Peter Pan Preschool
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We are considering Peter Pan Preschool in Alameda but the reviews on BPN are at least 5 years old. Has anyone had more recent experience with them?
As a fellow Alamedan, I would suggest you join the Alameda Parents Yahoo Group and post your question there (6,000+ members). While I am big BPN fan, I find that Alameda-specific questions don't get much traction here. Alameda Mama
Two children that went through Peter Pan Pre-school, successfully. Happy with results and the model. My spouse is a mental health professional focused on child development, so I think we're in a good place to evaluate from that angle as well. Post Peter Pan
I don't see any recent reviews for Peter Pan Preschool on Mariners Square in Alameda. I'm looking at potentially sending my 2 year old son there and would be interested to hear any recent feedback.
We had our son at Peter Pan school in Mariners Square. For the most part it was a very positive experience. The two year old room is called ''tigers'' and the head teacher is Ms. Pat. She has many, many years of experience and while we were initially a little intimidated by her we and our son ended up really enjoying her. She really loves the kids and knows what they need. The best thing about the Tigers were the dance parties led by Ms. Pat, I think. Other really good things about Peter Pan include the really big, fun yard with lots of varied activities, the flexible hours (they are open from 7-6 and you can drop off and pick-up whenever you want between those times), hot lunches served by them everyday, and that they proactively help potty train. Some of the not so great things about Peter Pan include some less than healthy snacks (high fructose popsicles, punch, etc), TV watching at the end of the day (after 4:30 or so, I think), and the large-ish class size.
When our son was 2.5 we decided he was ready for a ''real pre-school'' and switched him to a developmental pre-school that happened to offer an extended day (more expensive than full time Peter Pan) as opposed to a day care center. For us this was an option becuase I got a new job that allowed me to have him at school from 9- 4;30 instead of 8-5:00 or 5:30. We really do love our new school, but honestly if I had not changed jobs we would still be at Peter Pan and that would be fine. It was safe and fun and our son was happy to attend. hope this helps, -jenny
We are the parents of a sweet 15 months baby girl and very energetic 3.5 years old boy and we moved to Alameda one week ago. Our children are currently enrolled in a Montessori school and after this experience we are looking for a play based school with loving, fun, active, very responsible and attentive teachers for both infants and toddlers. Thank you! maria
I highly recommend Peter Pan Preschool in Marina Square. Their number is (510) 521-2750, and Ms. Julie DeMauri heads their program. My son has been at Peter Pan since he was 2.5 months old, and he's now 14 months. The staff is wonderful! I was a very nervous mother (much to my surprise) and called every day, at least once, and every day they cheerfully updated me on every little thing Dylan had done and was doing. We choose Peter Pan after looking at many, many, many other options, and we are so glad we did! Dylan adored Ms. Linda and Ms. Martha in the under 1 nursery, and my husband and I frequently found ourselves at home asking ''What would Ms. Linda do?'' throughout the first year. Now in the 1-2 room, Dylan has special relationships with all of his teachers. Ms. Luong can get him to eat when NO ONE else (even mommy) can. Ms. Xaan is his FAVORITE play buddy. Ms. Jackie is the one he wants to cuddle with if he's feeling out of sorts. And Ms. Cora always helps him through the ritual of saying goodbye to mom or dad in the morning. I adored them already, but then in January they proved themselves even more amazing. My son has been diagnosed with some muscle problems, and the response of the staff has been incredible. Not only are they fully committed to following the development plan set out by Dylan's therapists, but they genuinely care, and gently check in with me after Dylan's doctor appointments. I am more than happy to provide more details, if you want to contact me.
