My First Steps Family Daycare

Community Subscriber

Berkeley, 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 #: 
Maria Rojas
myfirststeps1518 [at]
Maximum Capacity: 
Language(s) Spoken: 
English, Spanish
Ages Served: 
24 months - 48 months
Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri
7:30am - 5:30pm
Additional Services & Features: 
Drop-in available, Part-time available, Breakfast provided, Lunch provided, Snacks provided, Organic options, Vegetarian options, Potty training support, Special needs support
About Our Program: 

My First Steps daycare is a home-based English and Spanish bilingual program, which offers full-time, part-time, and hourly rates. Our program is designed to educate and as well provide care for children in a home like environment. We provide fresh meals daily for the children and snacks as well. We offer a clean and spacious environment for your child. We also teach the children colors, shapes, numbers, with Spanish words. Please visit our website to view photos and discover what our facility provides for your child. We currently have openings for children 2 years old and up and if you are interested please feel to contact us and we will happily answer your questions.

Parent Reviews

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My daughter Alice has attended My First Steps for over 2 1/2 years and love it. We visited multiple places while searching for the best spot in Oakland, Berkeley and Albany. When we visited the daycare, we felt the love and how the kids were happy. Maria Rojas is amazing with kids, serve them organic homemade meals and offers a lot of activities. Her long-time assistant Irma is also incredible. Alice started there when she was under 1 year old and we couldn't have asked for a better spot. They are flexible on schedule, close for very few days per year and were highly recommended to us. If you have any questions, I am more than happy to help. Giselle

Archived Q&A and Reviews

June 2014

Re: Part-time small daycare in Berkeley
You should look at My First Steps daycare in SW Berkeley. It is a small in home daycare. The caretaker, Maria Rojas, is very loving as is her long time assistant, Irma. My daughter has been there for 2 years now. She only goes 3 days a week and started at just 2 days, when she was 6 months. Maria cooks breakfast and lunch for the kids, which saves us so much time not having to pack food! There is lots of outdoor play space and two separate indoor areas so it is not cramped like some in home facilities are. My daughter has really thrived at his school and I feel lucky that a neighbor recommended it to us. 510-652-2761 Maria Rojas Alexis

Jan 2014

My daughter's day care has rare openings for a 1 year old as well as two 2 year olds. If you are looking for a bilingual (Spanish) day care in South Berkeley where your child(ren) will be well loved and fed then this is the place. Maria Rojas runs the day care out of her home and it feels like just that. When you drop your child off in the morning you can smell lunch cooking (beans, lentils, etc). Yummy!My daughter as been going to Maria's since she was 6 months old (she's now 2.5) and Maria and her staff care for her like family. She has both indoor and outdoor play areas that the kids use every day and they are all kept very clean. Her hours of operation also work well for two parents who work 40 hours a week and she has very few days she is not open. I highly recommend My First Steps Daycare as a great place for your child. hmm

Sept 2012

Re: Spanish Home-Based Preschools (S. Berk or Oakland)
Though not technically a preschool, I'd encourage you to check out My First Steps Daycare run by Maria Rojas. My girls are now at KISS but were with Maria from 20 months to 3.5 years old. They adored her and really blossomed there. The providers speak exclusively in spanish to the kids. Call her at: (510)652-2761 She's on Alcatraz and Sacramento kerry

Sept 2012

Finding Maria's wonderful DayCare was a life-saver for me as we transitioned out of San Francisco to the East Bay with our 2 year-old twins. I was a stay-at-home mom for 22 months and going back to work was a challenging transition. However, Maria made it as easy as possible. She is kind but structured, provides home cooked meals with ingredients purchased from the Berkeley Bowl and a joyful, warm, safe and loving environment for my kids - I couldn't recommend her more and feeling very lucky to have found her. My kids absolutely love her.

Nov 2011

My twins' daycare, My First Steps Daycare has a rare opening for a child under 2 years old.

Maria is a wonderful, caring provider who has provided a nurturing home away from home for my girls. I cannot speak highly enough about her and her staff.

Maria serves hot meals and healthy snacks, has a nice backyard and two big separate indoor spaces. She assists in potty training (both mine potty trained by 25 months). Maria is bilingual in Spanish/English and Spanish is the primary language spoken to the kids.

My girls adore Maria and love going to school....for more info call Maria directly at (510)652-2761 or myfirststep1518 [at]

If you need a reference, contact me

Sept 2011

Our amazing daycare has openings now!

My First Steps Daycare is run by Maria Rojas, a warm and loving provider! She has openings for both children over 2 as well as under 2!

My twin girls started with Maria a year ago and have flourished under her care. Maria provides a loving and nurturing environment with lots of singing, playing and laughter. She provides hot meals (breakfast and lunch) and lots of healthy snacks to the kids.

