Kika's House Family DaycareCommunity Subscriber
To see Department of Social Services records on this facility, click on its DSS Facility License # below.
We are a 1/2 day, play based program that encourages children to explore the
world around them, get messy and learn important social skills gained from
interactions with their peers.
We spend plenty of time outdoors, rain or shine!
We love to do art, read books, build with blocks, push trucks in the yard and feed
Daily trips to the local park
Weekly trips to the local garden
Weekly music and movement classes taught by separate instructors
Healthy snacks and lunches provided.
Kika's House provides a fun, loving, nurturing and safe environment for your
little one to explore and grow.
Monday-Thursday from 8am-12:30pm with 4 day (Mon-Thurs) or 2 day (Mon/Wed, Tues/Thurs) schedules. Extended care until 5pm.
I want to preface this review with saying that my kids have experienced a range of childcare scenarios -from a high end corporate daycare, to outdoor preschool and nanny share. Among those experiences, I feel Kika’s is the best of all worlds as Kika has the knowledge and expertise while providing a small setting where kids feel at home. They do a lot of fun excursions and are engaged in different ways like going to a gym to play, music lessons with different teachers and walks to learn about the seasons. Kika is gentle, caring and observant with the little and big changes that happen in toddlerhood. She communicates quickly and effectively if I have a question. While kika is a small daycare, there is a community of families and graduates who connect to each other through the lovely shared experience. My son always has a great time and always looks forward to going, and misses “Kika!” every weekend. This place is truly a gem!
I cannot say enough wonderful things about Kika's house! This was our first daycare experience, and we were so impressed that we plan on sending our next child to Kika's! Akiva and her team provided a safe, loving and fun space for our son. Every day we picked him up, he had a smile, so I knew without a doubt that we were leaving him in capable hands. During the year they helped us as we navigated new transitions, including welcoming a new sibling and potty training. Akiva was incredibly helpful, asked questions about how she could best support our son during these times. And both she and her staff were so understanding whenever he hit a bumpy/grumpy patch. During his time at Kika's House our son's communication skills blossomed, and he has grown so much. Speaking of communication, Akiva's is outstanding. Every day I felt connected to my son's wellbeing through her check-ins at drop-off/pick-up and through texts and emails. You can't ask for a better daycare provider than Kika's House. You can really feel the love there!
I feel so incredibly lucky that we landed a spot at Kika’s House. For the past year, our son has flourished under the care of Akiva and her wonderful team. They really make an effort to attend to the individual needs and interests of the children. When my son recently became obsessed with ultrasounds (weird one, I know), Akiva said she was doing research at night to be able to answer more of his questions. When it was time to potty train, she was incredibly accommodating, asking us really specific questions about how we were handling things at home to help his transition be as smooth as possible. Her communication around all things having to do with the kids is outstanding: Akiva really takes the concerns and preferences of parents to heart. This has been really helpful during the pandemic especially— to have policies be clearly stated and questions around illness answered quickly. I think above all else, Kika’s house has been an emotionally safe space for our family during really hard times. The staff is steady and loving, and they embrace the wonky and whacky ways of toddlers with acceptance and grace. They do so much to keep the kids engaged— music classes, trips to the park, lots of art projects. We also loved the intimacy of a smaller program, which made it made it easier to get to know some of the other families.
Kika is wonderful. My son loves Kika House so much. He was 2 year old when he went to Kika House. We speak Chinese at home and at the beginning my son couldn't undersand English at all. But even that, he had a very smooth transition from home to school thanks for Kika and her staffs. I could feel my son learn a lot in Kika house and became much happier and made a lot of friends there. There's nothing better than seeing her son's big smile for a mom. It happened everyday when my son went to Kika House. Now my son goes to a new preschool. Sometime when I aked him where he went to school, he still anwer Kika House without a pause. I know he would remember Kika House for a long time.
My daughter was at Kika’s House from age 2 to 3. For the first 2 years of her life, she was at home with me. By the time she reached 2, we wanted to make sure she was prepared for the big “home to preschool” transition that typically occurs around age 3 by sending her to daycare first.
Well, our daughter certainly had a smooth, successful transition from home to daycare, and eventually daycare to preschool. We truly believe this was due to her experience at Kika’s House and being in Akiva and her assistants’ (Alexandra and Anisah) care. It is such a loving, supportive, and fun environment. The best way to describe Kika’s House for me would be a mix of play-based, Montessori (various activity “stations” so that kids have options to choose from), and respectful parenting (RIE) principles. The kids have lots of enriching activities such art-making, music & dance, reading books, movement classes, trips to the community garden, trips to nearby parks, and healthy snacks and vegetarian lunch every day. Our daughter developed her social and language skills at Kika’s, and Akiva and her assistants greatly helped with potty training support. Kika’s House was also a great fit for us because it was part-time, which is very rare to find. Another highlight is how diverse the group of kids and adults were, in terms of race, ethnicity and language.
