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Children & Parents


Attendees mostly live in Berkeley and Oakland; but families from Albany, Alameda, Orinda, and Richmond have also joined our community.

Incoming children need to be around two-and-a-half, though 2.9 to 3 is the best starting age range for many preschoolers.

We ask families to start toilet training before beginning school; but we’ll understand if children are not fully toilet trained when they begin. As in all other areas of children’s development, we appreciate as much communication as possible from families about how toilet training is going at home.

The school is licensed for eighteen children at a time. Our teacher-to-child ratio is one-to-six in the mornings and afternoons, except during one hour of the PM program, when the ratio becomes one-to-nine.

We take care to make our groups as gender- and age-balanced as possible. Our population has been diversifying, as gay and lesbian families, single-parent families, and families from Central America, the Middle East, Asia, and Europe have joined us. We would like more African American families to enroll. Please spread the word!



You may be here because you have observed that your child wants more independence and more time around other children. You may also want or need to resume a career or other pursuits that you put aside during your years of pregnancy and infant and toddler care. We encourage you to use our school as a laboratory for your children and as an opportunity to initiate or resume your own activities outside the home.

However, we count on you as collaborators. We communicate as often as we can through brief daily check-ins, phone calls, a busy googlegroups email, conferences, school meetings, potlucks, letters, and visits. Parents and staff begin to get acquainted as a group at our Summer Potluck in August; and at our Parent Night in September we get further acquainted. In October we have our Fall Potluck, usually at Ardenwood Historic Farm in Fremont. Our first parent conferences, October through January, are enjoyable and illuminating discussions that help us set goals for the children. We have conferences again in March, past the midway point of our twelve-month school year. After our Spring Break we have another Potluck to restore our soggy souls. Additional conferences or phone discussions can be arranged at any time.

Parent participation in the school community is not compulsory, but it is always welcome. We invite you to share your interests and talents at our group times; and we greatly appreciate volunteer labor for building improvements, fundraising efforts, professional advice, and donations of materials. Perhaps you will have your own ideas for projects or activities. Just ask, and we will put you to good use.