools are true assets to the community. What's more, they cooperate and work well together. The Directors arrange opportunities for the kids to interact with each other and they collaborate on a ''Summer Fun'' program in June and July. When they were each remodeling their playground, the other school generously scheduled time for the remodeling school to use theirs.

You asked for positives and negatives. The biggest drawback is the limited number of hours, but that is more of a problem for the parents than the kids. An appropriate amount of time for most of these tender young people to spend at preschool is hard to fit into our busy lives.

I would be more than happy to be able to send my children to either of these schools all over again. The experience I've had by seeing what each school does, in their own way, has only strengthened my parenting skills that much more. With my preschool days ending, I can only say enjoy these next few years because they sure can be fun! -Elaine