Kita on Kains

Community Subscriber

Albany, 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 #
Catrina Sheen
catrinasheen [at]
Berkeley/Albany border
Maximum Capacity:
Language(s) Spoken:
Ages Served:
12 months - 42 months
8:30am - 5:00am
Additional Services & Features:
Part-time available,
Snacks provided,
Organic options,
Vegetarian options,
Cloth diapers accepted,
Potty training support
About the Program:

Kita on Kains is a licensed German bilingual daycare located in an intimate home setting with a grass lawn backyard play area. We offer a warm and nurturing environment for toddlers and preschoolers in our cozy home located on the N.Berkeley/Albany border (near Marin Ave) with a low teacher-child ratio.

We provide an age appropriate, fun-filled and play-based program. We have a daily schedule that includes indoor and outdoor free play activities and guided activities, like circle time, dance, music, story time, art and dramatic play with an emphasis on German language. Healthy organic snacks will be provided.

Parent Reviews

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Our son has attended Kita on Kains as soon as he was old enough to join and his experience has been exceptional. It is a wonderful environment for him, from its small size, its focus on outdoor play, patient attention from their kind and dedicated staff, to the excellent communication with parents. It’s a nurturing family environment, and the community of other children and parents, in addition to the staff are wonderful. There is a magical quality to this place and getting to be a part of this community is something we are grateful for.

It’s been a real joy to witness our child’s developments, guided and encouraged by the Kita—his first steps, learning to play independently and with others, asking for things, and discovering new skills like dancing and singing. They have also offered amazingly patient care when our son hasn’t been feeling well—he’s had rashes which required special creams which they’ve helped with, or if he’s not feeling well, they are extra attentive in keeping us updated and communicating as to how he is doing through the day.

Now, every morning once he realizes we’re about to leave the house he points to his shoes, grabs his lunch bag, and confidently hurries out the door. We cannot express how wonderful it is to know our child spends his day at a place he is so happy and excited for.

I truly can't say enough wonderful things about Kita on Kains. Our son has been there for about half a year and we have already requested a spot for our daughter to join when she is old enough. Catrina is a wonderful presence in our child and family's life. They spend as much time outside in the adorable backyard as possible but when indoors they do arts and crafts, tons of music and play. For us the addition of German language was a major draw but now I would chose Kita on Kains even if I wasn't specifically looking for a German language school because it is just such a wonderful place. I can't recommend them more highly.

We love Kita on Kains! Every morning our toddler son runs into the cute backyard, excited to be there. It's a small group of adorable little ones and you can tell that Catrina and Jason and Dawn enjoy being with the kids. They are kind, patient, and very caring. Our son often comes home with a picture he painted or singing a new song he learned at Kita. As parents, what really stands out to us is how flexible Catrina is. When our childcare needs changed throughout the school year, Catrina was able to help us out every time. We think that's amazing! Catrina & Co. also do a great job at creating a sense of community with a few fun events and get-togethers throughout the year. We loved meeting the other parents, especially as a German-American family. We really can't recommend Kita on Kains highly enough!

We love the Kita. Our daughter was very shy when she started in the Kita when she was one year old. Catrina and her team were very patient and loving until she got used to. Now she is almost 3 and she loves to go to the Kita and play with her friends.

Catrina provides a nurture, playful and save environment for the kids. There are always fun activities going on: dressing up, crafts, tunnels, story time, dancing and singing. Our daughter love to play in their backyard. We also enjoy the parents/kids activities that Catrina organizes.

If you are looking for a place where you know that your child is in good hands and have a lot of fun and learn a lot, Kita on Kains is what you are looking for. We are planning to send our second daughter to Catrina too.

