TOPS - The Orinda Preschool

Orinda, 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
topsonline [at]
Irwin Way off Orinda Way
Maximum Capacity: 
Language(s) Spoken: 
Ages Served: 
24 months - 72 months
Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri

Parent Reviews

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Archived Q&A and Reviews

Orinda Preschool Recommendations?

June 2016

Hi, I am looking for a Preschool or Pre-K for my 4 year old son and I am considering both The Orinda Preschool (TOPS) and St. Marks Nursery School. The recommendations on BPN are quite old for these schools. Any recent reviews out there? Thanks! Andie

I have been a TOPS parent for 2 years now.  TOPS is conveniently located in Orinda Village near the library and a large children’s park and the site, which is shared with a church, is truly lovely for the children, with flowering trees, an outdoor tree house and art area, a large sand area that is sun-shaded for hot days, and a garden program in their beautiful outdoor space, where the children plant vegetables and then can eat the fruits of their labors!  The teachers at TOPS are phenomenal educators and fully support the growth and development of each child as an individual by their thoughtful play-based, child-led curriculum that is fun and engaging and varied. We tried three other programs that didn’t work at all for our son, while we were wait-listed for TOPS and were so relieved to find in TOPS a program that was a perfect fit for him. TOPS has a great mix of play and learning opportunities, attention to social learning, and a vibrant, child-centered community. The parent-participation at TOPS enabled us as parents to get involved with our child’s growth in the preschool environment and we’ve really enjoyed watching his TOPS friends grow too! You can see for yourself by taking a tour and there’s also a summer session. Happy TOPS Mama

Oct 2010

We are moving to Orinda very soon and I need to find a preschool for my soon-to-be 4 year old fast! Any suggestions?? I am also open to co-ops. Thank you! anon

TOPS (The Orinda Preschool) is a wonderful coop preschool. My children love it, the teachers are wonderful, the administration is wonderful, the parents are committed (most of them at least), and it's been a great way to get to know people, and feel a part of the community. I highly recommend it. Come check it out with your child (make an appointment) and you'll see for yourself. Good luck, there are a lot of great preschools in the area. Happy TOPS parent


Re: Preschools in Orinda
My daughter went to TOPS- the Orinda Preschool which is a cooperative in Orinda. Nice school, very nice director Trish Carella. Lots of families from Oakland, Berkeley as well as Orinda. Very nurturing environment, with lots of extra curricular activities- music fair every year. Also they have a science teacher with organized activities for the children dependent upon their age. My daughter also went to the Montessori in Orinda for 1 1/2 years. A little more rigid and structured of an environment. I have also heard nice things about St. John's preschool.