Seeking a Daycare or Preschool in Oakland
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– Apr 14, 2022(4 replies)
We've toured many preschools and have been offered spots at Duck's Nest 41st and Rockridge Little School on College. We liked them both, but they are so different and I really can't decide. Location-wise, Little School is probably easier for us. I liked that Duck's Nest basically has smaller class sizes. I worry Little School would get loud/overwhelming all day in one big room, but my daughter is loud herself and probably wouldn't mind? All of the kids there seemed quite happy. Diversity is super important to us and it seemed comparable among the students at both schools, but better among the teachers at Little School. I also got concerned about some negative posts about Duck's Nest - even though they were from a few years ago, it seemed like lack of supervision/taking parent concerns seriously put some kids at risk in the past. We haven't applied to Step One or Aquatic School and who knows if they'd even have spots for the fall (our daughter will be 3), but wondering also how those compare. Thanks for any thoughts. I tend to be on the anxious/indecisive side even though my preschooler is much more easy going than I am, lol.Apr 14, 2022
– Aug 9, 2021(3 replies)
We are looking at the new mountain blvd ABS French preschool or La Plazita school for our 3.5 year old son. I was wondering if anyone has recent experience and is willing to comment on highlights/lowlights and if they would recommend?
thanks!Aug 9, 2021
– Aug 9, 2021(9 replies)
I am very last minute looking for a play based preschool for my 3 year old. Ideally located relatively near to Oakland's Dimond district. I'd love to find a place that has great outdoor space that is used often. It would be great if the program has an emphasis on teaching social and emotional skills, equity and participating in our community. Activities in cooking, dirt digging, music and drawing also a plus :)
If you know of a preschool that has openings? (or that is worth contacting to see if they have openings). I would love any feedback.
Thank you!Aug 9, 2021
– Aug 6, 2021(4 replies)
We have 3 year old in pre-school that does not seem to be working out for our kid. The school seems well structured but better suited for kids that are more outgoing and don't need much social coaching. I'm starting to realize our kid does need additional support in making friends, interacting with others, and handling her own emotions. Does anyone have any recommendations for Oakland based pre-schools with a very warm environment and where the focus is really on social-emotional development?Aug 6, 2021
– Apr 10, 2021(4 replies)
Hello! Looking to crowd source some information from this great group. My son is 25 months old we live in maxwell park and I am pregnant with our second due in October. We are currently part of a nanny share that we absolutely love but our son is ready for more socialization and outdoor time. Can anyone reccommend preschools with good outdoor areas or nature philosophies anywhere near east oakland, alameda, San leandro etc. We would prefer not to commute too far but would consider a bit of a drive for the right place. Thanks in advanceApr 10, 2021
– Apr 8, 2021(2 replies)
Hello! We are considering a spot for my daughter this fall at either Les Petites Francophones or Duck Pond Preschool (both in Oakland on Park Ave). My daughter will be 2.5 by this fall and will have been home with/with an amazing nanny share up until she starts. If anyone has feedback about either school and is willing to share your experience(s) please reach out!
Thank you!Apr 8, 2021
– Mar 3, 2021(8 replies)
We are moving to the East Bay (targeting Berkeley/Rockridge) this summer, and will need childcare for our almost 3 year old. We are currently living in the DC area, and I am assuming that childcare is as competitive (if not more so) in the East Bay, so I'd like to get on some waiting lists now as we will need care starting in the late summer/early fall.
It's easy to do online searches to find daycares, but it's so difficult to distinguish the great from the good from the probably not for us options solely online. Where we currently live, we were lucky to have a strong parents network that we could tap into for recommendations and advice, so I'm hoping to find that here.
