We serve about 85 children from 2 months to 5 years of age in six classrooms, from 7:30 a.m. to 6:00 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 prides itself on the diversity of children and families welcomed into the Hedco Infant Toddler Center and the Ellen Sherwood Nursery School. As part of its program serving both children and parents, BlueSkies provides diapers, assists in toilet training, and provides meals 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 and circumstances, 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 parents 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.
Food at BlueSkies
Carefully planned meals and snacks contribute to the home-like 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 – 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 Infant Toddler Center houses a staff kitchen and lounge, and the play therapy office. The upstairs in the Nursery School building contains the kitchen, laundry, and the children’s books and toy storage. The small Copenhagen cottage holds our adult classroom offering teacher education to early childhood programs throughout the East Bay.
An asphalt playground, as long as it’s big enough and has a few shade umbrellas and a drinking fountain on it, meets licensing standards. However, we know that’s not healthy for young children (it’s hardly enough for grown people!). Living with nature is the best way to help children develop a sense of wonder and respect for living, growing things. Much is being written these days about the disconnection of young people from the natural world, as well as childhood obesity. 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. We know that children who have looked for bugs under rocks, or been fascinated to watch a squirrel gathering nuts—or tried to open a walnut with their feet—will develop an interest and respect for living things. Maintaining those outdoor spaces and growing things in yards used intensively by dozens of children takes staff and resources.
BlueSkies for Children has been purposefully designed so that each class area feels small and cozy to children and parents, which can make it easy to forget how much staff is needed to create these essential program features.
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.
BlueSkies believes that supporting young children includes support for their families, so our fees and our services – childcare along with parent support and education – include both. BlueSkies offers: year-round care, all-day care, care for infants through 5’s, warm lunches every day, diapers, beautiful spaces, and well educated, experienced teachers. We don’t know of any other early childhood program that offers ALL of these features -only BlueSkies.
BlueSkies is a nonprofit agency receiving no state or federal subsidies for its Early Childhood Education programs for children or adults. Tuition at BlueSkies covers the cost of enrollment for an individual child. In addition, we have active parent and Board fund raising 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 financial assistance to subsidize the 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 diapers for infants and toddlers
- On-site, all-day housekeeping
- Health care benefits for staff members
- Home-cooked meals—breakfast, lunch, and snacks
- Compassionate, thoughtful counseling for parents
- Homelike environment full of natural materials
- Beautiful, interesting, challenging spaces indoors and out
- Balanced daily schedule for children who are out of their homes all day
- Weekly music with Bonnie Lockhart for Nursery School
Block Options and Fees
Please click the 19/20 Fee Schedule for the latest fee schedlue.
To find fees, find the appropriate schedule on the left of the schedule, then either look in the Monday-Friday section if your schedule is the same every day, or the Monday-Thursday section if you will not come on Fridays. Find the rate for children under 3 or over 3 in that category. Fees are reduced by 5% for each sibling enrolled in the program.
Step 1: Application Form
This form, accompanied by a non-refundable application fee in the amount of $50.00 (payable via Paypal), is all we need to consider your child for admission to BlueSkies for Children. After your completed application is reviewed, you will receive a response within a month, either
- Offering a space, at which point a $1000 deposit is requested to hold the space or
- Indicating there is no space available for your child at the time you requested, informing you that your application has been placed in the waiting pool. If you confirm your interest in attending BlueSkies by phoning or emailing every 4-5 months, we will retain your application in the pool. If we do not hear from you for a year, your application will be taken out of the pool.
Interested families can also download the application here and mail it, with the $50.00 non-refundable application fee (payable to BlueSkies), to 3021 Brookdale Ave. Oakland, CA 94602. PLEASE NOTE: YOU SHOULD RECEIVE AN E-MAIL CONFIRMATION OF YOUR APPLICATION. IF YOU DO NOT RECEIVE A CONFIRMATION, PLEASE CONTACT THE OFFICE AT: INFO@BLUESKIES4CHILDREN.ORG. PLEASE MAKE SURE TO USE THE PROPER DATE FORMAT WHEN ENTERING DATES.
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