The second half of our daughter’s year at Kika’s intersected with the beginning of the covid pandemic. Akiva and her assistants truly faced the pandemic emergency head-on by adjusting daily routines to minimize close physical interactions; mask wearing; implementing even more frequent hand-washing and placed more hand-washing stations around the daycare spaces; parents were not allowed to enter the main play space any longer and the kids were brought out to the sidewalk when the parent arrived for pick-up to maintain a safe space; daily temp checks; and safety and health rules were always posted and followed. Lots of covid safety practices that are now common sense (and now practiced in schools), were new and being implemented daily by Akiva way back in April. No child or adult ever got sick. We are so grateful that our daughter and family had this incredible early childhood experience at Kika's!
Kika’s house is the best daycare you will ever find. Akiva’s experience in childcare is remarkable and her knowledge matched with her warmth and kindness are just the perfect combination. Her teachers are the sweetest and they all form such a great team. Art and music are definitely a high priority and so are all learning activities.
My daughter Milla spent two wonderful years there, having the best time playing outdoors, eating super healthy meals, painting, singing and always learning new ways to interact with her peers. She always came back home so excited about her day and she made amazing friends!
I cannot recommend Kika’s house enough, in fact I am looking forward to sending my son Luca there in a few months time.
If you are fortunate enough to find an available space for your child at Kika’s house, consider yourself blessed. We had nothing but wonderful experiences here. Kika and her staff are so warm and loving towards every child in the program. The days are filled with outdoor play, music and arts and crafts! I highly recommend this daycare to any other family.
If you are looking for a daycare for your first child for the first time Kika House would the right place to be in.
My daughter went to Kika house for a year and she loved the place and Akiva(the owner), of course the other teachers too.
Kika house was a perfect fit for my daughter. The transition completed in 3days of the first week with Akiva's expert skills. I think my daughter got so used to getting hugs from Akiva in the morning as soon as she entered the gate and she still misses it..
She is always hard to get up early in the morning but if I say, do you wanna go to Kika? then she will get up right away to get ready. I can tell she enjoyed going to Kika indeed.
My daughter is at a new preschool right now and I can see she still misses Kika's routine.
I reminisce about her Kika life as grateful memories since she achieved so many developments at Kika.
She became socialized with kids(loving playing with other kids at any places) and so cheerful(loving singing and dancing since Kika's music and movement classes).
I wouldn't do any better than what Kika house had done for my daughter. Everyone was so helpful and generous with kids.
Oh, my daughter got fully trained for a potty from Kika as well.
I could say Kika House was my life saver and I still wish my daughter could go to Kika longer than that!
Our two kids have thrived at Kika's House. Akiva (owner of Kika's House) is the most loving, caring, patient person I have ever met. She has an amazing space (/everything/ a pre-preschooler would want to do) and hires amazing helpers (we feel like they're all a part of our family).
Akiva has so much talent for dealing with the littles. She creates an amazing environment for them. The kids have so much variety and can bounce between the art project of the day, pretend play, chickens, bugs, climbing, sand toys, reading, games tailored to them, indoors and out. Throughout the week there's movement class, music class, and tons of park time as well. Lunch and snack are provided.
Some things my kids got from Kika's House: a love of fresh vegetables, skills for navigating interpersonal relationships, and fight-free sunscreen/hat application at home.
Kids (now 6 and almost 3) say: "They have fun toys. And they're so kind." "They're fun to play with."
Kika's House has been perfect for us.
Thank you Akiva, Alexandra and Katie! We had just moved to Berkeley and you all made it such a special time for us.
Reuben my son attended from approx age 2-3 and loved everyday. There is a great routine every week including movement class, singing, visits to the local garden and park time. I loved that Reuben was outside and playing everyday. His manners and communication with other kids has improved due to the fantastic teaching techniques.
The food - Amazing!! Reuben was eating lentil soup, vegetables, salmon and helping to make home made pizzas and apple sauce. Reuben would come home and talk about the topics he learnt during morning meeting (letters, numbers animals, space etc).
