My son (who will be 16 next month)spent the first 5 years of his life at Karen’s Kiddo’s pre-school in El Cerrito. It was the basis for his upbringing and I could not have been more pleased with Karen and her staff, all of whom I continue to have contact with. The pre-school is the perfect blend of home and school. It is structured yet homey and the perfect environment for learning and play. The children are taught to be polite and respectful and all the skills needed to get along in the real world. Karen and her staff taught me a lot about raising a happy healthy child. Two of my cousins sent each of their two children to Karen’s Kiddos also. I would highly recommend Karen’s Kiddos to parents of children of all different personalities and interests.

Karen’s Kiddos Preschool, a home-based preschool, has a lot to offer to preschoolers. It has plenty of toys & manipulatives, a reading corner with chairs, calendar and circle/singing time, letter of the week activities, lunch time, TV time, nap time, snack time, outside play, and help with potty training. My 4.5 year old son attended the preschool for 3 years and my daughter attended for 2 years. I feel my children are well-adjusted and they looked forward to going to preschool everyday!

What I like most about Karen’s Kiddos Preschool is 1)the  professional and nurturing teachers, 2) mealtime- lunch is provided daily and my children like to eat vegetables, 3) the emphasis on good manners and routines, and 4) the spacious layout of the school, both indoor and outdoor.

I recommend Karen’s Kiddos Preschool for your child’s preschool needs!





I worked at Karen’s Kiddos Preschool and highly recommend it to parents and guardians looking for both a nurturing and an academic environment to give their kids a head start in the school system. Having worked at several elementary schools, I can say that Karen’s Kiddos more than prepares its graduates for Kindergarten in terms of social and academic development.

The head teachers of Karen’s Kiddos have worked together for years and have created a loving and welcoming place where the children receive the encouragement and gain the self-reliance to succeed throughout their lives. The parents are also highly supportive and involved.

Every school day includes a good balance of play-time and learning. The children engage in creative play both indoors and out, make art projects, and sing together. Each child has daily practice with reading, writing, and math. Teachers work one-on-one or in small groups to guide the children and give each child work appropriate for her or his individual stage of learning.

My experience at this school inspired me to pursue my own path as an educator. As I work in other school systems, I am continually amazed by the levels of maturity, poise, and kindness an education from Karen’s Kiddos gives its students.



Several months ago I enrolled my now 2 year-old daughter at Karen’s Kiddo’s based on a friend’s recommendation whose 2 kids are KK veterans. Karens Kiddos is a small family childcare for kids 18 months – 6 years. Can’t recommend them highly enough. They are really dedicated to each child, taking the time to get to know each one. Karen and staff have a strong background in early child development and are enthusiastic, loving and easygoing. They really focus on helping the kids grow intellectually, socially and emotionally. This was my (slow-to-warm)daughter’s first daycare experience and she loves it –it provides the right balance of a gentle environment with just the right amount of stimulation. And they feed the kids healthy lunches and afternoon snacks (and it’s really nice to not have to pack a lunch!).And if all that wasn’t enough, the parent community is equally great. I really wish I had found Karen’s Kiddos sooner. Hours are 8:00-5:00pm and they have part and full-time openings (take advantage of it – they don’t often have many openings!).

Karen’s Kiddos (El Cerrito)

My son attended Karen’s Kiddos for 2 years.  The director, Karen, was a  teacher in the public schools before opening her daycare.  She accepts children between the ages of 1-4.It is truly a wonderful place!  The setting is beautiful with an inviting outdoor space.  Karen and her staff nurture the younger children while preparing the older ones for kindergarten. Most of all, she offers an amazing sense of community by welcoming parents and families to visit as well as providing plenty of extra functions to bring families together.  In fact, my son is now 15 years old and the Karen’s Kiddo’s moms still meet once a month for a ”Mom’s Night Out”.  I can honestly say that some of my best current friendships started at Karen’s Kiddos.  I would highly recommend it!


My daughter attended Karen’s Kiddos Preschool from the time she was three years old until she graduated and began attending kindergarten. I have to say, Karen’s Kiddos was such a blessing to us as a family. Our daughter had attended other preschool/daycares before and we had never felt so comfortable with the curriculum, the cleanliness, the way the staff deals with behavioral issues and the communication we received from the people who were caring for our daughter. I made friends with many of the parents whose children attended Karen’s Kiddos at the same time and engaged in activities with them outside of the school. It really feels like a family there. Now that my daughter is in kindergarten I can really see how the time spent at Karen’s Kiddo has helped her to be prepared academically as well as behaviorally; she is very helpful and courteous and she is a very good listener AND she already has the basics of reading and math. I highly recommend Karen’s Kiddos.


Karen’s Kiddos is excellent! (El Cerrito, Albany, Berkeley)

I couldn’t be happier with the Karen’s Kiddos Daycare and Preschool!  My 2 sons (ages 31 mos and 15 mos) have been at Karen’s since they were 11 months old and they love it.  They look forward to going to ”school” each day and have made some wonderful friendships.  Karen and her staff are professional, caring, flexible and genuinely interested in the well being of the children.  My sons have learned so much at a young age, from good manners to the ABC’s. The children have lots of free time to play, as well as a structured learning environment.  There is plenty of outdoor time to enjoy the large play space and explore their surroundings. I highly recommend Karen’s Kiddos!

– Kristen

August 9, 2010

Dear Karen,

As my first-born (son) heads off to college, with Kaiya only 4 years behind him, I find myself reflecting back on those early years when time seemed to move a lot slower. It seems like a whole day was filled with activities, adventures, events to be savored.

I thought of the time Kaiya spent at Karen’s Kiddos, a period in her life which she still refers to quite fondly, and I decided to write and share my thoughts.

Karen’s Kiddos was a very special place. There were not too many children in the program, but plenty enough to keep it interesting. I liked the fact that Kaiya was able to closely interact with babies and older preschoolers in the same setting. This taught her some great social skills interacting with children of different ages, as well as the adult teachers. As a pediatrician, I liked the developmentally appropriate way that feelings were validated, and how conflict resolution was handled.

I appreciated that there was structure and a routine. The daily and weekly schedule was helpful so the children (and parents) always knew what was coming. As I recall, even the babies and restless toddlers enjoyed circle time. Kaiya would often come home talking about the activities she did, singing songs and dancing. She learned her colors, days of the week, weather patterns, numbers and it was all fun for her! She also would talk about the table activities, crafts, puzzles and games which I know creatively emphasized early math and pre-reading skills. I loved and still have many of the projects she brought home from school. She was well-prepared by the time Kindergarten came around.

She was always served warm meals of healthy, kid-friendly food. Because meals were a social event and all of the kids wanted to fit in, even the pickiest eaters ate well at Karen’s Kiddos, and this includes Kaiya. I got some great ideas of what to offer her on weekends and vacations based on what I knew she’d eat at Karen’s Kiddos. I remember she also enjoyed playing outside. Though not a huge yard, it was big enough to meet the needs of a bunch of active toddlers and preschoolers. It was also easy for the teachers to keep close tabs on the kids, so I always felt they were very safe. On the hottest days, they got to run through sprinklers, which was as good as going to any water park for that age group. I could always count on sunblock being applied, so Kaiya never got sunburned.

Thanks for being there for such an important time in my daughter’s life. I do believe Kaiya’s experiences at Karen’s Kiddos helped to shape the great teenager I have today.

We would like to drop by one of these days—if I can free her from her busy teenage schedule for a moment. I also want to thank you, Karen, for those fun newsletters you send out ever year. It is nice to keep in touch and I always enjoy hearing the latest news about Jessica and Adam.