What we're looking for:
- Smaller class sizes
- Very fun and engaging atmosphere
- Lots of outside time and activities-based play
- Loving, caring providers
- Not super concerned with a lot of book-based curriculum- we want our kid to be active and happy
- Centers are fine
- An exceptional in-home would be a possibility
- Outstanding safety precautions, especially COVID-related
- Connected parent community (it would be great to make some friends with other parents, since we'll be new to the area)
Thank you very much in advance for your suggestions and advice!Mar 3, 2021
– Jul 9, 2020(5 replies)
Hi parents! We are expecting our second child later this year , when our first will be around 2.5. We are looking into daycare / preschool programs in Oakland that start with infant care and continues through preschool so we can have both kids at the same place, which i'm assuming would make dropoff / pickup much easier. However, I am also well aware there are a lot more preschool options out there than infant programs. I definitely don't want to make a school decision based on "convenience" but have been told it would make our lives a lot easier. So basically would love to hear 1) recommendations on schools in oakland that offer both infant and preschool, and 2) if you had kids in 2 different places, what things did you consider in that decision?
thank you!Jul 9, 2020
– Jan 22, 2020(2 replies)
Hello! We are looking for a small, caring in-home daycare beginning in late June/early July 2020 for our 8.5 month-old son. We would prefer a daycare close to our home, in the Laurel/Dimond/Fruitvale/Redwood districts, and we will need care at least Monday-Thursday (ideally 8am-6pm but we could work with 8:30am-5:30pm). We are also willing to pay for full time care, M-F. I have searched this site and reviewed the many listed daycares but am also interested in any current recommendations and possible openings for this time period. Thank you for your help!Jan 22, 2020
– May 10, 2019(8 replies)
I am looking for recommendations and/or advice on appropriate preschools for our daughter. Sleeping has always been a challenge for her, and despite our best efforts, she rarely naps (and generally holds up well for the entirety of the day). She will be 2.5 this fall and we'd originally thought to hold off on school due to her sensitive nature, mainly her attachment to "mama" and difficulty around separations. However, she has started to demonstrate more independence and we are regretting our decision to hold-off on schools as we are now thinking that she will be more stimulated and distracted in a school setting, oppose to at home with a nanny. She enjoys being around other children and in a stimulating/engaging environment. Of course, now most preschools are full for the upcoming year. We found one Reggio style school with an opening that seems like a good fit in many ways, however, their options around napping are likely too rigid for our daughter (expected to occupy herself quietly on a nap amidst sleeping peers). We are not opposed to other school models (Montessori, Waldorf, etc.), and are more interested in a play-based program, with supportive and positive teachers (and a higher teacher/student ratio). We would likely be starting her at part-time until she is adjusted, with the hopes of transitioning to something closer to full-time by the time she is 3/3.5. We are considering programs with current openings, or holding off until fall 2020 for a better fit. Any advice regarding this transitions, and programs that seem like a good fit are greatly appreciated! We are in Oakland near Park Blvd, so the closer the better.
Places we're already considering if you have any feedback on these programs (and interested in new ideas too):
My Own Montessori (a little far from us and no extended afternoon care options, but seems like a solid program with alternative activities for non nappers)
Duck's Nest 41st (no space for the upcoming year, but it seems like a good program with full-time options at a good price point compared to the other schools we're looking at. However, it would mean waiting until fall 2020, and that is if we get in. Does anyone know how hard is it to get in to this school?)
Children's Workshop Oakland (Lovely program with full-time options, but no nap alternatives so we may not even be able to make use of full-time schedule. Also, it is relatively new, so there are not many reviews, etc.)
Holding Hands (Would have to wait until Fall 2020 based on minimum age requirements, but nearby and have heard positive things)May 10, 2019
– Jan 28, 2019(1 reply)
Hello. We have a 4-month-old but are hearing from other families that some preschools have long waiting lists and that we shouldn't delay in exploring our options.
We are planning to take some tours this spring but wanted to hear any other parents experiences with any of the following preschools: Kids Konnect, Oakland Garden School, Chathem Nursery School, Holding Hands, Skyline Preschool, or Duck Pond.
