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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have recently been hired as an elementary school teacher for the Oakland Unified School District through the Oakland City Teacher Corps.

I am currently in the process of trying to get preschool/daycare situated for my almost 4 year old and finding an apartment somewhere safe. I have been looking on craigslist in San Leandro, Lake Merrit/Grand Ave and also in Alameda.

The various resources I have found in the area are outstanding. I have already contacted the East Bay Moms Club for their Preschool Directory. The Berkeley Parent Network has also been great.

So, my questions are to those living in Oakland and the surrounding areas:

1. Besides the 3 areas I listed above, any other suggestions for finding a safe, somewhat reasonably priced place to live?

2. Anyone have any personal experience with any particular preschool/daycare in the area they would recommended or not?

3. Any other information or wisdom you could share?

I will be driving down (I currently live in Southern Oregon) for 2-3 days next week to tour a couple of preschools and check out the neighborhoods a bit more.

I am so excited, yet very nervous at the same time!
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Holland73 View Post
3. Any other information or wisdom you could share?
Dedicate an afternoon and a tank of gas to figuring out the freeways.


And I'm only half-joking. It took me about 2 years to figure them out.

I'm in the Grand Lake area, if you need a "tour guide" to help figure out the grocery stores and farmer's markets and things.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for your post, Cristeen. I was beginning to feel a little sadden that nobody wanted to talk to me.

Ds and I are driving down on Wednesday and dedicating 3 whole days to learning the neighborhoods, visiting 4 preschools and "figuring out the freeways!"

Plus, I have a possible lead for an apartment in the "Ivy Hill" neighborhood. I have never heard of that neighborhood, but I will by the end of next week.


Again...thank you!
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Holland73 View Post
1. Besides the 3 areas I listed above, any other suggestions for finding a safe, somewhat reasonably priced place to live?
Congratulations!

You already listed it, but I wanted to put in a plug for Alameda. I love it here. There are no freeways running through the Island, anyway. I'm sorry I can't help with the preschools b/c it's been a while for me.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I also like Alameda. My bf lives in Alameda, so I have spent some time there. The rent prices are higher than they are in Oakland, though.

What I have found is that there a lot more preschool/daycare openings in Alameda than there are in Oakland. Many of the preschools/daycares in Oakland are waitlisted or completely filled for 2+ years.
 

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Hi,
I live further out in the East Bay than Oakland, so I am sorry I have no personal knowledge of preschools and the best neighborhoods. I do have a co-worker who lives in Oakland, and her husband works for the apartment complex. I can ask her what she thinks when I go in to work tomorrow.

There is the cutest little Children's Park right on Lake Merrit. Children's Fairyland. If you have a couple of hours, it might be a fun way for you and dc to break up the day after a long drive down here. I go there with my dd a lot.
(they take AAA discount if you have them)

http://www.fairyland.org/

Anyway... mostly I want to say have a great journey down here. Good luck in your search and your exploring of the area.I'll be thinking of you and if I get any info for you I will post again.

~Cynthia
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I already have Fairyland planned into our makeshift schedule. I am looking forward to going there myself, to be honest.


Thank you for your kind post and for keeping your ear open for any information. That is really nice of you.
 

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it sounds like you are already on the right track with the EBM preschool directory and the berkeley parents network.

there's a cool co-op preschool somewhere in the oakland hills I think, but I cannot for the life of me remember the name.

we loved living in both north oakland and berkeley. in north oakland there is a neighborhood yahoo group affiliated with peralta elementary school that we found helpful. i imagine there are other local yahoo groups that might be helpful as well.

you may or may not find the resources at bananas (npo childcare referral service) helpful.

i assume you are using craigslist.org already to help find a place to live.

good luck!
 

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I can recommend Claremont Day Nursery on Claremont Ave. on the oakland/berkeley boarder... They probably have a wait list but the owner of the school is a really great man--and the staff there is awesome... also sugar and spice in Alameda has openings, and I have a friend whose 2 girls attended this school and loved it...

I think that to live in a safe area, Alameda rentals are actually less expensive than a safe area of Oakland (I've lived all over oakland and am not Oaklandaphobic... )

For Alameda rentals:

www.ommhomes.com/ these people rock and are really, really nice and helpful.

www.alamedarentals.com/ these folks are not as nice as the OMM folks, but have lots of listings...

www.hbrhomes.com/rentals.cfm these folks are super nice and cool...

I recommend using one of these agencies when looking for a place in Alameda--most landowners tend to use them in ALameda--plus then you don't have to spend 20$ each time for credit check because they'll keep your application on file for 6+ months... so even you if do this with each company, your our $60 dollars instead of tons of money.

San Leandro has some good rentals now (look by the 580 freeway, not the 880--this side tends to be not so nice-ish)... but then you are looking at a potentially bad commute during rush hour...
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by carmel23 View Post
I can recommend Claremont Day Nursery on Claremont Ave. on the oakland/berkeley boarder... They probably have a wait list but the owner of the school is a really great man--and the staff there is awesome... also sugar and spice in Alameda has openings, and I have a friend whose 2 girls attended this school and loved it...
I contacted Claremont and there were no openings. MANY of the places I have contacted have been completely filled with ridiculously long waitlists.

