See - http://www.yelp.com/not_recommended_reviews/danville-kindercare-danvilleSee - http://www.instagram.com/kindercare_danville_ca
I'll try to create an in-depth review (after being with them for 4yrs) with photos soon to help future parents on their research. I will post that review on a separate blog.
This review is based on my experience and what I currently see as of this writing.
But here's a quick run down:
1. The photos on this yelp review page is nowhere close to what it is currently. I've been there for 4 years (still is) and known teachers who worked there 5-10+ yrs and haven't seen any of those people, likewise the room.
2. For infants/toddlers -- 5 stars, the teachers on that program were awesome (Isobel, Anita, Jane, Marsha)
3. For 2's -- 4 stars, Ms. Shun is awesome, the rest is blah...
4. For 3's/pre-school -- 2 stars, the teacher Ms. Tonya is awesome. The program on this is not good. There's no phonics and math since Jan 2016. Kids learn nothing other than listening to a story and playing. The rest of the day I believe is just playing on their own. My kid tells me nothing but all minor bullying. Reports I receive is not consistent, most of the time they're not completed but if they were they're not cut'n paste time of notes but I believe it's written sincerely.
5. Pre-K -- no experience yet, but they always merge Pre-K kids with preschools, so just imagine big kids playing with little kids. The room is always a mess. They're merging this for reasons I don't know, but sure they meet the ratio. The teacher Alivia always seem to leave early thus the merging. So how can the preschool teachers focus on preschool activities when they need to watch out for rowdy Pre-K kids. I can just imagine what Pre-K kids are learning.
6. For the past 4 years, there has been 5 director changes. There's always lack of teachers. There's always merging of classes due to this. Upper management even if he lives 15mins away, haven't met him nor he took over the director position for the school when there's none.
7. Lately there's a rabbit pet in the school and the school smelled like an animal shop. Is this ok for the health on the kids?
8. If your kids are on the pre-school/pre-K age, you might want to search other schools, you might be surprised they're cheaper in tuition and they include phonics, math and music classes. These classes are additional fee on Kindercare. The difference is Kindercare serves lunch, which is not that good, same menu every week - bean burrito, burgers, tuna, fish sticks, cheeze pizza, sandwiches. Breakfast? might as well let your kid bring their own cereals.
9. If you still want to enroll your kid and you think this review is biased, during drop-off and pickup times, walk-in and ask one of the parents for feedback, ask them what program is their kid in. I'm sure they're willing to help other parents.
10. Kindercare needs to start using technology, such as get rid of the daily update forms, send those via email with pictures, let the teachers use iPads/tablets etc... I know of a school nearby that does this, peekadoodle.com/danville
Suggestion to parents currently has children enrolled:
1. Open an instagram account and post daily pics on what you see in the school, and include #kindercare. This is will give future parents better idea what's it really like. Pictures says a thousand words. Nowadays people will listen when you involve social media, so maybe Danville management will listen?
2. Get close to the teachers, invite them on birthdays, take them out to lunch, dinner, learn to know them more. Talk to them outside work. You will get the full scoop on how the center is being managed. You will get unbiased feedback from what you see and what management tells them.
Maybe after this review, Kindercare management will read this and will improve things, I hope so, as I don't want to leave this place since my family made friends with most of the families.
Here’s an update from my 4/5/2016 review:
1. Last May 2016, we had town hall meeting with the District Manager Kim Escobedo and the center management staff. 95% of the parent attendees were for infants and toddlers. There were only 1-2 for preschool and pre-k combined parent. Of course majority of comments from parents are positive and I agree with them because the infants and toddlers programs are ok as mentioned on my previous review.
One of the toddler parents were all praises because she gets updates from Lydia with a photo sent via text etc… Why can’t I have that on my preschool/pre-k kid? For preschool/pre-k there’s so many issues that wasn’t brought up because of the lack of parent participation. So why not have a town hall meeting specific for preschool and pre-k parents?
One of the parents mentioned that she was appreciative that a man teacher was there, actually it was the chef/cook that sometimes helps out when there’s lack of coverage, she mentioned it helped his son, whatever that means. What’s his qualification? was this communicated to all parents that the chef/cook will be part-time teacher? There’s this one situation where all the kids were outside playing in the morning, my kid arrived late so it exceeded the ratio of teacher and kids, and the teacher called from the intercom this chef/cook to help out on the playground but when I got out I saw 3 teachers on the lobby chatting etc… WTF???! I don’t care if you’re in break but 3 teachers?!
2. One of the interesting info I got from the town hall meeting was, out of all the kindercare learning centers in the bay area Danville branch has 30% occupancy compared to the rest which are 70-80%. Why is that? Danville is an affluent location so it’s surprising why. I understand there’s a lot of other daycare in the area but most of them don’t have the same number of branches kindercare has.
3. They mentioned on the meeting that they had a hard time hiring teachers. They finally hired a couple and someone that will conduct phonics classes. This hiring has been happening since Dec 2015, the teachers started May 2016, phonics classes resumes on June 6, 2016. It’s not true that phonics stopped on March 2016. So for 6mos they just hired these teachers?! So what happens if these teachers leave say after a month (which is not far from happening), does that mean I have to wait another 6 months? I don’t understand why there’s no sense of urgency on this type of situation.
4. I noticed these past few days that kids get to play outside in the afternoon despite the heat going on (upper 90F degrees), for example today (Jun 2, 2016) I picked up my kid at 5:45pm the temp is between 92-95 and kids are still playing outside. I don’t care if they’re in the shade it still hot! All the kids have red cheeks, my kid has dry lips, she’s all flushed.
Why are they playing outside on this heat? Why are they not monitoring if the kids are drinking water? I see teachers just sitting and watching. Why don’t you offer water regularly? If you really care for the kids like you say you are then you should be paranoid about these small things.
Another example, today June 2, 2016 at 8:30am, we got in the preschool room and no one was there, it turned out they merged preschool, pre-K and toddlers in one room! WTF?? so imagine pre-K kids playing with toddlers. How do you expect the teachers to follow programs when they’re busy making sure no one gets hurt and stuff is cleaned.
5. For the past few days I get inconsistency on the daily forms. It’s pathetic that they photocopy an existing form just to have a form, most of the time the teachers just tell me verbally what my kid did and ate. I told them just take photo and send it to me. I was thinking of donating the forms instead.
I'm writing this review because i'm very frustrated, i'm paying premium for preschool/pre-k - $330/week + $31 phonics, and for the past 6mos $330 doesn't show me my kid is learning something other than play, it's not worth it. I won't be frustrated if I'm paying $200/week. I guess the easiest way to ease this frustration is to just leave and look for another school. So this ends my review.
I hope these feedback help the management of Kindercare to take a closer look at the Danville branch and improve it. Kim Escobedo, I hope you’re reading this.
Product or Service Mentioned: Kindercare Preschool Child Care Program.
Reason of review: Bad quality.