Editor Note (2009): This page is no longer being updated. For more current reviews of Walnut Creek & Concord preschools, see Find Daycares & Preschools and select the City you are interested in.
I'm just starting my search into preschools for my son. We live in Walnut Creek, but I'm also looking in the Lafayette area as well. The postings for recommedations in WC are fairly old, so I'd appreciate any feedback good or bad with preschools in the area. anon
As you start gathering information about preschools, you might check www.eastbaypreschools.com -- this doesn't list every school, but does list many, and provides enough information to rule many in or out. We started here, then went to visit a few locations to get a sense of what we really wanted for our son. Best of luck! Mom in W.C.
Re: "Traditional" school 2-3 mornings a week
I know this is too far away for you, but I just wanted to mention the City Of Concord Leisure Services preschool because it is EXACTLY what you are looking for (except for the French, but we do get some Spanish!)
I was looking for the exact same qualities and searched every preschool within 25 miles of my home. I finally discovered that what I wanted was right under my nose, and dirt cheap! I suggest checking into the city leisure services programs - Concord may not be the only city offering such a great preschool!
Of course, I would highly recommend coming to Concord if you are up for it! One family drives in from Oakland and another drives from Oakley - to some it really is worth it! The teacher for the 2 year old class (must be 2 by 9/1)has been there for 9 years. It is STRICTLY part-time, semi-academic, and REALLY fun. My daughter wants to go every day! Jaime
I've been watching the lists and checked the archives, but I haven't seen too many preschool recommendations for the EAST East bay :-) I was wondering if anyone knows of a good preschool in the Concord/Walnut Creek area. So far we are considering Walnut Ave. Community Preschool in Walnut Creek and Myrtle Farm Montessori in Concord. If you have any experience with those, please let me know!
I'm also interested in coops, but was concerned to see the high student-teacher ratios. I understand that parent participation is essential, but I worry that there may not be enough teacher participation with so many children in one class! Jaime
My daughter went to Morningstar Preschool in Walnut Creek--we were pretty happy with it. If you're interested in a family daycare setting, she also went to Annie's Little Farm (Ann Cohen), which we liked a lot. Deborah
I would recommend you check http://www.cocokids.org/ which is the Contra Costa Child Care Council, which provides free guidance for choosing daycare/schools. We live in Walnut Creek, but our daughter goes to White Pony in Lafayette and we love it, as does she. A friend of our daughter's and her sister go to Kidtime in Walnut Creek and love it. I also checked out The Child in Lafayette and really liked it a lot. Our friends' kids went there. I'm afraid I'm not familiar with the schools you mentioned. Good luck! Lori
We are new to Walnut Creek and are looking for a pre-school, our child will be 3 in Feb. We have checked out the parent's network website and were wondering if there are any other preschools that parents would highly recommend. Thanks, Angela
The White Pony Preschool (Meher Schools) in Lafayette, close to the Lafayette/Walnut Creek border is supposed to be really good. Its at 999 Leland Drive, if you take Olympic from Walnut Creek, make a right onto Pleasant Hill Road, a right onto Condit, and a left onto Leland. Richa
We live in Pleasant Hill and I checked around extensively befoer sending my daughter to preschool. She (and we!) have thoroughly enjoyed Peter Pan Preschool in Pleasant Hill on Gregory Lane. The 3 and 4 year olds play together at the start of the morning, then are divided into small groups (10) for the rest of the morning until circle time near the end of the morning. The small groups are wonderful and allow for lots of individual attention. When the children turn 4, they go 3 days/week and only the 4 year olds go on Monday ams, which is sort of their "science day". Parents come in and help with stations where the kids get experience in whatever the theme is for the morning. We were also impressed with Mary Jane's Preschool on Geary, just near the W.C. border and have heard rave reviews about Creative Play (a co-op) in P>H., although I have not been there. Trish
Does anyone have any direct experience (positive or negative) with either the Early Childhood Services (preschool and kindergarten) at the Jewish Community Center in Walnut Creek or the White Pony school in Lafayette? We're considering these for our daughter - each seems to have a lot going for it. My daughter is now in a daycare center and is 16 months old, but we have to plan ahead for the transition to the next step. She can stay at her current daycare up to 3 years of age, but we might want to switch her to JCC or White Pony before that. Also, how much time would you recommend for transitioning from one daycare situation to another? She has only ever been at this daycare and started there when she was 3 months old. Thanks.
From: Deborah (2/99)
When looking in Walnut Creek I was NOT impressed with the centers I visited: lots of standing in line, counting kids to keep track of them, calling the teachers "Miss Mary" or "Mrs Joan"--not the cozy, child-centered feeling i was looking for. Also, lots of preschools have a religious component, which I didn't want. BUT, i found a family daycare that I like a lot, and my 31/2 yr old has been there for a year. It's at the home of a woman named Ann Cohen, (925) 935-6492, who lives right near the N. Main exit off 680. Ann is licensed for 12 kids ( most days has fewer) and there are always 2 or 3 adults there. Kids range from babies to pre-K, which I like. Down side is that are only a few kids of each age. There are four 3-4 yr olds and two 4-5 yr olds (starting K in the fall). Program is very unstructured, lots of music, art, and dance. Ann and her husband Allen and their house remind me of my childhood in Berkeley in the 60's, and I mean that in a good sense, although I don't think everyone would like it. Also, they serve mostly organic produce and generally healthy food. I also visited another family day care recommended by a list member. I liked it a lot, but it was far for me. Perhaps the same person will write in the name/number again.