We have a visit with Sugar and Spice on Friday morning.
:

We also have visits scheduled with both Peter Pan sites, Lakeshore Children's Center and Organic Whole Child.

I am
: one of them is a good fit, in addition to having an opening.

Quote:

Originally Posted by carmel23 View Post
I think that to live in a safe area, Alameda rentals are actually less expensive than a safe area of Oakland (I've lived all over oakland and am not Oaklandaphobic... )

For Alameda rentals:

www.ommhomes.com/ these people rock and are really, really nice and helpful.

www.alamedarentals.com/ these folks are not as nice as the OMM folks, but have lots of listings...

www.hbrhomes.com/rentals.cfm these folks are super nice and cool...

I recommend using one of these agencies when looking for a place in Alameda--most landowners tend to use them in ALameda--plus then you don't have to spend 20$ each time for credit check because they'll keep your application on file for 6+ months... so even you if do this with each company, your our $60 dollars instead of tons of money.

San Leandro has some good rentals now (look by the 580 freeway, not the 880--this side tends to be not so nice-ish)... but then you are looking at a potentially bad commute during rush hour...
Thanks for sharing these agencies!

I have an appointment to look at a 2 br in Oakland (the Ivy Hill area) while we are visiting this week. The apartment could be absolutely perfect for us, especially since it was a referral from someone that I know, who also has a preschooler and is a veteran Oakland teacher. They live directly below this soon-to-be vacant apartment and are very friendly with the current tenants and landlord.
:
 

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hi, i'm in the grand lake area, and remember looking at ivy hill. nice old houses and apartments, short walk to the lake (SE side), slightly longer to grand or lakeshore shops.

not much help in the preschool dept. dd1 went to dimond rec center (near fruitvale, btwn park blvd and fruitvale). it's a gorgeous park (canyon, quiet, huge old oaks, lion's pool, creek running through it), but the preschool is only MWF, not a "daycare" sort. cheap though! ~150 for 2.5 hrs x3/wk for each 11-15 week session (follows the oakland pub school calendar, same holidays) = less than $2/hour. some SAHM combined this with merritt college's lab preschool (T Th) for 5 day a week school. there was a group of about 5 in dd1's class (out of 15-18) who did this.

there's a montessori school near where i live, but kinda near the freeway (2 houses from 580). i think it's considered pretty good, but not cheap.

the "school in the hills" might be MCPC (? montclair cooperative preschool ?community), which IS cooperative, so a no go if your working 5 days/week.

there's another school called broadway children's school, also not so cheap.

my neighbor (SAHM) did the full on assault last year (of the lower priced ones), and it was like watching someone apply to law school! she ended up at ?st augustine's, the one at a church school near alcatraz and telegraph, and likes it.

so
to oakland!!!

here's a thread full of local info:
Where in the Bay Area for our unschooling multi-racial family?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
We just returned from spending 2.5 days in Oakland. It was great, but ridiculously exhausting.

I now have an apartment. It is on Ivy Drive w/ 2 bedrooms!

We, ds and I, also found a great preschool, Sugar & Spice, for him in Alameda. It was our last appointment/tour, after visiting 4 others.

Additionally, when we arrived Wednesday afternoon, I started getting emails and phone calls from principals asking for interviews. So, in addition to looking at an apartment and checking out 5 preschools, I also had 2 job interviews!

Honestly, it was all completely
:! But, it is DONE!!!! Ds was an amazing trooper and I pushed him pretty hard. There were a lot of extrinsic rewards/bribes going on for the past couple of days.


We did spend a lot of time driving and checking out the neighborhoods and freeways (
). I am so excited, yet a bit nervous, to get down there!
 

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congratulations! you'll be living about 2 miles from me. i think i looked at some of those buildings in 1993 when i first considered moving to oakland when i went to grad school. i thought ivy street was beautiful! you'll be walking distance from the saturday farmer's market (across the street from the grand lake theater) and arizmendi's (bread/scones), and VERY close to the parkway theater (couches and pizza/beer).

my dd1 goes to peralta, and they may have an opening, as her kindergarten teacher retired just as the school year ended. i believe the opening might be for 1st grade, since generally there are just 2 classes/grade in the lower grades, but last year they enrolled 3 classes of k (~60 kids), which they will not continue to do, so that bubble will be working through the school, needing an extra class each year (ie 3-1st's next fall, 3-2nd's in 2008-09...).

the principle is rosette costello. she is amazing, and a great part of the success of the school (along with the pta, or "pptg" =peralta parent teacher group), although a very strong personality.

i looked at a lot (?10) of schools when looking into an intra distict transfer for dd1, because our neighborhood school is ON the freeway, ie the building is ?50' from 4 lanes of whizzing traffic, and you have to shout to be heard in the playground. if you want some info/my take on some schools, feel free to pm me. obviously i only know a smattering from a few hours' tour or such, but mamas/papas on the playground also filled me in plenty at the time.

alameda is also wonderful! crown beach is perfect for kids: gentle waves and plenty of bathrooms. i go there often since i hooked up with their LLL group because it better fit my schedule at the time, and kept going back because it had a great group/leaders.

good luck, hope things go well for you.
 
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