Catrina has been taking care of our daughter since she was 8 months old. She is now almost 3 and absolutely loves Catrina and her KiTA. At drop off, she is always smiling and eager to get busy playing. Catrina provides a safe, cozy, stimulating environment for the kids. They're a cute small group of kids who get a great balance of games, songs, and outside time and all of this in a bilingual environment. Our daughter’s vocabulary English and German totally exploded, she knows so many words and sings all the songs she learned at KiTA to us. Finding KiTA was the luckiest thing that could have happened to us. It is a great place for kids.

I recommend Kita on Kains wholeheartedly! We feel so fortunate to have found Catrina and Jason. They have provided excellent care for our 3.5 yr old son for almost 2 years now. Our son was very timid and nervous at first, as he had primarily been cared for by mama until he started at Kita. They were SO patient and caring with him that it put my worried mother's mind at ease. They are truly engaged with the children, checking in often as they change and develop. They foster a nice sense of community within the group as well, and it's very sweet to see the children bond and grow together. They also have excellent resources for all things German in the Bay Area! 

The exposure to German has definitely paid off with respect to his German language skills as well. He speaks seamlessly with his native German speaking papa and Oma/Opa.

Our son will soon go to preschool, and we're already sad at the thought of leaving this group of people who have taken such good care of him for so long. We couldn't have asked for more! 

We have three children and feel pretty well versed in all the areas of childcare from nannies, nanny shares, and daycares.  With our youngest, we feel so lucky to have stumbled on Kita on Kains through BPN.  It is an intimate, caring, bilingual environment that was perfect for our almost two year old.  We are not a German speaking household, but wanted to expose our son to any language at a young age.  In the almost one year he has been at Kita on Kains, our son can fully comprehend what his German caretakers are telling him and comes home singing and saying short phrases in German.  This was all just a bonus -- as he is happy, engaged, and learning social skills.  We can't recommend Catrina and Kita on Kains enough!

Our three year old has been at Kita on Kains for two years now, and we couldn't be happier with our experience. Our child loves going to KiTa, and we are so grateful for the German language environment they foster. Catrina is lovely, and has also been very helpful in recommending additional ways to build up the German speaking opportunities and community for our family. So glad we found Kita on Kains!

Our daughter has been going to the Kita for some months now and we totally love it. Catrina and her team are very caring and provide a wonderfully nurturing environment. She really cares about each child. Our daughter has learned so much there and her vocabulary totally exploded - she knows so many words now (and songs!). I was worried about how our daughter would transition from being with a nanny to being in a small group environment every day, but my concerns were unwarranted. Catrina really made sure she was comfortable and lets us know how her day is every time we pick her up. Catrina also informs the parents about other German-language events in the East Bay, which is super-helpful.

In a nutshell: I cannot recommend Kita on Kains highly enough! What a great place for kids.

I don't even know where to begin with the praise for Catrina and her team. We are so glad we found her for our son, who has been attending Kita on Kains for a year now. Catrina creates a very nurturing environment and works with a play based curriculum that allows children to thrive, cognitively and socially. My son LOVES the (German) songs she sings with him. He gets a lot of outdoor play too, and every time I pick him up he is busy having fun with his friends in the playroom or excited to show me the "artwork" ;) he created. He snacks and naps just as he would at home.

We are especially happy with Catrina's sensitive and warm demeanor. Our son had a hard time being in someone else's care, after being home with me for 18 months. She worked patiently with him and us.

We appreciate her warm, professional, flexible and cooperative way of interacting with us as a family.

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Aug 2013

I cannot recommend Kita on Kains highly enough. My 2 year old daughter had been at home with me full time, and had separation issues. Catrina worked with us, and now my child is able to stay all morning, without noticing that she misses me! She worked with my daughter, and other children, teaching them basic German language skills. She provides healthy organic snacks, and offers a play based curriculum. Catrina has always been approachable, and knows kids-she is able to give excellent advice. Catrina

Aug 2013

My three year old daughter was one of the first wave of kids through Catrina Sheen's Kita on Kains. Catrina is warm and fun, and it is clear that the children in her care love and trust her. She has also recruited a group of smart and nurturing assistants to help her run the cozy home-based daycare. Dropping my daughter there in the morning often felt more like leaving her at a friends house for a playdate than a contractual caregiving relationship. Her play-based program provides many enriching activities like song and dance (Catrina is a trained dancer and plays acoustic guitar), reading, crafts and pretend play.