When I was looking into nurseries 18 months ago, I did see that there was a negative posting on BPN about Peter Pan, but was surprised then, because I saw nothing like that in my pre- enrollment visits, and am surprised now, because the more we've been at Peter Pan, the more we love it. (I will mention that they do provide scheduling and more structure to the children as the grow older, and do teach manners to the older children, such as eating as a group, and asking to be excused, but to us, this is a plus! We believe manners do matter, and are glad that our son will be in a school that will help our son develop these values of mutual respect.) Alycia
We had a very bad experience at Peter Pan in Mariner's Square. While the director, Julie DeMauri, is lovely, I had a problem with the care. I put my son there when I had to go back to work. He was 3 months old and did not cry very often. Everytime I picked him up, he had been crying - he would be so upset his shirt was soaked with sweat. He was usually hungry. The staff could not figure out how to use the bottle (normal Avent or Playtex) and screwed it on too tight so he could not get his milk out. When I picked him up, the room was very hot. The large window allowed the sun to shine on the back off all the swings. I mentioned twice that he was really hot and that they should move the swing away from the sunny window. On the first day, instead of letting me play with the baby to transition him, they had me spend half an hour writing his name on each of his diapers and all his things (we had never encountered this policy at any other daycare). There was also an English as a second language issue (and I am the last one to look at that in a negative way since my parents don't speak any English). My husband and I both had to demonstrate how to use the bottle to explain that they should not screw it on too tightly but the caretakers did not seem to understand what we were talking about. The woman who was there when I picked him up could not answer my questions (when did he last eat? How did he do?) and simply pointed me to the chart. She also told me that my son was too chatty (isn't that a good thing in an infant?). I never saw any of them holding any infants. They were ALWAYS in swings. We pulled him out after 2 weeks. He is my second child and I had very good experience with my first son's daycare. I would look somewhere else. unhappy mom and dad
Re: Alameda preschools: NON Montessori (Oct 2005)
My son went to Peter Pan Preschool in Alameda. He is now in his third month of Kindergarten. The teacher has already commented on how well prepared he was--''He's clearly way ahead of the game.'' Ms. Shirley, who teaches the Pre-K class, is passionate and devoted to her kids. She does a great job teaching academics as well as instilling a sense of civic responsibility. The graduation ceremony is priceless--touching and terrific. I have some referral cards here somewhere--they won't benefit me any more, but they'll get you a discount on the registration fee. Contact Julie DiMauri or Nelda Schaffers for a tour. Peter Pan provides care for infants through Pre-K ages, including extended care (6:30AM-6PM), snacks, and a hot lunch daily. It's on Mariner Square Drive in Alameda, near the Webster Tunnel. 521-2711. Jennie
After reading some good but old reviews on this preschool, I checked it out and was pleased with the campus. Previously my kids had VERY great experiences with Marin Day Schools.
Today was my 2 year old's first day. I spent an hour observing the class while she got adjusted and I was REALLY unhappy with what I saw. There wasn't a single teacher with a smile on her face. We walked in just before snack time (9:15am) and they were lining the two year olds up on the wall. Then they marched them in to the lunch room where everyone had to sit with their hands on their laps before they got their snack (water and an apple slice or orange segment, provided by the school). If you want a snack you have to open your napkin. If you don't want a snack you have to leave your napkin folded (hands on your laps!). After the snack regime, they had to line up at the door (one line!) and wait until they were given permission to go back to their class room.
Then they had to line up against the wall again until everyone was paying attention. The teacher read a ''no biting'' book and flashed some color and number flashcards for 5 or 10 minutes.
Next they were told to go to the table for coloring. It was 10am. Then they were supposed to play on their assigned carpet segment until 11, then lunch, then nap, then outside to play.
I left during the coloring but I was really disturbed by what I saw. The teachers were more like DMV employees and barked orders at the toddlers. There were no smiles and no cuddling. One little girl started crying and the teacher kept saying, ''it's okay! You don't have to cry. Shush! Shush! Sit here and play!'' She was grumpy and unpleasant and totally unnurturing. I couldn't believe that she wasn't even trying to fake cheerfulness for my sake. I finally asked, ''uh, do the teachers ever hug the kids?'' She said, ''Oh, yah, we give them a lot of attention.'' But still, the little crying girl was left to cry.
I left my little one because I wanted to give them a chance. Although she's normally very social with strangers she broke into hysterics. I could hear the teacher telling her, ''hush, your mommy will be back later! Hush!'' but I didn't hear much warmth or care. I was a little freaked out but I left anyway.
I picked my daughter up at 2pm and the kids were all still in nap time. I opened the door and my awake daughter sprung up like a jack-in-the-box ''Mommy!'' I could see right away that she had a poopie diaper. I asked the teacher when she was checked last and she said, ''12:15pm.'' My daughter was desperate to leave.
I'd really appreciate hearing from others about whether this was an isolated experience or not.
I'm giving them a few days chance but I would appreciate hearing from other parents. Was this just a really bad day there?
Thank you to everyone who responded to my original post re: Peter Pan Schools. I received both good feedback and bad feedback about the place. The bad feedback was almost exclusively limited to the particular class I was talking about and doesn't seem to be representative of all of their classes.
After one week of continuous bad experiences there, I decided to pull my daughter out. I wrote a heart-felt note about why I was taking my ''business'' elsewhere and received a nice call from the owner who was very unhappy to hear about my experience and wanted to let me know that she would be pursuing positive changes in that particular class.
I hope that they can resolve some of their issues and make a happier place for their students. In the meanwhile, I received some great advice on preschools more suited to my little one's needs.
My son is about to turn 4 and has been at Peter Pan school on Mariner Square Drive since 4.5 months. I am very happy with him there--the teachers are loving, there is little turnover, and he is learning like crazy. I'm happy to answer any other questions. I didn't visit any other daycares (got lucky), so I have no feedback on the ones you mentioned. Jennie
My son's daycare has openings for children like yours (about 3 years old , 4 or 5 days/week). It's Peter Pan at Mariner Square. Full-time care is $720/month with a hot lunch and morning and afternoon snacks. The teachers are loving and attentive. There is a ''2 to young 3s'' class and a ''3 to young 4s'' class, and they often get combined and play together. Potty training is not a problem. They have a large playground with updated equipment. Talk to Julie DeMauri at 521-2750. They go 7AM-6PM. Jennie