Teeter Tots Preschool

Community Subscriber

El Cerrito, CA

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

DSS Facility License #: 
City of El Cerrito
(510) 215-4300
El Cerrito
EC Community Center on Moeser Lane
Maximum Capacity: 
Language(s) Spoken: 
Ages Served: 
22 months - 42 months
Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri
9:00am - 12:00pm
Editors' Notes: 

See also: Casa Cerrito for ages 3.5 - 5 years

Parent Reviews

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I loved the City of El Cerrito's Teeter Tots program the year my daughter was 2 (5 years ago now). Very good intro to "school", socializing/sharing toys, age appropriate activities, and very affordable. You can go 2 or 3 mornings a week, 9-12.

How about part-time toddler preschool? Two or three mornings a week, maybe a coop where you volunteer one day a week. We liked Teeter Tots in El Cerrito for that age, Berkeley has something similar, maybe Oakland does too.

Archived Q&A and Reviews

July 2014

Re: Recommendations for in home daycare near El Cerrito
Since you say your child has a nanny they like and you like, just needing more peer interaction, I'd recommend trying the city of El Cerrito's Teeter Tots program, for kids aged 22m-3.5y. My daughter had a great experience there in 2012-13. It is a pre-preschool setting, part-time (min 2 mornings a week, 3 hours each), so many families blend it with a nanny for childcare, and it's a great way to ease into ''school''. Call the community center to set up a tour. I sound like a paid endorser... I'm not! It was just so much better than my other child's ''fancy'' preschool. mom of 2

June 2014

Re: Need Advice on Kensington preschools
Hi - Picking preschools is hard to do much in advance, because both you and your child will evolve over the next year. With my first child, I settled on one too early and it wasn't a great fit for where he was a year later, by the time of entrance. That said, one way to dip your toe in locally and see how your child does in a group setting is to check out Teeter Tots, at the EC Community Center (just down Moeser from Kensington), which is a ''pre-preschool'' program. You can go 2x week for 3 hours/morning, and they take 22 months to 3.5 years, so it's very targeted to that little-kid age group. My second child had a great experience there with some very sweet caregivers and low-key programming (wish I'd done it for #1) and it helped me crystallize what I wanted for her ''real'' preschool experience starting at age 3+. Call the Rec Dept for a tour. Mom of 2

Feb 2013

Re: smallish preschool in El Cerrito
Check out the City of El Cerrito's two programs, Teeter Tots (22m-3.5y) and Casa Cerrito (3-5). We're very happy with Teeter Tots and plan to move our child to Casa when age-appropriate.

Feb 2011

The city of El Cerrito has a part-time (half day, Mon-Thur) program called ''Teeter Tots'' for toddlers ages 22 - 36 months and on Friday's, it's called ''TGIF'' which is located at the El Cerrito Community Center on Moeser Lane.

Parents have the option of enrolling their child for a minimum of two days/week in the Teeter Tots program and/or on the TGIF program but you cannot exceed a total of three days per week (that was my understanding).

My son Jonas started Teeter Tots when he was 22 months old and has been there for almost 7 months now. When he was an infant, I had the luxury of bring him to work with me at an infant day care. So, as I continued to work at the infant day care, my mother (his grandma) helped bring Jonas to and from the program. Sadly my mother will be returning to work in March and Jonas will be going to a full-time school since my husband and I also work full-time.

My son was very outgoing before he started the program at the El Cerrito Community Center and still is until this very day. It took him about a month (attending 3/week) to fully adjust to being there (not crying anymore at drop off). The staff was very understanding when he cried and someone would always hold him until he felt comfortable enough to go play on his own.

After a month of attending the program he started to sing songs that I have never heard of before and he even started to sing the Alphabet song, my husband and I were very impressed! As time went on, he learned how to count from 1 - 20, he could read the alphabet, read numbers, and he even knew the different colors and shapes which we haven't even practiced at home with him before, he totally learned it from school! Just two months ago, I realized he knew the names of his classmates because they sing a ''good morning'' song which incorporates their individual names in it. I am so happy we picked this program for our son, it prepared him for his next phase (preschool)!

As you can see I only have possitive things to say about this place. There are both men and women who work there so the children get exposed to both sexes. The one negative thing is, it seems you have to initiate the topic of conversation before it gets brought up on their part, I think the staff doesn't know who to bring up an ''issue'' if or when one were to arise. So, my advice is to ask questions and follow up on how your son is doing every day. You may want to consider enrolling him in another day or two if he needs it.

