New House Day School

Community Subscriber

Berkeley, CA

Facility Type[?]:
Home Daycare
DSS Facility License #
010213948 [view license]
Ana Mabel Perez
510-524-3465 for text and call
thenewhousedayschool [at]
Hopkins near The North Berkeley Library
Maximum Capacity:
Language(s) Spoken:
Ages Served:
24 months - 60 months
8:30am - 5:00pm
Additional Services & Features:
Drop-in available,
Part-time available,
Sibling discount,
Snacks provided,
Special diet support,
Cloth diapers accepted,
Potty training support
About the Program:

This bilingual Spanish/English program, has been established to provide a setting in which a small group of children can meet together regularly to form a social relationships with their peers in a safe, nurturing environment. We provide age appropriate activities to facilitate pre-academic skills and we offer music classes weekly and much more. Open M-F 8:30 am-5:00 pm pm with flexible schedules.

Parent Reviews

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New House Day School is the perfect second home for our daughter.  When I first walked into the school I was immediately taken by the space; bright, fun, clean, and calm.  Mabel and her team are all amazing human beings.  Caring, kind, and they understand children.  I know my daughter is safe and well cared for while she’s at school.   It’s a small school and you can tell the children really get to know and enjoy one another.  

New House Day School is an incredible place to be a kid. As a parent I feel lucky every day my two year old gets to relish in a unique blend of art, nature, music and play. Mabel and her team have created a nurturing environment in a beautiful space for kids to safely explore the world and themselves. There is often a waitlist so if you can snag a spot it's a magical gift to give to your child. The posts below speak to the details of what makes it so special but I can attest that it's as incredible as it sounds. 

We are leaving New House Day School this fall after having sent both of our daughters there, and we are so sad to be leaving!  My first daughter started in 2017, and went from age 2-4.5, and even came back in the summer of 2020 when all of our summer camp plans fell through during the pandemic.  Our second daughter also started at New House when she was 2.  It has been an amazing place for both girls to grow and learn, in a play-based environment lovingly tended by Mabel and her wonderful teachers.  My 8 year old still loves to come back for the regular potlucks that Mabel hosts for the families.  The school feels like a little community, and we have made so many new friends.  The kids get to spend most of their day outside, every year they raise caterpillars and help plant Mabel's garden. The kids do so many open-ended art projects, and Mabel has music teachers come to the school twice a week.  They also get to visit the local library that is located just across the street, and Mabel and the teachers read to them everyday.  Mabel and several of the other teachers speak Spanish with the kids, and one of the new teachers speaks German and has been introducing some German phrases and words to the kids.  Mabel is also great about helping kids with the potty-training process.  I know she still has openings for the fall, and its' a small school, so try to get a spot if you can!

Between our 2 kids we have been at NHDS for the past 5 years and couldn't be happier with our experience. Mabel and the other teachers are nurturing, kind, and thoughtful caregivers. Our children have both thrived at New House which provides a wonderful play-based environment, music, art, games and many other varieties of fun including Pajamas and Pancakes weeks, kids cooking lunch together, local walks and field trips. Mabel really fosters building community amongst the families at the school through hosting regular gatherings and we have made great friends during our time here. I would recommend New House wholeheartedly for families looking for a welcoming, supportive and enriching experience for their young kids! 

Our son started at New House at 2 years 4 months and it has been a wonderful experience. We knew from the moment we walked through the gate that it was a special place. Mabel and the other caregivers all have a warm and loving demeanor, and you can tell they are "kid people" right away. The indoor/outdoor space is perfect for our son who loves to be outside as much as possible. There is lots of opportunity for free play and so many toys/activities for the children to engage with. It is a good balance of structure and free play and it is also a good size group of children. There is a music class with an outside provider 2x a week, walks in the neighborhood and lots of art projects. Our son is very proud of the artwork he brings home and also shows us all of the dance moves he learns in music class (which is adorable and hilarious!). The Spanish/English approach is a bonus. Our son happily runs in and starts playing every morning and when I pick him up all the children are sitting around the table eating their lunches and listening to a story read aloud. Mabel is great with helping to potty train and has a depth of experience with toddlers that we especially appreciated as first time parents. Highly recommend!

We really love the New House Day School on Hopkins near Alameda. It’s got a great community of people, is an excellent size, and is play-based with a lot of time outdoors and great field trips. The teachers are exceptional and also bring in a music teacher and other special activities. Our kid has thrived there—making great friends, learning a lot, and generally just being very happy.


