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Child Care

The high number of families with two working parents has made the need for child care a common requirement. Although children are always welcome at MSRI for a tour of Mom or Dad's workplace, or a brief supervised visit, the building is just not set up to safely accommodate young children. Recently we have found that extended visits bring up two important issues, the most critical being child safety, with the second concern being noise disruption towards other working scholars. We ask that you keep this in mind throughout the year, especially at the beginning of your stay, as it may take some time to find appropriate arrangements.

The following is some information that may be useful in helping you get started with your search for a child care center or pre-school in Berkeley.

There is a website called the Berkeley Parents Network, which features a wealth of information that is valuable to parents living in or visiting the Berkeley area. They also host several useful mailing lists, in which digests about currenlty available childcare opportunities are sent out .

The programs that you will see operating on site at many public schools are state funded and designed to provide before and after school services for low-income families. Acceptance is based on income eligibility and there is usually a (very) long waiting list.

U. C. Berkeley operates several child care programs for infants and pre-school children but priority is given to career faculty and staff. Visiting scholars may apply for the few spaces that usually remain open by contacting the Harold E. Jones Child Study Center, 2425 Atherton St.  #6070, Berkeley, CA 94720, telephone: (510) 642-7031.

Bananas Child Care Information and Referral Service, 5232 Claremont Ave., Oakland, CA 94618, telephone: (510) 658-0381, is a referral source for information on openings at both licensed family day care homes and day care centers. This non-profit agency also provides many child related services and publications.

Swiss Cheese Childcare Collective, is a babysitting booking service made up of a team of childcare providers who are available on an as-needed basis throughout the East Bay. For further information, contact Vicki Dye, Community Coordinator, at (415) 250-1949.

There is a free monthly newspaper called "Parent's Press" available at most markets, newsstands, and children’s stores. It contains information on private schools, after-school programs, daycare, classes and recreational activities for children. Private babysitters often advertise openings on the bulletin board at University Village, U.C. Berkeley's family housing complex, located at 1125 Jackson Street, Albany CA 94706 (about 3.5 miles northwest of campus).

The deadline for applications for Fall entrance to some day care centers is January 31, a long time before arrival. Childcare expenses have also been extraordinarily high in this area for the past few years.

Finally, please be aware that many centers and pre-schools have long waiting lists, and therefore we recommend that you begin making inquiries well in advance. A partial list of local nursery schools and daycare centers follows. It is provided only as a convenience to help you get started, not as an endorsement. Some of the listings are taken from an out of print annotated publication, and others were recommended by previous MSRI visitors and local friends.

Child Care Information and Referral Service
5232 Claremont Ave.
Oakland, CA 94618
(510) 658-0381  

Telephone Referral Hours:
Mon.-Thurs. 10-4 pm, Fri. 10-1 pm,
Tues. evenings 5-8 pm
Walk-in Referral Service:
Mon, Wed, & Thurs 9:30-4:30 pm
Tues. 9:30-8 pm
Fri. 9:30-1 pm

NOTE: According to "Bananas", there are comparatively few infant care centers because most infant care locally is in the form of licensed family day care homes. Although it is a good idea to contact the centers well in advance, because they often have waiting lists, most of the licensed family day care homes won't know about vacancies until 1-2 months in advance. Bananas has an extensive list of these homes, and it might be a good idea to wait until your address is determined before making a decision.


Infant and Child Care Facilities

Model School Learning Center: 3 months - 6 years
2330 Prince St.
Berkeley, CA 94705
(510) 549-2719
Email: info@themodelschool.org
Website: http://www.themodelschool.org

St. John's Infant Care Center: 3 months - 5 years
2727 College Ave.
Berkeley, CA 94705
(510) 549-9342
Email: stjohnit@gmail.com
Website: http://sites.google.com/site/stjohnit/home

Woolly Mammoth Childcare: birth - 5 years
2314 Bancroft Way (near U.C. Campus)
Berkeley, CA 94705
(510) 548-4779
Website: http://woollymammothpreschool.com/

The following listings were excerpted from A Narrative Guide to Nursery Schools in Alameda County or were recommended by previous visitors to MSRI.

Berkeley Hills Nursery School: 2.9 - 5 years
1161 Sterling Ave.
Berkeley, CA 94708
(510) 849-1216
Email: berkhillsschool@earthlink.net
Website: http://berkeleyhills.org/

The Berkeley School (formerly Berkeley Montessori Elementary & Pre-School):  3 years - 8th grade
Two Locations:

Main Campus (K-8)
1310 University Ave.
Berkeley, CA 94702
(510) 665-8800

Early Childhood Center (Preschool)
2030 Francisco St.
Berkeley, CA 94709
(510) 843-9374

Email: info@theberkeleyschool.org
Website: http://theberkeleyschool.org/

Berkwood Hedge School: Kindergarten - 5th Grade
1809 Bancroft Way
Berkeley, CA 94703
(510) 883-6990
Website: http://www.berkwood.org/

Cedar Creek Montessori Day Care: 2 years 9 months - Kindergarten
1600 Sacramento St.
Berkeley, CA 94702
(510) 525-1377
Email: info@cedarcreekmontessorischool.com
Website: http://cedarcreekmontessorischool.com/

Dandelion Cooperative Nursery School: 2 years 11 months - 5 years
941 The Alameda
Berkeley, CA 94707
(510) 526-1735
Email: dandelion.enrollment@gmail.com
Website: www.dandelionnurseryschool.org

Duck’s Nest: 2 - 5 years
1411 4th St.
Berkeley, CA 94710
(510) 527-2331
Website: http://www.ducksnest.org/

Ecole Bilingue: 3-1/2 years and up
East Bay French-American School
1009 Heinz Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94710
(510) 549-3867
Website: http://www.eb.org/ebschool/

Gay Austin Nursery School: 2 - 5 years
1611 Hopkins St.
Berkeley, CA 94707
(510) 526-2815

Kensington Nursery School: 2 years 9 months - Kindergarten
52 Arlington Avenue
Kensington, CA 94707
(510) 524-7963
Email: KNSchool@sbcglobal.net
Website: http://www.kns-ca.org/

Montessori Family Schools: 3 - 5 years
All Souls Episcopal Church
1850 Scenic Ave   
Berkeley, CA 94709
(510) 848-2322
Website: http://montessorifamily.com/early-childhood.php

Mustard Seed: 1.5 - 5 years
1640 Hopkins St.
Berkeley, CA 94707
(510) 527-6627
Website: www.mustardseedpreschool.org

New School of Berkeley: 2 -12 years
1606 Bonita St.
Berkeley, CA 94709
(510) 548-9165
Website: http://www.newschoolberkeley.org/

Step One Nursery School: 2 to 6 years
499 Spruce Street
Berkeley, CA 94708
(510) 527-9021
Website: http://www.steponeschool.org/index.html

*The provided list of daycare centers and nursery schools is for your convenience to help get started in your search for childcare that best meets your family’s needs. It is not intended as an endorsement of any particular place or program.