Seeking a Waldorf Preschool/Daycare

Parent Q&A

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  • Hi,

    We are new to living in North Berkeley and are interested in finding a Waldorf based preschool in or near Berkeley that accepts 2 year olds. Thank you for sharing about any schools you know of and recommend!

    Moderator note: Search for preschools here: Find Daycares & Preschools.  Select "Waldorf" in the Affiliation menu. There are two Waldorf-based facilities in our listings, both in Berkeley: Berkeley Rose and Redwood Garden.

    My daughter went to Redwood Garden and it was amazing. I think a child needs to be 2 years and some number of months, but I encourage you to look into it.

  • I am looking for childcare for my son starting in August when he will be 20 months old. I am currently taking a parent child Waldorf class and love their philosophy. I also went to a Montessori preschool and have wonderful memories from that experience. I'm looking for recommendations for day care centers or in home day cares in Berkeley that would give my son a nurturing, loving, child-centered experience. Please share with me why you love the day care you chose! Thank you!

    My daughter attends a Waldorf school. Berkeley Rose. We love it!

    Hi there, I am afraid your son will be too young in the fall for Redwood Garden Preschool, but when he is 2.5, I highly recommend this Waldorf inspired school. Teacher Lauri is a loving, gifted, and wise teacher.

Archived Q&A and Reviews



Waldorf Preschool in East Bay

Nov 2007

We are relocating to the bay area in April and are interested in Waldorf based preschool for our daughter. I read a review of Children's Sonnen House in Berkeley but could not find a phone number or website for them. Does anyone have any current contact information for them or any recommendations for other Steiner based preschools in the East Bay? Thank you! Tara

I can recommend a good program in El Cerrito which was previously called a Mother's daycare and is now Monkey flower early childhood. Colleen Turrell is the director of the program and her phone number is 510-525-1370. Good luck. Catherine

I recommend Mama Bears Playcare in Pinole. My daughter (3 yrs 9 mos) has been there for the past year and it has been wonderful for her. It is a home-based preschool run by Carol Thompson, who has completed the Waldorf Teacher training and has her own two children at the East Bay Waldorf School. The environment is warm, gentle & creative, and the children love Carol. She has been a great resource for us as parents too. My daughter has really blossomed in the time she has been there - she comes home singing, making up stories and puppet shows, talking about all her friends. Some of that might have been true if she were at another school, but I feel like she's really had the space to come into her own at Mama Bears, to develop her creativity and imagination, and to be gently supported through her 3 year old (and new baby sister) issues.

The phone number is (510) 741-8336. And in case it makes a difference in your decision, Mama Bears is not far from the Pinole Valley Rd. exit on 80. We make the trip from El Cerrito and it takes less than 15 minutes. BTW, I found Mama Bears through BPN, so thank you BPN! Annemarie

Regarding Waldorf-inspired preschools in the East Bay, contact the East Bay Waldorf School's enrollment coordinator, Judy July, at 510.223.3570 and ask her to mail or fax you a current list. Good luck! A EBWS mom Lynn

Welcome to the Bay Area! East Bay Waldorf School in El Sobrante has a full program - preschool through high school. Their number is 510-223-3570. They will also have references for in home Waldorf inspired preschools. I know of several in Berkeley, but I don't remember names. Good luck! Waldorf Mom

Hi there, If you visit East Bay Waldorf School in El Sobrante, they will give you a sheet of Waldorf-inspired preschools and others recommended by EBWS families. A couple in our area are: Carol Thompson, Mama Bear's Playcare, Pinole, 510-741-8336. Sonnen House, El Cerrito, 204-9346. MonkeyFlower (Colene Turrell): 525-1370, El Cerrito. Carissa Thiel, El Sobrante, 669-0477. Of course, EBWS also has a preschool, held 3 times a week from 8:30-12:30. It's really WONDERFUL and I urge you to talk with them about it: 223-3295. EBWS family

The Waldorf-inspired preschool, Children's Sonnen House, is excellent. Wiebke Larsen taught kindergarten at the East Bay Waldorf School for many years before opening her own program. She is located in El Cerrito and can be reached at 510-204-9346. If her program is full, contact me by email or 510-223-3570, ext. 2105 to receive a list of other Waldorf-inspired programs. Judy

Waldorf inspired preschools

Dec 2003

Although the school we are looking at will be in SF, it is a Waldorf inspired school. I have seen some wide opinions via the parents site but I am looking for any general feedback on the philosophy of teaching, general observations, etc. Our son will be 2 1/2 next year so we just want pre-school observations from those whose children attended a Waldorf school. Thank you Stephanie

My son is in his third year attending a Waldorf preschool, beginning when he was 2 1/2. What I notice in my son is an amazing imagination, a long attention span, a reverence for the beauty in the natural world, a sense of wonder for the magical and the mysterious, and the ability to communicate his thoughts and feelings very articulately. Some of this may be due to who he is, but I do attribute much to the school, his lack of exposure to media, and being around other children who are also not exposed to much media. He is still very much a boy, and can roughhouse and wrestle with the best of them. But he can also sit through a lengthy story or puppet show without trouble. Though Waldorf education certainly isn't for everyone in the grades, I think that their philosophy of ''a childs work is play'' is beneficial for all young children, regardless of where they go to school later. I would be happy to talk more off list, if you are interested. Tara

Nov 2002

I live in Pleasanton and I am looking for a Waldorf inspired preschool around that area. I am familiar with one around the El Sobronte area, but I would like to save that long drive until she is ready for kindergarten. Can anyone suggest one? akchristensen

You may have already done this, but you can try calling the East Bay Waldorf School at 223-3570. They have a listing of home daycares/pre-schools in the East Bay. If you would like to ''practice'' the commute, we are Mama Bears Playcare, a Waldorf-inspired home daycare with a morning pre-school program, have an opening, and are located in Pinole. Best of luck! ect

Give the East Bay Waldorf School a call. They have a printed-out list of Waldorf-inspired preschools and daycare and are generally very friendly and helpful about making contacts. Alexandra