Programs

We serve about 88 children from 2 months to 5 years of age in six classrooms, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily. Our Children’s Programs are intentionally inclusive of all families. BlueSkies for Children provides a unique, high-quality program that serves both working parents and supports the growth of children through play. BlueSkies classrooms are separated into the Hedco Infant Toddler Center (Baby House, Wobbly Walkers, and Todds) and the Ellen Sherwood Nursery School (Playroom, Homeroom, and Schoolroom). As part of its program serving both children and families, BlueSkies provides diapers, assists in toilet training, and provides nutritious meals throughout the day, appropriate to each age group.

The Children’s Program views childcare as both a service for working parents and an opportunity to create a wonderful life for young children. The children engage in both nurturing and enriching activities in a homelike setting that fosters meaningful relationships with educated teachers. The curriculum meets the needs of children from all family backgrounds, offering support for growth in cognitive, social, emotional and physical development. Children leave BlueSkies with the self-esteem and approach to learning that forms a solid foundation for elementary school and life. BlueSkies also helps families build emotionally secure home environments, promoting the optimal development of young children by providing their families with counseling, support, and parenting classes. Furthermore, we support the broader community by presenting discussions with leading researchers in early childhood education and training teachers in other early childhood programs to provide thoughtful, play-based care for children.

Food at BlueSkies

Carefully planned meals and snacks contribute to the homelike atmosphere of BlueSkies. The goal of the food program is to ensure appropriate, simple, wholesome food for each age group, served in a congenial family-style setting. This means that the food is prepared daily on site, and cooked and served to suit babies having their first bites of solid food, toddlers with just a few teeth, and big children who are ready for more variety. The older children know the days of the week by the main course at lunch (noodle day, quesadilla day, chicken curry day, etc.), which repeats each week. Fruits and vegetables are somewhat less predictable since they vary with the seasons. We purchase organic dairy products, chicken that is free of hormones and antibiotics, and as much organic produce as possible.

The School Grounds

Looking deceptively small from the street, six children’s classrooms with spacious porches and yards spread over nearly half an acre of property at BlueSkies for Children. With the children’s programs on the ground floor, the upstairs of the HedCo Infant Toddler Center houses a staff kitchen, exercise space, and lounge, and a play therapy office. The upstairs in the Nursery School building contains the school kitchen, laundry, and the children’s library and toy storage. The Copenhagen cottage holds our adult classroom/meeting room, where we offer teacher education to early childhood programs throughout the East Bay.

While an asphalt playground with shade and a drinking fountain meets licensing standards, we know that exploring nature is the best way to help children develop a sense of wonder and respect for living, growing things. We know that children who learn to take pleasure in using their bodies (as they do when they swing, climb, or try to jump to reach the low-hanging loquats) will be more inclined to continue exercising and using their bodies as they grow. Maintaining outdoor spaces and growing things in yards used intensively by dozens of children takes staff and resources, but we know it is worth it.

BlueSkies for Children has been purposefully designed so that each class area feels small and cozy to children and parents while providing many spaces for play and for rest, including indoor and outdoor options. 

BlueSkies for Children is dedicated to providing a safe and clean environment for our programs. Our Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Plan can be found by clicking on this link here.

 

Fees

BlueSkies believes that supporting young children includes support for their families, so our fees and our services (full-day childcare teamed with parent support and education) include both. Tuition at BlueSkies covers the cost of enrollment for an individual child. This cost includes year-round, all-day care, care for infants through 5’s, warm and freshly-prepared, nutritious lunch every day, formula, diapers, beautiful spaces, age-appropriate materials to explore, and well-educated, experienced teachers adhering to a philosophy of play-based, social-emotionally-focused learning. We don’t know of any other early childhood program that offers ALL of these features.

BlueSkies is a nonprofit agency receiving no state or federal subsidies for its Early Childhood Education programs. In addition, we have active parent and Board fundraising committees that support reduced tuition for families who cannot pay the full rate. Any family whose child is admitted to the program may apply for need-based financial assistance to subsidize their fees.

No hidden fees – The monthly rate covers everything below!

  • Respectful, educated, experienced teachers
  • Integrated plans to support growth from infancy through pre-kindergarten
  • High staff-to-child ratios which allow individualization for each child:
    1:3 under age 2
    1:4 or 1:5 for 2-year-olds
    1:8 for 3-and-4-year-olds
  • A community culture that values the rights of children
  • Eco-friendly, compostable diapers for infants and toddlers
  • Formula (if applicable)
  • On-site, all-day housekeeping to allow teachers to focus on the children
  • Health care benefits for staff members
  • Home-cooked, nutritious meals, prepared to foster appreciation for the natural flavors in foods
  • Compassionate, thoughtful support for parents
  • Home-like environment full of natural materials
  • Beautiful, interesting, challenging, age-appropriate spaces indoors and out
  • Balanced daily schedule for children who are out of their homes all day
  • Weekly music program with Bonnie Lockhart for Nursery School classrooms

Current Schedule and Fees

BlueSkies for Children is currently operating under restrictions and best practices laid out by the CDC, State of California, Community Care Licensing, and NAEYC.  Due to Covid-19, we are offering one schedule for all children, 8:30-4;30 Monday to Friday. We hope to be able to extend our program hours and offer part time as well as longer day schedules in the future. Effective October 1, 2022, the tuition for this schedule is a monthly flat fee of $2,333  for children over 3 years and $3,171  for children under 3 years.

 

Enrollment Application

Thank you for your application to BlueSkies for Children. BlueSkies for Children is currently operating under restrictions and best practices laid out by the CDC, State of California, Community Care Licensing, and NAEYC.  Given these restrictions we have temporarily modified our program model and offer one schedule: Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 

Our goal is to review applications as quickly as we can, usually every 2-3 weeks and once we do, we will respond right away. There is a $50 application fee which will you will be prompted to pay after completing this form. Once submitted, you will receive a confirmation email. If you do not receive a confirmation email, or are having difficulty paying the application fee, please contact us at info@blueskies4children.org. Your application is not complete until we have received your application fee.  

If you have questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us any time at info@blueskies4children.org.

 

Step 1: Application Form

Please fill out all required fields on the application form here.

 

Step 2: Pay $50 Application Fee

We currently accept Paypal payments for application fees. You can find out more about that here.