Year-Round Preschools

Parent Q&A

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  • Seeking preschool with opening in August

    (8 replies)

    Hello. I am looking for a preschool that has openings for a 4 year old and 2 year old for August. Anyone know of any preschools with an opening? Looking in Oakland and Berkeley and surrounding areas. Thank you!

    Hi Liffin4, I know that Montessori Family School has rolling admissions through the summer. Our kids attended, wonderful, long-established school right next to UC-Berkeley. Cheers! Josh

    The Berkeley School Early Childhood Center

    2030 Francisco Street (at Shattuck)

    berkeley JCC has opening for 4s and 2s. We absolutely love it there, it's an amazing community and not religious at all, just culturally jewish but many non jewish kids go there

    I just looked into a lot of preschools in oakland. These places had openings recently, not sure of their status now: Daisy Cdc, oakland garden school and a step ahead Montessori. There are lots of others that I didn’t contact, and some had part time spots too. 


    Skytown Preschool is getting ready to re-open in Richmond in the Fall. I’m not sure if that’s too far for you but it’s a very special place for toddlers and preschoolers. My two boys went there and thrived. They loved the freedom to play outside as much as they like, dance class, yoga, and plenty of opportunities to get messy. The teachers see each child for who they are and support them through each developmental phase. It’s a parent cooperative, which allows parents to be a part of their child’s school life and learn more about early childhood behaviors and how to support them. After my boys graduated from Skytown, I’ve become the Admin and we’re offering tours this summer. Good luck with your search!

    My 4-year old daughter has been going to The Berkeley School for the past two years.  We love it there!!  It's a truly amazing place.  Her teachers are all so kind, loving, and skilled at what they do.  I think they might have spots too.  The person to contact is Paula Farmer: pfarmer [at]  You can also checkout their website:  Good luck!!

    Escuela Bilingüe Internacional is where my child went and he loved it.  It is play-based, nurturing, and the age of your children are the age when they can acquire another language even if you don’t speak it at home.  Contact them to see if they still have openings:

    The Model School in Berkeley is accepting toddler and preschoolers as well. 

Archived Q&A and Reviews


Year-round school vs. camps in summer?

May 2013

We are searching for a preschool, and have found a couple we really like that close during the summer. We will need care during this time, however, and I'm wondering whether it's worth considering these schools and supplementing with camps or other summer activities, or whether this is just too much transition for a young child. Our child will start preschool at almost three, so the summers we'd need to fill would be at ages 3.9, 4.9, and 5.9. Are there enough programs out there that are open to and equipped to handle preschool-aged children that this might be feasible (I have seen a few, but not many, that take kids this age), or are we better off limiting our search to year-round schools? Would love to hear from other families at academic year preschools. (We would certainly plan to take any family vacations during this time too, but are not in a position to take two full months off, unfortunately.) Soon-to-be mama of a preschooler

You didn't indicate any geographic location at all, so this may not work for you. Lakeshore Children's Center in Oakland (3540 Lakeshore Avenue) is a year-round preschool that never closes for a full week at a time, any time of the year. It has very working-family-friendly hours, too. It's been around a long time and has a very stable staff. Former LCC parent

We faced this issue as well and ultimately chose a preschool that is year-round, and generally more accommodating for families with two working parents, rather than some other options we were considering that took the summer off and/or had a huge number of other breaks throughout the year (e.g., a whole week at Thanksgiving, 3 weeks at Christmas, Presidents Week, plus whole weeks taken up multiple times a year by in-service training, conferences, etc.). I have a rather flexible work schedule and a generous vacation package, but there's now way my work could accommodate all of that. Yes, we'll have to deal with summer vacation and other vacations, etc. when they're in elementary school. But my thought is that by the time they're that age, they'll (presumably/hopefully) be more adaptable and able to deal with going to multiple places. But at these early ages (3 and 4), having them in summer camps in the summer, which are often short in duration and involving lots of new changes from week to week) seems like a bit too much to me. Also, many of the summer camps are really expensive-- much more than paying for preschool when all added up. Though there are some cheaper summer camp options, often run through cities' parks & rec, etc., these often don't accommodate the younger ages. Some of my friends' kids currently go to really nice preschools but have had to deal with this whole hassle of trying to find summer camp for 3 and 4 year olds and I don't envy them at all. If there's no preschool that you like or that works out for your family that includes summer care, I'm sure you'll all survive. But if you can find something you like that includes summer/year round care, I'd definitely go with that. --working mama

Year-round all day preschool in Berkeley/Albany

June 2009

We are in need of a year round, full day (8:00-5:30) preschool for our son in Berkeley or Albany. We would prefer a Montessori preschool but we are open to other options. Does anyone know if this exists? Thank you. -anon

The JCC of the East Bay in North Berkeley provides care 8am - 5:30pm year-round. Our daughter went there for several years and just ''graduated''. We were extremely happy with the school and the community.

Our daughter was thrilled to go to school practically every day, and she and the other kids were lucky to have the wonderful and caring teachers who are at the JCC. The activities are fun and age-appropriate developmentally, with room for adjustments based on the needs of the individual kid. She made several friends with whom she's had all kinds of play dates as well.

I believe they still have a few spaces open for the Fall, so you may want to get in touch right away. Very satisfied JCC family

Aquatic Park School in Berkeley is open year round, 7:30am-6pm. It is 5mos to 5 years (or whenever they start kindergarten--some kids even go back for after school care when they start kindergarten.

Cedar Creek (I think it's Montessori) in Berkeley on Cedar and Sacramento: also has longer hours.

Check out Nia House and Centro Vida in Berkeley too--pretty sure they have ''working parent'' hours. Good Luck! Carey

Check out Growing Light Montessori school, which is right on the Arlington, 5 min. away from Berkeley. It is a very established Montessori school with well trained teachers, a warm environment, and a good balance between academics and freedom. My children went to school there, and really blossomed. The school is year-round with extended care until 6pm. It is a wonderful place. Happy mom

My son just ''graduated'' from kindergarten at Bright Star in Albany. He has done well there, we have enjoyed the last 3 years. I am impressed with his projects and ''focus,'' I also like their outdoor play area and the families. This is a small school, during the summer the program is mainly play based. And, if your son starts at 8 he will be one of the first kids there, most kids start between 8:30-9. satisfied mom