We found it really hard to find a daycare that did half days. This was perfect as we could pick Reuben up after lunch so that he could have his naps at home. Reuben couldn't talk when he started and the team were patient, caring, encouraging and took their time with him.
If you get offered a place at Kika's House, TAKE IT. It was the best start for Reuben's school life and I wish we never had to leave.
My 4.5 year old went to Kika's House, and still wishes he does, and my 3 year old will be finishing up in August. I'm not sure I have the adequate words to describe what Kika's house has meant to our family.
Akiva Anders leads the most wonderful team, Katie and Alexandra, to provide a socially and emotionally supportive environment for children AND their families. The teachers are kind, engaged, patient, and genuinely care about providing developmentally appropriate experiences that build confidence and independence. One of the elements of Akiva's program that I find most impressive is how she utilizes the relationships she has built in her neighborhood: movement class at the near by Akido studio, ecology exposure at Spiral Gardens, and yoga and music classes.
We consider Akiva, Alexandra and Katie part of our extended family and know our relationships will continue beyond our youngest's enrollment. I wish every child and their family could have this experience.
My four year old went to Kika's House and now my 21 month old does and we feel like we won the lottery. Akiva and her awesome staff are warm, engaged, patient, and genuinely love the kids. Akiva also is informed and passionate about early childhood development and handles toddlers' big emotions in a way that inspires the parents. And somehow in one morning, they manage to feed chickens, go to movement class, play at the park, eat organic veggies, plant things in her garden, sing, make art, all while being almost entirely outside. At pick up kids are happy and dirty and often not wanting to leave!
Kika's House is the most fantastic daycare ever--we were so lucky to find her when we moved back to Berkeley with our 16-month old daughter and attended for 2 and a half years. It has all the essential elements: love, learning, experimental play, creative art projects, visits to the local community garden, a garden on site, farm chickens, movement classes, music classes, visits to the parks, lots of outdoor play, lunches, daily reports and the list goes on.
Kika of course is key of Kika's House, she is a special person who knew she wanted to go into childcare at a very young age, starting as a nanny and has done all the right things over the last decade or so to bring her to her own successful daycare. You can tell she loves every one of her kiddos and encourages them in all their pursuits. She gives parents individual verbal daily reports on what each of the kids had for lunch (homemade meals!) and what spectacular things they did that day. She also let us know when our daughter was having normal milestone struggles and was instrumental in helping us be the best first time parents we could be!
In addition to Kika, Katie and Alexandra have been with her for years and are phenomenal, we even have had them sit for us on non-Kika days (and we are very particular). Katie brings critters and science projects to class and Alexandra teaches the kids Spanish, my daughter even taught me a few words. We've had stints at other daycares where the assistants were "assistants", that is not how it is a Kika's house, they engage with the kiddos so they all get direct and interactive attention. We are so glad Kika found both of them while we were there as it is hard to find people that love the kids as much as Kika does (we've tried!).
Kika's House also creates a community--we are great friends with many of the families that have graduated Kika's House and get together for play dates and birthdays. The topic of conversation that always comes up is no matter how great the pre-schools are that are kiddos are going to now, Kika's House is superior and how much we all wish she could keep our young ones until kindergarten (or beyond!).
We feel so lucky to have stumbled upon Kika's House Family Daycare! We have had two children pass through Kika's House now and we definitely plan on sending our soon-to-be third there as well. Akiva Anders (Kika) fosters a nurturing, safe, fun, and loving environment for her whole community- from the children to the parents to the teachers. The kids are constantly immersed in art projects, group play, music, movement, cooking, nature, books. Here they learn to be social with an amazing balance of structure and free play. As a parent, I have learned so much from Kika's kind and patient demeanor. When we pick our kids up after lunch, they are well fed, happy, and tired from a full morning of outdoor play and good old FUN.
As our children graduate from Kika's House, we know that while we may not see Akiva 4 days a week anymore, she will be part of our FAMILY for the rest of our lives. It is not just a daycare, it is a home away from home. What more could you ask for?
Try Kika's House Family Day Care (BPN reviews here, daycare website here). It's the ideal place for a 2 year old - epitomizes all the wonderful things about living in Berkeley/Oakland - strong connection to nature and outdoor life, diversity, community, healthy food, and fun-love. The kids become a family, they learn to be kind, compassionate, and self-confident.
Kikas House Family Day Care (or the website) is an idyllic place, in the flats, for ages 14 months through age 4. We sent both our kids there, it's better than a nanny share for little ones, and an environment where they thrive until they're ready for a bigger kid pre-school. It fits your description exactly - strong connection to nature, healthy food, strong community for parents and especially the kids - it's a family. I agree with everything in the reviews from the past 10 years!
