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Archived Q&A and Reviews
Our 2-year-old twins have been going to Nini's for the past year, since we've moved to Berkeley. No words would be enough to say how much we appreciate Anita and her staff. We've looked at 8 different places before choosing this one, and couldn't be happier with our decision. There are between 6-12 kids at the daycare each day, ours stayed full time (8-5:30) 5 days a week. Anita and Marlam greet the kids each morning with a smile and a home cooked delicious and rich breakfast -- richer than any breakfast we could have prepared ourselves. They continue to lots of play, music (2 different teachers come to music class from outside!), arts, books, and lots of outdoor play. Lunch is again homemade by Anita, with rich, diverse, organic food. The kids always ate well and slept well after lunch! Most importantly, Anita has lot of love and a lot of experience and we could see how she puts thought in every child's needs. She always showed deep thinking, high professionalism, and endless caring. The boys also adored Marlam and Bessy and the rest of the staff and during the weekends always wanted to go to daycare. We couldn't have imagined finding such a daycare to welcome us on our first year in Berkeley, and can't stop thinking how lucky we were to come across Nini's daycare. We recommend this place without hesitation, and would be happy to answer any questions and give more information about our experience. A.P.
Re: Recommendations for in home daycare near El Cerrito
I would like to reccomend Nini's Place in the Richmond Annex. It is very convenient to El Cerrito and is on San Pablo Ave. Anita (Nini) has been caring for babies/toddlers in her home-based daycare for over 20 years. She has two warm and caring women working with her. There are typically 6-12 kids there each day. She has a big backyard with a big play structure and lots and lots of great toys to play with. Kids get a bunch of outdoor time each day (weather permitting). She provides healthy, organic, delicious food for the kids and they typically eat very well there. The best thing about Nini's is that she provides lots of enrichment activities. The kids do a huge variety of art and craft projects, have a gymboree type class once a week and a music class (both with outside teachers) once per week. Nini throws parties for the kids throughout the year and is happy to text pictures to anxious parents of what your kid is doing during the day. Most importantly the kids are all so happy and well cared for. Our son attended from 6 months of age till he left for preschool last fall. Although he was a super active (clusmy) boy I new I didn't have to worry too much about him as he was in very good hands. Jessica
Our daughter who is now 2 1/2 has been going to Nini's for about a year now. Our experience with Anita and her staff has been nothing short of wonderful. From the initial transition from nanny to daycare, to potty training, to dealing with our daughter's current phase of 'no napping', Anita has dealt with each new challenge with the flexibility, confidence and optimism that reflect her many years of experience in childcare. As parents, we appreciate the good communication, nutritious meals, high hygiene standards, and general sense of calm that prevails at Nini's. As a toddler, my child loves the attention she receives, the large, bright and well-stocked play spaces, and all of the music, dance and art lessons that are part of life at Nini's. We are so happy with how daughter has thrived at Nini's, and could not recommend our daycare more highly
It's hard to know where to start with Anita (Nini). Her energy, love for the kids and passion for childcare are endless. Nini and her team are completely focused on the children. They always keep them busy and are so nurturing. When our son was just a baby, he had a cold and had trouble breathing and sleeping. When naptime came, one of the caregivers carried him in her arms during a one hour nap! She told me that when she tried to put him in his crib, he had too much trouble breathing, so she preferred to carry him until the end of his nap. It feels good to know your child is in such great hands.
The activities are varied: arts, circle time, music classes with a music teacher, gym... The place is fantastic with a large backyard full of activities and a classroom full of learning tools. Nini has the day structured, she sets creative and fun plays. The kids get outdoor-time pretty much anytime it's not raining or too cold. Nini also provides healthy organic meals and snacks.
I never feel any anxiety knowing our son is there and I enjoy receiving the pictures Nini takes of him during the day. I really did my diligence finding a great daycare for our son, and I can tell you that picking Nini's daycare was the best decision I made for him.
I'm so pleased to recommend our wonderful home-based daycare, Nini's Place. Anita Lavenia, who runs the daycare, is incredible - nurturing, kind, thoughtful. She makes homemade, organic meals; provides numerous art opportunities, uses green cleaning products; and provides a special music class multiple times a week. Her outside space is wonderful - play equipment, fruit trees, sand box, and a shady, covered area. She is impeccably clean. But the real gem is Anita herself. I worried about sending my second son to a daycare, since we had had a nanny for our first. My worries were totally unfounded. My second son started at 5 months and probably got more personal attention at Nini's Place than he did from our nannyshare. We practice attachment parenting at home, and Anita has fully carried this on, without being asked. It's just her nature. Truly incredible.
