Les Petits Francophones

Community Subscriber

Oakland, CA

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

Type: 
Preschool
DSS Facility License #: 
Owner: 
Les Petits Francophones
(510) 479.1250
office [at] lespetitsfrancophones.org
Location: 
Oakland
94606
4101 Park Boulevard
Maximum Capacity: 
45
Language(s) Spoken: 
English, French
Ages Served: 
24 months - 60 months
Monthly Cost: 
$1405
Hours: 
Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri
7:30am - 6:00pm
Additional Services & Features: 
Drop-in available, Part-time available, Pre-K program, Year-round, Sibling discount, Breakfast provided, Snacks provided, Organic options, Vegetarian options, Special diet support, Cloth diapers accepted, Potty training support
Editors' Notes: 
  • This preschool moved to a new location in 2015.  The license for the old location was 013420606.
About Our Program: 

Les Petits Francophones is a French Immersion, non-profit pre-school located in Oakland, Glenview district. Our mission is to provide a French Immersion preschool experience in a safe, joyful environment that recognizes each child's uniqueness and fosters growth, exploration, movement and connection to each other and the world.

Parent Q&A

Les Petits Francophones & Alameda Jan 25, 2017 (1 responses below)
Les Petite Francophone vs Ecole Bilingue Nov 30, 2016 (4 responses below)
  • Les Petits Francophones & Alameda

    (1 reply)

    Hi, we might be moving to Alameda and I am looking at preschools. Can anyone recommend a preschool in Alameda suitable for 2.5-5 year olds? Also we speak English and French in our house so Les Petits Francophones in Oakland looks appealing. Is anyone a current student there? Thoughts? Do you commute from Alameda and is it ok?

    Thanks

    We are a current LPF family, and also speak English and French at home. We have been very happy with the school. We do not live in Alameda, but there are a few families who do and the school is very conveniently located, especially if you live on the Park Street end of the island. 

  • Les Petite Francophone vs Ecole Bilingue

    (4 replies)

    Hi, my wife and I are currently looking into preschool options for next year for our daughter who turned 2 a couple months ago. Because my wife is French we are gravitating toward a French preschool although we are keeping our options open. The two schools were are looking at are Les Petits Francophones in Oakland and Ecole Bilingue in Berkeley. Are there current parents or anyone else who can tell me their pros and cons of the two schools (excluding the obvious price difference) and their opinions on the social and ethnic diversity of the schools? It could be a pipe dream but as my wife and myself both grew up in low-income households and worked our butts off to become financially stable and as we are both minorities we would really like our daughter to go to a diverse school with people of various nationalities and economic levels a well as providing a great education. We also want to make sure she's culturally aware of the different nationalities and that she doesn't grow up thinking she's privileged. Thanks for the help!

    We looked at both schools and ended up choosing Les Petits Francophones (LPF). While we loved EB, the enormous cost and the distance from our home were prohibitive for us. We have been very happy with LPF, and I'm honestly not sure spending the extra money for EB, especially at the preschool level, would have made a difference. The teachers and staff at LPF are warm and loving, and all are native French speakers. We are also a bilingual English-French household and have noticed a big improvement in our son's French since he started at LPF. Finally, the students and teachers at LPF are diverse, socially and ethnically (I seem to recall from our tour of EB that all of the teachers were white French people, though that may have changed). 

    Our family is French-speaking, multiracial, and part working class/low income background, so we have a lot in common.  We know families who have been involved with both Les Petits Francophones and Ecole Bilingue, but since we haven't personally attended either school I would not want to make some sort of public comment about either as it's all secondhand.  However, we are currently enrolled at Francophone Charter School in Oakland and I can't say enough positive things about this wonderful, diverse gem of a school.  We are counting our lucky stars every day that our children can attend this school for free, become truly fluent in French, and still spend their days in an environment that reflects the world around them.  That means a sustained focus on global Francophone culture (vs. a France-centric approach) as well as learning alongside children from a full spectrum of neighborhoods, cultures, and backgrounds in Oakland and the East Bay.  The school is still new, so that brings with it lots of challenges, but the staff and parents are so creative and resourceful, the teachers have been uniformly excellent, and we love the families who are invested in making the school grow.  So if French is important to you, take heart: even if you go to a non-French-speaking preschool this is a unique opportunity for language immersion in a truly diverse environment later on.

    Hi there, our son just started preschool at EB this year. For sure, the cost is high (and for someone who grew up in France where education is basically free, this is a hard pill to swallow...) - but I know EB has financial aid programs, and your family may also qualify for financial help from the French government. We did consider Les Petits Francophones also, but decided against it, mostly because of its location - we live in Berkeley and the commute just wouldn't have worked with our jobs. We also liked the fact that EB is not only a preschool, but has a K-8 program as well - so there is continuity (if you want that). So far we're happy with our choice: many of the kids in our son's class come from cross-cultural families (like ours) and we've been really impressed with the teachers. It really feels like they are focusing not only on academic excellence, but also on social responsibility and critical thinking. They are currently developing a restorative justice initiative in the Lower School, which I think is great. As far as your fear of raising a child who feels privileged... this is definitely not your average school - the facilities are top-notch, they have a gardening area, indoor gym, an amazing library... To me the key is to help children comprehend that they are in fact lucky to be able to attend a school like this one, not to take this for granted, to be grateful for the opportunity, and to make the most of it. Having grown up in a place where education is free (from preschool to university) and having attended good schools does in fact feel like a privilege, but I don't see it necessarily as a bad thing if I don't turn a blind eye to the experience of others, who didn't have that chance. Let me know if you have specific questions and would like to connect directly. :) 