My daughter and son both attended NHDS since they were ~2 years old until they aged out at 4&5. Mabel, the owner and lead teacher is an expert in early learning and child development. She has created the most loving and enriching environment. The school is like a secret garden of toys and activities. In addition to a large backyard and ample indoor space, they take the kids on walks in the lovely neighborhood (across from North Berkeley library). There is art and music every day as well as reading and lots of playing!

It is a very special place. We have also made lifelong friends with the other families. It is a caring and loving space where you can feel absolute trust and confidence. Also because it is a small school, during Covid we have been able to navigate the changing landscape by being in communication and community as a parent group and talking about what we all need in order to feel safe and comfortable. I cannot recommend NHDS enough. Also, because she runs it like a school not just a daycare, it is a great environment to prepare kids for TK & Kindergarten. 

I believe there are spaces open in August 2022.

My three year old has been at New House for the past year and we could not be happier. He is always excited to be at school, has built wonderful friendships, and spends the days outside and on walks and exploring. I really appreciate that so much of the day is spent outside--either at the school or on walks in the neighborhood. My child has learned and grown so much there, and I feel so grateful to be part of the New House community. Mabel, who is the director of the school, is a child-whisperer with such tremendous natural skills, warmth and love, and real wisdom when it comes to engaging with kids where they are and nurturing them at a critical life stage. Her whole team is phenomenal and caring. Mabel also works hard to create a strong community of families, with potlucks and celebrations. With some unexpected transitions, I understand that there are a couple of spots still open--and eager to bring great new buddies in for my kiddo's last year at New House!

My son spent two years (ages 3-5) at The New House Day School preschool and had an amazingly positive experience. Mabel is a treasure who has been offering this school out of the downstairs of her home for a few decades. She and the other teachers speak Spanish a lot and also English as needed with the ~12 kids they watch. They are all very loving, emotionally-connected and affectionate. The days are full with lots for the kids to choose from in a structured, yet child-led and play-based environment. They do cooking, outdoor play, cars/trucks, building, books, music class, lots of art, day trips, swim class options in the summer months, family pot lucks, and much much more. This place is a true hidden gem that taught both me and my son a lot about child development and how to learn and grow together as a community. We still hang out with the friends we made while there. Good luck getting a spot! 

New House Day School on Hopkins is great in this respect, and in pretty much every respect. Mabel Perez, the director, can answer any questions you have about how they manifest and teach diversity. You can tour the school with your child and see how it feels to you both. We love it and miss it (2cd and K now).


New House Day School is such an amazing place for young children and parents of young children. Both of my kids, each with very different emotional and social needs, flourished in this safe, fun, and loving space. Mabel and her staff have decades of experience and training in child development and education. She packs an incredible amount of learning, exploring, and creating into a day already full of play, reading, cooking, building, dancing, exercise, games and learning to care for little selfs and each other. She was also tremendously supportive to us, the parents when we needed an extra day of care, or a half day, or a schedule change, or help finding sitting outside of school hours. I didn't realize at the time how rare this is in a daycare/preschool provider. Our entire family feels deeply grateful to have found this school and to be a part of it's positive and wonderful community of thoughtful, fun parents and children. We also loved that our kids learned so much Spanish !!!!

When we pulled up to New House Day School this morning, my 18-month-old son started waving at the director, Mabel, like mad. He couldn't wait to get inside and start his busy, fun day. Every day is like this for Baz, who easily adjusted to day care thanks to the loving care of these beautiful people. Right now there are openings at New House for summer/fall, and I urge you to take a tour and reserve your spot now. 

At New House, the tone is set from the top: loving, balanced, well structured without being restrictive. Above all there is affection and respect for the children and families. The children pick up on this and are a delight. I am happy to say Baz will be continuing at New House next year. 

A few housekeeping details: the school accepts 2- and 3-year-olds, and potty training is not required. 

Honestly, I feel incredibly lucky to have found New House. They are willing to accommodate flexible schedules such as mine and I am thrilled to pick him up and see the huge smile on his face! Good luck in your search.

NHDS has been a wonderful place for our daughter to grow, develop, and learn.  It is well-located at The Alameda & Hopkins St in Berkeley (across the street from the library, near MLK park & pool). It is a wonderful and well-organized school with excellent care and attentive staff and fun events and activities.  I feel like my daughter is in good hands when she is there and I can always ask for detailed information about her day. The kids go to reading hour at the library every week, there are musicians that come in and play music a few days per week, they cook and do a ton of arts and crafts, go on walking field trips, swim in the summer, and there are holiday potlucks, as well as events like "Pajama & Breakfast week" (the school provides breakfast) and "Daddy Pancake Week" (different dads volunteer to cook pancakes each morning).  The list goes on and I adore and trust the owner, Mabel.   

