Peter Pan Cooperative Nursery School

Community Subscriber

Oakland, CA

To see Department of Social Services records on this facility, click on its DSS Facility License # below.

DSS Facility License #: 
non-profit parent cooperative
(510) 261-5210
membership [at]
Maxwell Park on Allendale Ave.
Maximum Capacity: 
Language(s) Spoken: 
Ages Served: 
24 months - 72 months
Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri
9:00am - 2:45pm
About Our Program: 

The Peter Pan Cooperative Nursery School is a play-based parent cooperative located in Oakland, California. Since 1947, we have been providing a community, a neighborhood, and an extended family in which parents and children can grow and learn together in a diverse, nurturing, and flexible environment.

Peter Pan is a non-profit, parent-run organization affiliated with the California Council of Parent Participation Nursery Schools. We welcome families of diverse racial, cultural, and socioeconomic backgrounds.

Please visit our website for details about our school.

Parent Reviews

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Peter Pan is more than a preschool, it's a community. The director, Gail has really cultivated an incredibly rich space for kids and parents to play and learn. My son went to Peter Pan for three years before graduating to kindergarten, and we have just returned with our daughter. I was ready for more! It's been a really great experience for our family and I'm so glad we have the opportunity to attend. 

We love Peter Pan! Our oldest daughter started in 2015 and our youngest started this year and we couldn't be happier. Our oldest  was a very shy two year old but I am confident we found the perfect environment to allow her to grow and play and learn. After just one year, she has blossomed.  I love the play-based philosophy and the director, Gail, their magical traditions and the Co-Op spirit. Parents are involved and invested in the school and the children. The school values the "work" my daughters put in to their growing and developing at Peter Pan. They are treated kindly and compassionately by the director and the other teacher/parents.  We moved to Oakland, didn't know a ton of families but since starting at Peter Pan, we now have our village/community. 

You could try something like a pre-school co-op. Some of them allow younger children (like your 1 yr old) to be there when the parent is present, even if the older child is the one enrolled. Most are intended for children to be left there like a regular daycare, with the parent working 1 or 2 days/week, but in many cases, the parent can be there even on their non-work day as just an additional adult presence. Check out Peter Pan in El Cerrito. They are very reasonably priced.

Archived Q&A and Reviews

March 2009

Re: Co-op preschool for 4-5 year olds
We loved, loved, loved Peter Pan Co-op in the Maxwell Park neighborhood of Oakland. Our daughter is now nine (how time flies) and we are still very tight with all of the PP families from our time there. Gail Murphy, the director, is a powerhouse and a kid magnet. And then if you need afternoon program, Lenore is also awesome. PPNS is the way to go if they have an opening...... or 510.533.1197 Once a Panner, always a Panner

August 2003

Re: preschool openings
Both my kids went to Peter Pan Co-operative Nursery School off Rt. 580 in Oakland. It's a fifty year old program with a very talented, wise, and kind director and is located in a lovely old Colonial house with a terrific play yard abutting a larger city park. The focus is on growing and getting along, not on performing, conforming, or mastering academics too young. There is much tolerance of differences, accomodation to varying developmental needs, great honoring of individual styles. I especially loved that my daughters weren't expected to be girlie- girls, but were allowed to play hard and encouraged to speak up for themselves. There are lots of opportunities to learn to represent yourself and to develop the skills to work things out with others. There's also an excellent daycare one block from the school, and kids can be walked there after the morning and afternoon programs at Peter Pan end (these last roughly 9 to 3). Peter Pan didn't have room for us when we applied, and I offered to do whatever they needed me to do just to stay on the list and get involved whenever they could squeeze us in, (which they did!). My whole family benefitted from all the excellent advice, guidance, support, and FUN (!), and I credit them with helping me become a much better parent. The phone at the school is (510) 261 5210, ask for Gail Murphy, director. (PS School is on vacation until September now, I think, but you could leave a message anyway.) Good luck! Carol

Jan. 2002

Re: Oakland Preschools
If you are interested in a co-op, I highly recommend Peter Pan Nursery School on Allendale Ave. in Oakland. My son went there for three years - the director/head teacher is incredible! Very developmentally based program. Jody