Nini's Place is on Carlson Blvd in Richmond Annex. Open 8- 5:30 M-F. Anita can be reached at anitalavenia [at] att.net or (510) 524-2603. Please feel free to contact me with questions.
I would like to recommend Nini's place in Richmond Annex. They have a couple rare openings. Our son has attended Nini's since he was 6 months old. Nini, Anita LaVenia, and her helpers are very warm, caring women who provide a great environment for our son to play and learn. Anita cooks wonderful homemade food for the kids each day. There is a great yard with play structures and lots of interesting toys inside and out. The kids do many art projects, have daily circle time and a twice weekly music class from an outside music teacher. Anita often sends me pictures during the day via email of the fun our son is having. Our son has thrived at this daycare and I am very, very happy with the care he receives. If you have any questions about Nini's feel free to call me Jessica, or call Anita at 510-219-2603.
Why we love Nini's Place Child Care
My daughter has been going to Nini's Place for two years, and as she moves on to preschool my heart is kind of breaking for what we are leaving behind! Nini and the women that work with her provide a creative, fun, safe and warm place for the kids lucky enough to be there. Circle times, music classes, great toys and piles of books are just the beginning. The yard is big and sunny. Nini cooks delicious meals every day. She emails pictures of special moments, always remembers birthdays and throws a great holiday party. Her advice is thoughtful and measured and just right. The depth of her experience has created a truly special place. Some kids just have/are about to move on to preschool, so she has a couple of openings. Lucky you.
When I was looking for childcare for my daughter (then 14 months) last year, I explored far more options than I care to recall. Luckily, a friend recommended Nini's, I visited, and have never looked back. Simply put, both my daughter and I LOVE Nini's place. We love it so much that I drive a bit further out of my way than I ever thought I would. The space is clean and impeccably organized; filled with warmth, awesome toys, books in both English and Spanish, and kid made decorations. The children have music teachers three times a week, and regular arts & crafts. The large sunny yard has multiple play areas and flowering trees.
The owner Anita, AKA ''Nini,'' is herself a wonder - a straightforward business woman, a fabulous cook (meals are homemade and delicious), and best of all her experience and manner with kids couldn't be better. She made my kid's transition amazingly easy. The women she has working with her are also loving and super thoughtful. My daughter nearly always rushes to get out of her car seat when we pull up outside... I could go on and on about the wonderful-ness that is Nini's ...
Contact: Anita LaVenia, (510)524-2603
My two year old son thrives at Nini's Place. Anita welcomes him in the morning with a homemade breakfast. He sings twice a week with a professional musician. He colors, creates, and imagines artwork that fills the walls of our home. I am certain our son looks forward to the fun and friends he has made in his year with Anita even on the days he stays home with mom! And of course don't tell, but the best kept secret is that Anita supplies diapers, wipes, lunch, and snacks.
Nini's Place is a home and play-based daycare. Anita, the owner, provides toys, books, and art materials that are safe, age-appropriate, and stimulating for kids. She is the only daycare owner that I know of let children visit the daycare before they start. This really eases the transition. My son already knew the place and the staff when he started. Anita provides breakfast, lunch, and snacks that are mostly organic. Diapers, wipes, and formula are also included in the monthly fee. I can just drop my son off in the morning, not having to worry about bringing his lunch or diapers. There is a music teacher who comes in twice a week. My son started going to Nini's Place in August, after he turned one. He adjusted very well because of these prior visits and the loving staff. He enjoys playing in Anita's huge backyard with slide, swings, sandbox, castle, and apple trees. The two dogs also keep him busy and entertained. Anita also holds birthday party, holiday parties, and end-of-year party for the kids and families. I highly recommend Nini's Place to any parents who want the best for their child. Contact: Anita LaVenia, (510)524-2603
When we were conducting research for a daycare for my then 17 mos old daughter, I interviewed a dozen daycares and chose Nini's Place. Now, our 1 year old son whom we adopted from Vietnam in February also attends Nini's. We had some reservations that our son would not be able to transition, but because of the incredible love, care and attention, our son transitioned so well and amazingly quickly (2 days).
