Monte Tavor Immersion Program

Oakland, 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 #: 
Yeira Howell
(510) 531-3328
hmontavor [at]
Dimond District
Maximum Capacity: 
Language(s) Spoken: 
English, Spanish
Ages Served: 
0 months - 60 months
Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri
Editors' Notes: 
About Our Program: 

Monte Tavor Spanish Immersion Program for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. Our major emphasis is on language acquisition and becoming bilingual through various approaches. All while using natural ingredients, science exploration, and animal habitats to expand conceptual thinking skills.

Parent Reviews

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My daughter went to Monte Tavor at 6months, we only stayed 2-3 months because then covid started, but the time we were there we loved it, as did she. Additionally, DLPA is where my son went 5 years ago, in DImond--- they have since expanded from an in home day care (multiple locations), so I dont know their age groups... but could be worth checking out (I LOVE THEM). 

My 20 month old son is at Monte Tavor and we love it! Teachers only speak Spanish to the kids, but everyone can speak English and I can communicate with the owner and teacher in English. It's bigger than we were aiming for, but the kids have mini groups with their own teacher and kids their age, so it doesn't feel big. My son has been there since 12 months and has absolutely loved it.

I have a  two daughters (4 and 2). My youngest has attended Monte Tavor since she was five months old and loves it. My oldest started at Monte Tavor when she was 2 and went to Escuela Bilingue Internacional (EBI) when she turned 3. I can highly recommend Monte Tavor. When your son gets older I would suggest you check out EBI as well. The preK program is for 3-5 then they have a K-8 program.The EBI program has more of a school feel than the home based/care centers. That's not necessarily a bad thing.   I have been very impressed with the PreK program at EBI. My oldest is thriving, very confident in her spanish, and loves going to school. 

My son is 16 months old and goes to Monte Tavor and we love it! They take babies to preschoolers, but separate the kids into age groups with different curriculum. I can't speak to the preschool curriculum, but my son absolutely loves his teachers, his first word was in Spanish, and he always seems very happy and engaged. The owners are always very responsive if you have questions. They also have fun events like Earth Day gardening, and a zoo mobile. We have only been there for six months so far, but are really happy with our choice.

We've only been at at EBI (our son is older than yours) but a number of his classmates had a great experience at Monte Tavor and were very well-prepared for K in EBI's immersion program.

There is an opening for a 4 year old in our wonderful preschool, Monte Tavor. Monte Tavor is a true Spanish immersion program. Our son has blossomed in this program. Also, his Spanish is amazing! Aside from the Spanish, my son has responded well to their mix of academic tasks and play-based learning. In addition, the teachers are extremely caring and seem to really know my son. I encourage you to schedule a tour to visit this amazing preschool.

Archived Q&A and Reviews

April 2014

My older daughter attended Monte Tavor from age 2-5 (until kindergarten), and my younger child has been there since six months old. I can't say enough positive things about the school. It is extremely nurturing, with a lovely feeling of warmth from the family who runs the school. The food they serve is wonderful, and the backyard is a HUGE benefit. It is the most outdoor space that we saw at other preschools, given the joined backyards. The weekend events are also a bonus -- the spring science fair brings in animals for a petting zoo that is a huge hit, and the summer graduation/dance party is very special. My kindergartener is currently at a well-regarded private school, and we feel our daughter was extremely prepared to start school. Happy MT mom

May 2012

I wanted to recommend Monte Tavor, which is a play-based homey daycare and preschool in the Dimond district of Oakland (just above MacArthur near Fruitvale). My son has gone there for almost 3 years and we've loved it - his Spanish is excellent, the outdoor space is lovely, and they provide delicious meals and loving care as well as fun community events every quarter. He has learned a lot and had tons of fun at school. The only complaint I have is that they could have better consistent communication with the parents, but that has been improving a lot this year and we now have a Facebook group that helps build community among the families. I couldn't have asked for a better place for my son, and we are going to miss Monte Tavor immensely when he goes on to Kindergarten this fall. I suggest you check them out! Monte Tavor parent

KISS vs Monte Tavor?