Thanks in advance for your input.Jan 28, 2019
– Sep 13, 2018(7 replies)
Can anyone recommend a play based preschool with a nice outdoor space in Oakland that your children love? Spanish is also a plus. Our daughter is 2, and we're looking for May 2019. Thanks!Sep 13, 2018
– Aug 22, 2018(1 reply)
We are currently looking for a preschool M-F. My son is 2.5 yrs old. Preferably in the mills college /Oakland zoo / Sheffield village area .willing to try San Leandro also. Any suggestions?Aug 22, 2018
– Aug 13, 2018(2 replies)
I am looking for a great daycare for my little boy Soren. He’s currently 17 months and in a small family daycare in SF that is bilingual and we love it. But we are moving to Oakland and looking for a new daycare for him to start at Sept. 1st.
I’m looking for recommendations that might include something similar or even a larger daycare with openings. Our new home is in Redwood Heights so we’re looking within that proximity but will travel for the right school/daycare!
Thanks!Aug 13, 2018
– May 19, 2018(2 replies)
We are moving from Albany to Montclair in a month and need to find a preschool for our 3 year old (currently at Duck's Nest) and day care for our 1 year old (currently at a home day care). We need full-time hours, M-F. Any recommendations for loved preschools or day cares in or near Montclair? Any opinions about Smiles Day School? I've researched online, but would love some word-of-mouth recommendations from those familiar with the area. Thanks for your help!May 19, 2018
– Mar 17, 2018(2 replies)
We are in the process of moving from SF to Oakland:) My son is 4 and currently enrolled in a large play based program here in SF, and will need one more full year of Preschool. I am on 2 waitlists for next year and starting to get nervous about a spot. Does anyone have any recommendations for around that area with known openings? We are totally ok with Lakehore, or Park Blvd surrounding areas.
Thank you!Mar 17, 2018
– Jan 22, 2018(1 reply)
My husband and I are still trying to identify daycare center for our first child, who's due at the end of Feb 2018. We are fortunate to have combined leave until early Sept 2018, so we're looking for childcare starting then. Ideally, it'd be a place near Lake Merritt or Downtown Oakland, but we are open.
Any recommendations for places you love?
Know of any openings around that time?
THANK YOU!!!Jan 22, 2018
– Jan 10, 2018(1 reply)
Hi BPN! My daughter just turned 2 and is not potty trained. Do you know of any preschools near the Southern Oakland Hills offering a part-time preschool program? Thanks for the help!Jan 10, 2018
– Dec 12, 2017(1 reply)
We just moved to Oakland (Montclair) and are looking for a half-day play based preschool for our 2.5 year old. Does anyone know of any with an opening now? We're already applying to a few places for the fall, but we're hoping to get her in something sooner.
Thanks!Dec 12, 2017
– Nov 18, 2017(1 reply)
My husband and I are a bit late to the game in terms of identifying childcare options for our first child. We are due end of Feb 2018, and have combined 5-6mo paternity leave. So we're looking for childcare near Lake Merritt or Downtown Oakland beginning in Fall 2018.
Any recommendations for places you love?
Know of any openings around that time?
THANK YOU!!!Nov 18, 2017
– Sep 11, 2017(1 reply)
We are new to the area and will need childcare for our son starting in November when I go back to work. We had planned on sending him to daycare in San Francisco were we used to live, but now we aren't sure what our plans are. We live near Montclair, and will commute from the Rockridge Bart station. If anyone has a daycare they love and recommend that would work logistically, we would be so grateful if you would let us know! Any bit of guidance is much appreciated.Sep 11, 2017
– Jul 23, 2017(3 replies)
Hi BPN - we are moving in a few weeks and looking for a pre-school spot for a 4yo boy. If anyone knows of an open spot near Piedmont, Lakeshore, Glenview or Montclair, please let me know! Ideally looking for a play based morning program. Father of JoeJul 23, 2017
– Jun 26, 2017(2 replies)
My family was planning on moving out of the area but a sudden job change has but a stop to that. We have a three year old and live by Lake Merritt. Anyone know of a local preschool with openings for fall? Thanks, CJun 26, 2017
– Apr 3, 2017(1 reply)
I am looking for recommendations for daycare centers that accept 3-4 month olds in the Crocker Highlands or Lake Merritt area. I have found a few online but would prefer a recommendation or information on additional centers that may not be listed.Apr 3, 2017
– Mar 31, 2017(2 replies)
Hi, we'll be moving to the Upper Rockridge area this summer. I would be looking to enroll my 3 year old into preschool for the fall (either pt or ft). Any recommendations? Has anyone had experience with any of these - Rockridge Little School, The Room to Grow, or Rockridge Montessori - thoughts?