My 21 month old son started at New House Day School a few months ago and so far the transition has been wonderful. He is learning how to interact with other children, he plays with the extensive collection of toys they have, and really enjoys the wonderful outdoor area which includes grass, a sand pit, and an array of tricycles.  The teachers are all very attentive and Mabel the owner is wonderful, warm, and a very accomadating person.  She is always there to talk about my son's day and to address any questions or concerns I may have.  What I like the most about this school is that it provides the warm environment that is so important for young children and the people that work there really seem to care about each and every child.  I would highly recommend this school to anyone that is looking.  I believe they have a few open spots as a few children are moving onto kindergarten.

New House Day School has several openings for September, 2017.  This daycare / preschool usually has a waiting list year round, but between graduations and some families moving out of town this summer there currently are some spots open for fall! 

This is an amazing program - it hits that sweet spot of homey, loving environment with loads of enrichment activities (including swimming classes each summer, field trips, music teachers, TONS of art activities, etc.).  They maintain a great ratio, and it's a bi-lingual Spanish/English program, with lots of outdoor space for kids to explore and play.  The interior space is light and bright, with several different rooms that allow the kids to really spread out.  The mixed age approach is a wonderful set up, as it allows plenty of extra care for the little ones, while the kids get to try out leadership roles as they age.  Kids are between 18 months and 5 years old (some kids stay until kindergarten, others until pre-K).  The space is set up to allow napping for nappers, but alternative space for older kids who have out grown the naps.  We have been thrilled to have our daughter there, and know that she's getting exceptional, and most important loving care.  Mabel also hosts several gathering throughout the year where parents get to socialize while the kids have a great time running around.  I can't recommend this spot enough. 

We were hesitant to send our 2 year old daughter to any preschool because she was usually so afraid to leave my side everywhere we went. Enter Mabel, Astrid, Lulu and Chantel who have been so wonderful: their positive and calm energy has made my daughter's transition there relatively effortless--something I did not at all expect when we started. She now says she misses "Mabel's" (as she calls NHDS) whenever there is a day off. 

Mabel and the other teachers have an intuitive sense of the children and know when to bring them together or let them have space. The main room is bright, spacious and cheerful. There is another building across the way with two rooms dedicated to dress up/imaginative play and other well-kept toys. Outside there is a sand box, swings and a wooden play structure, all which cover my daughter's outdoor loves. 

The kids celebrate the seasons through stories and art work, regularly take walks, and go to the North Berkeley library for storytime and go swimming in the summer. This is not a school that only ensures that your kids are safe, they also make sure they have fun and learn about the world around them. NHDS is such a caring and vibrant place and I feel lucky that my daughter's first experience of school has been so positive.

If you can find space in this daycare you should sign up right now.  My family and I were visitors in Berkeley during the fall of 2016 and we were lucky enough to get all three of our children (ages 4,4 and 2) into Mabel's New House Dayschool.  Mabel and her team of teachers provide the kind of stimulating, safe, drama-free environment that the kids might get at home only on my very best days.

Educationally, I really appreciated the music classes and bilingual environment. (Why is it so hard to find a daycare with a Spanish language program like this one?)  I was also happy that our children were allowed to play and genuinely liked going to "school".

Having had our children in 6 separate daycares at one time or another (and having toured scores) my wife and I are completely aware of how rare the New House Dayschool is.  Our children were learning, growing and, most importantly, happy there.

We couldn't be happier with this school. Our daughter started when she was 22 months old, and settled in instantly (her first visit was meant to be just an hour to settle in, but she was so happy she stayed almost all day). She runs to the door when we get there and it is such a pleasure to see her so happy.

The Director Mabel and the teachers Lulu, Pati, Chantel and Astrid are all very professional, but also incredibly loving. Our daughter just adores them. Mabel has built a really strong community at the school, with parent pot lucks and other events for families throughout the year. Parents also organise things for other families (like attending the Seussical on a Saturday).

Educationally, the program is fantastic. The mix of Spanish and English is perfect, and we love it that there are three different (but all highly qualified) music teachers who come on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. There are frequent excursions (to the library right near the school, to the pool, to Tilden park). The school is well-stocked with a huge range of high quality toys, there is a great outdoor play area, and Mabel changes her displays frequently - at the moment there is a lovely fall display with pumpkins, leaves and nests Mabel has collected from the wild, as well as beautiful collages and paintings by the kids.