Good luck and I hope you and your little guy gets a possitive experience out of Teeter Tots / TGIF! Lai

May 2009

We just put our 25 month old son on the El Cerrito Teeter Tots waiting list. It'll probably be a few months before he gets in, but I was just wondering what experiences people have had with this program. The two reviews in the archive are from 2006 and somewhat mixed. Please give us your positive and negative experiences! Thanks first preschool

My daughter (now 2 1/2) has been w/TT since she was 22 mo. & so far she has been very happy here. I read previous posts and can't agree w/them not supporting kids who are considered ''spirited.'' My daughter is very active, very curious, and would definitely be considered spirited and we feel she has done quite well here. We feel it has helped her social skills and that she benefits from the structure that they provide - like most toddlers, she thrives on routine. We chose it also because of the big space inside and outside and that on colder days they have a big space to run around inside and not feel all cramped up. I would also add that my daughter is biracial and we like that it is very ethnically mixed, unlike a lot of the daycares & preschools that I visited in the Albany/EC area. On the negative side: the city has moved some of the teachers around to other EC schools and this takes away from the stability and consistency that kids at this age benefit from and it isn't always the most warm, loving environment, but the kids seem happy & engaged. Hope this helps...... anon

My son is 2 1/2 and has been at EC teeter tots since he was 22mo...he had a very tough time being left at first but the teachers dealt with it and now he seems very happy to go...it has been good for him to socialize with kids his own age since he is mostly around his older sister(4yrs)and her friends... he is very proud of the artwork he does and it,s just been a good experience for us EC mom

May 2006

I searched the archives and wanted to see if I could get a more current review of the Teeter Tot program run by the City of El Cerrito. We checked the program out today and I thought the place was nice - clean, 4 to 1 student/teacher ratio, lots of play, circle time, stories, music and art. Just wanted to get some feedback from parents who might currently have their kids enrolled there. Seems like a great little program! Thanks!

We had our son enrolled at Teeter Tots El Cerrito from age 22 months to about age 2.5 We pulled him out then due to overall unrealistic expectations on part of preschool teachers there. One of the teachers in particular who was sweet, but age 21 with no kids (just a Child Ed degree) does not quite understand what are behavioral issues vs. a 2 year old kid being a healthy, active kid. It is a bit too structured for the majority of toddlers this age. If you have a very passive child, not real curious, active and what some call ''spirited'', then the program may work for you. It is an overall good program, and the play yard is quite spacious. My son liked it there.....but as parents we were concerned about very unrealistic expectations such as ''child not waiting in line to wash hands'' with 18-24 toddlers and one sink. Or ''child not sitting still during story time''. That should really be an option at this stage. A preschool should not kill a childs playful spirit. We also noticed a couple safety issues, such as very sharp object left in yard in which a child was running around with, and the 2 year olds expected to cross a street holding onto a rope. anon

My child has only been at Teeter Tots for a few weeks but so far we are completely happy with it. The teachers are kind and numerous (five for 20 students) and have been very sensitive to my son's separation anxiety while getting used to being away from me. The school day is quite structured which isn't everyone's cup of tea, but my son has always thrived on routine so I like it. There's nothing super-fancy about it, but it's clean, it's affordable, and my son's having fun--so we're thrilled.

Aug 1998

I would highly recommend the Teeter Tots preschool program at the El Cerrito Community Center for 2-3 1/2 year olds. My children, now 7 and 8 1/2 both attended this program. It is very nurturing for this age group and they are not subject to some of the dominance that occurs when this age group is in a mixed pre-school which goes up to kindergarten age. Everything is small-scale -- trikes, painting easels, kitchen stuff etc. The staff are very nurturing and are sensitive to issues in this age group, including separation anxiety and potty training. I know one of the key staff people moved away since we were there, but I believe the tone has been maintained with current staff. The hours are short (9-11:30 as I recall), which is great for this age group but not ideal if you require longer childcare hours.

My younger daughter started there at 23 months and she was fine, but I don't know if they have a younger-end cutoff. You mentioned that your child is 20 months old and you may have to visit with your child to see if you want to start now or to wait a few months.