ThanksMar 31, 2017
– Mar 13, 2017(3 replies)
Hope you're all doing well. I would love your advice and expertise in navigating the waters of "East Bay Daycare." My son Amory has been in an awesome in-home daycare in the mission district for the last year (he started in April of 2016 after a short nanny share experience) and we have loved it! He's one of a handful of kids, is learning Spanish, and the women who run the daycare REALLY love and care for him which is great. We drop off diapers and wipes when need be and every few weeks we're asked to bring milk or bananas or eggs, but we don't have to provide our own food every day which is a REAL win! They have a schedule, but because it's an in-home daycare and not a daycare center it's a little more loosey goosey and I'm alright with that. We have him there from 8:15am- 5:15pm and would need similar hours moving forward. I know that a lot of times places don't have websites so if you could share any places in Oakland/Emeryville/Berkeley I would greatly appreciate it. We are moving from the city to lower Rockridge and I work in Emeryville.
MelissaMar 13, 2017
Archived Q&A and Reviews
- Preschool and infant care at same location (near 580/880)
- Best Daycare Centers for Infants Berk/Oak?
After finding out this week that i'll have a job to go back to in january 2014, i'm now scrambling to find a preschool that also has an infant center on-site so that i can do just one drop-off of my 4 yr old and newly-turned 1 yr old (their ages in january). I live in west oakland, will be working in san leandro, so looking for places in oakland (near 880 or 580 would be awesome), alameda, or san leandro. Back to school
Monte Tavor Spanish Immersion has openings for infants and preschoolers. Monte Tavor is in the upper Dimond close to the exits of Coolidge/ Fruitvale on 580. This is a Spanish Immersion program for all ages based on children's interest and teacher instruction. You can receive an e-packet by requesting at hmontetavor [at] aol.com or by calling (510) 967-2876. Yeira Howell
Chatham Preschool - 35th Ave campus. It is a large daycare/ preschool which serves 0-5. http://www.chathampreschool.com/ Chatham parent
You may want to check out Small Size Big Minds next to the Alameda/Bay Farm Island Bridge. Good luck w/ your search!
BlueSkies for Children is located half a mile off 580, between Fruitvale and Coolidge, so it is on your commute path. We currently have an opening for a 4 year old (born before 8/31/09)and will be able to enroll an infant later in the fall. BlueSkies is geared to meet the needs of young children and their working parents, accredited by NAEYC, open 7:30-6 year round. Please look at our website at blueskies4children.org and come by for a tour! Liisa Hale
I don't know if it fits your location requirement, but the Model School in Berkeley has both infant care and preschool/Pre-K in the same building. We didn't take advantage of the infant room, but I've observed that they take loving care of the little ones. There are nice places inside and outside for the babies to play. And our family has been very happy with the pre-K program. The teachers are great! There seem to be a lot of families from Oakland too. Good luck with back to school and back to work! Joanna
I just went to check out a few preschools recently and Little Stars at 169 14th St, Oakland, CA does have a preschool with an infant care as well. It's run by Chinese owners and a lot of the teachers are Chinese, but there are non-Chinese ones as well. Kids are a mix. Preschool is very affordable, however, infant care (up to age 2) will be twice as much. I did like it and felt a relaxed vibe. They have a huge playground for all the kids. Alice
I am looking for recommendations on the best daycare centers (and the ones to avoid), that accept infants. My baby will be 4 months old when I go back to work, part-time. I have read numerous posts about various centers but they are a bit outdated. Positive and negative feedback would be greatly appreciated! I stayed home with my first child and am nervous about placing baby in a formal daycare, but finances may require it. Thanks in advance for your help. working mom