April 2012

My Daughter is 2, and is at Anna's Daycare (Mercedes Leon), which I highly recommend. Now it's time for her to move on to preschool, and I would like to keep up the Spanish Immersion. EBI doesn't take kids until they are 3, but we hope to start her in preschool this fall (she will be 2 years, 8 months), and it looks like it has come down to Monte Tavor vs KISS (in Montclair, but moving to 51st/Piedmont). I'm sure they are both good choices, I've visited both twice...does anyone have substantive thoughts? Thanks! Devon

My son graduated from Monte Tavor six years ago, but I can tell you that not a day goes by that I am not grateful he had that experience! They are a very warm, caring family who treat every child with love and respect. They are truly gifted at bringing out the best in each child both socially and academically. My son still loves to visit. He made friends for life. And did I mention the food? He still talks about how awesome the meals were. Teresa

I can't speak about KISS but my son has been at Monte Tavor since he was 2 years 9 months and we've loved it. His Spanish is great and he loves the school, the food, the teachers, his friends, the yard and all the things they do there. There have been some ups and downs with communication between the school and families but overall it is a very caring place that has been a good fit for us.

The only other tip I would offer is that if there is any chance you want to go to EBI for elementary school, you should think about sending your child there for pre-K too - most of the preschoolers stay on so there are only a very few (and very competitive) spots for the K class for 'outsiders'. But there are also two great public school options in Oakland if you wanted to continue the Spanish for K-8 - Melrose Leadership Academy and Manzanita SEED. good luck!

June 2011

I have an active, 2.5 year old boy and looking to start him in preschool this Fall. Until now, he has been in a two child nanny share. I've toured many preschools and have narrowed it down to three -- Monte Tavor, Growing Light Montessori and Lakeshore Children's Center -- and I would like to hear from the BPN community. I'm especially interested in hearing from parents who've graduated from Monte Tavor but did not continue with a biliginual education - how was the transition, was your child behind, etc. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

We started our daughter at Monte Tavor about three months ago, so I can speak a bit on that school. She was 18 months old at the time, we were looking for preschools for when she turned two but they had space in their daycare and we decided to seize the opportunity since she was already acting so social and interested in other children. She knew no Spanish when she started and has learned quite a bit already. We were most impressed with the loving atmosphere and she has really fallen in love with her ''school''. One thing that grabbed me when I visited the schools was their transition policy is so gentle and they make a huge effort to make the children feel happy and comfortable. I never felt my child would be left crying in a corner as I saw one doing at one of the other schools I visited. She did adjust quickly and now loves to go there. They have excellent events to show what the children are learning. My daughter came home singing Spanish songs after two weeks, so I know she is learning a lot.

They are also very good with parental concerns. I have felt that whenever I have a concern it is addressed in a timely and thorough manner. I could go on and on but the thing that really drew us in the most was just the feeling that the kids were at Abuela's house for the day. They play and they learn and they get a lot of love. Amy

April 2009

I have seen a few questions about Bilingual daycare and preschools and want to recommend Monte Tavor in the Dimond District very highly. My son has been there for a year and has really thrived. The children do wonderful activities with art, dance, and science. There is a big outdoor space for them to play in. The teachers pay close attention to the individual needs of the children and provide a loving, positive, and supportive environment. The student group is diverse and the parent community is friendly. Several times a year Monte Tavor hosts performances and events for Monte Tavor families. Last week was a Science Fair displaying all the work the children have done exploring different habitats and the animals that live in them. Another big plus is that Monte Tavor provides all food and the children eat very well. It's a great day care and pre-school and the amazing amount of Spanish the children learn is an added bonus. Contact: Yeira Howell, 510-531-3328

Feb 2009

I was curious to know of any past graduates as well as current students who go to Monte Tarvo preschool? I am thinking of sending my twins there who are 17 months as grand lake montessori has no room. Most of the posts are old and I was curious to know of both the old and the new families. For the graduates or past students how well did they thrive in the environment and how well prepared were they for the next step? For current students anything you can say I would greatly appreciate. reagan