My review for Mabel and her awesome teachers is long overdue!  Our son, now in 1st grade, went to New House and his little sister is in her third year there.  Another sibling will follow as soon as he's old enough! I think that pretty much says it all there, but here's some specifics of why we love the school so much:

  • Our daughter skips in to school every day and pushes me out the door
  • The community- Mabel hosts wonderful potlucks for parents to get to know each other
  • Lawrence Hall of Science, Little Farm and library field trips 
  • Our children love music and get tons of it from the music teachers who come 3-4x a week
  • Optional swim lessons at King pool in the summer!
  • Our daughter was potty trained at 2, and not because of us :)
  • We have awesome artwork all over our walls
  • Exposure to multiple languages
  • The love- so much love gets showered upon the children

I cannot say enough good things about Mabel and her school, and I'm thrilled we'll have several more years with the New House Team! 

Our daughter started attending New House Day School when she was 18 months. The Director Mabel and the teachers Lulu, Pati, Chantel and Astrid have been absolutely incredible. I immediately felt like my daughter was in good hands with them. They have created a beautiful loving, warm, fun, educational, clean and safe environment for our daughter to grow in. 

Our daughter comes home everyday happy, and excited about her day. Usually in her spare set of clothes wich to me is a sign that she's had a really good time. During the summer they get them in their bathing suits, slather them in sunscreen and let them play in the sprinklers. They do tons of fun art projects and have lots of toys to play with and books to read.  On many occasions I've walked in to find Mabel sitting with the kids and captivating them with a story book. They have music day on Wednesday when a music teacher comes in to sing songs in both Spanish and English which my daughter absolutely loves. And she has even come home speaking some Spanish at her own free will. 

When she started our daughter was not potty trained yet, and they helped her ease into the transition. 

We are very happy with New House day school and will be sending our next child there when he or she is ready. We look forward to seeing new faces there and building the New House Day school Community.

Our son joined New House Day School when he was 20 months old after looking at several daycares in the area. We could not be happier. Our son has thrived and developed into a happy, playful, inquisitive well adapted boy. Mabel, the school director, has created an amazing program that balances tons of play, art, music, learning and adventure, that makes the kids feel happy and safe, and all of the parents like NHDS is our second family. The teachers at the school are patient and loving, and know exactly what to do in every situation, they are an integral part of how amazing NHDS is. I could not recommend Mabel and NHDS more!

If you are looking for a preschool for your child, please consider New House Day School. This is a wonderful school, and I cannot recommend it enough. The teachers are very warm, engaged, and loving with the children, it's always a small group so kids get a lot of attention, and there are tons of extra activities that the school offers, including swimming classes 4 days a week during the summer, music classes multiple days a week all year long, science classes, field trips, cooking, and trips to the library. The classroom environment is beautiful -- full of light, clean, with tons of activities and toys the children can engage with. My daughter has become a much more confident, independent, and social child since she has started at this school. I could not ask for better!

OPENINGS FOR FALL 2016 AT NEW HOUSE DAY SCHOOL. Accepting boys and girls, ages 2-3 years old. Do no have to be potty trained. Warm & nurturing environment, play based focus with lots of activities such as music 3 times a week, field trips to Lawrence Hall of Science, reading at North Berkeley Library, and swimming classes in the summer. Year round program. Small classroom (10 kids a day) with 2-3 teachers daily. Extended care available. Though not officially bi-lingual program, Spanish is regularly spoken and songs are taught in English and Spanish. I cannot praise Mabel & the other teachers enough. Read the reviews- truly an incredible place to have your child spend their days.


Our son has been going to New House since he was 20 months old and will now be graduating and going to kindergarten with his big brother. I can't recommend this school highly enough!

From the very first days, we felt totally embraced by the incredible teachers there. They are full of love and smarts and are generous and kind.

We LOVE this place.
And will miss it.

Our older son went to a different preschool and we thought it was good... until we came to New House. Then we realized, ''Oh... it can be like this?!'' Truly amazing. Great community. Loving teachers. Great curriculum full of dance + art + music + books.

Our little guy is totally ready for kindergarten (even though he is only going into T-K)

If you have more questions, feel free to reach out to me.
Andrea Scher [email protected]

Hello! Our daughter's preschool New House Day School in Berkeley has an opening for this coming June 2015 onward. It has been a lovely preschool. We chose to send her there because it was one of the most loving, and play based environments. The teachers are experienced, and their approach to children is so loving. There is a strong sense of community between the parents that send their children there and most of them are still in touch years later. The owner's name is Mabel and her number is: 510 524 3465 As our daughter moves onto her next school, I wanted to post this message to our community in case you or anyone you know is looking for a play based, loving, clean day care environment in Berkeley. The spots fill up quickly so I suggest you call Mabel right away. Location: Hopkins and Alameda in Berkeley Time slots: 8:30- 3:30 M-F + extended evening care. 12-14 kids ages 18 months and up, with 2 -3 teachers. Thank you ...

