Little Beans Preschool and Bridge K
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My son is about to begin his 3rd and final year at Little Beans Preschool. It is conveniently located right off of University in Berkeley close to BART and not too far from the highway, making it really easy to drop him off and pick him up. We have been so happy with our experience over the years. The staff is incredibly knowledgable, enthusiastic and seem to always be in a great mood. What I appreciate most about the staff is how easy they made the whole experience of starting preschool. This is typically a stressful time for most people, but LIttle Beans has some magical way of going with the flow and dealing with everything so easily and professionally. My son has made great friends and loves to learn. He always amazes me with the things he has learned there. My son will be more than prepared for kindergarten. I am a teacher and I really appreciate their approach to letting the kid's interests guide their instruction. Every time anyone brings in a book or something to share they always make time for it. Sometimes these have even led to full studies on the subject. The older kids also get to go on many adventures in the neighborhood. Field trips for preschoolers are rare and so valuable. I love this school so much that his little brother will begin attending this fall. I highly reccomend this school to anyone who is considering it. Molly
My husband and I came to Berkeley as Visiting Scholars for three months, during the spring semester of 2014. We have two children: a girl who just turned 5 and a boy who is 2 and a half. We needed to work full days so we decided to enroll them in a Preschool. We wanted them to be together because it could make their transition easier (coming from abroad and not speaking any English).
We believe we where very lucky to have found Little Beans. They are caring and loving. Always paying attention to the details. The transition was very easy for my kids because one staff member is bilingual (English and Spanish) and most of the staff knew some Spanish so it was easy for my children to be understood. But also, by the end of our stay both of them were using English words and could understand basic commands and play with other children. We loved the Date Nights, which allowed us to go to dinner once a month, knowing that the kids were playing happily with their friends. My children have a great love for books and they enjoyed the reading times, especially with Miss Kathleen, who is great at reading stories. They also love to sing and thanks to the music hours now they have a whole repertoire of children songs in English, which have helped a lot on their language learning process. Their love and respect for nature was enhanced by all the activities that took place in the garden. We are all very sad to leave, but we are very grateful because Little Beans was a not only a great help but also a great environment for our kids to be at. Understanding of how hard it may be to find a place for little kids for Visiting Scholars, Miss Kathleen assured me that they always have available spots for short stay children. Ana
My son is about to start kindergarten, and we've sadly bid goodbye to the wonderful people at Little Beans Preschool, who've watched over him and taught him for three happy years. The curriculum combines free play and appropriate structure with interesting projects and extras like yoga, music, and walks to local parks and sites of interest. The staff are well trained, thoughtful about their work, and exceptionally patient and kind. Under their guidance, my son has blossomed into a enthusiastic, curious fellow who's well prepared for the complex social and emotional challenges of kindergarten. He's academically well prepared too, having learned letters, numbers, some basic addition and subtraction, and more in Little Beans' bridge-K program. The owners, Heather and Kathleen, are caring and professional, as are their assistants. They've helped us through many hurdles separation anxieties when my son first started attending, discipline questions, potty training, and more. I'm especially grateful for their kindness and attention when my son had to weather my long absences for research or unexpected turmoil in the family. We feel so lucky to have found Little Beans Preschool, and to have been part of the Little Beans community. Katie
I'm writing to recommend Little Beans Preschool in Berkeley. Our son who is now entering kindergarten started at Little Beans just under 2 years old. He started this young for a variety of reasons but the teachers at Little Beans - Heather, Kathleen, and Christine - did a wonderful job of welcoming our son and made the transition as easy as it could be for all of us. Since he was there full-time they guided our son through many phases - potty-training, napping/no-napping, shyness, etc. As the years passed, it became evident that he was as comfortable at Little Beans as he was at home. In all honesty, we did have some constructive feedback to give the teachers which they were always very responsive to. Our sole criticism to date is the lack of alternative activity for non-nappers (which apparently is tied to their staffing and lunch coverage). But what was invaluable was being able to leave our son day after day (for 3 years) knowing that he was happy, safe, and in loving, loving hands. Our son has become a self-confident, articulate, and polite 5 year old in large part due to the support of Little Beans. I'd be happy to answer any questions you have if you're considering Little Beans. sweenaa
Reply from Little Beans :
Little Beans preschool has 2-3 teachers on staff during nap- time. We have 4 class spaces at our school, two of which we use as nap rooms and two that we use for space for non- nappers. Non-nappers are given the opportunity to do quiet activities during nap-time such as puzzles, art, books, games, math and science activities, etc.
