About BlueSkies for Children

BlueSkies is committed to providing high-quality support to children and their families, ensuring that parents can focus on their jobs knowing that their children are experiencing healthy days of balanced play, nurturing, and learning. BlueSkies, a private, nonprofit 501(c)3 program founded in 1983, is the only NAEYC-accredited childcare center in Oakland.

We are one of the most diverse full-time childcare centers in the Bay Area, and a model of excellence for teachers studying early childhood education.

Our Mission

The mission of BlueSkies is to practice and teach an optimal approach to education and care of young children based on the interrelated disciplines of human development. Such an approach sustains and supports today’s children and families and provides a model of excellence and an educational center for caregivers and the community.

The history of the organization began years before official incorporation when the founder ran a center in East Oakland caring primarily for the children of young teen mothers in residence. The center served babies starting life in the most fragile circumstances, lacking financial resources or family support, and institutionalized with their teen mothers who needed to learn parenting skills. During the founder’s six-year tenure she developed the philosophical foundation of the BlueSkies approach, blending the nurturing of home with the enrichment of preschool throughout the day. The program, developed for an extremely underprivileged population and now in place at BlueSkies with children from all socioeconomic backgrounds, proves that all children thrive when they are given respectful, developmental support by educated, caring adults in a healthy environment.

Philosophy in action

We Believe children should expect the world to be a beautiful and interesting place

So We create yards full of natural materials and growing things, and classrooms that invite exploration appropriate to the children’s level of development.

We Believe people want to be friendly and kind

So We speak to children and each other in a kind and respectful manner.

We Believe all children want to please the people they live and work with

So We help children know that when something goes wrong it is a mistake, and the teacher will help them learn to do better next time.

We Believe learning and growth occur in calm, pleasant surroundings

So We arrange the day, the staff and the school with consistent routines and rules so that children know what to expect and how to manage themselves, gaining security and freedom through predictability and continuity.

We Believe all children deserve thoughtful, respectful care

So We welcome all children and families reflecting the world we live in, building open, loving hearts and minds through growing alongside a wide variety of people, families, abilities, and life circumstances.

We Believe development naturally unfolds when given a nurturing, supportive, interesting environment

So We accept each child as a human being with unique strengths and needs, and plan a curriculum that supports growth in all areas of development.

We Believe it is an honor and a responsibility to be part of the formation of a young family

So We offer support and services to parents and caregivers above and beyond child care, nurturing the adults so they can be their best for the children.

We Believe healthy meals, peaceful naps, vigorous play, and time for quiet contribute to the wholeness in a child’s development

So We prepare wholesome food on site, appropriate to each age, help children get the sleep they need, and offer choices in their play to meet each child’s needs.

Fast Facts

(Based on FY 15/16)

Children and Families

Average number of children enrolled each month

Average number of hours enrolled per week

  • Families w/reduced tuition 18%
  • Children of Color 46%
  • Families living in Oakland 81%

Teachers and Staff

Average number of employees

%

Teacher Turnover Rate (5 Year Avg.)

%

Employees at BlueSkies more than 5 years

%

People of color

%

Hold MA or BA degree

%

Full Time Employees