Archived Q&A and Reviews

May 2016

RE:  Spanish language daycare/preschool

New House Day School is in North Berkeley on Hopkins and Spanish is very integrated into the program. They take kids starting at 18 months, and I think have a few openings left for Septemeber. We've been thrilled with the school, the teachers are warm and caring, they do all sorts of trips and walks and activities, the space is expansive with lots of options for the kids. Liza

Feb 2015

We are so happy with New House Day School!

Expert bilingual teachers guide, provide for, and dote on our two kids (2 and 4) from 8:30-3:30 and sometimes til 5:30, in a cheerful, clean, inviting school. The school is bilingual Spanish/English, but the rich instruction attracts families from all over the world, so its a wonderful environment for kids to learn about one other and for parents to compare notes on raising thoughtful, compassionate children.

I love the space: a main room for singing, dancing and eating together, another bright room for dress-up and free-play, and a courtyard with garden, clubhouse, and every kind of wheeled object you can imagine. My kids are very different, but both are thriving at New House. Playing, singing and learning so much: like table manners, using their words when they have a strong feeling, writing their name, and transitioning out of diapers.

The director and teachers are exceptionally experienced and inspired. Their skills and wisdom afford a spaciousness to their actions - they just always seems to have plenty of time to sit down and work with each individual child or to organize a field trip, a fire drill, or a birthday party. I would encourage you to come see for yourself! Its located at MLK and Hopkins near the North Berkeley Branch Library. Simply call Ana Mabel Perez to set up a time to come and observe with your child (there are openings for girls right now 2-5, i believe). Maybe you will catch one of the music lessons or enjoy a pancake on a Dad's breakfast morning

New House Day School
Ana Mabel Perez (510) 524 3465
- New House day school parent

June 2013

At New House Day School, my daughter has gotten so many of the advantages of a preschool, but with the intimacy of a small daycare. They offer science and library field trips, swimming and music lessons, and do projects in cooking, gardening, etc. The staff is warm, loving, and thoughtful. My daughter has a special diet and they've been very conscientious about it. The children play in a sunny, open addition in the back, with three classrooms, a grassy outdoor area, a clubhouse, a trike area, sandbox, and swing set. The staff is made up of a stable, professional group of adults who are all experienced teachers and moms. We wanted a bilingual school, and the teachers at New House are all bilingual in either Spanish or French, with a diverse group of teachers and kids. My daughter is getting a wonderful play-based education.

They also have pot luck parties at least quarterly for all of the families. I love this! Families love the school so much that they come to the parties with kids who have already graduated.

When I have needed extended care, they've been incredibly flexible and affordable. They have openings for both boys and girls this summer and fall. Any family would be lucky to join our school community!

May 2012

As a parent of two boys, age 4 1/2, and 2 1/2, my husband and I would like to recommend the New House Day School in Berkeley. My older son has been at the preschool for two years now and my younger son started last September 2011. It has been a truly wonderful place for both of our boys. The staff is superb;very experienced and very caring. We really feel as though our children are LOVED! Mabel, who is in charge has also cultivated a lovely parent/family community within the preschool. There are regular potluck get togethers where all families are invited and they are fun for all. Our older son will be leaving in September for kindergarten and although he is sad he is leaving, Mabel and the rest of the staff could not have prepared him better. It has been the perfect balance of play, learning, and social development. We are looking forward to our younger son flourishing at the New House Day School for several more years to come. athina

March 2012

Do you have a daughter who needs to start preschool in Fall 2012? There is a rare opening at The New House Day School! They are looking for girls 3-4 years old to attend this ''magical place'' as many of us parents of current and past students call this preschool.

It is a play-based preschool with warm, nurturing environment. The teachers have all been there for many years and have incredible connection with the kids. This is my daughter's third year and the teachers have been great at providing age-appropriate activities so that every year she has continued to learn and be challenged while having loads of fun.

The school also hosts several potlucks a year so that parents get to know each other and build a strong community where we share information and assist each other in times of need.

If you're interested, please contact the Director, Mabel Perez at 510-524-3465. The hours are 8:30 to 3:30 and you can choose a 3,4 or 5 day program. You can also contact me if you would like more information. K

March 2012

My son is in his third year at NHDS. We love it. The director is amazing and the staff are all loving and dedicated. There is a great play space. In the summer the kids go to King Pool for swim lessons. There are also dance and music classes in the school. There are two openings for GIRLS, ages 2-4, starting in the summer or fall. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or for more information. Or call the school at 510-524-3465.