Kikas House is a truly idyllic place for little ones to grow, learn, and thrive. We sent both our kids for their magic toddler years, and I could not have dreamed up a better place for them. They are engaged all day in activities that light up their little brains, ignite their imaginations, and build friendships. They go from the garden, to the farm, to the playground, to their home base at Kika's. They are so comfortable and engaged with nature. They eat healthy meals, they learn how to assert their needs with kindness and compassion for others, how to be good listeners, be patient, and how to process their emotions. The kids become a little family. There is so much joy around. They have an amazing balance of structure (routines that they master and make them feel safe) and open free play.
I have learned so much from Kika, I try to parent with her as my model - firm and gentle, consistent and fun.
At Kika's house the kids build strong foundations of self-confidence, communication, compassion, love of outdoors and joy of learning. It's the best way to start life. Check in with Kika about the schedule and hopefully she has a spot for you.
Archived Q&A and Reviews
Kika's House, run by Akiva Anders (Kika to her kids) has been an incredible place for our kids and the friends that we have referred there. Two of our kids have been lucky enough to be a part of the Kika's House community (one from the time he was 3 months old!). Akiva (a childcare professional for over 10 years) truly understands how to meet the needs and leverage the strengths of all types of kids, but especially those under age 4.
Our two boys have thrived under her care because of her immense love for our kids but also because of her ability to create spaces and activities that allow kids to learn and grow, play in nature, eat healthy food, use their bodies, and become part of a community outside their family.
Check with Akiva on her open hours and days and if she has a spot that works for you, you might be one of the lucky ones too!
Kika's House is the garden of Eden for little ones! They are nurtured with love and care by Kika as they explore in well-designed open indoor spaces and outdoor gardens complete with chickens. Kika also designs a regular schedule which includes weekly music and movement classes and trips to Spiral Gardens and the Farmer's Market. Did I mention the lunches? Kika prepares a hot and nutritious lunch for her charges every day. Another bonus: Kika is a wonderful photographer and sends photos often of the children in their play. My daughter couldn't have been happier at Kika's. We feel lucky to be part of Kika's house. Dorothy
My family just ended a two-year love affair with Kika's House Family Daycare. It's off to preschool for our daughter and she will thrive there because of the outstanding learning environment and amazing care she received from Akiva Anders. Kika's House is a nurturing home-based daycare where all children are loved, respected, and truly cared for physically, emotionally, and intellectually. The 6 children experience art, play time, park visits, music, reading, and healthy food daily. Each week there are a number of enrichment classes and excursions including music, movement, community garden, and the farmers market. Kika's vegetable garden and chickens are a regular delight. We couldn't have been happier! And our daughter felt safe and loved and inspired daily and also learned important social and emotional development skills. We love Kika!
If you are looking for a small home daycare, I encourage you to check out Kika's House. Kika's is a magical place where your child will be loved and embraced fully, she/he will grow emotionally and socially, and his/her creativity and spirit will be nourished. The kids spend a lot of time in the beautiful outdoor space and at the nearby park. They have weekly music, movement, and visits to the farmer's market and Spiral Gardens. She serves healthy vegetarian snacks and hot lunch every day and has a great nap room where kids can actually sleep. I can't say enough about Kika's House but please feel free to be in touch with me if com you want to hear more. Kika was like a co-parent for the 2 years my son was in her care and I am so grateful that she is part of our lives. He just went back to visit during his preschool vacation and it was like coming home. Deb
I would like to shout from the rooftops about how incredible Akiva Anders and her home-based daycare, Kika's House, is. We started out daughter there when she was 1 1/2 and from day one she has been happy. Why we love Akiva and Kika's House: I have never walked in and seen a child looking aimless or lost, each kid is always either engaged or being attended to. Akiva is a like a very calm, endlessly energetic octopus with arms for each child. There are interesting things to do everywhere you look including a child centered organic garden with vegetables and strawberries. She takes the kids on outings in the neighborhood in their big wagon to the park, movement class and the farmer's market - they go somewhere almost every day. Most of all, Akiva genuinely loves the kids which goes a long way in easing the transition for both parents and baby. I am happy to keep going on and on so feel free to call me if you have more questions. Kathy
Akiva Anders runs Kika's House Daycare on Julia Street in South Berkeley. She was the third provider that we found for our daughter Violet; the first two paled in comparison. She runs an in home program with daily trips to the park, movement class, music class, gardening, trips to the local community garden and farmer's markets, and for big fun: the zoo!
