Poll: Readers' Choice – Preschools in El Cerrito, Kensington

Do you have a favorite preschool in El Cerrito or Kensington? We'd like to know.

Families who send children to a preschool naturally want to find a school that is a good fit for their children. What works for one child may not be best for another.

So, we're conducting poll to ask our readers' experience and knowledge of local preschools. Do you have a preference? Why did you choose the school you chose? What worked for your family and child? 

You can cast a vote in our poll at the bottom of this article and add comments in the comments section. Also you are invited to click on the links of the individual schools in the list below (arranged alphabetically) and rate them and write reviews in Patch Places, our business directory.

If there's a preschool that's not here and that you think should be included, please tell us in the comments so that we can add it to the list and the poll.

As for the poll, to be fair, please vote only once.

The poll closes at 9 a.m. Friday.

JM March 06, 2012 at 04:41 PM
My son goes to ECPC and the freedom that is allowed at ECPC has allowed him to become much more self confident than he ever was before. The teachers allow and facilitate the children's exploration in whatever they feel they need. The kids can enjoy causing a ruckus with a bunch of other kids or sitting under the play structure alone. Their options are endless, and i think this is what kids really need. The other great thing about ECPC is it has made me a better parent, and the community is beyond amazing.
Stephany March 06, 2012 at 07:40 PM
Bridge K at Tehiyah Day School has been fabulous!!!! The Hebrew and Judaic Studies is great as well as the science activities and outdoor space-very loving, structured, and overall wonderful.
Steve March 08, 2012 at 06:27 AM
Please, please, please don't judge any preschool based on a silly vote like this. I would venture that nobody who has voted in this poll has placed a child in every school in the list and is therefore unqualified to pass judgment. And speaking of "best", what does that mean? It should mean "best fit for you and your child". If you have multiple children, it may mean multiple schools. Some kids thrive in a Montessori environment. Or Waldorf. Or play-based. Some parents can commit to full participation in a co-op. Others can not. Perhaps the drop-off and pick-up schedules meet your job requirements. Or you are looking for a preschool that accepts non potty-trained or younger kids. And there is always the budget concern. The list goes on. We were happy at Skytown. But like most preschools, the parents, children and some employees have changed since we were there so any recommendation I could give is out-of-date. There is no best. There is only best fit for you. I, for one, refuse to vote.
Charles Burress March 08, 2012 at 09:29 AM
I appreciate your comment and am in full sympathy with you about any poll that might ask for the "best" preschool, in large part because most readers will not have had experience at more than one preschool and thus not be in a position to judge. And, as another reader noted in the comments above, "Schools are not like sandwiches." We recognize that different children thrive in different environments and avoided asking for the "best" in this poll. We instead sought to get readers' views on preschools that they have chosen and the ones that they think are "good."
RD March 14, 2012 at 02:11 PM
Another fantastic home-based preschool is Stepping Stone Schoolhouse. It is brand new (opened in Fall of 2011), but the owner, Tew Pakawongse, has been teaching preschool in the area for many years (including Duck's Nest, Growing Light Montessori, and others). Tew is a fantastic teacher and follows a Montessori-based philosophy with hints of other methods and philosophies thrown in. There is a great balance between structure and play as Tew teaches by providing the kids with ample opportunities to learn by exploring and experimenting with the world around them. The second teacher, Ana, speaks Spanish with the kids (including weekly "Cooking in Spanish" lessons). My son has been a student of Tew's for more than 2 years (first at another preschool and now at SSS) and we could not be happier.


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