Thank you, Team Little Beans
We are leaving Berkeley after spending a couple of months here and wanted to tell parents looking for a preschool about our fantastic experience with Little Beans Preschool during our stay. Our 2.5 y o twin daughters had not been at school yet and adjusted very well and quickly, and had a wonderful time at the school. Miss Kathleen and Miss Heather run the school with the utmost dedication and care, and the teachers Miss Kristie and Miss Kim are both extremely professional, kind and innovative. There is also a great sense of community between the parents, several of whom, like us, are bi-national, which creates a very special learning environment. We really could not have hoped for a better preschool for the girls. Julie & Emmanuel
We are very happy with the experience our family has had at Little Beans preschool. Their curriculum offers a nice balance of free play and educational instruction, which includes specialty classes like yoga and music. The seasonal projects are particularly well thought out and fun! We feel that our child received a well rounded preschool education that has prepared her for kindergarten. In addition, we find that the instructors and assistants paid close attention to our child's needs, while giving her an opportunity to further explore her skills. We also appreciate the support that Little Beans has given our family,especially in a time of recent need. Scott and Helen
Re: Looking for pre-school for visiting five year old
If north Berkeley is convenient for you, you might consider getting in touch with Little Beans Preschool. My son has been there since he was 2 (he's 3.5 now) and is very, very happy there. Because of their location near the university, they often have visiting students from other countries. They are well organized, friendly, and kind. They're located on Cedar at Walnut. Contact information: mobile: 510-926-2795; classroom: 510-649-1751; email: littlebeanspreschool [at] gmail.com Happy Little Beans parent
To Parents of 2-4 year-old children, Just wanted to post a recommendation for a relatively new preschool in Berkeley called Little Beans on Cedar Street in the North Grace Church. Heather and Kathleen have created a warm and nurturing environment with lots of fun activities and learning opportunities. This was a great place for my son to get ready for the world of kindergarten. Thanks, Doug
I have been sending my daughter to Little Beans in Berkeley and cannot praise it enough. It is such a wonderful preschool with great teachers. Miss Heather and Kathleen run it and do a fabulous job taking care of the kids. My daughter has been so happy and well taken care of at Little Beans. They dont accept kids below 2, and I have a baby who needs to start daycare now. Hence I am taking my older one out so I can send them both to the same location. However I am so sad to be taking her our of Little Beans. Miss Kathleen is such a sweet soul who has so much energy and joy that she spreads among the kids. It has been very fulfilling for me as a mother to send my child here and I would recommend Little Beans to all parents. Shachi
I think Little Beans is fine if your kid needs to nap. Unfortunately, they also force older kids to have quiet time, in a darkened room, lying on a matt, for 2 hours every afternoon. Our son, 4, inevitably fell asleep, and every night we'd fight to get him down by 9:30. Not fun. At another preschool he attended, the older kids were allowed to play outside and run around while the little ones slept. Not at Beans. The staff were not flexible, as they took their break during that time and only left one teacher watching after all the children during nap time. The nightly hassles made our lives miserable. I don't recommend this school because of their forced quiet time policy. not for big kids
A parent recently posted a review of Little Beans Preschool that reflected a negative experience. I want to write to share our very positive experience there. Our 2yo son is a bit shy and wasn't speaking much; after one week at LB, he began announcing his feelings with five-word proper sentences. He is clearly very happy there, and I feel that he is well cared for by smart and loving folks (Kathleen, Kristie, and Kyle). I have really liked the advice I've gotten from Kathleen (all of it solicited by me, none unsolicited) about separation, how to gently let him know when he's done something unkind or unsafe yet maintain our attachment (not time outs!), and potty training. I feel that LB is much more flexible and team-oriented than the many other preschools we've looked into, which is very helpful for us. Out little guy is getting tons of play, healthy and appropriate structure, and positive socialization. I don't know if there are any slots open now, but for the record we are completely thrilled with Little Beans, and grateful to have a team we can trust. Mama Bean
I wanted to chime in with support for little beans preschool. Our daughter (now three) has been attending since march and we have very positive things to say. She loves circle time and art and we've been very happy with their walks around town...she came home one day telling us about dinosaurs after seeing some a the cal paleontology museum. Kathleen has been very responsive to our requests and very helpful with potty training. The children are diverse and my daughter has made good friends. The new teachers are friendly and loving and seem to be good additions to the school. Happy at little beans
Our son Oliver started attending Little Beans in November of 2009. Our son has Down Syndrome and needed a little extra help with things, but is pretty independent for having down syndrome. He loved attending school here. The teachers were great and the activities were great. We are sad that we are moving on as he starts up with our school district directly after turning 3 this month, but would recommend them anyone looking in the area. Nada
Our son started Little Beans last fall, at age 3, and initially seemed to be adapting well, learning to hold hands and walk without grabbing things on the daily walks around the city (though this always made us nervous). But suddenly in January they started sending notes home about rule violations, and there were more and more new children starting. Eventually they announced that they were expanding and adding a new morning teacher. This is when things started to fall apart for our now 3 1/2 year old boy, who stopped napping and went from energetic and loving to throwing things and kicking and spitting. Knowing him, we're sure that part of the problem was that now he was supposed to lie quietly for over 2 hours while the other children napped. We tried to talk to the teachers to improve the situation, but they were very busy trying to control so many children, and instead suggested ''consequences'' such as not being allowed to wear his new shoes or begin potty training unless he behaved well for a week. They offered to meet with us but there was never any follow through on their part. So, when we told them we were taking him out they not only refused to return our $900 deposit, but also asked us at the same time to leave the school as of that day, leaving us with no childcare for the rest of the month. When he returned to his previous daycare, the behavior problems vanished. If you have a very active child, or one who needs some individual attention, you might think twice about this school, which seems to have changed a lot since the earlier reviews were posted.
