Preschool Poll: And the Winner is...

Here's our second contest in our new "Readers' Choice" series. Poll votes, reviews and comments below this piece all factored into our selection, which was announced Friday. Click "Keep me posted" for an email update on future polls.

UPDATE, March 9: After tallying the poll votes, the comments on Albany Patch and reader reviews, we have a winner!

Even more importantly, many of you shared reviews and experiences about the range of preschool programs in town, which hopefully will help parents make informed decisions about programs in the future. 

Childcare co-op came out on top, with 55 votes, and another eight reviews and comments. One parent described it as "a great learning environment," and others said it's "a great way to get to know the community" and that "Being part of a cooperative preschool truly provides parents with the foundation and opportunity to be involved in their child's education." 

received the next highest response, with 25 votes and one new review, lauding the school's ample outdoor time, high-quality teachers and opportunities for kids to work in the school garden, as well as its affordability and regular attention to art.

was next on the list, with 16 votes and three new reviews. Parents said they love the school for its "Loving teachers, low-key nurturing environment, lots of enrichment opportunities like Spanish and baking, and crafts galore." Parents said their kids absolutely love the program: "The teachers are wonderful and the kids have so much fun!"

We also heard other great reviews about a small Albany program called Shimmy Shimmy, which we hadn't formerly known about. Details in the comments below. 

Next week, our Readers' Choice poll will focus on St. Patrick's Day.


Here's our second contest in our new . Poll votes, stars and reviews, and comments below this piece all will factor in to our selection, to be announced Friday. Click "Keep me posted" below for an email update.

(Miss last week's winner in the sandwich category? .)

Click on the links above to rate a business on its Patch Places listing. You can even leave a review.

Scroll down to take the poll.

If there is another beloved Albany preschool we missed, start a write-in campaign in the comments section below. In the event of a tie, we will break it based on the comments, so please explain your choice.

The poll opens at 5 a.m. Monday and closes at 9 a.m. Friday. Come back later that day for the results.

(Because our poll is not scientific, it is not the sole consideration in choosing a winner. The winner will be determined by the Patch editor, based on poll results, comments and reviews on Patch Places. Please vote only once per survey.)

If you'd like to recommend a preschool nearby, you can vote on El Cerrito Patch or Berkeley Patch.

Laurian Rhodes March 09, 2012 at 10:16 PM
Ditto on the above comments about Shimmy Shimmy! It's a play based, loosely structured 'curriculum' wise, where the kids have the run of a great big back yard space for climbing, playing in sand, searching for salamanders, sliding, water play, driving cars around and more. The teacher really understands kids and they learn to gain some independence, but rely on the structure. My older son loved it and my youngest is doing great now, too. We highly recommend it!
Emilie Raguso March 10, 2012 at 12:23 AM
The responses have been tallied... and the winner is....
Eric Stephens March 10, 2012 at 04:11 AM
Thanks, we're going through the hunting and selection process right now.
Jon Meyers March 12, 2012 at 03:58 AM
Let's also keep in mind other fine programs that are near by. For example, JCC of the East Bay (North Berkeley) was a terrific preschool for us.
Emilie Raguso March 13, 2012 at 04:55 AM
Thanks for adding this, Jon!


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