Nini cooks home cooked, fresh meals for the kids. In her 20+ years, her delicious foods have persuaded pretty much every single child to eat fresh fruits and vegetables on a daily basis along with yummy pastas and other gourmet dishes with a Brazilian flare. Nini's Place is situated right next to Dinya's Place, another daycare, which allows for more than the required 1:6 ratio of adult to children for individualized attention especially when they do art. They have music classes twice a week. Overall, it's a wonderful day. If you are in need of a daycare, I highly recommend Nini. Contact: Nini Lavenia, 510-524-2603
If you are looking for a warm, loving, playful, creative environment for your 1 or 2 year old, consider Nini's Place on Carlson in the Richmond Annex. It's run by a wonderful woman Anita who has been taking care of children for many years. I have 2 daughters who have spent a couple years there and thrived. The days are full of play, music, art and lots of outdoor time in her amazing outdoor space. Next door is another home-based daycare - Dinha's Place. Usually there is a wait-list, but there are a couple openings starting this summer/fall. Contact: Anita LaVenia, 510 524-2603
I highly recommend Nini's place Childcare. This is a home-based day care with 12 children up to around 3 years of age. My daughter has been going there for almost two years, since she was 10 months old. Nini and her two assistants are extremely experienced and knowledgeable about child development. I have always felt that they attend to my daughter's changing needs, as she grew from being an infant to a toddler. She is now potty trained, much due to the encouragement and cooperation of the staff. She loves going to Nini's place, and always looks forward to the music and yoga classes, and the diverse art activities going on. The day care feels like a second home to her, with great facilities and a wonderful playground outside. I couldn't have been happier with my choice! You can contact Anita at (510) 524-2603 Contact: Anita Lavenia, (510) 524-2603
I want to recommend Nini's Daycare in Richmond/El Cerrito. It is a wonderful place for children. Both of my children were there and loved it. She cares for babies up to age 3.5 years. There are many return families which is special. She has two helpers who are wonderful (Bessie and Jacquelini). Nini provides warm meals (a lot of organic foods), healthy snacks, and diapers. My children have brought home some of the most amazing artwork from her place. She makes special halloween and Holiday parities, like no other place I've seen. The toys are great. It's clean etc. My daughter who will be graduating this August enjoys the two music classes each week as well as the bi-weekly yoga classes she goes to. I HIGHLY recommend it. I live in Albany, and it takes me all of 8 minutes to get there from Albany. So, it's close. Wonderful place.
Contact: Anita Leveina, (510) 524-2603
Anita runs Nini's Place with Dina and Rosa, for 12 toddlers (4 months to 3 years), Monday to Friday, 8:00 to 5:30. Our daughter started when she was 15 months old and will leave for pre-school in September. Our 11 month boy started when he was 4 months old. They both love going to Nini\xc2\x92s, it is great to see them smile and cuddle with Dina and Rosa in the morning, and feel that they had a good time when we go back home. They are engaged throughout the day with a good balance of structured and free play time. Anita cooks yummy and nutritious meals and snacks. Our daughter brings back a lot of art projects. There are dancing, music and yoga classes for the oldest kids. We regularly get a lot of pics so that we can see what our little ones are up to. There is a great ambiance between the kids. They learn to play together and be caring, sweet and supportive of each other. The place is clean and very well kept. Anita can be reached at (510) 524 2603.
Contact: Anita LaVenia, anitalavenia[AT]sbcglobal.net (510) 524 2603
Nini's Place phone number: Anita Labenia 524-2603 (17 Jan 2002)
I am looking for a friendly, homey, stimulating day care for my 15 month old daughter. I have appointments to see "Nini's Place" (on Carlson in Richmond) and "Pickles" (on Ramona in Albany). Has anyone had experience with either of these day cares, particularly for babies my daughter's age? Also, any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated! enozick
Our son went to Nini's Place for about a year, from age 2 1/2 to 3 1/2, and we absolutely loved it. We took him out of a large preschool program where we had experienced lots of supervision problems in the yard, and we never had any problems with making the transistion to a smaller, home-based daycare. At the time, there were children there from less than one year old to a few months older than our son. He received so much love and attention there that he still talks about Nini and we occasionally take him to visit. She provides all the meals, mostly home cooked, a music and dance class (two separate classes), daily art projects, and more. I honestly wondered if she was losing money on this business because she put so much effort and love into everything she did for the kids. I definitely can recommend Nini's Place. Good luckd her. Susan G
I would highly recommend Nini's Place Day Care. My (almost)two year old son began going there in June and just adores it. My husband and I are constantly surprised by the amount of delight our son shows when arriving and departing from her care. She was good enough to let our son visit for a couple of hours(free of charge) for an entire month before he started his full days there, I feel this was very helpful in the transition from a nanny to a daycare situation. Both of her aides are friendly and energetic. She has a movement and a music person come each week and there are alway art activities to bring home. In just the short time my son has been attending, I notice a difference in the way he interacts with other kids. Good luck! Karyn