Nov 2011

On the fall of 2011, New House Day School is going to have openings for preschool kids. Mabel Perez, the Director of the School is a great teacher and person that runs and excellent play based program for young kids.

My son, now in Kinder, learned how to be a good human being and take care of the others kids around them because he had excellent nurturing teachers.

The program include lots of art, movement, music, swimming on summers, etc. Plus the parent's community are great, we did really good friends at Mabel's School. Laura

Nov 2011

Our daughter has attended the New House Day School (NHDS) for three years and we've been really impressed with how warm, nurturing and creative the environment is. Class sizes are intimate and the staff has remained largely unchanged during the entire time she'd been a student there.

They also have a regular cast of great ''guest stars'' outside the internal staff who come in regularly and play music, run dance classes etc. It's an environment that fosters creativity, encourages imaginary play and the arts, yet still provides suitable structure that we feel is equally important.

We often find our daughter singing in Spanish at home, which is important to us as our mixed heritage is part Latino. The students have been consistently diverse as well, which we also value. There's a really warm, family vibe among staff, parents and children alike.

Since they haven't had a lot of student attrition, there's going to be many openings shortly across ages 2 to 5 since a whole gang of kids are about to ''graduate'' next year. We will truly look back fondly on our daughter's time there and recommend this special place very highly to any parents looking for a loving, safe sanctuary like the NHDS. Mabel Perez is the Director (510) 524-3465. It's located in North Berkeley near the corner of Hopkins & The Alameda. The Z's

Oct 2011

My daughter's preschool will have openings in Fall 2012 for boys and girls 2-4 years old. If you're looking for a warm, nurturing, play-based, shorter day (8:30 - 3:30) preschool, make sure to check out the New House Day School. It's a magical place where the kids thrive because they are happy, parents are happy because the kids are happy, and the teachers are all wonderful, experienced people who have been teaching at this school for years.

The school has music and dance programs, walking trips around the neighborhood, LHS fieldtrips for 3+ year olds in the Spring, and frequent potlucks so the parents can get to know each other. The facility is bright and sunny and always immaculately clean. The teachers all get to know your child well and will discuss any issues immediately with the parent. Oh, and did I mention that all the teachers are bilingual in either Spanish or French so the kids get exposed to another language?

If you're interested, contact the director, Mabel Perez, at 510-524-3465. Or if you'd like a parent's opinion, email me and I'll be happy to talk more about the school. Kazumi zumi

Sept 2010

The New House Day School located on Hopkins near The Alameda has two openings for boys between 2.5 and 3.5. I have been a parent at this school for four years and enthusiastically endorse it as a first preschool experiences. The teachers are extremely tuned in to each child's preferences and mood. The kids play, have circle time, do art, learn social studies and science at an age appropriate level, and play outside. The day goes from 8.30 to 3.30 and schedules can be 3 days, 4 days or 5 days.
Contact: Mabel Perez, 510-524-3465
License: has one, but i don't know it

Sept 2010

Our daughter just started her second year at ''Mabel's school'' and has been extremely happy there. It is a very warm, nurturing, play-based preschool where the teachers are very engaged with every child. All the teachers are bilingual (Spanish or French) and there is also music and dance programs. Please read the reviews in the archive because they are all still true! School is open from 8:30 to 3:30 and you can choose a 3, 4 or 5 day schedule. I believe there are currently openings for two 2.5 to 3.5 year old boys. Feel free to contact the Director, Mabel Perez directly for more information. Her number is 510-524-3465. Happy Parent

Sept 2010

The fabulous Mabel Perez, director of New House Day School in N.Berkeley, has just informed me that there is an unexpected and rare opening for this fall. My advice is run, don't walk, to this wonderful preschool! All of our children have spent ages 2-4 at NHDS and have all thrived and been exceptionally well-prepared for kindergarten, both socially and academically; and better yet, the older ones still speak of their adventures and time there with great fondness. A truly formative experience for preschoolers - tons of art and music, loving engaged teachers, free play and structured time both, bilingual, great play yard with a vegetable garden and fruit trees. In-home, 12 kids, 3 teachers. Located across from N. Berkeley library. Ages 2-4. Opening for a boy. Call Mabel at (510)524-3465 NHDS momma