I was interested to see how much of the language my daughter would pick up, coming from an exclusively English-speaking household. It was astonishing how much she learned and understood by the end of her 7 months in Catrina's care. The language is never forced on the children, there were a number of others there without German parents. Instead, Catrina works vocabulary into songs and events in their daily routines.

I highly recommend Kita on Kains to anyone considering daycare for their child, but particularly to those interested in the cognitive advantages gained by early exposure to a second language.

Aug 2013

Our daughter attended kita on kains for 6 months and we are very pleased. It is part of our happy family life to know our child is safe and content at times we can't be with her. Catrina has definitely made sure of this but has on top offered our daughter an environment where she could experience countless hours of discovering the world at her own pace, self-expression, exploring, silliness, getting messy, and making friends. If you are looking for a place where your child can be herself while gently being introduced to a structured routine, kita on kains is the right fit for you.

Nov 2012

We would like to highly recommend Kita on Kains. Catrina took care of our 2-year-old son for several months. She is one of those caregivers who truly has a gift for working with small children. Her home is full of love, music, laughter, and calm. Her background in child development, dance, and languages and her naturally creative and soothing energy help her create an enriching experience for the kids. She is endlessly patient and helps them positively solve conflicts and explore new activities. She balances safe routines with curiosity and humor. Our son loves Catrina, and so do we! Any kid would be lucky to spend his or her days learning and playing at Kita on Kains.

Oct 2012

Amazing German daycare

I would like to recommend the licensed daycare of my former nanny Catrina, Catrina is an experienced nanny/preschool teacher with a background in teaching dance and preschool. She is bilingual in German and English. She took care of my 5 and 3 year old daughters for 7 months while I worked full- time. She talked exclusively in German to them. She took them on outings to the park and to places like Habitot. She let them do crafts and baking at home. She placed an emphasis on singing and making music together which is her passion. She is educated in singing and making music. She also prepared organic and wholesome snacks. With her love for detail and her personal warmth she created a warm and nuturing environment in which my kids could thrive.

Oct 2012

Join our awesome German-language day care

About a year ago, we found our ideal childcare situation: a nanny share with a German-speaking caregiver, since Papa is a first-generation German-American. Now, Catrina is expanding to offer a toddler/preschool home day care at her home in Albany, called KiTa on Kains, and has immediate openings.

We very much support this shift, and we can't speak highly enough of the care that Catrina has provided for our now 16-month-old over the past year. Catrina studied dance and education in Germany and studied Early Childhood Education at Merritt College. Since immigrating to the US in 2002, she has worked in several preschools, dance and German language schools in the Bay Area, including Shan Yee Poon Ballet School, the Bay Area Kinderstube and the German School of San Francisco.

Anneliese's first words have included ''wow wow'' (German for ''bow wow'') and ''Baum'' (German for ''tree'') along with ''nein nein noooo'' when she really doesn't like something. They spend lots of time outdoors in the garden and I think Anneliese prefers Catrina's cooking to ours. We invite you to check out the website at and join this growing community of happy, German-speaking children! I am glad to provide further information offline as well.

Sept 2012

I would like to recommend the licensed daycare of my former nanny Catrina, Catrina is an experienced nanny/preschool teacher with a background in teaching dance and preschool. She speaks German and English. She took care of my 5 and 3 year old daughters for 7 months while I worked full-time. She spoke exclusively in German with my kids. She took them on outings to the park and to places like Habitot. She let them do crafts and baking at home. She placed an emphasis on singing and making music together which is her passion. She is educated in singing and making music. She also prepared organic and wholesome snacks. With her love for detail and her personal warmth she created a warm and nuturing environment in which my kids could thrive.