She is present, thoughtful, kind, responsible, engaged, and a natural with kids! We trust her fully. We have experienced that feeling of 'I wonder if my child is safe/happy', but never with Akiva, not once.
She was our answer, and will be again when we re-enroll this fall.
Feel free to email me with any questions you might have. Max
With our two kids we've tried both Kika's House & a lovely nanny-share. Kika was better. I met Akiva at the park when I was pregnant with my 2nd & I did what I thought I'd never do: I put my unborn child on her waiting list. Here are just a few of the reasons we love Akiva:
- Akiva called me at lunch on the first day, just to let me know everything was fine. No need to pretend I wasn't worried.
- Akiva supports us in our choices with cloth diapers/special foods/etc. If we bring it, she uses it.
- When our daughter struggled to express herself, Akiva jumped in & learned some sign language w/ her.
- The field trips (including weekly farmer's market visits. Yum!)
- The delicious nutritious food. I wish I ate as well as the kids do!
If you're lucky enough to snap up an opening, you won't regret it. She's got a great setup that's well suited for the babies & the big kids alike. She's able to meet each kid where they are & provide them with the messy play, pre-reading skills, & conflict resolution skills that every kid should be so lucky to have. Contact: Sofia
I want to recommend ''Kika's House'' as an excellent family daycare. Both our kids went there from age 3 months and 1 year respectively and had the most wonderful time. Akiva Anders, the principal caretaker, is a naturally caring and giving person I fully and completely trust with our kids. The other caretakers at Kika's House that help out every so often are completely up to par, trustworthy and caring. The kids get to do outdoor activities every day, have regular music and movement classes, go to the park, the zoo, the farmers' market and more. There's not much more I can say; I just cannot see how daycare can be any better than this. Akiva can be reached at akivaa80 [at] yahoo.com. I am happy to speak to you in person if you have questions about my experience.
We Love Kika's House! Kika's house is a great small family daycare that my son attended for a 1.5 years before preschool. By his choice he just spent a month there this summer at age 4. Akiva Anders is very loving and full of energy! She serves warm organic lunches daily. she has a great yard and play area with gardens, play structure and lots of vehicles and toys. The kids have weekly movement classes, trips to the Berkeley Farmers Market, library as well as daily trips to the park. My son loved it from the 1st day!
Every few months Kika has a sleep over for her current and past kids, a great way to stay in touch! She truly loves all her kids! I can't say enough wonderful things about kikas house. thanks! Pamela
Kika's House is a fabulous small family daycare which I would happily recommend to anyone looking for high-quality care for a 0-3 year old in Berkeley. My older son has been with Akiva for 2 years (since he was 13 months), and my younger son has been with her since he was ~3 months old. Akiva, known as to the kids, is an incredibly loving, kind, creative, and patient caregiver. She provides a wonderfully stimulating environment that has both consistency and variety. The children spend time outside every day and have weekly music and movement classes. Reading, art, imaginative play, and socialization are naturally weaved into the day. Akiva does a great job of teaching the children how to use their words to resolve conflict. She is extremely skilled at meeting the children where they are and helping them to move to the next level. She communicates effectively and easily with parents, is very open to suggestions, and is very reliable. I'd be happy to answer any questions, and I encourage you to contact Akiva. Alexis S.
Contact: Akiva Anders, 510 332 9885
Akiva is Simply the Best Our nanny, Akiva, has decided to open her own daycare, which is our loss but can be your gain. Akiva is not only a loving, responsible, reliable nanny, she is also a kind, creative, fabulous person. Akiva has a fantastic rapport with children and is extremely responsive to the needs of the child and the family. With Akiva, your children will be creatively stimulated and encouraged to express themselves in the arts and in play. Akiva has given me peace of mind as a full-time working mom. None could be better than Akiva. If you have any questions please feel free to e-mail me.
Contact: Akiva Anders, 510.332.9885
My wonderful nanny, Akiva Anders, is starting her own daycare, and if you are looking for a small family daycare for your child, you absolutely can't do better. Akiva grew up here in the East Bay and has always loved children -- and you'll see right away that they love her. She's bright, responsible, unbelievably caring. Not only does she offer a delightful environment for children, but she also works well with parents, which is essential. She's always open to talking about your child's development, and she loves to share stories about your child's day. The children call her ''Kika'' with affection, and they adore her. I always say that she's gifted -- her way with children is truly a rare talent. If you'd like to know more, please email me anytime, or call Akiva herself at (510) 332-9885.
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