Monte Tavor was the best decision I have ever made for my son. My son was accepted into several highly competitive private schools, but that isn't even in my top five reasons for choosing Monte Tavor. First off, it is a loving, nurturing environment where kids are made to feel safe. My son was encouraged to be a thoughtful, caring, thinking human being. He is an only child, but the way he dealt (and deals) with younger children amazes me, and for that I have the wonderful family who runs Monte Tavor. They put so much energy into caring for each child, you would sometimes think your child is the only one for whom they care. They acknowledge and appreciate children's different learning styles, and treat them all with the deepest respect. On top of that, your child will be fully fluent in both English and Spanish. Even though my son no longer gets to speak much Spanish, it has greatly encouraged his language and literary skills. Parent of Proud Monte Tavor Alum

Oct 2008

Re: Full-time, playbased, preschool near Glenview
Our daughter is in daycare full time at Monte Tavor, a bilingual play based pre school/daycare near Fruitvale and Macarthur. They have a huge yard, do lots of creative play and art, and all the kids seem really happy, and we love it. Oh, and they learn Spanish. I think they have a few openings. Call Yeira (pronounced Jada) at (510) 531-3328. Molly

April 2007

Hello. We went to see Monte Tavor and were thrilled with their program, however the price was far beyond what we are able to pay. It would have worked out to be over 2000 a month for part time! Is this a normal amount for part time? I am wondering because we may need to change our ideas about what we can afford for the girls and go with a home daycare. Alexis

I visited Monte Tavor last fall when I was searching for a pre- school for my two-year-old. I will only address the tuition, since that is what you inquired about. The owner and her daughter seemed hesitant to provide any initial tuition information until after they had ''screened'' me on what I did for a living, what my husband did, where we lived, etc. It made me question if they have different tuition ''plans'' for different people. Regardless, I found their monthly full-time cost to be much higher than average (although I can't remember the amount that I was quoted, it was less than $2,000 for full-time for a toddler). Nina

Feb 2007

Our 3-yr old has been attending Monte Tavor in Okland for amost 6 months now. We wrestled with the decision to send her to a top-rated Montessori preschool or to MT, which is a play-based program. We were concerned that she would not get enough mental stimulation in a non-Montessori setting. We eventually chose MT for three reasons - the first was frankly that it was closer to our home (never underestimate the importance of a convenient commute). The second reason we chose it was for the bilingual aspect. We felt strongly that the benefit of acquiring a second language naturally far outweighed anything she would be exposed to at Montessori school and we have no cause to regret our decision. She gets plenty of learning through physical activity, singing, storytime, art and social interaction, AND all in Spanish which she already speaks better than I do. The teachers are loving and observant and she has made some great friends among the extremely diverse group of kids, and the diversity was the third reason we chose MT. It was important to us as a biracial family to have our daughter (and us) meet and interact with people of different ethnicities and cultures. In short, I can highly recommend MT if your values are similar to ours in any way. Mom of an MT preschooler

Oct 2006

I'm looking for recent feedback on Monte Tavor, a Spanish immersion preschool in Oakland's Dimond district. The reviews in the archives are a few years old, and I am having a difficult time locating any other information about this school. Thanks

My son attended Monte Tavor for nearly four years. He graduated in August 2006 and now goes to kindergarten. In those four years he became fluent in Spanish, learned to read in both languages, ate great nutritious food, performed in bi-annual plays and dance presentations, learned to LOVE art and music, made a zillion friends, and fell head-over-heels in love with his teachers. Those are just SOME of the things I credit MT with. That said, in the 4 years we were there, MT has grown quite a bit, adding more space thus children and teachers. Most of the teacher's there speak mainly Spanish-- so communication for english-only parents is usually limited to the main teachers, but it worked fine for us.

Overall, I would not hesitate to reccomend Monte Tavor as a pre school. The Howell family, who run the place, know what kids need to thrive. They were an extremely positive influence in our son's early life and we will be forever grateful to them.

I have posted about Monte Tavor before, but it must not have made it into the archives. My 3 3/4 year old son and 21 month old daughter attend Monte Tavor and it has been wonderful place for our children. My son has attended since he was 18 months old and is now in the preschool. My daughter started at Monte Tavor at six months. They are both thriving and we feel very lucky to have found such a special daycare/preschool. One of the aspects that most attracted us to Monte Tavor was that it seemed to be a very warm and caring environment and that has proven to be true. We are also very happy about the diversity of children and parents and the number of non- traditional families.

