Kid's Corner Preschool
El Sobrante, CA
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Re: Preschool In or Near Pinole
My children's preschool (Kids Corner) fits most of the qualifications you mentioned:
* in or around Pinole.: Yes. In El Sobrante, about 2 blocks from Pinole on Appian
* clean but with a loving, happy atmosphere (affection is a good thing!): yes
* open M-F, 7ish until 6ish: YES, open 6:30-6:30
* potty training help: NOT SURE ABOUT THIS ONE
* food provided: snacks yes, but lunch no
* good communication: YES, except no email which is a little annoying
* skill-based (not necessarily age-based) grouping for academics: it's mostly age
based, but not entirely
Overall, a great, diverse, affordable preschool that is very accommodating to
working parents' schedules.
Re: Preschools in El Sobrante/ Richmond area?
I've toured a couple of the schools you mentions, but the one that really clicked for us, and we've been so happy with our choice, is Kids Corner, in El Sobrante on Appian Way. The school/enrollment is quite large, which made me nervous at first. But they have multiple, small classrooms, each ''class'' is about 6-10 same-age kids, and each has a dedicated teacher specifically for it. But they also have a lot of multi-age interactions (age 2 through 5) on the playground, at bigger circle times, etc. So, it seems to me a really nice balance of things. And my little one has learned so much in a very short period of time-- pre-reading, practice writing, lots of fine motor skills, plus the various social skills that are so vital-- yet I can tell it's all taught in a fun, hands-on, project way, not ''academics'' per se. They playground is huge and looks like a lot of fun, and though I was nervous at first about there being so many teachers, all of the teachers I've interacted with have been good, and most importantly to me, warm and kind. The director Debbie is particularly great. In the past week or so, I've been amazed at the variety of things the kids were doing when I picked them up-- playing intently in the sandbox, having a dance line where everyone shows off their moves, getting face paint to celebrate the baseball victory, assembling a block tower, constructing elaborate paper jack-o'lanterns. And it doesn't hurt that it's one of the more affordable preschools around with the most flexible schedule I know of (2, 3, 4, or 5 days; half or full day; open 6:30-6:30) --happy with kids corner
Does anyone have any experience with either Kid's Corner Preschool in El Sobrante, or Small World Montessori in Richmond? Anything would be appreciated, thanks!
Our son started attending Kid's Corner after we became very unhappy with his previous school. It's been a couple of months now and we're very happy with it. The facility is great -- spacious, well-furnished rooms, a large, secured outdoor yard with good equipmnet, and another outdoor deck that's completely covered so the kids can play there when it's raining. They keep a lot of living things in the classroom, plants and small animals, which my son loves and I appreciate. In the preschool classroom they have a strong kindergarden readiness program, including letter and number recognition, basic phonics, and school skills like listening to the teacher and finishing small projects. The Montessori school where our son was before (not Small World) was very different, and he's much happier at Kid's Corner than he was there, but I guess other kids do well with the Montessori approach. He'll be starting kindergarden in the fall and I feel that his experience at Kid's Corner will help him be prepared.
Kid's Corner is open from 6:30am-6:30pm and the full-time rate (which is very reasonable) covers the extended hours, so if you need extended care it's a good deal. One thing that might be a concern to some is that they show videos to the kids during the late afternoon hours. Mostly it's PBS Kids stuff but they show a lot of Disney as well. It's not too much of an issue for us but I was annoyed when he came home after the first week and asked us to take him to Disneyland (we're not into the Disney thing).
Overall though we're very glad that he's there, and the best part is that it's very close to our home which makes getting him there much easier. Please feel free to email me if you have any other questions about Kid's Corner. akh