Parent Reviews

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Our daughter started at Les Petits Francophones in January and she is loving it. Communication from the school has been a bit lacking - might be COVID related and the director is on maternity leave - but overall we're very happy with the school. Our daughter comes home knowing new songs every week, proudly shows off her art projects and counts to herself in French regularly. She happily talks about other kids in her class and her teachers to us often. I am hoping that as we are able to interact with the school more often that there will be a better flow of communication, but the most important thing for us is that our daughter is content with the program and she is! Happy to answer any questions you have. 

My three-year-old has been at LPF since August, and he has been thriving there. The director and teachers are all lovely people who truly care about the children and their progress. The parent community is also supportive and active. In addition to the social skills he has been developing, my son's French has really improved in just a few months. Finally, I love that they have a part-time option (and an affordable one, at that!), which was very important to us in selecting a school. 

I am a parent of Les Petits Francophones, since September 2015. And as much as I understand, and somewhat agree with some of the comments re the school, I feel that what is important is what is happening NOW at the school. The first two months at the school were definitely challenging, with teachers leaving unexpectedly, a director at the time that clearly was not up to the job to provide the school with a solid teaching structure. We decided to be part of the solution as opposed to just leave. Since the new director has been in place in November, there is definitely more structure, the teachers are fully supported in their roles, the director IS in the classroom when needed, communications with the families have improved 100% - and my child is really happy to be at the school, and a growing parent community that is involved with the school. In reference to the experience of the teachers, I am asking the parents this: have you ever had a job right after your graduation, with barely any experience, and yet somebody mentored you and showed you the rope? I think it is important to focus on what the school is doing now: children are being not "forced" to nap (as one post states), all the current teachers are French Native Speakers (one of them as over 10 years experience!), the curriculum is varied, fun and challenging. At least 2 families that did leave the school in October have now returned to the school - I think that speaks a lot as to improvements made by the school to improve overall operations. Any parents that wish to know about the school, should contact the school for a tour, they will even put you in touch with current parents so that can ask questions yourself. You can even ask to observe a class if you wish. So the only thing I am asking parents before making any judgements and/or decisions about the school based on past experience, give Les Petits Francophones a chance, and go and see what it is all about. Again what is important is the way forward!. Thank you.

Archived Q&A and Reviews


July 2015

Hello, I have a friend moving to the area who is interested in her sending her 3 year old to a French preschool. Can anyone tell me about their experiences with Les Petites Francophones in Oakland? Thank you. Julia


The pros: Reasonably priced French immersion preschool in Oakland However if you are an American family with a modest income, Ecole Bilingue in Berkeley may offer a really advantageous scholarship. My friends are paying less at Ecole Bilingue than what they would have paid at Les Petits Francophones.

The cons: High turnover of the teachers this year. All teachers are in their first year of leading a class or being an assistant. This preschool had no substitute teachers, so when one teacher was sick all the children attending the preschool were put in the biggest classroom. New director is in her first year of managing a preschool; previous experience is only as an assistant director in a non-francophone preschool. The children have been required to remain on their mats for a full 2 hours, whether they sleep or not. Anonymous


In 2013-2014 my experience at Les Petits Francophones preschool was terrific! The preschool was led by two great teachers very experienced in French immersion schools. Thanks to their hard work my child made a lot of progress academically and socially. That year, Les Petits Francophones provided a high quality program that was similar to the one offered by Ecole Bilingue.

This school year 2014-2015 was a bad experience for too many reasons. First, it was a big disappointment when the management of the school decided to not offer two weeks maternity family leave for their most experienced teacher. It showed a lack of interest in supporting working mothers and in keeping a highly experienced native French speaking teacher on staff. Now all teachers are in their first year of leading a class or have little to no experience teaching in a school. Second, my child didn’'t progress academically in French or socially this year. The director decided after the beginning of the school year to place my child and three other children back into a lower class. In that class, those children were a year older and spoke more French than the younger kids. Therefore, the curriculum was not challenging for the four older children (three of them are French native speakers). Usually, when a school decides to retrograde a child, it is in the first month of the school year, not after four months. Because of this decision, my child had 3 lead teachers last year instead of two [two in the older class, and one in the younger class]. Already having two lead teachers was a difficult transition, so having 3 teachers was really disturbing and confusing. Looking back, my child's best interest was not taken into consideration. My child was bored staying two years in a row with the same curriculum both years. It is interesting to note that none of the four children are attending Les Petits Francophones next school year. Third, when we, as a group of parents, voiced our concerns about our children being arbitrarily retrograded to a lower class, the LPF Board President responded less than 2 hours later by asking us to leave the school in the following 3 days if we wished to be refunded our deposit. Past this date, we would automatically forfeit our deposits. The director reiterated this as well. 4. There is high turnover of teachers and assistants. In light of the events that occurred this past year, I feel that I cannot recommend this school.