The director and staff have also gone out of their way to work on issues that we were concerned about such as when my son needed to start wearing glasses before age three. At the time we mentioned it to the director, Yeira, and she said she would try to make it special and fun for him. So while my son was waiting for his glasses to be ready, his entire group at Monte Tavor read books about children getting glasses and talked about his getting glasses and by the time his glasses were ready, most of the other children wanted glasses too. So Yeira went out and got play glasses for all of them to wear. By the time my son's real glasses arrived he was so excited. Anyway, my point is that Monte Tavor went out of their way to work on this and make it successful for my son and it really made a difference. Monte Tavor was also amazing when my son was ready to potty train and helped a whole group of children who were ready to potty train together.

Because the staff at Monte Tavor speak almost entirely in Spanish to the children, all of the children are bilingual -- even when little or no Spanish is spoken at home. My son is completely bilingual and even my 21-month old is starting to impress us with her Spanish vocabulary.

Lastly, we have been very happy with what our children are learning at Monte Tavor -- both socially and academically. We are very confident they will be in great shape for kindergarten when the time comes. Feel free to contact me off-list if you have other specific questions.
A Very Happy Monte Tavor Parent

March 2006

Salutations! Seeking Spanish Bilingual Preschool for my 2year old daughter in Oakland Anyone with experience with their child at Monte Tavor Preschool please let me know how it went..or if you have other recomendations I'd love to hear of others. Contact: heidi

Monte Tavor has been a wonderful place for our children and we could not be happier. My three-year-old son has been in the toddler house for 1 1/2 years (and will be in the preschool in the fall) and my 14-month-old daughter has now been with Angela in the Infant house for 8 months. They are both thriving and we feel very lucky to have found such a special place for our children. We feel like our children are really treasured and recognized as the special human beings they are by the director and staff at Monte Tavor. And I hear other parents say the same thing. One of the aspects that most attracted me to Monte Tavor when I was looking to transition my son from a nanny share to a family daycare was that is seemed to be an incredibly caring and loving environment. And that has proven to be true.

Recently my toddler needed to start wearing glasses and we were worried about his accepting this change. We spoke to the director, Yeira, about it and she said she would make it special and fun for him. So while my son was waiting for his glasses to be ready, his entire group at Monte Tavor read books about children getting glasses and talked about his getting glasses and by the time his glasses were ready, most of the other children wanted glasses too. So Yeira went out and got play glasses for all of them to wear as well! My son now LOVES his glasses! And he loves to talk about his friends and teachers at Monte Tavor.

Because the staff at Monte Tavor speak almost entirely in Spanish to the children, all the children are bilingual -- even when little or no Spanish is spoken at home. My son is completely bilingual and even my 14-month-old is already shaking or nodding her head in response to questions in Spanish and is starting to sing along to songs in Spanish that we play at home. We speak very little Spanish at home, but are learning more words from our son daily.

Lastly, while our son is not yet officially in the preschool, we know from how much he has learned already - and from our parent-teacher conferences - that in the pre-school program he will be well-prepared for kindergarten both academically and socially. Monte Tavor puts equal emphasis on both aspects of preparation.
Very Happy Monte Tavor Parent

Jan 2006

Besides a 2003 review of Monte Tavor, does anybody have anything to say about this bilingual program? I have a 21 month old for whom I am seeking a bilingual daycare, and/or preschool. Thanks, Jessie

My son has attended Monte Tavor since he was an infant; he's now five years old and choosing MT is the best decision we ever made for him.

The teachers at MT care for and value each child with the diginity they deserve. The children receive so much individual attention, sometimes you'd swear your child was the only one there.

