A few words from SJC Parents: Choosing a childcare program/preschool that is a good fit for your family’s needs and your child’s personality can be challenging. We asked current families and alumni to help you, by telling us a bit about their experience at St. Johns. Some of these families are also on the current family reference list, others just sent a statement to share.
“St. Johns provided a nurturing home away from home for my son from the time he was an infant through age 4. The staff was consistently attentive and aware of his developmental needs, supporting him in feeling a sense of joy and inspiration
each step of the way. The play-based curriculum allowed him to freely explore his world both individually and with others, and he smoothly transitioned into all of his further schooling, both socially and academically. He had the opportunity to gain close friendships that he has continued to value even to his current ripe old age of 7.As his mother, I am grateful for the highly skilled, knowledgeable, consistent, friendly, and loving staff he had the opportunity to interact with through these crucial developmental years.”
– MRO, child enrolled 2007 – 2012, ___________________________________________________________________________________________
“This is what I say about St. Johns…. The staff and teachers are sincerely interested in and have passion for helping the kids to learn and thrive. They became my allies to promote the development of my son who has special needs (including a g-tube).”
-YB, son enrolled 2008 – 2010
____________________________________________________________________________________________ “What makes St. Johns unique is the caring, warmth and community spirit of teachers, staff and other parents. Our son felt at home at St. Johns and we made friends with other families with whom we are still close 7 years later. Additionally, the teachers are treated with respect and dignity at St. Johns, and this in turn makes them happier in the classroom. Due to various logistical reasons, we ended up sending our younger daughter to another day care and, while the care there was also very professional, safe and caring, we realized what an especially warm and welcoming place St. Johns is and we missed it.”
-Jessica Rider (mom of Emmet Arikan)
____________________________________________________________________________________________ “The friends we made (my kids and my spouse) during our years at St. John’s are still some of our closest friends today – 12 years later. Although the kids are now living in different towns and going to different schools, they fall right back in to friend mode when we see each other, even if we go a year between visits. And as a working mom, the other moms I met during those first overwhelming years of parenthood have sustained me through many a parenting struggle! The moms get together more than the kids!”
____________________________________________________________________________________________ “After moving to the East Bay, we did a fairly exhaustive search of day care programs that accept 1-year-olds, and we feel so fortunate that we were accepted at St. Johns. Our son has absolutely thrived there. He receives so much stimulation and socialization, but also a high degree of individualized attention and nurturing. The staff are all talented
and loving, and they function seamlessly as a team.”
-EO, mother of 1 child in the baby and now toddler room.
____________________________________________________________________________________________ “I feel fortunate that my son was able to attend St. John’s. I found St. John’s to be a safe place where my son thrived personally, socially, and academically. I moved to Berkeley on short notice, and St. John’s was the only certified daycare within a few miles of campus that had space available for my son. It turned out to be within walking distance from my home and from my work, which was great because it gave me an opportunity to spend more time with my son. I have moved around quite a bit in the last few years, and each time I have found that all of the certified daycares near me have long waiting lists. There is a huge demand for quality daycare. Please expand.”
“St. Johns provides all the meals (including breakfast) which was a big relief for us. The amount of time we save in preparing meals is tremendous, and it means that our child got a much more varied menu than we would have been able to provide. We also liked that the outside area was directly connected to the classrooms, so there did not have to be scheduled times to go outside. This also means that some of the class can be outside while the others are inside — the children have a lot of flexibility in choosing what they want to do. The baby room has its own designated outside area, so the babies can have the same freedom. In addition to those things we noticed when we were choosing, some additional things we appreciate after having been here: There is a lot of stability that we really appreciate, especially compared to where our older child went (a larger center with multiple rooms per age group). The center has `floaters – personnel that help in a couple of the class rooms and cover when someone is out, so there are no substitute teachers that my child doesnt know. The teachers in the rooms we have been in have been very stable. Also related to stability, St. Johns had very smooth, gradual transitions when it was time for our son to change rooms. Geographically, the rooms are literally connected to each other and there are a lot of interactions between the rooms (both with the teachers and the other children). So when it was time to transition, our child already knew the other teachers a bit and knew many children well since they had been in his room recently. And during the time he was actually transitioning, he was able to go back and forth between rooms whenever he was ready since they were connected.”
-Elizabeth enrolled 2009-2014
____________________________________________________________________________________________ “The teachers at St. Johns take really loving care of our kids. Both of my kids have become truly attached to their teachers, and my older child still loves her teachers, even years after she left the program! My baby regularly gives his teachers a huge smile every morning when we arrive at school — and the joy on his teachers faces when they see him
warms my heart. Its wonderful to leave him in an environment where he is so happy and loved. St. Johns is one of the few child care programs that offers extended hours of care, a year-round program, and everything (diapers, healthy meals, etc.) included. This makes our lives so much easier since we have two working parents!
What do parents like about your program?
Anonymous – It’s a happy, safe place for my child to spend her formative years
Carol – the friendliness of the teacher and management team. How happy the other kids are within the program. The decision of taking the best from each methodology and consolidating and adapting based on kids needs. We also liked a lot the infrastructure of the school and activities available to the kids.
SEH (Child Enrolled 2010-2014) – The teachers, the outside play yard and garden, a wonderful neighborhood for children to walk in with several parks nearby.
Why do families choose St. Johns?
Anonymous – A place that reinforces my own beliefs, and is an excellent value.
Carol – at the end of the day, Noah was always so happy and the teachers were
always so attentive. He also was showing great improvement signs.
What makes your program unique? Why should we pick St. Johns instead of another program?
Anonymous – Families of all backgrounds come together in a loving environment.
Carol – 1. The infrastructure and methodology. 2.We always felt welcome and secure Noah was getting the best.
SEH(Child Enrolled 2010-2014) – Amazing teachers, a school that prioritizes childrens needs, for example planning classroom transitions with plenty of time knowing that some children transition quickly and others need more time instead of just scheduling them over a few days. Children do not spend any time in front of screens- they always have engaging activities to participate in and often choose their own activity from several options. All bedding, diapers, and food are provided- you only need to bring your child in the morning! Food is cooked on-site every day and children learn
how to eat together as soon as they can sit up. The play-based curriculum has been shown to provide older children with everything they need to know for kindergarten, especially the social skills that are so critical to learning in school.
What are your teachers like?
Anonymous – Loving, proactive, attentive, interactive. Incredible tenure here.
SEH(Child Enrolled 2010-2014) – The teachers really care about the children and take the
time and are prepared to work with the children to learn how to interact with other children and express their own needs.
Why is tuition assistance important for all families (not just the ones who qualify).
Anonymous – Because childcare just costs so much.
Carol – to preserve and foster a diverse environment and comparable opportunities to all