One of the things I love most (apart from the wonderful caretakers, Maria, Irma and Mariela - who are fantastic with the kids) is that the space is so large - essentially the bottom level of Maria's house is dedicated to the kids as well as a large backyard and converted garage. So all days, sunny AND rainy, there are options for the kids (and no TV!!)

Maria and her staff speak Spanish to the kids (though Maria speaks perfect English) and our girls LOVE going to ''school.'' I couldn't be happier with our choice!

Daycare hours are 7:30 - 5:30. She prefers FT, but does entertain PT options. Her rates are very reasonable.

Sept 2011

Openings are available at a warm, loving, and fun place for your young child (full and part time, 1+ yrs). Maria, owner of My First Steps Daycare, was phenomenal in helping me as a new parent of my first born and has been great with my second child.

She partners with the parent(s) in taking care of your child; she was GREAT with potty training my two kids. Her home-based daycare provided my kids with the skills to make a smooth transition into preschool (my youngest is about to go into preschool soon) while not placing a lot of pressure on them to go beyond their abilities.

Fresh, hot organic meals are prepared for the children every day. She has a large backyard for the kids to play in, and she's close to two parks that she takes the kids to as well. It's a Spanish bilingual environment, so your kids will pick up Spanish, too! If interested, call Maria (510)652-2761.

Nov 2010

My daughter's daycare, My First Steps (Maria Rojas) has current openings for children over 2, and there will be one opening for a child under 2 starting in December.

Maria Rojas runs a lovely daycare out of her house in South Berkeley. My daughter has been going there since she was 18 months old (she's now almost 3). She loves going to Maria's. The children spend a lot of time playing outside, and they eat outside when the weather permits. Maria serves delicious, homemade meals: breakfast, lunch and snacks. What sold me on Maria's daycare is the warm, loving interaction I witness between the teachers and the kids. Maria is from Peru, and she speaks English well, though she generally speak Spanish with the children. She is licensed to have up to 12 kids, but there are usually only 6-8 children there at a given time.

The daycare hours are 7:30 - 5:30, and all types of part-time options are available. Her fees are also quite reasonable. Check out Maria's website at

Feb 2010

Re: Preschool for twins 2 mornings a week?
My housemate had her boy part time at My First Steps home daycare on Alcatraz Ave. near Sacramento in Oakland. She chose it for the good reviews on BPN. She has openings now and is very flexible with times/days. She only $10/hr for part time care. It's pretty big for a home daycare with several different rooms and a fun outdoor play area. -Julie

June 2009

Recommending ''My First Steps'' for children two years and up, a bilingual (Spanish/English) Family Day Care. My daughter has thrived there and is happy to go to ''school'' each day. Not only that, she is virtually potty trained at 2 1/2.

Maria Rojas, the director/owner, and her two assistants, provide love and compassion (even in the face of toddler willfullness), healthy home-cooked lunches, and a variety of play and exploratory activities, including trips to park, reading time, letter/number exposure, etc.

The indoor and outdoor spaces are large enough to accommodate the children easily and to provide them with choices of activities.

Competitive rates with options for part- and full-time.
Hours: 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 a.m.
Location: 1518 Alcatraz Ave., Berkeley (at Sacramento)

There are openings for summer and fall. Contact Maria for a visit. phone: 510-652-2761 email: myfirststeps1518 [at]

March 2009

There are openings at My First Steps (510.652.2761) in South Berkeley for infants to 3 1/2-year-olds. My daughter has been with Maria and Mariela for over a year and loves it. It is a bilingual program (Spanish/English) on the ground floor of a house with a playhouse in the back and a yard full of play structures. The kids walk to the park when the weather permits and eat meals prepared by Maria. It always smells amazing when I go in and is also super clean. The hours are 7:30 to 5:30 and the rates are average. Maria is very flexible and has been able to accommodate my everchanging work schedule. There are never over 14 kids and usually 3 adults. We love it and are very sad our daughter has outgrown it! Please call if you have questions. Rachel

July 2008

Our son Zachary has been in Maria's daycare for almost a year, and he's been very well-cared for! Maria herself is a warm and caring provider, as are her helpers Irma (Zachary's favorite) and Mariela. He talks about them all the time! Now that Zach's moving on to preschool, Maria has openings for 2-year-olds. She has up to 14 children in her care at a time, in a spacious and fun-filled space on Alcatraz Avenue in Berkeley. They travel to a nearby park each day, and have wonderful breakfasts and lunches that Maria lovingly prepares. All the children show great care with each other - a trait Maria instills in them so well. Please give her a call if you need a second home for your toddler. Contact: Maria Rojas, 510-652-2761

Aug 2007

Several kids are leaving their daycare for pre-school and kindergarten.