I think Little beans is a wonderful preschool. I highly recommend them. The teachers are great! I have never been happier leaving my son all day. He has really been prepared to go to kindergarden. They do a good job with all the kids learning everyday skills and social behavior. They take walks, they cook, lots of art projects, music, my sons loves circle time, reading and writing practice, and much more...Thank you Little Beans.. elizabeth
We have been very fortunate to have found Little Beans pre-school. Our 3-yr old has been going to LBs since last August, and we couldn't be happier with how he flourished on every level. He is fond of his teachers, and has grown attached to the other children.
Their program is rich and creative, and has already opened many possibilities for our son. They learn through arts, play, and off-site experiences. The school is located at Cedar & Walnut, and the teachers have taken every advantage of the location to expose the children to the wonders of Berkeley: visits to the BPL, Habitot, Rose Garden, Cal, Peets, the Cheese Board...etc.
We are new to Berkeley, and, beyond the school program, the experience of belonging to this group of teachers and parents has been wonderful. We'd be glad to share more of our experiences, please feel free to email me.
Little Beans currently has openings for children 2-5. From more info, please contact Heather at littlebeanspreschool [at] gmail.com or 510-926-2795.
We have been blessed with having our 4.5 year old son under the terrific care and guidance of the two founding teachers of Little Beans Preschool - Miss Heather and Miss Kathleen- for almost two years. He has grown and thrived in the warm and stimulating environment they have created that includes a diverse mix of children at different levels of development and needs. While we will miss the Little Beans community as we transition out in a couple of months - we are confident that our son is well prepared for entering Kindergarten this coming Fall. We would be happy to speak to any parent considering Little Beans about our personal experience. We can be reached by email or phone which can be made available by contacting the school: littlebeanspreschool [at] gmail.com or 510-926-2795. Shar
My son who is 2 1/2 is very happy going to Little Beans. He has been in and out of day cares/ preschools since he was 4 months old, my husband and I both work full time and had a hard time finding care. Every time we thought we found a good place, it turned out either something was wrong with the day care, it was a temporary situation or my son didnmt like it.Little Beans has been different, they have the patience and take the time to make sure he is learning at the right pace and are very aware of his well being. He has learned so much since he has been under their care. They communicate well with me and my son in making sure everyone is happy and well adjusted in the first days and as the weeks go on. When my husband picks him up at the end of the day he always wants to keep playing and doesn't want to leave. Little beans does have some openings and if you would like to learn more about the school, contact Heather at Little Beans. littlebeanspreschool [at] gmail.com or 510-926-2795 Jeanne
I want to recommend Little Beans Preschool, which operates out of Grace North Church at the corner of Walnut and Ceder in Berkeley. They are currently enrolling children ages 2-5. A close-knit collection of happy kids, ably cared for by skilled staff. They've been welcoming and flexible with my daughter, who has developmental delays. Their hours of operation are 8:00- 5:30. Contact Little Beans at littlebeanspreschool [at] gmail.com or 510-926-2795. Feel free to email me, Lisa, for reference as well.
This is a shout out to BPN families who are looking for a wonderful, nurturing, and loving environment for their preschoolers. Although the school is new, the director and teachers are not and we cannot say enough nice things about them, their teaching, and their motivation for loving children. Our 5 year old daughter is thriving at Little Beans. Please do not hesitate to contact me for a recommendation. Annie