The school year 2014-2015 was a bad experience at Les Petits Francophones for us due to several reasons: We are a French family and what seemed to be a perfect fit for our child as well as a more affordable option than the Ecole Bilingue ended on the sour side. The first surprise was to notice a French and highly experienced teacher leaving within weeks after the beginning of the semester. From there, high turnover of teachers and assistants seemed like a never-ending story and pretty much lasted all year long. The teachers that were hired have little experience in leading a class. Overall my child had 3 lead teachers this year as a result of the turnover and a class change. Even more concerning was the director's decision to move our child from his class to the younger one for the next semester. This decision was made solely by the director and without consulting with the lead teacher. We simply learned about the changes through the monthly newsletter and were backed by no explanations and no reasons. The teacher had confirmed that our child was very advanced in his language skills, which made him perfectly suitable for the advanced class (a normal thing since both parent speak French and is the base language at home). We asked for an interview with the director for clarifications and here again no explanations were given to us. When we kept questioning the arbitrary nature of the decision, we received, almost instantly, an email from the president of the board, backing the director's decision in the light of a high level of expertise, and asking us to leave the school within 3 days if we wanted to get our deposit back. Past this delay, the deposit would be lost at the school's profit. Later on, the school told us that they were going to follow the children to best assist during the class transition and that we would get feedback but never did. There are definitely some challenges that need to be worked out at the managerial level. Being retrograded to the lower class had an impact on my child as he complained of being in a class where most kids were younger and didn't speak French at the same level as in the other class. Although the teachers told my child that he was moved in order to help the younger ones to speak better French, he felt that something was not right. As a result, he lost interest in learning how to read and write, as the curriculum was not as challenging as in the previous class. Overall, with the class change and high turnover, I noticed very poor academic progress. Also, monitoring and implementing a French curriculum requires a director with solid French language skills and, sadly enough, this is not the case. With all these elements and concerns, I'm afraid that I cannot recommend this school. A concerned parent


We were at Les Petits Francophones for 2 school years, but cannot recommend them. Our issues in the 2014/15 classrooms: –The lack of French immersion. –High staffing turnover, meaning less consistency. –Our child didn't like going to school and was bored. We were also disappointed with the lack of communication with parents, specifically regarding the safety of the children. I called Licensing directly for this information because we, as parents, had not been informed of the incidents by the school, or assured of how these things would be avoided in the future. It seemed that everyone was working hard at their jobs, but we truly believe that the amount of educational experience on staff (all in year 1 of their positions) and on the board (any educational degrees?) have created a challenge with the school's understanding of and/or willingness to see where and how they need to improve as an organization. The result: too much work/worry for us as parents. -Disappointed Parent


Nov 2013

Re: French Language Preschool

My son is attending his 2nd year at Les Petits Francophones preschool. He understands the teachers and is now beginning to speak some French. The teachers are warm, knowledgeable, and excited to be at school. My son is thriving here at LPF. He is writing letters and numbers, bringing home top notch art work, and singing the songs he has learned. This year has been so positive in an engaging environment. at


My son is currently in his second year at Les Petits Francophones preschool in Oakland. He had little exposure to the French language beforehand at home or otherwise and is thriving at the school. The teachers are wonderful and attentive. He loves to be at the school and always wants to stay afterwards to play with the other children. The school takes the children on field trips and other outside activities. And at the end of each year they put together booklets of your child's progress which, I must say, is amazing! You can actually see how much they are learning through their play based activities. I would recommend the school to anyone especially if you are interested in a 100% language immersion program. The school offers both part and full time enrollment depending on your need and budget. You can visit the website atlespetitsfrancophones.com, for more information including contact information to schedule a tour of the school. Catherine



Jan 2013

we would like to do some immersion french preschool with our daughter. we are planning to visit the preschool next week. i was wondering if there were any parents out there who's kid goes there who can give me their opinion on the school. it seems like it would be more affordable then sending our daughter to eb. i am a little nervous about it because it is new and there is not many reviews about it. plus we have a very smart but high energy girl and we want to make sure she gets plenty of play and running around. any info would be great. choosing a preschool is hard



My child attended Les Petits Francophones last year and really enjoyed it. The teachers were caring and the instruction is all in French. It is small and intimate and my child felt loved and important. Many of the kids there planned to transfer to EB for kindergarten, and that transition went smoothly. Bonne chance! Happy with LPF.



Nov 2011

Re: Preschool Recommendation -- French Immersion?
You should check out Les Petits Francophones www.lespetitsfrancophones.com it is a new French immersion preschool located in Oakland by lake Merritt. The whole day is in French, it is very reasonably priced and the main teacher has a lot of Montessori background so she incorporates a lot of that approach in her overall teaching pedagogy. My daughter is there and she loves it!! Got to love those kids French songs!