Technically it's a home day care, but four rooms are completely devoted to the day care. There's a nice yard, with all the ride-on-toy/slide/swing amenities. They do painting and art. There's the sweetest little dog who cheerfully tolerates the ministrations of the children. As a family without pets, it's a great experience. ''Danny'' was one of my son's first words. They go to the park daily.

Maria has great food, lots of fruit and nutritious snacks and meals. She even feeds them breakfast (which we love -- it's so easy to get out of the house!).

Maria and her helpers speak Spanish as well as English to the kids. It's a calm, cheerful environment with attentive caregivers.

The prices are competitive and we've been very happy there. Maria is also flexible about part-time arrangements.

7:30am - 5:30pm She takes kids from 1 to 10 years. (If your kids isn't quite a year, call her anyway - she's not rigid).

If you want to ask a parent any questions, please email me. Contact: Maria Rojas, 652-2761

May 2007

I would like to recommend our son's family daycare in Berkeley. He stayed there for 2 years and now it is time for him to move to a pre-school. The provider, Maria Rojas, is a wonderful, kind and loving person. She is very experienced and knows a child's language. She cooks healthy, nutritious meals and always has fruits for a snack. The daycare is very spacious inside and outside the house and it has a lot of toys. Outside playground is equipped with slings, slides, sandbox and even a huge tent, which kids just love. Maria has a wonderful helper (whom our son just adores) and they do arts and crafts with the kids every day. There was not a single day, when we did not bring beautiful pictures/projects home. They help children to develop socially and physically and work on the milestones (walking, potty training, etc) together with the parents. The children are very happy in this daycare. Please contact Maria if you would like to see for yourself. Contact: Maria Rojas, 510-652-2761

Jan 2007

Re: South Berkeley preschool?
In regards to other preschools in South Berkeley, I'm not sure if you want a home-based center or not, but my children have been loving it at My First Steps (Maria Rojas' home) in South Berkeley. She is located on Alcatraz between Sacramento and California. She is so in tune with children and my kids LOVE her. They ask to go to her house on the weekends! She provides healthy meals and snacks, and has a big yard and lots of space indoors as well. Most important to me, my children get lots of love and attention that I feel is sometimes lost in a larger preschool environment. My children are almost 3 and 41/2 years old and they are thriving under Maria's care. Oh, and best of all, she speaks Spanish to the children so they come home having learned a second language. (Maria's English is very good too though.) Hope this helps...she is worth checking out. Feel free to email me for more info. Laura

June 2006

Our fabulous childcare provider for the last 1.5 years, Maria Rojas, has an immediate opening in her program, and will have 4 more openings this fall. Now that I\x92m done with graduate school at Berkeley, I offered to help her find families needing daycare.

Everything about Maria is phenomenal. She is perhaps the most patient person I have ever met. Maria was a nanny for 15 years before opening her center. She is extremely caring and warm, and also calm and confident.

I\x92m also a former nurse, and can attest that Maria\x92s care is very safe. She feeds the children wonderful nutritious food (she has the kids eating spinach, lots of fresh fruit, and a big, healthy breakfast every morning) and has a great backyard space for outdoor play. They also take walks to the park.

If interested in full-time or part-time daycare, please call Maria Rosa at 510-652-2761. Rates vary, but in general fulltime daycare is $250/week.
Contact: Maria Rojas, 510-652-2761


May 2005

Our wonderful daycare provider, Maria Rojas, will have 2-3 openings beginning at the end of May for infants or toddlers. She will have more openings in July.

Maria's home is beautiful and is specially designed for taking care of children, inside and outside. The house is spotless, and she makes amazing food (homemade organic pancakes at least once a week). She speaks fluent English and Spanish.

Maria was a nanny for over 10 years before opening her own daycare a year ago. I can't say enough wonderful things about her. I am a former nurse, and can say that Maria has a fantastic knowledge of child development and nutrition. She is patient and kind and truly loves children. She also is wonderful with older children--both my 3 year old and 5 year old have spent days at Maria's and come home happy and content.

You can call Maria at 510-652-2761 to get more information from her. Jennifer

April 2005

I want to recomend my daughter's daycare. She has been there since January and we absolutely love it!!! Maria is great with kids,has many years of experience working with babies. They dance, play, read books and play outside all day long. No t.v. She cooks great food and is just wonderful. We will be gone for the summer but we'll return in September, so Maria will have an opening for that period of time (mid June to the end of August).Right now she has 4 infants. She has a helper for the afternoon. Give her a call, tell her Nuria recommended her to cover her daughter's spot for the summer. You will love her.
Contact: Maria Rojas, 510-652 2761