July 2009

Re: Pre-K programs with shorter day
I can highly recommend New House Day School, on the corner of Hopkins and Alameda in N.Berkeley as a fabulous preschool with a shorter day and 3 to 5 day a week options, M-F from 8:30 to 3:30. We currently have our 3.5 year old there. She loves it and is excited to go to ''school'' where they strike a lovely balance between free play, structured play, and learning. My now 7 year old just the other day said that his time at New House was ''the best time of his life so far''. There is a sun- filled yard with swings and playhouses and a veggie garden and apple tree, loads of art projects inside, a whole two rooms devoted to play and dress-up, and teachers who are loving and fun. Dance and music classes weekly, and walks to library for story time there. My older kids were extremely well prepared for Kindergarten, both academically and socially. The director is Mabel Perez, 524-3465. Rebecca

March 2009

Our son has attended New House Day School on Hopkins (across from the North Berkeley branch library) for two years. We highly recommend it. It is a wonderful, loving environment for todders and preschoolers. The small total number of children attending each day guarantees close interactions between a multi-age grouping of children, close attention and guidance from the director and teachers, and ample opportunities for extended play and exploration for the children. There are two bright and colorful indoor spaces, and a sizable outside area with swings, sandbox, lawn, lots of balls, a small playhouse, and three-wheeled scooters. The director and teachers are highly experienced early childhood educators, and they offer a supportive learning environment with developmentally appropriate cooking, art, play, language (English and Spanish), literacy, and science activities. They are excellent with parents, always having the time to talk about the children's day, aspects of child development and parenting, and the school's recent events and activities.. Contact: Mabel, 510-524-3465

March 2009

Our son's preschool has openings for the next school year (Sept 09). This is our second year and we've been always very happy with the program, teachers and the place itself. Mabel hires professional music and dance teachers, who come once a week, the kids go to the NB Library for Story Time, she organizes swimming classes in the summer and Lawrence Hall of Science classes in the spring. The school is added to the rear of the directors' home and is separate from it. It's clean, bright, well organized, there are two large spaces for kids to play in and a nice yard equipped with a play house, swings, etc. There are 2-3 teachers any given day with up to 12 children aging 2-4.

Two years ago, when my son was just 2 I have looked at many places and this one I have immediately felt comfortable with. The atmosphere is warm, the teachers gentle with kids, they give helpful advices if you have behavioral questions(Mabel and couple more techers have been teaching for 25 years).

I recommed it very highly. Please call the school directly. Hours of operation: 8:30-3:30 Contact: Mabel, 510-524-3465

March 2004

I've read the many positive reviews of New House Day School in the archives, and we are thinking about it for the fall when my daughter will be 2.4 years. I'd love to talk to the parent of a current (or recently graduated) New House child about your experiences there. Anyone willing to take a few minutes would be most appreciated. Thanks! Kathleen

My son, now 3yr 2mo, has been at the New House Dayschool since he was 21 months old and I can highly recommend it. The owner and director, Mabel, and the two other teachers, Chantal and Lulu, are all wonderful teachers and mediators of young folks. While they are particularly good at making first-time preschoolers feel comfortable away from their parents, they also do a marvelous job of catering to the needs of the older kids with more challenging experiences such as field trips, a series of classes at the Lawrence Hall of Science, weekly trips to the North Branch Library, music, dance and swim classes. The curriculum is completely age-appropriate, in my opinion -- around 75% free play, 25% structured time (meals, circle time). I'm constantly and pleasantly surprised by what my son has learned through play and song -- bits of geography, reading, writing, languages, social traditions, etc.. Not to mention interaction skills. I also appreciate that Mabel hosts potlucks every few months so that you have the opportunity to get to know the other families. There is much more for me to rave about, but I'd better stop there. You may contact me if you want more details. Alison

February 2004

My family is moving to Berkeley next month and we are considering sending our 3 year old to New House Day School. I read the wonderful reviews of it from last year. Does anyone have any info/advice/experiences they could share with us on the school? We are looking for a small community oriented place for our child...Thanks. star

I can't say enough good things about New House Day School! My son went there for about a year...we only changed to Centro VIDA because he'd been on the waitlist there forever and we wanted a bilingual school. My son still talked about Mabel and New House for many months after changing to the new school. It's a small school with a wonderful family feel. I loved the friendly, informality of the school -- Mabel could recount from memory everything my son did and said during the day. She and Chantal were genuinely warm and caring with my son and they always planned interesting projects and field trips. I'd be glad to tell you more if you wanted to email me. Tana