They honor each child's learning style, and create an environment in which each child's strengths are respected. When my son was a toddler, if the preschoolers were studying a topic which would interest yet challenge him, he was always invited to participate. My son has come home hav ing learned things I never would've even thought of teaching him myself. And he's completely fluent in both Spanish and English. Teresa

August 2003

Re: preschool openings
Monte Tavor is a wonderful bilingual preschool located in Oakland off of Fruitvale ave. They have a loving, stimulating, healthy environment. My son is thriving there. I don't think they have a waiting list. They can be reached at 510-336-1789 Susan, a happy Monte Tavor Mother

March 2003

In addition to the one 2001 posting, does anyone have positive or negative experiences with Monte Tavor Childcare Center and Preschool to share? We are actively considering it for our 14 month-old son. Thanks very much. Avi

My two daughters went to a small bilingual preschool called Monte Tavor in Oakland (Diamond District on Laguna Avenue off of MacArthur - close to Hiway 580, Fruitvale Ave exit). It is run by a family originally from Nicaragua. You can reach Monte Tavor at 510-336-9629. Ask for Yeira (pronounced Jada) Carol

Our two year old son has been at Monte Tavor since December. He seems to really love it. It has a diverse bunch of children and a great teacher/child ratio. They speak Spanish and English, and our son is already counting in Spanish as well as saying a few other words. (We, being English speaking only parents, are thrilled!) We also have been very pleased with our interactions with the teachers and feel confident they really care about the development and well being of our son. bhaswell

April 2003

This is in response to the parent looking for bilingual day care at Monte Tavor:

We adopted about six months ago and, after three months, needed to find some child care. A friend from our adoption class recommended checking out Monte Tavor, which was very close to our house and seemed convenient.

We were both sold on the school right away. The children in daycare become a part of the family at Monte Tavor. It feels like I'm dropping my son off at my mom's house instead of a licensed daycare site. It is an incredibly loving and nurturing environment for the kids - where the kids get plenty of outdoor play, stimulation when they need it, and a time to be reflective when they don't.

We knew that our son had been bounced around a bit in the system and would need a loving environment. Since he started attending daycare, we've seen him flourish and become more and more comfortable intereacting with other adults and children.

Although we both speak Spanish, we knew that our accents and lack of coloquial Spanish would be a hinderance in our son's development of two languages, so we were thrilled that they conduct most activities in Spanish. Although our son is still not speaking, he responds now to their commands in Spanish as well as ours in English. All of the staff is bilingual, although the director primarily speaks Spanish.

Finally, as a gay couple, we thought we might have some problems with the staff or with the other parents. It turns out, Monte Tavor is a microcosm of the Bay Area, with an abundance of racial and orientation diversity. If you're looking for a very loving and accepting bilingual daycare setting, definetly check out Monte Tavor. If you have any questions, please drop me a line. David

Feb. 2003

Re: Spanish Language Pre-school?
My two daughters went to a small bilingual preschool called Monte Tavor in Oakland (Diamond District on Laguna Avenue off of MacArthur - close to Hiway 580, Fruitvale Ave exit). It is run by a family originally from Nicaragua. You can reach Monte Tavor at 510-336-9629. Ask for Yeira (pronounced Jada) Carol

September 2001

I am thinking of sending my 6 month old to Monte Tavor family daycare (there is also a pre-school next door) in Oakland and am wondering if anyone has experience there and can give me any feedback. P.Chatterton/M.McMichael

My daughter has been at Monte Tavor since she was 3 1/2 months old She is now six and goes there for just over an hour each morning before school. I can highly recommend them for care. You couldn't find a more loving woman to take care of your child than Angela. And she chooses her helpers very carefully too. Angela is particularly wonderful with the infants and smaller children. Your child will be so loved, held, played with and stimulated in all the right ways. I am a single mom and Angela and her family and helpers were a godsend to me. Her's was the very first place I checked out and I was immediately drawn to the love she radiated. I couldn't find that anywhere else I looked. I sometimes have to travel on business and I've always been comfortable leaving my daugther there overnight, knowing that she'd be part of the family and perfectly happy to stay with them. Another benefit is that your child will be exposed to Spanish all day long. I purposed wanted bilingual childcare, but wondered if this would mean that my daughter would not learn English since she was there more than she was with me. But she knew the difference between home and daycare and never had a problem. With me, she has always spoken English; when she walks in the door at Angela's, she rattles away in Spanish. I think that is a wonderful plus for a child. Even if your child does not stay through their preschool as mine did, the everyday exposure to Spanish in the formative years will make learning the language much easier when your child is older. Carol