Small Trans Depot

Oakland, CA

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

Childcare Center, Preschool
DSS Facility License #: 
Jueleah Spencer and Mary Hamilton
(510) 286-5130
smalltransdepot [at]
Downtown Oakland on Grand Av.
Maximum Capacity: 
Language(s) Spoken: 
Ages Served: 
3 months - 36 months

Parent Reviews

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I am in love with SmallTrans Depot!  I cannot sing its praises enough.  My eight month old daughter has been there for the last three months and they have made the transition to daycare quite painless.  I feel good going to work everyday and knowing she is in good hands!  Feel free to message me if you have questions.

My daughter joined Small Trans when she turned a year. As four of our friends had sent their children there, we had been on the waiting list for about 8 months, I was so happy to finally get a spot! My daughter really flourished there! The teachers in the infant room hold the babies a lot, they are so caring and nurturing with them. Teacher Aresha, Daj, Wayfen, Akili and Arlene took great, great care of my little girl when she was a baby. As the babies meet the milestones (walking, no bottle, 1 nap a day on the cot, self feeding) needed to the transition to the toddler room, they take the older infants over to spend an hour with the toddlers doing activities in their room. The toddler teachers are also wonderful. Teacher Kim is the head teacher and she is so kind and energetic. Teacher Debbie (my daughter bonded with especially), Teacher Van and Vickie are also lovely women. There are so many activities for the toddlers, they learn colors, the letters, they celebrate holidays, they dance, they have a covered playground, they have many parties, they do circle time--they have really mastered the structured play environment. Every thing is so well run, so professional. A huge plus is the lack of teacher turnover (Teacher Kim has been there 20+ years and many other teachers have been there 15+ years) and the fact that many families enroll siblings because they love the center so much.--Small Trans Fan

Archived Q&A and Reviews

April 2010

5 Stars for Smalltrans Depot (Oakland)

I was so nervous about leaving my newborn baby with anyone. I searched high and low for a place where I would feel comfortable leaving my newborn-since I had to return to my full-time job. Nothing was as comforting as finding Smalltrans Depot. The high security building with guards, cameras and coded door locks were extremely reassuring, and the staff is as good as it gets! (Hours are great too! 7:30-5:30) The director Vanessa is a kind, generous and professional mother hen. She spends time with the infants and toddlers and they love her. The infant room is filled with nurturing attentive motherly women who are always holding and playing with the babies.

It's so comforting to be able to hand your baby to someone who you trust- who you know will be protecting, holding and caring for your baby. The toddler room is a wonderful place filled with happy children. The children are learning and playing in a very fun environment. SmallTrans is a 5-Star facility with 5-Star staff. They are so welcoming to moms dads and grandparents. What a wonderful way for kids to start off in life, and for parents to have peace of mind.

August 2006

Has anyone used Smalltrans Depot (aka Honeybee Childcare Center) in Oakland's Caltrans building? We will soon be first time parents, and could use advice. Our baby will be 3-1/2 months old when s/he enters day care. Thanks

My son (now 9 y.o.) went to Small Trans from age 1-3. It was a long time ago, but we loved it. The staff was great, very professional, loving and attentive. When he was older, the program was especially amazing. Plus the kids really enjoyed having the covered outdoor play area so that they could get out even when it was raining.
another esther

It's been about four years since we were at Smalltrans, but our memories are good. Weyfin, Kim, and Martha stick out in our memories as exceptional caregivers. Weyfin and Martha are in the infant room and are very kind and warm people. Weyfin is ''baby magic'' and I never felt bad leaving our son with her. I knew he was cared for and loved.

Kim runs the toddler room and is a very warm and knowledgable person. She made the transition easy and friendly. She has a lot of experience and my son grew to love her own two kids as well. They are older and came after their own school days on occasion. He still talks about his friends and we've been back to visit.

It's a good place and we've made lifetime friendships with other kids that attended Smalltrans with us. Hope that helps