My two-and-a-half-year-old daughter just started at the New House Day School last month, and while our experience is therefore obviously limited, I've been quite impressed so far. I was fully convinced my daughter, who does not especially enjoy being around (a) strangers or (b) other children, would last about 15 minutes in whatever preschool we chose, but Mabel and Chantal (and, presumably, Lulu, the third teacher who I haven't actually had much contact with) have been fantastic at engaging her in activities while also respecting her desire NOT to participate, or to participate in a limited way that feels safer for her, when she's feeling anxious. I can see that their gentle approach to integrating her there is making her more and more comfortable each day. The last time I went to pick her up -- only her 4th or 5th day at school -- there was no request that we leave, and in fact it was all I could do to entice her to get into the car! The facilities are beautiful -- light and airy, with wonderful toys and art supplies -- and the yard is full of fun toys, play-houses, a trampoline, etc. We are very happy with our decision. (And the other kids seem nice, too!) Anonymous

Oct. 2003

The New House Day School has an opening for a girl, age 3 to 3+, and if you have never heard of or visited this in- home center you are in for a treat. Our older child spent 2 years there, still talks about it, and is jealous of his 3 year old brother who is currently there and who, the other morning, was literally begging me to hurry up so we could go to his school. It is that kind of place. Mabel strikes a perfect balance of free-play and some structure (regular singing circle and snack time) with the 8-12 kids she and her loving assistants, Chantal and Lu Lu, care for. She has converted the entire back of her sun-filled home and backyard into a kid heaven - endless trains, trucks and sandboxes, dress-up corners overflowing with costumes, forts, pillows to flop on, books and blocks, all impressively organized and clean. Mabel and her school are a treasure. An opening is hard to come by. Call her for more information and further references. Contact: Mabel Perez, 524-3465

February 2003

Re: Intimate, warm preschool with fewer than 20 kids
The preschool where our daughter goes, The New House Day School, is just as you describe -- very warm, friendly, great kids and loving staff. It is operated from a home, though this past year a remodel has given the school its own space, with three playrooms and a large play yard (complete with swings, sandbox, a grassy area, a vegetable garden box, and a large two-story play house). We have about 12 kids and three teachers (two have run the school together for many years). We take field trips to the Little Farm, classes at the Lawrence Hall of Science, weekly trips to the North Berkeley library across the street, weekly dance class, and for the older ones, summer swimming classes at the King pool. The kids do lots of arts and crafts, circle time, puzzles, games and free play. It's a very happy place! And the school particularly needs 3 and 4-year-old girls for this coming year for an ideal balance. Contact Mabel Perez at 524-3465. Kate


Re: "Traditional" school 2-3 mornings a week
I think our preschool, the New House Day School in North Berkeley, would be worth checking out. This school is a traditional model, small home-based, with around 12-14 children. Some attend part-time, others full-time, in all configurations. Part-time has its own tuition. The program includes lots of art, lots of pre-academic skills building, field trips to the Little Farm and such, walks around the neighborhood, weekly trips to the library (across the street). They take the older kids to weekly workshops at the Lawrence Hall of Science in the spring (you have to be three for that, I think; there are always several who don't go, and one teacher stays with them and does other activities). They grow things in the garden and harvest the vegetables, and have a large play yard with different activity areas. A dance teacher comes once a week. The teachers speak Spanish and French, along with English. The two main teachers have run the school as a team for many years. Of course, what really counts is the happiness of the kids, and they seem very happy indeed there, secure and stimulated. My kids love their teachers, the school, and their schoolmates, and are always excited to go there (even my son, who is now in kindergarten, but loves to visit). For more information, call Mabel Lopez at 524-3465. Kate

Feb. 2002

We are considering sending our daughter to the New House Dayschool on Hopkins Street, run by Mabel Perez. We couldn't find any information on the UCB website about this particular school. We'd appreciate hearing any recent experiences, positive or negative. We prefer a preschool setting where most children are not attending full-time so that we can develop friendships with other families who have one stay-at-home parent. Because Mabel does offer full-time car, this could be an issue at New House--so we'd appreciate hearing from part-timers especially. Do families get to know each other? Are part-time children upset when their friends stay and they have to go home?

Regarding the parent who was considering sending their child to Mabel Perez's New House Preschool on Hopkins - our response is an unequivocal YES! Our daughter Sylvie attended Mabel's (pronounced mah-belle) pre-school for 2 delightful years. It was amazing what an enriching program she manages to run, and we had a very difficult time when it was time to leave. We especially appreciated the afternoon spanish and sign language classes, and the Hall of Science workshops. The kids also go to the North Branch library weekly for story hour and the older kids attend swim classes for 6 weeks at King Pool in the summer. The head morning teacher, Chantal, is French and there are many languages accomodated. Mabel is determined that the families get together and she hosts many hilarious potlucks. Her warm and engaging personally, as well as that of the other teachers, is a big part of what makes her school such a hit. You and your child will both be lucky if you choose The New House Preschool. Kristin